I have asked my friend, Anna who lives with her husband Alex and their daughter Valeria in Phuket to share her birth experience in Bangkok. What benefits they found here and was it worth to travels away from home just to give birth…
“My husband and I are originally from Russia. We spend last 7 years in Phuket and sometimes it feels like we know everybody on this island. We have many friends who became parents past years, who gave birth in Phuket. I heard many birth stories that included pitocin, episio, c-sections. In other words, they did not match to my vision of how a birth should be. That is why when we discovered I was pregnant, I started to look for the options outside of Phuket.
Finding better birth options…
After a bit of googling I have found “Four Trimester Birth Sanctuary” in Singapore and “Bumi Sehat” in Bali. We were considering either place to deliver our daughter. Yet, after more research about registering the baby and dealing with paperwork I gave up the idea of traveling abroad just to give birth.
A bit later I have discovered the option of giving birth in to the water at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok. That give me hope for the birth I dreamed about and our embassy was right there. So, in a couple of weeks we maid the appointment and flew to BKK to see natural labor room and the doctor. You can find out more about hospitals in bangkok here
The appointment went really well. I was 26 weeks by when and the doctor said that the baby already turn head down. I took it as a good sign and we decided on Samitivej. Besides, my husband liked the idea of having a back up plan in case of emergency which was not possible in balinese natural birth centre, for example. There you would have to drive for an hour to the hospital.
We came back to Phuket and I was preparing for birth: I was swimming almost everyday, went to prenatal yoga classes and took a birth preparation course. In addition I was practising breathing and meditation and, I should say, It was a great help to lower worries about birth.
The beggining of labor…
I return to Bangkok when I was 36 weeks pregnant and my husband planed to arrive a week later, because he had some work to do. He arrived at night and next morning I woke up because my waters broke. It was early morning and I had very small contractions.
We went to the hospital right away. I was only 37 weeks pregnant and I was worried that the baby is not developed enough to be born. Doctor said baby was ready and that I was 5 cm dilated! That was such a great news. We went to a natural labor room, but due to my broken waters I could not use bath tub or push into water. So, me and my husband were just waiting there in the room. I still did not feel much, just a little discomfort.
Alex went for some food, as we did not breakfast that morning. though I was not hungry at all. We agreed that I wishh try to nap and he will have some food and coffee. When he left, I went to toilet and after that I started to feel stronger contractions. I started to use the breathing techniques I was practising during pregnancy. It felt nice and relieving.
Once Alex came back his presence felt a little annoying. He was talking and I did not feel like talking at all. I went to the shower room and staied alone there for some time. I remember how contractions were picking up and how I was breathing in on each picks, it was soothing and help me to anchor my mind.
Transition and a wish for an epidural…
After a couple of hours we had to monitor the baby, but I coud not stay laying on the bed. The nurse was very nice and meassure baby’s heard beat by portable dopler and left.
I started to feel overwhelmed and was thinking about getting the epidural. I asked my husband to call the doctor and give me pain medication. Althout Alex says it was around 20 minutes, it felt like forever. Once the doctor has arrived I was feeling like pushing. While contractions felt overwhelming, the urges to push felt better. Finally I could do something to help the process. I pushed on all fours, yet everybody was trying to put me on my back.
In about 1 hour of pushing our daughter was born! She was so tiny with puffy eyes, very calm and allert. I could hold her right away and even for an Apgar evaluation she could stay near me.
Reflection on the experience…
I am so grateful for this birth! it did not went exactly as I planed, but It was still natural and interventions-free. I appreciate that everyone was respectful and quiet while I was labouring.
I knew about “doulas” and it did not feel nessesary before my birth. But when I was progressing in labor I truly wanted somebody gave me back rubs and hold my hand. Having my husband there was really nice, but he did not know what to do exactly. So next time, for my second baby I am definitely coming back to give birth in Bangkok, but this time with a doula!’
Here you can read about water birth story
If you have questions about birth in Bangkok, the role of doula, partner preparation – please contact me here firstname.lastname@example.org
Anfisa Grigorova. Doula, prenatal yoga and breastfeeding support.