Ok ladies. We live in rural China. We work with some other volunteers of various age and backgroud doing various things. Anyway, long story short, but say, 2 months back we heard that there was a couple with a baby and one on the way coming to join us. We adviced our group strongly that this wasn't a good idea. In our province, the medical system is at least 50 years behind. And of course this is China where 9 out of 10 births end up as a C-section. We've had two friends have their babies here and both had VERY horrible experiences. One won't do it again the other...well...she was knocked out from the drugs for two days and doesn't remember a thing. It was her first and she thinks all birth is like that (and isn't open to hearing other experiences). Most foreigners in our city return home or go to Thailand to have their babies.
So today, my husband hears that this couple has arrived anyway. She is 8 months pregnant already (not sure how she was even allowed to fly from Canada to China anyway). They sort of have an apartment (living with friends). But apparently they are planning on having an unassisted homebirth here. Now, as far as I know, because I looked into it myself for when my baby was born (7 months ago) that homebirth is illegal in China. Now here's the other thing, they don't speak any Chinese. And our hospital doesn't provide a translator service.
What should I do? I already advised their correspondence to tell them to wait to come till after the baby was born (apparently they didn't advice them). They pretty much need to go to Hong Kong or Thailand now if they're going to try and have their baby out of country (she only has 6 weeks to go). But they are adults so as upset as I am about this, they are the ones who are going to have to deal with this messy situation. Should I just keep my mouth shut now? Or try and help them some? Am I being ridculous (give birth in a country with high c-section rate, where you've only lived for 6 weeks and don't speak the language?). Ai ya!
I'm not from China but saw your post. I would approach them and say something like "I wanted to make sure your correspondent discuss the birthing environment here with you, did they?"
If they say no, feel free to go right into your advice.
If they say yes, just say "OK, let me know if you change your mind and need any pointers to getting to Hong Kong or Thailand for the birth, just in case." That reinforces the point without being pushy, and then you drop it.
Though I wonder if you might somehow lightly drop in something about you looking into unassisted, so they know you are not just a "omg you have to have your baby in the hospital" sort. Or maybe not, maybe just stick with the above.
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
I think the main concern with an unassisted homebirth would be how to get the baby a birth certificate and passport to get OUT of the country when they choose to leave. That could be the most serious mess.
Are they even open to going to Thailand to have their baby? Maybe they could have a homebirth there with a midiwfe.
If they choose to stay in China for their birth I gotta say if given the choice between unassisted homebirth and hospital birth I would go with the unassisted birth. Now I do not know her history and how healthy she is.
90% of the time in birth if the woman is healthy and unafraid of birth and has supportive labor care, her birth will go just as it should. Those are pretty good odds.
In the small chance that she DOES need to be in the hospital then it gets hairy. But shoot they have to know that going in that that is a possibility. It is a possibility with ANY homebirth.
anyway, my first thought was about a birth certificate and passport to get their baby out of the country when they want to leave. That is something they are going to need to research carefully before the baby is born. Maybe they need to see a Dr. at this point in the pregnancy so he can certify that she is pregnant and that will help with getting the BC.
let us know how it goes!!! Very interesting situation.