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Koh Samui is an ideal place to start a family but of course, it's also normal for a foreigner to be concerned about birth and health care in a different country, but you don't have to be. The island is well-equipped to help you deliver your baby.
With exotic fruit, beautiful blue sea, opulent accommodation, and friendly locals, this entire experience of being pregnant on Samui is sure to have a profound positive effect on your child's growth before birth. Several spas provide special massages for pregnant women to help them relax, alleviate stress, and fight muscle strain. It is important for pregnant women to relax, both physically and emotionally, at this crucial stage of their lives. Samui is an excellent location for this.
If you would like to have tests and check-ups during your pregnancy then you have a couple of options. Koh Samui Government Hospital in Nathon has a clinic where they can do scans and check heartbeats etc. Your other option is to go to the Obstrenic Clinic which is very close to the hospital. Dr Rapheephan is the only Obgyn on the island yet also is connected to Nathon Hospital and so she may even end up delivering your baby.
One of the most significant days of your life is close to arriving. You're probably still busy preparing for the first few weeks and days with a baby, but you'll still want to prepare for the big day, whenever that might be. You'll need to decide what kind of birth you want, so let's start with that…
It's unclear whether or not home birth is considered "legal" in Thailand. Having said that, hundreds of women in villages in remote parts of the country give birth there rather than in hospitals. This will most likely be very common and traditional in their village, and they will most likely be far from a hospital.
If you visit your doctor or obstetrician during pregnancy, he or she would most likely suggest you give birth in a hospital. It is their responsibility.
We do know people who have had home births and they have been lovely and, most importantly, healthy encounters.
Typically for a homebirth, expectant mothers will bring a midwife from outside Thailand who specializes in home births into Thailand, or they may be fortunate enough to find a midwife who is visiting the island and able to work on the scheduled birth date. You will receive the much-needed before and aftercare for the new Mother and Father, based on our first-hand experience when bringing a midwife for a home birth. In the weeks leading up to the birth, the midwife will also give you lessons to prepare you for the birth and what lies ahead. They may even remain with you after the birth to assist with breastfeeding, bathing, and other crucial first-time experiences. But, this all will depend on the midwife you choose to bring. In most cases, there is no pain relief or medication used during home birth; instead, homoeopathic therapies such as massage and breathing exercises are used. This is something to think about when deciding whether or not this strategy is right for you.
Unfortunately, there are no Thai midwives available for a home birth. Using a midwife to deliver a baby was standard practice before the government started building more hospitals in the 1970s, and childbirth became more Americanized, with Obstrenics. Only a few midwives remain in service, and they either work in hospitals or live in remote areas far from public health care.
This is why people bring midwives from other countries to give birth at home, and this is the 'grey area’ issue as to whether it is legal.
You must go to your nearest Amphur office to get your baby's birth certificate for a homebirth. We suggest that the Father completes this task, as it must be completed within one week or you will be charged. You are welcome to return later, but you will be charged 1000 Baht.
You receive a form from the office that must be signed by the village leader; your landlord will normally gladly assist you with this job. After you've completed the form, return it to the office, where you'll be given your baby's Thai birth certificate.
You have options for a natural birth depending on your budget and needs.
This hospital is a common option because it is close to the island's Obstetrician, with whom you might have already spoken during your pregnancy. When you have a natural birth, you are usually put in a ward with up to 6 other women and then transferred to the delivery room with the delivery team when you start pushing. In none of these rooms are men permitted. Nathon Hospital aims to encourage a medication-free delivery, but assistance is available if needed.
You have the option of paying 2000-3500 Baht per night for a private room or staying on the ward with the other women and their infants. You will need to stay in the hospital for a few days.
Immediately after birth, your baby is taken from you and put in a nursery for two hours of observation. Again, there will be a fee, but if you are planning ahead of time, you can normally purchase a package.
Foreigners sometimes prefer private hospitals for childbirth because they can speak better English, and many doctors work in both public and private hospitals during the week. The facilities, wait times, convenience, distribution options, and prices are the most significant variations between the hospitals. Private hospitals also have additional benefits, such as more comfortable quarters, better food, and the right for the father to be present in the delivery room.
Of course, the cost will be significantly higher than at the Government Hospital, but the experience may be more intimate and relaxed for you; you can check each hospital's packages for more details.
On a tour of a hospital, you can see the delivery wards and, just in case, the NICU. Asking questions will help you make better decisions.
Please keep in mind that birth in Thailand might not be treated the same way it is in your home country. It's best to learn what to expect ahead of time so you're not disappointed on the big day.
Here are some important questions to consider:
Is your insurance company willing to deal with this facility?
Are there any special programs for high-risk pregnancies?
(Both normal and C-section births) Who will be present during the delivery?
Are they able to give pain relief?
Is it possible for your partner to spend the night with you?
Is it possible to get a private room at the hospital? Do I have to pay extra for a private room?
You can get a good sense of a hospital and its staff by asking these and other general questions.
You would be recommended to have a C-section if you have complications; this is why the procedure exists. Women in Thailand, on the other hand, often elect to have a cesarean section. Almost one in every three babies are born in this manner.
Your choices are the same as those mentioned above for natural birth on Koh Samui. Nathon Hospital or Private Hospitals are two options.
Important information: You will be required to stay longer in all hospitals because you will need more time to heal. In addition, the price rises dramatically.
They will send you a hospital letter to take to the local Tessaban in Nathon for the baby's birth certificate. You will then get the official Thai Birth Certificate with that letter and the parents' passports. As with homebirth, there is a deadline by which you must complete this in order to avoid being fined. The international liaison team at Nathon Hospital is extremely helpful in this process. It will, we assume, be similar at Private Hospitals.
Doulas can be of great assistance during your pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum era. This is where the assistance of a Doula can help, particularly if you are not surrounded by family members such as your own mother.
A doula's job is to be a constant source of comfort, inspiration, and support during childbirth (both emotional and physical). A doula is not a medical professional; rather, she is there to provide a supportive voice with knowledge, assist with calming techniques and breathing exercises, and provide advice on labour positions, among other things. A doula can also act as a mediator and translator between patients and healthcare providers, translating medical terminology and clarifying procedures. The only issue is that in Thailand, it is not unusual for the Father to be denied entry into the delivery room, and your doula will not be able to assist you either in this regard. However, they will be able to assist you in other places.
Before your due date, your doula will educate you about the labour and delivery process, making it less scary and more comfortable so that you can take a more active role in your pregnancy. A doula will bring a wealth of non-medical pain-relieving techniques to you, such as yoga, reflexology, aromatherapy, music, and mantras, and will work with you to find the right treatment for you in different variations.
A good doula will increase your partner's support and help him or her relax, allowing you to relax in return.
There is a good choice of doulas on Koh Samui who are both Thai and Western, you can meet and speak with them to find the right one for you.
Koh Samui is an excellent place to heal from childbirth because, unlike in the Western world, there is no need to be up and about more than is necessary. You've just experienced one of the most significant days of your life and have been creating a tiny person for nearly ten months, so healing can take more than a few days.
Your uterus will need to compress down to its original size, you will be exhausted, and your milk will be ready for breastfeeding. Recovering here means you'll have more quality time with your baby, with less interruptions from visitors (which could be one of the reasons you live here in the first place!). The weather is good, with breathtaking scenery all around you; you can bring someone for a massage if necessary, and eat delicious food to aid in your recovery.
If you need a postpartum checkup, visit the Nathon Government Hospital or the Obstetrician on Koh Samui. This is what the midwife will do in the days after a home birth.
A welcoming network of mothers and fathers with children of all ages exists on Koh Samui. On the island, families have expanded, and more people are choosing to raise their children and give birth here. Mothers-to-be and new mothers will also gravitate towards each other and form an organic support network for each other, as is the case in any part of the world. Many women will reach out to other mothers, and you will be astounded by their generosity and kindness. There are a variety of meetups for new and seasoned Mums, such as lunches or swimming, and it's possible that you'll both share a similar way of thinking that's hard to come by elsewhere.
Koh Samui is an ideal place to have a baby because it is far from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the country, far from cities, grey smoke, and cars. You're surrounded by lush tropical jungle, sandy beaches, and turquoise waters, as well as shallow waters and waterfalls to cool off in and a laid-back lifestyle. Isn't this what every parent wishes for in the days, weeks, and months before the birth of their child? For after, it's paradise on earth, and it's ideal for your newborn's vital firsts.
Nature has a wonderful way of healing, and you can rest in peace and safety. Thailand is a very baby-friendly country, and restaurant staff can even offer to look after your child while you eat. Your child will be welcomed into many different families and will be surrounded by a wonderful international community.