Expat parents in Vietnam share their experiences having a baby in Vietnam. While some expats have positive experiences and would give birth at the same hospital again, others had very different experiences and would recommend that expecting parents leave the country to give birth.
What is it like giving birth at a hospital in Vietnam?
Another expat described their experience having a baby in Vietnam saying, "My wife and I used Franco-Vietnamse Hospital for pre-natal examinations, the cesarean section and infant follow-ups. My wife was provided all the tests, and then some, that were included in the pre-nat package. Everything was explained to us in Vietnamse and English. We had one ob-gyn throughout the process and he performed the c-section, as well. The c-section began on time and except for our daughter deciding to shift from the head down position to transverse during the procedure, everything went according to the plan. My wife requested additional pain meds. The surgical nurse was quick to push the med directly into the point at the wrist. My wife and daughter spent 5 days in the hospital. Nursing staff were professional, courteous and friendly. The insurance department was very cooperative."
An expat dad whose wife had a difficult birth described it saying, "The next day she undergoes her cesarean. I am waiting in the waiting room and finally our new baby girl is brought out. Ten toes, ten fingers, eyes look the right distance apart, head shape is okay, and no deformities. Great, I was relieved. I asked about my wife and they said she is okay and is in the recovery room. I found out that they could not stop her bleeding and they wanted consent to do a partial hysterectomy on her. But by the time I got to the hospital they already reopened and removed part of her uterus to stop the bleeding. If they had waited for me to sign, she would have died. The main thing is that my wife is okay."
Finding an Expat-Friendly Ob-Gyn in Vietnam
"Usually the doctor sees the initial patient and the patient can choose a doctor. We were fortunate to have an ob-gyn who works at FVH and is Ob-Gyn chief at another local hospital. He was the physician throughout the pregnancy," recalled one expat.
Expat Health Insurance in Vietnam
Expats living in Vietnam interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.
What are hospitals in Vietnam like?
Expecting parents want to know what hospitals in Vietnam are like. Some hospitals are modern, but many are not of the standard that many expats are used to. A dad whose wife gave birth at International Hospital for Women located in Ho Chi Minh City described the hospital saying, "At nine months and our baby girl was in the breach state and no signs of turning. A cesarean had to be performed. We reserved the best room in the hospital so my wife would be comfortable. When we stepped in, I felt like I took a step back in time. If it wasn't for the color TV and remote control, I could swear I had seen this set on one of those old black and white TV shows from the late 50's. But, you have to make due with the cards you are dealt with. One good thing though, is that the nurses were of great help and pleasant. Usually, in Vietnam you have to tip the nurses to get good service. But at this hospital, although we tried to tip them, they would not accept it. This particular hospital is trying to change and anyone who got caught accepting tips would be let go."
Would you have another baby in Vietnam?
We asked expat moms who gave birth in Vietnam if they would do anything differently if they had another baby in Vietnam. One responded, "No. If we have another baby, we would use FVH again and request the same ob-gyn. Infant checkups are done in the children's clinic and it operates like an HMO in the states; you get whichever doctor is assigned. The nurses who give injections, and other procedures, use appropriate handwashing and use gloves. The doctors we've seen have each washed their hands prior to examining our infant." Another expat replied, "Being the male, I cannot give you a description of the birthing my wife had experienced. But being on the sidelines, I would not recommend any couple to have a child born here if it is possible."
Take Neonatal Care into Consideration
If you are considering having a baby in Vietnam, it's advisable to take the neonatal care into consideration, especially if the pregnancy is high risk. If neonatal intensive care may be needed, be sure to research your local options. Many expats choose to go home or to Bangkok to have a baby.
Advice for Expecting Expat Moms in Vietnam
We asked expat parents, "If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?" "I would suggest checking on different hospitals, such as Tu Do, Columbia, FVH and a few others. Hospitals are competitive and like to show off what they do. Take a tour and choose a hospital one is comfortable with and will accept their respective insurance programs, if the prospective patient has one." An expat with a different experience said, "If he/she were from another country I would say GO HOME!!!!!!!"