Wife wants to have kid in Taiwan

My wife has been here in Kaohsiung since Oct. and I just got here from the US only 4 days ago. She says to me yesterday, lets have our baby here in Taiwan.

What do I say to that? Can anyone share why having a baby here is a good idea?

If she is Taiwanese, and it appears from the post she is, then she likely wants to 坐月子 (english they call it “doing the month” or “sitting the month”) in Taiwan whereby she rests and recuperates after the birth. She gets to eat and drink all kinds of nasty things to help her body recover and get the milk flowing good for the baby. If she really goes hard-core, she might not shower during that whole month or even leave the bed. Thankfully my wife did not go that far in this.

Did you ask her why? You can ask her about this.

Certainly the cost to have a baby in Taiwan is way frigging cheaper here than in the U.S.
In the U.S. the hospitals kick you out on the 2nd or 3rd day. Here, for some hospitals she can stay there even during her 坐月子.

For one child, my wife left the hospital early, but the baby stayed there for 2 weeks and got excellent care by the nurses. Only paid like the equivalent of U$58 per day out of our pocket for this (as the National Health Insurance does not cover it). It’s mind-numbing cheap.

Having a baby in Taiwan is generally a much better experience than the West, as they allow the mother to recuperate and have many services towards that (as mentioned, some women stay weeks in yuezizhongxin, although you can also get them to deliver food to your house and a nurse to visit your house everyday) plus traditionally the female relatives will also help out during this stressful time.

Does she have family here?

It’s a great country for any medical procedure and the 2-4 weeks in a baby hotel (yuezizhongxin) where nurses will take the kid off your hands for a while so she can have a sleep and get her strength back is an excellent idea.

Our son was born in Taiwain and our daughter was born in the U.S. I would say either is perfectly acceptable and my wife (Taiwanese) and I saw positives and negatives to both.

The main positive for our son’s birth in Taiwan was that her family is here and the fact that she was much more comfortable (familiar) with doctors/hospitals in Taiwan versus the states. This was our first child and we were naturally a bit nervous so the familiarity of Taiwan and the presence of her family was a MAJOR consideration. She spent literally 1 month upstairs at her parents house resting with home-cooking and help from her mother and sister. As 1st-time parents that was invaluable. Slight downside was that I speak almost no Chinese and it was often difficult for me to work with hospital staff. Fortunately, they were very nice and I had the help of Ama and sister. Another slight downside was the need to file paperwork for U.S. citizenship. Not a big deal but we had to prepare the paperwork and then trek up to AIT in Taipei.

The positive’s for our daughter’s birth in the U.S. turned out be the quality of medical care. Not that Taiwan care was bad…it was quite good. However, my wife commented numerous times that the doctor in the U.S. (a female originally from India) was far more patient friendly than the doctors in Taiwan who apparently barely give their patient’s the time of day (by my wife’s account…not mine). My wife also said she had a good bit less pain and a much quicker recovery from the surgery versus Taiwan. Since this was our second being in our own house was a positive as there was less disruption for my son. We were still able to have her rest for 1 month because her sister came to help from month 9 of the pregnancy through 6 months after the birth (that required doing the paperwork on a vistor visa and and extension of stay). Similar downside re: citizenship paperwork…this time Taiwanese citizenship. Again, a minor issue from my point of view.

Bottom line - I felt both Taiwan and the U.S. are perfectly fine. For us it mostly boiled down to making sure my wife was comfortable and relaxed prior to and after birth. I think your ability to ensure a strong support network for your wife either in Taiwan or the states is key.

GOOD LUCK!!

I’d imagine costs could be hugely different, but I paid for a private clinic in Taiwan (with some cost being covered by national insurance system).

It’s also much cheaper to visit doctors in Taiwan prior to birth, scans etc, again , depends on your insurance coverage.

The insurance coverage is absolutely critical if you plan to have a baby in the U.S. The cost of ultra-sounds, regular check-ups specialists etc. are astronomical in the U.S…

I guess this special-food-for-mother-after-birth is very important to every Taiwanese woman planning a baby. They are genuinely afraid to get some long term health damage unless they get the right post-pregnancy food and treatment after birth for 2 months or so. As said before, they can stay in a private facility for that or stay at their mum’s place and have special food delivered to their home.

Thank you to everyone for the comments. I’ve been here in Kaohsiung almost 2 weeks now, minus the 2 weeks I had to go back to New York during the Chinese New Year. I’ll have to say so far, I like it here. Although I do see the benefits and downside to both. I guess I will try to keep an open mind as I stay here a little longer. I do know one things though I am in love with the food, and the fact that I haven’t been in a kitchen to cook is fantastic too. I can’t believe how cheap it is to eat out. I mean I love to cook and I kinda miss it, but i could definitely get used to the eating out.

I’ll keep you updated about my discussions regarding having a kid in Taiwan.

If you are a foreigner and have had your child born here in Taiwan, I would love to hear your story and opinion on the subject. Thanks.

[quote=“changx_melody”]

If you are a foreigner and have had your child born here in Taiwan, I would love to hear your story and opinion on the subject. Thanks.[/quote]

We had our kid here and for me the whole thing was a piece of cake. Private room with a fridge for beer. It all seemed fine to me, although the wife’s screaming was a bit off-putting.

They do have a cultural thing here of doing everything they can to keep you away from the newborn for a few days after birth. I’ve no idea what the thinking behind this is, probably something to do with qi, but you may have to put your foot down and demand contact. A lot of the local women seem quite happy to have nothing to do with their offspring for five or more years after birth - so a few days probably isn’t too much of a big deal.

I can only imagine (as a man) that for any woman the thought of giving birth can be pretty terrifying and stressful at times so being in an environment that feels safe and familiar is a massive help, and that applies all the way through pregnancy. Depends how comfortable (culturally, physically & linguistically) your wife would feel in the US if you were to opt for that over TW?

My taiwanese wife and I had both our kids in the UK and although her English is good enough to understand what the Doctors & nurses were saying and thankfully both births were fine I reckon she would have been much more relaxed about the whole thing on the ROC. Luckily her mum flew over to provide seabass soup both times otherwise it would have been the NHS (or worse, me) cooking for the wife…

Anyway, good luck and remember that as much as your feelings and thoughts on the whole thing are important, they are a fraction of the importance of your wife’s.

Wish I did in Taiwan! In the US when you have a baby everyone dumps you off alone at home with the baby just 48 hours after delivery and no one helps, ever!