Welcoming a baby into the world is one of the most amazing moments in a person’s life, so naturally, you’ve got a lot of questions that need answering. Should I get an epidural? What about a water birth? Where can I find a doula? Should I breastfeed? All these questions lead to an even bigger question: Which hospital should I go to? That’s where beijingkids comes in. This month’s cover feature will guide you to a hospital that suits your needs, as well as your wallet. In addition to background information on hospitals, we’ve included feedback from parents who’ve been there, and information on natural birthing options and those who can support you through the birth. Maybe you have more questions than answers at the moment, but rest assured: You’re in good hands.
Congratulations! You’re expecting. As the initial euphoria wears off, you and your partner may find yourselves besieged by sudden anxieties. Where will you give birth? Should you use the same hospital for prenatal care and delivery? How much will everything cost? Pregnancy is stressful enough as it is; the stakes can be even higher in Beijing, where language barriers, culture clashes, and endless red tape can aggravate the situation. To navigate the wide world of birthing options, beijingkids went straight to the experts: our readers. This year, we supplement hospital listings with detailed parent testimonials on the general quality of care, prenatal and postnatal facilities, delivery options, and more.
1. AmAsia International Medical Center 东方美华医院
Also known as Beijing Oriental American-Sino Hospital, AmAsia’s aims to introduce American OB/GYN standards to China and encourage natural childbirth through minimal intervention.
Facilities: Twenty-four private LDR (labor, delivery, and recovery) rooms with cable TV, en-suite bathroom, sleeper sofa, and other amenities
English-speaking staff? Yes, most of the staff speaks passable English; some doctors and nurses speak very good English.
Prenatal services: 3D and 4D ultrasounds, fetal heart monitoring, screening tests for chromosomal anomalies, RhoGAM for Rh-negative mothers, and prenatal education
Delivery services: One-on-one clinical midwifery and obstetrics support, epidurals
Postnatal services: Postpartum maternity suites, continued support of mother, baby, and family until the baby is 42 days old, online postnatal care consultation, assistance with infant feeding and weight gain, advice on initial baby screening tests, and postnatal support group
Optional services: Private care (i.e. Women can choose their obstetrician privately for consultation and maternity care). The chosen obstetrician will see you at every hospital visit throughout your pregnancy and delivery.
Cost: RMB 11,000 for basic prenatal check-up package; RMB 28,000 for a natural vaginal delivery package (three days, two nights); RMB 55,000 for a C-section package (five days, four nights).
Direct billing? Yes, direct billing is available for over 50 insurance providers.
Mon-Sun 8am-5pm. 218 Anwai Xiaoguan Beili (inside Beijing Tibet Hospital), Chaoyang District (6496 8888/5151, Joanna Wang: 134 6671 9286, email@example.com) www.americansinoobgyn.com 朝阳区安外小关北里218号（北京藏医院之内）
What Parents Say:
Sanny and Michel Sutyadi
Nationality: Indonesian (Sanny)/German (Michel)
Number of years in Beijing: Around 10 for both Michel and Sanny
Child: Kaylee Sutyadi (10 months)
Delivery date: January 19, 2012
Hospital: AmAsia International Medical Center
Cost: The prenatal routine cost does not include a Down syndrome test. Immunizations add up quickly; some vaccinations at AmAsia can cost more than RMB 2,000. However, you can choose to get the vaccinations elsewhere.
Quality of care: In general, we were happy with the hospital. The equipment was modern and up-to-date, and the service and facilities were decent overall. We would recommend it to other expecting parents, especially if your medical insurance does not cover prenatal, delivery, and postnatal packages.
English service: The staff spoke basic English; the prenatal staff had better English than the delivery staff.
Best and worst parts: The best part was looking into the eyes of our newborn baby girl! The worst part will be different for every couple, but Sanny had to have a scheduled induction. It took almost 24 hours to deliver Kaylee, so it was quite a painful and exhausting night until the baby was born. However, Sanny thought the anesthetist was very good.
Advice for parents: Beijing is not a bad place to have a baby. The Western-style facilities are decent, and there is plenty of affordable help which can be considered during and after your pregnancy. Flying back to your home country before delivery and returning to Beijing afterwards is more of a hassle than choosing a good healthcare provider here, especially if you don’t have the luxury of leaving for a few months. Get your hospital bag ready and just enjoy the weeks and days before the delivery. Sleep in as often as you can, because once the baby arrives, you won’t see a lot of that for a long while.
Jessica and Tyler Jensen
Children: Grace Petra (age 2) and Anne Michaella Jensen (6 months)
Delivery dates: November 20, 2010 and April 12, 2012
Hospital: AmAsia International Medical Center
Number of years in Beijing: We live in Dalian, but traveled to Beijing for AmAsia’s excellent prenatal and postnatal care. Both of our children were born there.
Cost: Our health coverage allowed us to spend up to RMB 80,000; our total bill fell just under that amount, even with two very expensive RhoGAM shots to pay for (Jessica is RH-negative). The hospital offers direct billing. We suggest checking the bill for overcharges though; ours had two, but they were honest mistakes. Also, we spread out our last few prenatal appointments and supplemented it with visits to the local hospital in Dalian to cut down on costs and travel time.
Quality of care: Overall, the facilities seemed clean, up-to-date, and functional. We’d give the hospital a solid A-. While not perfect, AmAsia is a very good birthing option for Beijing; we’ll be back for sure if we have a third child.
English level: There was always a nurse and/or doctor around who spoke conversational English. Dr. Zhou Li was simply fantastic. She joked around with us and knew her job inside and out.
Best and worst parts: The best part was holding our little one for the first time; in terms of the hospital itself, the best part was knowing that the staff was
competent and accommodating. The worst part by far was one nurse who was a bit condescending at times and didn’t fully comply with simple requests of ours. However, all the other nurses ranged from very good to fantastic.
Advice for parents: Bring your own food; there was a 7-11 and a Paris Baguette close by though. Don’t be afraid to vocalize your desires. Communication in China can be difficult at times, but AmAsia was very accommodating with our requests. The hospital allowed Tyler in the operating room during the C-section, which wasn’t the case for our first child.
2. Beijing Antai Maternity Hospital 北京安太妇产医院
Founded in 2003, Beijing Antai Maternity Hospital bills itself as the first hospital in China to meet World Health Organization (WHO) standards. In addition to obstetrics and gynecology departments, Antai also offers internal medicine, surgery, and urology services. Noted for providing water births, the hospital has overseen over 400 such births since 2004.
Facilities: Water birthing pools, private rooms and suites with bathroom and shower
English-speaking staff? Some doctors speak English. In addition, Antai’s website has a helpful live chat function that allows potential patients to ask basic questions in English.
Prenatal services: Ultrasounds, blood tests, remote fetal heart monitoring, and premature birth prognosis
Delivery services: Water births, doulas, natural vaginal births, C-sections
Postnatal services: Breastfeeding consultation, personalized baby care, yuezi facilities
Cost: Prenatal care costs approximately RMB 7,000. Delivery cost depends on your accommodations, not the method of birth. It costs RMB 10,000 for a standard room; RMB 15,000 for a one-bedroom suite; RMB 20,000 for a two-bedroom suite; and RMB 25,000 for a three-bedroom suite. All prices reflect a five-day stay.
Direct billing? Yes, but limited. Antai only offers direct billing for three insurance providers: Vanbreda International, Allianz, and Assistance Online.
Bldg 18, 1 Xinghecheng, Jiayuan Lu, Fengtai District (6773 5551, 6753 7768, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.antaihospital.com 丰台区嘉园路星河城1号院18号楼
What Parents Say:
Bin Fu and Jason Zheng
Nationality: American (Jason)/Chinese (Bin)
Number of years in Beijing: 8
Child: Grace Zheng (7 months)
Delivery date: March 22, 2012
Cost: Prenatal care cost around RMB 5,500; the actual delivery cost RMB 10,000, including a five-day stay at the hospital. However, this didn’t cover the cost of postnatal medicines. In total, we paid about RMB 16,000, all out-of-pocket.
Quality of service: We would recommend Antai to expecting parents, because their service was really good for a reasonable price. We’ve had friends pay a lot more at other hospitals for almost the same level of care or service. We’ve also heard horror stories from friends who used public hospitals or cheaper hospitals. We generally had a pleasant experience and are very relieved to not have any horror stories of our own.
Best and worst parts: The best parts were the level of service and the room conditions. There was a kitchen that made the experience feel much more “homey.” We didn’t feel neglected or crowded at Antai. The worst part was Bin Fu not being able to go through with a water birth. After 24 hours of labor and realizing that our baby’s head just couldn’t get past her pelvic bone, she gave up and got a C-section.
Advice for parents: Be prepared. Be flexible. Remember that your health is as much of a priority as the baby’s. For the dads, grandparents, or other caregivers, remember to get some sleep. Discuss decisions that may come up beforehand so that you don’t stress about them when they do. Be clear on what you want and shop around. You don’t need to spend extravagant amounts of money to get a pleasant experience. Tour every hospital and do your homework. Find one close to you, because commuting in Beijing makes everything seem so far apart.
3. Amcare Women’s and Children’s Hospital 北京美中宜和妇儿医院
Located in Lido, Amcare Women’s and Children’s hospital provides families international medical services in Chinese cultural background. Services include obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, family planning, and psychological consulting. With world-class service at a comparably lower cost, Amcare is a popular choice for expat couples.
Facilities: Thirty-six home-style private suites, three operation rooms, and two surgery rooms, recreation center, gym, and courtyard garden
English-speaking staff? Yes, patients can request an English-speaking doctor.
Prenatal services: Clinical consultations from 12 weeks, high-risk pregnancy management, tailor-made maternity plans, delivery rehearsal and planning, and prenatal education, exercises, nutrition, and psychology
Delivery services: LDR birth services, labor pain management, doula services, C-sections, and forceps or vacuum delivery
Postnatal services: Postpartum uterus recovery, health examinations up to 42 days, breastfeeding consultation and training, newborn care, baby massage, and postpartum psychology, nutrition, and exercise
Optional services: Outpatient appointments, night service, transportation, house calls, and body-shaping services
Cost: RMB 12,790 for prenatal package (14 visits); RMB 34,450 for natural vaginal delivery (three nights); RMB 48,235 for C-sections (five nights). All packages include meals, delivery routine charges, an extra bed for an overnight guest, baby care items, vaccines, cord blood screening (if required), and screening for metabolic diseases. Patients who book at least four months in advance are eligible for a 12 percent discount on all packages.
Direct billing? Yes, Amcare offers direct billing for over 20 providers.
Daily 8am-4.30pm. 9 Fangyuan Xilu, Chaoyang District (6434 2388, 800 610 6200, email@example.com) www.amcare.com.cn 朝阳区芳园西路9号
What Parents Say:
Laurette Cointet and Paul Pennay
Nationality: French (Laurette)/Australian (Paul)
Number of years in Beijing: 8
Child: Maya Gabrielle Pennay (5 months)
Delivery date: May 7, 2012
Hospital: Amcare Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Cost: For prenatal care, we paid around RMB 10,000; delivery and postnatal care came up to around RMB 30,000. Laurette had to get a C-section because of the baby’s position; Amcare doesn’t offer seated delivery.
Quality of care: Both the buildings in which consultations and the delivery took place were very clean. Service is quick, gentle, and friendly. The doctor who oversaw our pregnancy was very professional, direct, and did not administer medicine when it wasn’t needed. We had a big room for the delivery; we were given the chance to upgrade to a family room with a balcony and a sofa for Paul to sleep on. For the first few days, Laurette had some problems with breastfeeding. An old nurse patiently helped us; she had the same philosophy about breastfeeding as us and didn’t go for the easy solution (formula). Our baby is 4 months now and hasn’t had anything other than breast milk. We would recommend Amcare to other parents.
English level: The staff spoke a little bit of English, but a translator is available for several languages.
Best and worst parts: The best part was, of course, when the baby was shown to us for the first time. Because Laurette had a C-section, we stayed five days in total at the hospital – valuable time to bond with the baby before going home. The worst part was waiting six hours after the operation to drink anything, then having to eat zhou for three days at each meal.
Advice for parents: Amcare was a good choice for our budget. Though Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH) offered similar prices and was a bit closer to our place, we avoided the very long queue there. If there are any problems, however, the hospital will send you to BJU or PUMCH. In addition, Laurette was quite stressed when she found herself on the surgery table; mothers-to-be should be psychologically prepared for a C-section. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor if you’re unsure about anything.
Edna and Alun Richards
Nationality: Filipino (Edna)/Welsh (Alun)
Number of years in Beijing: 3.5
Children: Ellen (age 2) and Anwen Richards (7 months)
Delivery date (Anwen): March 7, 2012
Hospital: Amcare Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Basic timeline: Until week 33, we had our prenatal care at Vista Medical Center with Dr. Gretel Gadahuda, then transferred to Amcare at week 34 under Dr. Wu’s care.
Cost: Prenatal care at Vista cost around RMB 11,000. The delivery at Amcare (natural vaginal birth without painkillers) cost approximately RMB 29,000; the price includes a three-night stay in a standard room with meals provided.
Quality of care: We were satisfied with Amcare’s services and
facilities, and would highly recommend it to other expecting parents.
Best and worst parts: The best part of the birthing experience was the delivery itself. In addition, the resident doctor, nurses, and translator did an excellent job in providing professional and caring service. There was no “worst” part.
Advice for parents: You really don’t need to bring a lot of stuff with you on delivery day; all of the essentials are provided by the hospital. Pregnancy and birthing in Beijing can be a good experience; you just need to find the right hospital, as well as doctors that you feel can cater to your expectations.
4. Beijing HarMoniCare Women and Children’s Hospital (HMC)
HarMoniCare is a hospital dedicated to women and children, with gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics, postpartum recovery, and stomatology departments. It advocates the medical philosophy of 5 “Hs”: Hospital, Health, Hotel, Home, and Happiness. They strive to offer international-standard, professional, and people-oriented medical services in a home-like environment.
Facilities: Vaginal births takes place in an LDR (labor, delivery, and recovery) ward where the patient can be accompanied by her family at all times. The LDR ward features a newborn warming table and anesthesia for labor, if necessary. C-sections are done in a sterile operating room with imported equipment and materials.
English-speaking staff? Yes, the hospital can arrange for English services upon request.
Prenatal services: Thirteen prenatal checkups from week 12-40, 4D ultrasound, testing for Down’s syndrome, childbirth planning, labor management, high-risk pregnancy management, nutrition counseling, TCM, and health guidance
Delivery services: Vaginal birth, C-sections, midwifery services, pain management with water or birth ball, Lamaze breathing, anesthesia, and independent blood bank for transfusions
Postnatal services: Medical treatment and counseling, postpartum and newborn care, breastfeeding guidance, pelvic restoration, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, imported vaccines, development monitoring, screening for abnormalities, and more
Optional services: Prenatal yoga and dance, fetal education, and specialists Cost: RMB 15,000 for prenatal examinations package; RMB 36,000 for vaginal birth package (three nights); RMB 49,800-54,800 for C-section package (five nights). Additional fees apply for progestational examinations, infant vaccines, and other services.
Direct billing? Yes, HarMoniCare offers direct billing with Cigna, MSH China, ICBC-AXA, Medilink-Global, Axa-Assistance, Aetna, Chartis, and more.
Daily 8am-5pm (hospital hours), daily 5-10pm (pediatrics evening hours). A2 Xiaoguan Beili, Beiyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (6499 0000, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.hmcare.net 朝阳区北苑路小关北里甲2号
Whats Parents Say:
Eileen Chu and Eugene Wong
Nationality: Canadian (Eileen)/Chinese (Eugene)
Number of years in Beijing: 9
Child: Haydon Wong (4 months)
Delivery date: June 25, 2012
Hospital: Beijing HarMoniCare Women and Children’s Hospital
Basic timeline: Eileen had to do more tests than normal, because she was considered an older mother (39 at the time of conception), and because Haydon was conceived via in-vitro fertilization. Starting from week 12, Eileen had to undergo biweekly ultrasounds.
Cost: Patients can receive discounts on most services if they become members; the discount rate depends on the amount of money that you originally put down. After the member discount, the cost breakdown was as follows for Eileen and Eugene:
•Approximately RMB 15,000 for the prenatal checkup package. Eileen highly recommends the non-invasive DNA blood test, which cost an extra RMB 3,000.
•RMB 45,000 for the delivery package
•RMB 90,000 for the postnatal yuezi package (one month)
Quality of care: HarMoniCare had a good environment and decent services, but there’s still room for improvement. However, we were surprised by the baby swimming services! In addition, the hospital managed to fit quite a few services into the postnatal yuezi period – perhaps too much. Eileen stayed in a third-floor suite the size of a studio apartment and had access to a pediatrician, nutritionist, TCM doctors, a 24-hour yuesao, meals, facials, hair treatments, private yoga lessons, foot massages, swimming lessons and vaccines for the baby, and more. She felt overwhelmed and didn’t have enough time to rest. That being said, we would recommend HarMoniCare to other parents.
Best and worst parts: The best part was our doctor, Dr. Gai Mingying (盖铭英), who also works at PUMCH, Amcare, and BJU. She was very experienced and helpful throughout the pregnancy. The worst part was when the hospital allowed a movie crew to come in for a couple of days; this was not a professional move. The crew included at least 20 people and made a lot of noise, which really affected nearby mothers and babies.
Advice for parents: If you’re getting a C-section, make sure to book the doctor in advance; some of them are very popular. Regarding the delivery date, ask a fengshui master (haha)!
5. Natecia Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital 南泰席亚妇产科
Affiliated with Natecia clinic in Lyon, France, Natecia Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital is a Sino-French hospital with a focus on maternal healthcare. The hospital provides international-standard medical services in a supportive environment.
Facilities: Private, home-like rooms with showers English-speaking staff? Yes, services are available in both English and French.
Prenatal services: High-risk pregnancy management, trilingual prenatal classes, home prenatal classes, and relaxation classes Delivery services: Family members permitted in the delivery room, optional epidural, VBAC (at the doctor’s discretion)
Postnatal services: Breastfeeding support (including consultation and massage), baby massage, baby swimming pool, yuezi center
Optional services: Getting a second opinion with a French doctor via teleconference
Cost: RMB 8,800 for a prenatal package (including ultrasounds, lab tests, fetal monitoring, and any relevant medications); RMB 11,800 for a birth package in a double room (natural or C-section, seven nights); RMB 16,800 for the same package, but with baby swimming and baby massage included; RMB 28,000 for a birth package in a single room (baby swimming and massage included)
Direct billing? No
Mon-Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 8am-noon. Yanda International Health City, Sipulan Lu, Yanjiao Economic and Technology Development Zone, Tongzhou District (156 3062 2562) en.yandahospital.com 通州区京东燕郊经济开发区思菩兰路
What Parents Say:
Prayank Tayal and Suhani Agarwald
Child: Taashi Tayal (5 months)
Delivery date: May 4, 2012
Number of years in Beijing: We lived in Yanjiao, Hebei Province for three years. We have since moved back to India.
Hospital: Natecia Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital
Basic timeline: Every month, we scheduled checkups with Chinese and French doctors for laboratory tests, ultrasounds, blood tests, and fetal heart monitoring.
Cost: In all, we paid approximately RMB 15,000.
Quality of care: We received excellent service from the OB/GYN team. We were pleasantly surprised by the controlled and successful delivery, without any series issues for mother and baby. After the birth, Natecia helped us find a lactation consultant; we feel that we wouldn’t have gotten such good postnatal care even in India, our homeland. We enjoyed an emotional long-term relationship with the Natecia team and would recommend the hospital to other expecting parents.
English level: The hospital staff spoke English.
Best and worst parts: The best part was the first look at our baby angel; the worst part was that the umbilical cord was wound around her neck, but the Natecia team quickly addressed the problem.
Advice for parents: Bring baby items in your hospital bag, such as toiletries, diapers, milk bottles, and separate bed sheets for mother and baby. And rest assured: Natecia is a safe, high-quality place for prenatal and postnatal services. For us, it was like a home away from home.
6. GlobalCare Women’s and Children’s Hospital 北京五洲妇儿医院
Formerly known as Beijing Wuzhou Women’s Hospital, this private birthing clinic is affiliated with Peking University People’s Hospital Medical Group. It offers gynecology and obstetrics treatments in addition to a wide range of other women’s health services in a clean and modern environment.
Facilities: 12,000sqm facilities with 100 inpatient beds
English-speaking staff? Yes, but it depends on the nurse or doctor.
Prenatal services: Pregnancy classes and club, remote fetal heart monitoring, premature birth prognosis, ultrasounds, birthing rehearsal and pre-admission preparation (VIP members)
Delivery services: Water births, C-sections, natural vaginal births, pain management, doula service
Postnatal services: Postpartum rehabilitation, direct rooming-in (DRI), and breastfeeding help
Optional services: Doulas, newborn swimming, and touch therapy Cost: RMB 10,000-15,000 for a prenatal care package; RMB 30,000 for natural vaginal birth package (three nights); RMB 39,000 for C-section or water birth package (five nights)
Direct billing? Yes, GlobalCare has a direct billing relationship with over 10 insurance providers.
24 Xi Dawang Lu (south of Shuangjing Carrefour), Chaoyang District (400 8900 789) www.wuzhouhospital.com 朝阳区西大望路23号（双井家乐福南）
What Parents Say:
Tatiana Shadymova and Alexander Shadymov
Number of years in Beijing: 5
Children: Roman (age 4) and Mark Shadymov (12 months)
Delivery date (Mark): August 9, 2011
Hospital: GlobalCare Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Cost: Prenatal care cost approximately RMB 12,000, which can be paid in full in advance or on a visit-by-visit basis. A single visit costs RMB 600-1,000 depending on what tests need to be done. Tatiana gave birth via C-section, which cost around RMB 42,000. We had to prepay that amount by putting down RMB 45,000; this includes the operation, all necessary medication, anesthesia, a one-week stay in a private room, and three meals per day. If there are no complications, the hospital returns RMB 5,000. However, we only got RMB 3,000 back because Tatiana experienced some complications. In addition, we checked out after four days instead of staying the full week. It was against the staff’s recommendation, but we wanted to get home to Roman.
Quality of care: Doctors, nurses, and other staff were always polite, courteous, and responsible. They tried to fulfill our requests as soon as possible. There’s even a room for bathing babies; the staff fills up large tanks with hot water and washes newborns for the first two days. Then, if the parents don’t mind, they bathe the babies with an inflatable ring; Mark loved it.
English level: Doctors and nurses don’t speak English, but the hospital had a
wonderful Russian girl called Victoria, who speaks English and Russian. She was tactful, responsive, always smiling, and ready to help in any matter. Tatiana speaks a little Chinese, but the staff called Victoria whenever any questions or misunderstandings came up.
Best and worst parts: Of course, the best part was seeing our baby for the first time. Our impressions of GlobalCare are all positive. However, it was a bit
annoying that the hospital’s day started at 6am every day; it was always a whirlwind of activity afterwards.
Advice for parents: It’s best to visit GlobalCare in the morning, around 9am, as there are very few people. The hospital has a great laboratory and all tests are done quickly. I would also recommend GlobalCare for routine health checkups, not just pregnancy. The gynecologists are very experienced and the facilities are excellent. An old TCM doctor helped me get rid of my neurodermatitis [a skin disorder]using very effective, but terrible-tasting medicine. Unfortunately, GlobalCare isn’t licensed to offer vaccinations, so we had all of them done at Amcare. And remember to just relax and go with the flow; there is no turning back!
7. Mary’s Hospital for Women and Infants 北京玛丽妇婴医院
Mary’s Hospital for Women and Infants offers international-standard gynecology and obstetrics services, including prenatal packages, minimally-invasive procedures, high-risk pregnancy management, and support for first-time mothers. In addition, the pediatrics department offers an early education program that is open to newborns.
Facilities: ISO9000 and ISO14000 standard facilities, including modern diagnostic equipment and private rooms with a sofa and baby cot
English-speaking staff? No, but translators are available upon request. Prenatal services: Color Doppler ultrasounds, syphilis serum, hepatitis C antigen, gynecology consultations and clinical examinations, leucorrhea routine + BV, high-risk pregnancy management, nutrition consulting, and more
Delivery services: Doula, vaginal births, C-sections, musical analgesia for natural births
Postnatal services: Postnatal rehabilitation centers, educational support for first-time mothers
Optional services: Private doctors, classes for new parents, and musical therapy Cost: RMB 12,065 for a prenatal checkup package; RMB 29,860 for vaginal birth package (three nights); RMB 39,860 for a C-section package (five nights)
Direct billing? No, but the hospital plans to offer this in the future.
5 Hepingli Beijie, Chaoyang District (6421 6666) www.mary.net.cn 朝阳区和平里北街5号
8. Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics 北京和睦家医院
Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics’ (BJU) mission is to provide “comprehensive, integrated healthcare services in a uniquely warm and caring patient and family service-oriented environment.” An expat favorite for maternity services, BJU offers international-standard medical services, including a Western-style LRDP (labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum) birthing suite and a multi-national team of doctors, nurses, and midwives.
Facilities: Adjacent operating rooms for caesarean births, neonatal intensive care unit with advanced neonatal emergency equipment, neonatologists, a College of American Pathologists (CAP)-accredited Blood Bank, and a CAP-accredited laboratory for onsite testing
English-speaking staff? Yes, both doctors and nurses speak English.
Prenatal services: Well woman care, pregnancy, postpartum, and childbirth classes, prenatal yoga
Delivery services: International-standard LDRP birthing suite, family-centered birthing services, childbirth and prenatal packages, vaginal birth after caesarean, labor pain management (including 24-hour anesthetic services)
Postnatal services: Free postpartum workshops, postpartum recovery services, breastfeeding support services, voucher for various combinations of baby items from gift shop
Optional services: For expecting moms, there’s afternoon tea, candlelight dinners, nail treatments, and other auxiliary services.
Cost: RMB 12,600 for a prenatal package; RMB 56,000 for vaginal delivery; RMB 101,875 for a C-section delivery
Direct billing? Yes
Daily 9am-5pm. 2 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District (5927 7000, 5927 7120 emergency line) www.ufh.com.cn 朝阳区将台路2号
What Parents Say:
Bridget and Simon Cheong
Nationality: British (Bridget)/Australian (Simon)
Number of years in Beijing: 7 (Bridget) and 10 (Simon)
Children: Nathan (age 2) and Annalise Cheong (10 months)
Delivery dates: April 11, 2010 and November 5, 2011
Hospital: Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics
Cost: Depending on the tests Bridget needed, each prenatal visit cost RMB 500-1,500. The cost for a natural vaginal delivery was around RMB 60,000. BJU had direct billing for our insurance provider, and there was no problem.
Quality of care: It was good overall, though some of the furniture looked a bit tatty. For both babies, we saw a lactation consultant named Bronwyn Smith. Labor nurse and lactation consultant Jennifer LeCleir also came to see us and gave us practical advice.
English level: Nurses really need to be able to speak English. I was very disappointed in the lack of English, even from the doctor.
Best and worst parts: The best part of the birthing experience was being allowed to go home early. Bridget was allowed to check out 24 hours after the birth following a health checkup. The worst part was not being offered any suggestions for my labor and having nurses who spoke very little English. Also, drugs were administered without consulting me first. Several times, Simon had to ask the doctor what she was giving me.
Advice for parents: Stay home for as long as possible. During my first pregnancy, I went into the
hospital early; my cervix wasn’t even dilated even though I was having regular and painful contractions. I just wanted things to progress, but was told to go home because nothing was “moving forward.” For my second pregnancy, I waited until the contractions were consistently four minutes apart. Things moved very fast once I was at the hospital; Annalise arrived after four hours, in contrast to Nathan’s 30 hours. Also, try to get your doctor to be present for the birth. We would also suggest getting a doula, preferably someone with experience as a midwife or labor nurse.
Kristen Billings and Reuben Bathgate
Nationality: American (Kristen) and New Zealander (Reuben)
Number of years in Beijing: 12
Children: Henry (age 5) and Esme Bathgate (3.5 months)
Delivery dates: August 18, 2007 and May 18, 2012
Hospital: Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics
Basic timeline: At weeks 9 and 11, Kristen had non-routine ultrasounds to check on the fetus. Due to her relatively advanced age (42) and previous miscarriages, she was initially worried about the pregnancy. At 12-13 weeks, she had a standard ultrasound and triple test to check for genetic abnormalities. An anatomy scan followed at 20 weeks and a Level II scan at 20 weeks. The latter was done in Thailand so that we could find out the gender of our baby; BJU wouldn’t say. Then, Kristen went in for regular monthly visits up to the last four weeks or so. She suffered from a pregnancy disease called hyperemesis gravidarum – basically, extreme morning sickness that lasts the entire pregnancy – that needed close monitoring towards the end.
Cost: Prenatal costs (not including the extra costs for managing Kristen’s hyperemesis) totaled approximately RMB 15,000; we did not get the prenatal care package. We did, however, get the vaginal birth package for RMB 56,000. Our insurance covered most of the cost. In all, we paid about RMB 15,000 out-of-pocket.
Quality of care: We loved giving birth at BJU. We had our son there five years ago and had a great experience; Esme’s birth was even better. Kristen had great prenatal care from Dr. Masoud Afnan, and all the nurses and midwives during the delivery were open-minded, knowledgeable, and respectful of honoring our wishes. They followed our birth plan as much as possible, unless something unexpected came up. We would absolutely recommend BJU to expecting parents.
English level: Everyone speaks English at BJU.
Best and worst parts: Reuben, Kristen’s sister, and Kristen’s mother were all present for both Henry and Esme’s births. The worst part was that Esme came very, very fast. Kristen went from virtually no contractions to full-on birth in about 25 minutes. The pain was excruciating, and there wasn’t enough time to get any drugs.
Advice for parents: Expect the unexpected and be psychologically prepared for things to happen differently than you planned for. For example, Kristen really wanted to give birth in the labor pool at BJU, but her water broke very early. Once that happens, the staff can’t let you get in water for fear of
infection. In addition, shop around for prenatal care. Find a doctor that you trust 100 percent. Ask other people for their opinions. Be open-minded. Don’t get hung up on the small stuff. Enjoy your pregnancy and experience the joy, because it’ll be over before you know it.
9. OASIS Healthcare 北京明德医院
OASIS Healthcare is a new hospital with international-standard inpatient and outpatient services that cover a wide range of medical and surgical specialties. Expat patients can count on friendly, multilingual service and medical treatment from an international medical team.
Facilities: Home-like maternity suites that support labor, delivery, postpartum, and recovery in the same room, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
English-speaking staff? Yes
Prenatal services: The prenatal care plan covers all required and recommended tests, including 14 consultations, five ultrasounds, and Down’s syndrome screening. There are no extra costs. The pregnancy support program includes prenatal classes, relaxation classes (yoga, meditation, massage and TCM), and mental counseling.
Delivery services: 24/7 medical treatment, optional epidural, individual support and choice, and Birth Kangaroo Care (skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby immediately after birth)
Postnatal services: 24-hour call service to midwives, breastfeeding classes and counseling, and postpartum support
Optional services: OASIS can organize postnatal gatherings to provide a platform for new mothers to exchange experiences and concerns. Postpartum pelvic floor training can also be arranged.
Cost: RMB 12,800 for prenatal packages; RMB 42,800 for natural vaginal delivery; RMB 68,800 for C-sections. These prices are valid until December 31, 2012.
Direct billing? Yes, OASIS has direct billing for over 25 insurance providers.
Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 8.30am-12.30am, daily 24hr emergency care. 9 Jiuxianqiao Beilu, Chaoyang District, Chaoyang District (400 UR OASIS) www.oasishealth.cn 朝阳区酒仙桥北路9号
What Parents Say:
Jane Marie Kang and Jinhui Kang
Nationality: American (Jane)/Chinese (Jinhui)
Number of years in Beijing: 5
Delivery date: Expected delivery date is February 6, 2013. Jane is
currently receiving prenatal care from Dr. Stefan Schneyer at OASIS and anticipates giving birth at the same hospital.
Hospital: OASIS Healthcare
Cost: The total cost for prenatal care was RMB 13,800 – a promotional price, since OASIS is relatively new. Every test is included in the price, including some considered optional at other hospitals.
Quality of care: The hospital’s facilities are gorgeous, clean, and spacious. I feel like I’m in a luxury hotel every time I go there! The doctors, nurses, and other staff are very professional, and think of ways to make our experience a pleasant one. I especially like that all their equipment is state-of-the-art. A lot of planning seems to have gone into developing the services at OASIS. I haven’t given birth yet, but the LDRP suites are nicely decorated and equipped. I would highly recommend OASIS to any expecting parents.
English level: All of the hospital’s staff members are capable English speakers.
Advice for parents: Invest your time in finding a hospital that treats you well and gives you the time to ask questions.
10. Huaxin Hospital (First Hospital of Tsinghua University)
Founded in 1958, Huaxin Hospital is affiliated with Tsinghua University’s School of Medicine. In 2007, the hospital was appointed as the only “high-risk pregnancy and perinatal intrauterine treatment center” in Chaoyang District. As a result, hundreds of high-risk pregnancy cases are admitted to Huaxin every year. The hospital also features an excellent gynecology department with modern equipment and minimally-invasive surgical procedures.
Facilities: Imported medical equipment by Siemens and Phillips, 30 post-delivery bed spaces
English-speaking staff? No
Prenatal services: Color Doppler ultrasounds, blood tests, urine analysis, and more
Delivery services: C-sections and natural vaginal births Postnatal services: Regular health checks for mother and baby
Cost: It varies hugely from patient to patient, since there are no package prices; patients simply pay as they go. Expecting moms can expect to pay around RMB 2,500 for prenatal care; and approximately RMB 1,600 for a vaginal delivery.
Direct billing? No
6 Jiuxian Qiao Yijie, Chaoyang District (6436 9999, email@example.com) www.tufh.com.cn 朝阳区酒仙桥一街坊6号
What Parents Say:
Vivien Wu and Peter Jones
Nationality: Chinese (Vivien) and British (Peter)
Number of years in Beijing: 2
Child: Mia Evelyn Jones (2 months)
Delivery date: August 14, 2012
Hospital: Huaxin Hospital
Cost: The cost was very low, around RMB 2,500 for prenatal. We prepaid the cost of delivery by depositing RMB 5,000 on a card when we checked in. The procedure ended up costing only RMB 1,600; the rest was refunded to the card.
Quality of care: The service was very good for the cost, though Huaxin is not somewhere you’d want to linger after the birth. The staff did what was required for postnatal care. Several times a day, a handful of nurses would bowl through the door, stick a thermometer somewhere, then barrel out again. Because we arrived as an emergency case, we were given a room straight away; we booked it as a private room for two nights, and then we were asked if the hospital could have the bed back for another emergency. By then, we were desperate to get home. People might think that the price is almost “too cheap,” but the hospital staff was professional and competent at all times. They also seemed quite proud that a foreigner would choose their hospital!
Best and worst parts: The best part was the two-hour stretch between Vivien’s water breaking and Mia arriving. The worst part was that Peter wasn’t allowed in the birthing room.
Advice for parents: On delivery day, take every scrap of paperwork you’ve collected over the pregnancy; we had a problem checking in because we left a specific letter at home. Don’t be scared to “go native,” as long as you have the language skills and thick skin to accept your new surroundings.
11. Peking Union Medial College Hospital (PUMCH) 北京协和医院
Peking Union Medial College Hospital (also known as Xiehe) has two locations: one in Dongcheng District and another in Xicheng District. The Dongcheng location has an international department, but it is limited to 50 deliveries per month and it’s best to contact them eight months in advance. For a consultation in the “Special Needs Unit” (tequ menzhen, 特区门诊) for foreigners, the hospital requires a registration fee (guahao, 挂号) of RMB 300. Once your due date is determined, book a bed and decide on a date for the delivery. While their service is up to par, expecting parents shouldn’t hold out for Western bed manners here.
Facilities: In-house laboratory, high-risk maternal intensive care unit, and neonatal intensive care unit
English-speaking staff? Yes, but it tends to be hit or miss.
Prenatal services: Blood testing, ultrasounds, urine analysis, screening for genetic abnormalities, and more
Delivery services: C-sections, natural vaginal deliveries, pain management
Postnatal services: Regular health checks for mother and baby, breastfeeding help, nutrition counseling
Cost: RMB 60,000 for a complete prenatal check-up and delivery package (RMB 5,000 less if a C-section is not performed)
Direct billing? No
1 Shuaifuyuan, Dongcheng District (6529 6699) 东城区帅府园1号; 2) 41 Damucang Hutong, Xicheng District (6529 5284) pumch.cn 西城区大木仓胡同41号
What Parents Say:
Yuki Jia and Jackie Yu
Number of years in Beijing: Over 30 – both Yuki and Jackie are native Beijingers.
Child: Yu Mingcan (8 months)
Delivery date: February 8, 2012
Hospital: Peking Union Medial College Hospital
Cost: Prenatal care cost RMB 10,254, including registration fee, 12 visits to the doctor, and all required tests. The delivery package cost RMB 33,766, which covers all required tests, medical procedures, and a five-night stay at the hospital.
Quality of care: Both the service and facilities were very good. The delivery was surprisingly quick and smooth; it took only three hours from contractions to birth, and Yuki didn’t have to resort to painkillers. After the birth, hospital staff checked on Yuki twice a day, made sure she was getting the right nutrition, and helped with any breastfeeding issues she encountered. We would recommend the hospital to other parents.
Best and worst parts: The best part was the delivery; the doctors and nurses were chatting with Yuki and answered any questions she had. The worst part was securing bed space; we had to book the space when Yuki was only one month pregnant.
Advice for parents: To avoid stressing over bed space, make all the hospital arrangements well in
advance. Always have the hospital’s number on hand; if something unexpected happens, you’ll avoid wasting precious time. Have your hospital bag ready to go with baby wipes, infant formula and milk bottles (if applicable), and clothes.
12. Beijing New Century Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Opened in June of 2012, New Century offers international-standard pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology services. Located in Wangjing, New Century covers approximately 10,000sqm of space. This establishment is the sister hospital of Beijing New Century International Hospital for Children in Fuxingmen and Beijing New Century Harmony Pediatric Clinic in Shunyi.
Facilities: Modern diagnostic equipment, and private post-delivery rooms and suites with bathroom and shower
English-speaking staff? Yes, English-speaking doctors and some of the staff speaks basic English.
Prenatal services: Urine analysis, ultrasounds, blood tests, screening for genetic abnormalities, fetal heart monitoring, and more
Delivery services: Scheduled and unscheduled C-sections, vaginal birth, and pain management
Postnatal services: Breastfeeding help, and individualized care for mother and baby
Cost: RMB 12,900 for a prenatal package; RMB 30,000 for a natural vaginal birth (three nights); RMB 40,000 for an unscheduled C-section (five nights); RMB 48,000 for an emergency or scheduled C-section (five nights). Patients who pay for the prenatal package in full ahead of time are eligible for a 10 percent discount. Single prenatal checkups cost RMB 100-300 depending on the doctor’s experience and types of tests done.
Direct billing? Yes, New Century offers direct billing for a dozen of insurance providers.
Daily 24hrs. 5/F, 51 Wangjing Beilu (inside Wanghu Park South Gate), Chaoyang District (5178 3366) www.ncich.com.cn 朝阳区望京北路51号院（望湖公园南门）5层
What Parents Say:
Adlyn Adam-Teoh and Xiaotan Si
Nationality: Malaysian (Adlyn)/Chinese (Xiaotan)
Number of years in Beijing: 7
Child: Reis Si (3 months)
Delivery date: June 19, 2012
Hospital: Beijing New Century Women’s and Children’s Hospital (delivery), Amcare Women’s and Children’s Hospital (prenatal)
Quality of care: We had prenatal care at Amcare Women’s and Children’s Hospital with Dr. Wu, who sees patients at both Amcare and New Century. If there’s one word to describe New Century, it would be “boutique,” as in boutique hotel. We got intimate, personalized service and enjoyed high-quality facilities. We were initially concerned about having our baby there, because the hospital only opened in June and we would be their first natural birth. However, Dr. Wu is one of the best doctors out there. Postnatal care was excellent. The nurses took great care of us, making sure that we were well-fed and rested. They checked on the baby often during the night, which was reassuring because we were so exhausted. There were, however, several downsides, such as smaller prenatal care rooms than Amcare’s. Second, the staff wasn’t familiar with billing procedures and couldn’t tell us if the epidural was included in the birthing package. Third, the cafe wasn’t open yet – but the nurses helped us order food. Fourth, the staff wasn’t familiar with the concept of birthing plans. However, they thought it was a good idea and may start offering it to their patients. Finally, it’s not conveniently located, so it’s hard to catch a taxi or find restaurants nearby, but the front desk can help order a taxi.
Best and worst parts: The anesthesiologist did a superb job with the epidural; it allowed Adlyn to rest and eat before it was time to push.
Advice for parents: Take a shower before going to the hospital; this helped Adlyn relax, calm her mind, and even eased contraction pains. Giving birth in Beijing is a little more work than back home because of the language difference, as well as cultural and social nuances. Be patient, and trust your nurses and doctors.
This article is excerpted from beijingkids October 2012 issue. View it in PDF form here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where you can pick up your free copy.