Pregnancy Update


I have been asked about the maternity situation here and why we are choosing to (hopefully) have the delivery in BJ.  So here are some thoughts on the issue, to date. 

1)  Our second child, Meng Yuan was born by C-section, and our third, Lu Ming, was born as a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesearean), and we’d really really like to avoid another c-section if possible.  

Here in our city there is limited experience with any second child due to the national one-child policy. 

Additionally, C-section rates are quite high here (according to WHO, 26-63% of births are C-sections in urban areas). 

VBACs are unheard of here.  As I was told, “if I have one contraction here, they will cut.” 

On the other hand, the hospital we are hoping to deliver at is well familiar with VBACS and has a roster of western-trained OBGYNs who do all the deliveries. 

2)  There are currently no (zero) hospitals in this city that allow the father of the baby to be present at the birth.  

And I for one insist that the man who got me into this predicament in the first place be there for the grand drama (plus he needs to hold my hand and say Push in English)

I am pleased to say that I had the honor of working for several years with Dr. John Kennell, who several decades ago showed the many benefits in outcomes from fathers being present during the delivery and before/after (for more, see

3)  Squattie potties.

Although I am learning to adjust to many different ways of doing things in this new culture, I must confess that I have not acculturated to the point of appreciating sharing a squattie with one or several other ladies in the immediate post partum period.  Plus I am ucertain of the status of shower availability.  I understand that the cultural expectations for post partum women are quite different as well, and often a new mom will not be allowed to shower or wash her hair for the first 30 days after delivery.  But more on post partum stuff in another post…

So, all of that being said, I will opt for the version that includes more of my western-accustomed amenities, at least since it is an option that I thankfully  have available to me.  

Even if the toilet is not made of gold, but just white porcelain.


5 responses »

  1. We don’t usually post, but want you to know we keep you in our thoughts, and make sure to keep tabs on how your family is doing.

    We love the posts. Keep them up!

    Our oldest son and his wife just had our second grandchild – our only grandson. We went up to Madison Wisconsin for a week to help them out and stock their freezer. I forgot how much laundry is generated by a newborn.

    We miss you guys.

    Tim & Deanie

  2. While my squatting skills have great improved since we have lived in China, I don’t think I’d like to squat in a group post-partum environment either!

  3. Wow. Thinking a lot about this! What will you do with the kids when you and Brian are in Bejing? Will you have family there to help?

  4. I’ve been trying to (somewhat diligently) do a DVD involving weights and 70 lunges and squats. You’ve given the squat part a whole new meaning! I had a hard enough time sitting on the lovely cushioned ring the hospital sends home after delivery. We are truly so spoiled here.

  5. Sittedo er ein luksus! Håper du kan bruke den så mykje som muleg eller fødselen! Berre å “squatte” for å skifte bleie er ondt i den perioden. (forresten, Gavin er flink å sei “bleie” no- på norsk, kvar gang han skiftes) 🙂

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