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Friday, 21 April 2017

Knocked up.....Now What? Hospital Antenatal Classes in Bangkok

My 'offline' pregnancy bible throughout this journey has been the book by Lesley Regan called "your Pregnancy week by week", it has been my friend and confidant on many nights ...

As I hit the Third Trimester section Lesley writes "you will probably be starting your antenatal classes now - most hospital-run classes have start dates every four weeks and recommend women start their course between 30 and 32 weeks".

Panic! Where do I find Antenatal classes, in English, in Bangkok???

Images of going into labour with nothing but my midnight reading material to refer to, and a wet behind the ears hubby, filled me with dread, especially in a different country.

So I asked my hospital ... but this seemed to land on deaf ears, despite the billboard they had blazoned in the waiting room.

I submitted my email address and waited for them to contact me, and I waited, and I waited, and I waited. Then I complained, and complained again. Then I found the contact for the Expat Marketing Manager and discovered that classes had not been running and, as is usual for Thailand, they had been hoping the problem would go away and nobody would ask. Eventually I was informed that they would have a Doctor performing the classes in April...yey, I would be 7.5 months pregnant then but better late than never.

I wanted to learn the hospitals policy on key aspects of child birth, things that I knew may be contentious, but often important to expats.

What I actually learnt was somewhat of a surprise and mostly useless to me:
  1. How to calculate my expected due date ... doh, as if I'd forgotten to find that out
  2. That the dark line down my belly was permanent and that you can use this as a way to spot the dancers with babies in Bangkok's naughty nightclubs
  3. That I might get heart burn ... no shit sherlock, I could breath fire most nights
  4. That Doctors personally benefit from every procedure/drug they prescribe i.e. there is a direct correlation between what they charge for and how much they earn
  5. That my centre of gravity will change ... the fact that I couldn't get out of the comfy conference style chair was evidence of this alone!
  6. Episiotomies are routinely performed in Thailand, without asking, because many husbands leave their wives if "down there" isn't neat
  7. That Doctors seem to have very different approaches here but will never disagree with each other publicly (making second opinions almost worthless)
  8. An "extra" husband stitch is often put in after an episiotomy...see point 6 above
  9. Doctors don't like agreeing to work under the Labour Package prices ...  see point 5 above
  10. Doctors may, or may not, read your birth plan and Nurses almost definitely won't understand it

So, was I prepared for child birth....hell no!

Back to the books and reaching out to private, expat, birth professionals in Bangkok.

For more information and options for antenatal eduction click here

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for all these information on in relation to getting pregnant, having a baby, pregnancy loss and miscarriage.