We've got some great advice if you're expecting and living in Vietnam, including tips from expats themselves
11 June 2014| Last updated on 29 June 2017
Vietnam hospitals leave much to be desired and many people opt to go home because of the hospital conditions. However the people that have had babies in the country have the following advice to give:
- Have a relationship with your doctor, get to know him and be comfortable
- Expat doctors tend to come and go but show a more hygienic approach than Vietnamese doctors
- Your hospital may not be the prettiest but there are some well-equipped expat hospitals
If you suspect you might be pregnant get a pregnancy testing kit from any pharmacy and do an at home test first. Even if it is negative you may want to get a second opinion from your doctor.
If you are booking an appointment with your doctor ensure that you carry your medical book, which has your medical record, with you to all consultations. International hospitals are usually the go-to for expats, as many of the doctors in government hospitals do not speak English. You can also opt to visit a doctor at a private practice, which will cost more.
If you opt to give birth in Vietnam, it is best for you to go to one of the international hospitals. However you will need to have medical insurance that covers ante-natal care, delivery and post natal care. Some medical insurance companies do not cover all the costs at international hospitals, so do your research and see what medical insurance is accredited by which hospitals. The payment agreement should be made prior to birth.
Antenatal classes are available at most private clinics and international hospitals. These also offer ultrasound equipment which is able to take 2D and 4D scans. It is recommended to go for regular checkups every 3-5 weeks. Once you are ready to give birth ensure that you have a plan to get to the hospital. Home births are not popular in Vietnam and water births are not available. However, your hospital will be able to give you an epidural and do a caesarian section if necessary.
The length of a postnatal stay depends on the type of birth and on the hospital itself. A natural birth usually has a three day postnatal stay for the mother, while a caesarian section is usually a week long. During this time the health of the baby and the mother are monitored, and advice on caring for a newborn and vaccinating him/her are dispensed.