Pregnant in Beijing, now what?

Beijing has good hospitals, no need to worry about giving birth here.

Living in Beijing and want to get pregnant? Or think you’re pregnant already? Here’s six steps to take when your embarking on the baby rollercoaster.

1)      Check your insurance. Not very romantic but unfortunately necessary. This is something I only found out after moving here: many international health care providers do not cover pregnancy related costs for the first 10 months after you’ve  joined the insurance plan. It is also wise to check the amount covered and whether you have to make any personal contributions, as prices in Beijing hospitals vary enormously. And check whether you need any pre-approval for hospital visits from you insurance company too.

2)      Take your temp: If you’re not pregnant yet, but would like to be, the local pharmacies also sell special “baby thermometers” which indicate two numbers after the comma and you can use them to find out when you are ovulating. If you’re experiencing trouble with your period after stopping birth control pills, look into acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment, as they may be of help in regulating them. Also, start taking folic acid pills.

3)      Buy a pregnancy test at the local pharmacy (Chinese name). or rather, buy two in case you do not believe the first one.

4)      Find a hospital: Positive test? Make an appointment with a doctor in a hospital covered by your insurance plan. A good list of hospitals and costs can be found in the Beijing Kids October 2012 issue. The most popular but unfortunately also most expensive for Beijing expats are Beijing Family United Hospital and Amcare.

5)      Stock up on pregnancy multivitamins. Your doctor can give you a prescription, but should you have any friends of family visiting by coincidence (or expat friends travelling back home), you can also ask them to bring a supply for you. Also see this article with healthy eating tips.

6)      Join an e-group such as Beijing Mama’s for more information and tips on where to get what for kids in Beijing, as well as playgroup information etc. Also check  Beijing Kids for a list of shops.

The kind people at Beijing Kids have 10 more tips, check them out here.