Bun In The Oven? Being Pregnant In Ho Chi Minh in 2022 | KIDS KIDS

Hey mum-to-be! Looking forward to the new addition to your family? To make this transition as smooth as possible, some preparation is vital. Let’s talk about all those things you were dying to know (and sometimes were afraid to ask) about having a baby in Ho Chi Minh. Hospitals, exercise, buying baby stuff…the works!

Preparing: Medical Care and Prenatal Classes

That pregnancy test was an easy one, you can get them at every drugstore in Saigon. But then what?

When you’re having a baby in Ho Chi Minh, your first medical check-up is generally planned when you’re around 6-8 weeks pregnant. There are several great gynecologists in Ho Chi Minh City, most medical clinics can help you find the right one. Note that your gynecologist will guide you through this whole bump to baby journey; he or she will do all your check-ups as well as the delivery. You should get monthly or bi-monthly check-ups, often with an ultra sound. Make sure to mention if you don’t want to know the sex of the baby, otherwise they will be hanging the pink or blue banners before you know it.

Ever done a prenatal side bend?

Prenatal classes in Saigon

It’s improving, but the number of prenatal classes being offered in Saigon could still use a push so to say. Crossfit Thao Dien is launching a Mums and Mums-to-be club on Tuesday and Sunday mornings. You’ll learn how to exercise safely and prepare your body for childbirth as well as ensuring a safe recovery afterwards.

Mandala organizes monthly meet-ups for expecting moms as well as pre-natal yoga and pilates classes. They have recently moved so be sure to check out their new location at 215 Nguyen Van Huong, just past BIS Junior Campus in D2.  Another option to stay fit while being pregnant and after delivery is the Aqua Gym and Aqua Bump classes in D2.

Meeting your mini-me face to face

Where to have your baby: the best hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City 

There’s no shortage of medical practices in Ho Chi Minh City, but when you’re having a baby, you should feel comfortable and confident about where you’re giving birth. So make sure you and your partner check out the options. FV Hospital in District 7 comes recommended for the high standards of service and experienced Vietnamese doctors. Dr Hieu in particular is well known for evidence based childbirth practises such as VBAC and minimal intervention. At FV, you’ll be able to get an epidural but will not have access to some of the other pain management options you would be used to in your home country.

Hanh Phuc Hospital has slightly more choice during labour, with access to a labour bath, gas and air and epidurals as well as the only European Obstetrician in Saigon: Dr Riche. He comes highly recommended on many Facebook groups and has 21 years of experience under his belt. Hanh Phuc hospital specializes in women and children’s care. It provides good service and better rates than some other hospitals.

Keep in mind that in both hospitals, not all midwives speak perfect English. We have the perfect solution for that in Hattie Hollowell; an international midwife.

Hattie Hollowell – The International Midwife Co Saigon

The International Midwife Co – Saigon

This new service is a game changer for anyone giving birth in Saigon in 2022; especially if you are anxious about the language barrier or cultural differences when having a baby in Vietnam. Run by Hattie, a midwife from England with 8 years experience in maternity and obstetrics, The International Midwife Co – Saigon has so much to offer. Hattie has worked in antenatal clinics, labour and delivery and postnatal settings. She runs 1:1 antenatal, hypnobirthing and refresher classes to suit your schedule. She will cover pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum preparation. Group classes will commence as per covid guidelines.

In addition Hattie will be available to support new parents with feeding, new born care advice and anything else you may need as your family grows. Hattie also provides a birth discussion and traumatic birth processing service, to help process and heal from previous birth experiences. Please contact her via Facebook to discuss how she can enhance your family’s experience.

Make a birth plan when giving birth in Ho Chi Minh City

If you would like to have any influence on the birth process, it’s wise to make a birth plan as this can guide the hospital staff during your delivery. Point out who you’d like to have in the room with you during labor. Or describe how you feel about pain relief medication. Also good to include whether you would like the baby to stay with you for a while after the birth. And if you would like to be there when your baby receives vaccinations. You can make it as detailed as you like. After drawing up your birth plan, make sure to discuss it with your doctor and have him or her sign it. And don’t forget – bring it with you when it’s d(elivery)-day!

Buying Baby items in Ho Chi Minh City

It’s a good thing you have about 9 months, because man, these little people need a ton of stuff. Or is it just that all that baby gear is too cute to be true and we can’t help ourselves? Luckily, UK based Mothercare has a wide range of baby equipment and can be found at several localions in HCMC (Crescent Mall in D7, Estella Place in D2, Takashimaya, D1). Con Cung is also a good place to satisfy your nesting instinct. More baby gear can be found above An Phu supermarket at Happy Kids Saigon, a small store with a surprising abundance of baby items.

For your bigger items such as the nursery furniture, you can check out Oaoababy in D2 or on their Facebook page. Vinaquik is a baby shop based in D3 but it also has a fantastic website for online ordering, catering for everything from baby monitors and breast pumps through to car seats and strollers. When using this site, remember to enter the code VINA10 at the checkout to benefit from 10% discount and free shipping.

Also check out the Facebook groups in Saigon; some are specialized in babies and kids such as Saigon International Families. You can buy the best pre-loved items there and ask for all the baby stuff you can’t find elsewhere. Looking for swim diapers or re-usable diapers? Check the website Alvababy, they ship to Vietnam as well. Last but not least, Saigon Slings are available for purchase at Mandala.

Just ooze away while you still can

Book it now: the babymoon

Yep, we are adding a new word to your vocabulary; babymoon! Because travelling will probably not be on your agenda for a while after your little bundle of joy has arrived. Perhaps you won’t feel like it anyway, but all the paperwork you need to arrange first to take little bubba anywhere will take a while.  So this is your moment. Go for these great destinations nearby where you and your partner can sleep in and relax to the max.

Getting the birth certificate

Next to all the medical check ups and prenatal classes, it’s vital to check if all your documents for the birth certificate are ready. If you or your partner don’t have a Vietnamese passport, you need to make sure your official documents are translated and legalized. This will allow you to apply for a birth certificate right away. The process itself differs per nationality, so make sure you do your research well in advance. There are agents who can help you with this, best to ask around for reliable contacts. Although this can be a more expensive way of doing things, it will save a lot of stress with making sure forms are completed correctly and translations are accurate. Any mistakes can be very difficult to rectify later on and will make subsequent passport applications a challenge.

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