Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Observant, Jewish and Very Crunchy in China
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I live in Beijing (1 yr) and used to live in Shanghai (2 yrs). I had the same difficulty as you.
DC 1 was a plain ole hospital birth in SH but when I was pg with #2 I wanted a homebirth. So I asked around. I found out that homebirth is "illegal" in China. It still happens plenty and nobody cares after the fact, but what it means is that any licensed--that is, China-licensed-- professional can lose their license for attending a homebirth. (The rationale is that the govt can't be seen as condoning the female infanticide which happens sometimes here.)
The "midwives" here are all hospital affiliated and cannot attend homebirths under any circumstances, even "emergency". One situation that's too involved to go into there (my friend's homebirth here in Beijing) attests to this fact, her care provider was reprimanded and under heavy-duty suspicion for talking with my laboring friend BY PHONE during the labor. That midwife left Beijing and is now working in the Shanghai branch of the same hospital network.
Anyway, you could fly a midwife in from New Zealand or Australia, if you have the dough and she's willing to take a month away from her life...it didn't pan out for us although we tried to work it that way.
In the end I decided I could birth at home unassisted and I did and it was absolutely beautiful.
There was a hospital 10 minutes away by taxi if we needed it (and we did, my placenta never budged, I needed to go under for a manual extraction but no biggie, I wouldn't change a thing!).
anyhow, back to Shanghai. Even though I'm no longer there, SH has a very active La Leche League (3 groups meet, with 3 different leaders, including one nursing toddlers group!) And there's a few AP moms there. It's a very hip and international city, much moreso than Beijing. I know one other Unassisted Homebirther there, and several who wished they had the guts to homebirth. I'll write you a pm with a yahoo group, too that you should join. Definitely get in touch with the LLL there as well.
here's the scoop: There is a scottish midwife who does not "practice" in China, she's a SAHM now but might be willing to attend a home birth. If I can dig up her # I will send it.
And there's also hmm who is it I met...? oh yes a L&D nurse or something like that from New Jersey, can't recall her name, who seemed calm and nice and although I wasn't even pg when I met her I liked her and wondered if she could attend...perhaps one of the SH mamas can put you in touch with her. BTW All this did me diddly squat since we moved to Beijing 6 weeks before I was due--they're not exactly next door to one another--China's a BIIIIG country with rotten road travel systems!
pls let me know if you have any other q's
Liora. Best way to reach me is FACEBOOK, search for "LioraP2". Jewish and Frum In Beijing, Mom of Three (mother of 3: #1 was vaccine injured at age 2m later dx with PDD-NOS, healed in 3 years with biomed. #2 unvaxed and healthy boy. #3 unvaxed amazing girl with Down syndrome using Targeted Nutritional Intervention (TNI) since infancy)