Having a Baby in China: How to buy a baby

We realise that embarking on parenthood means the start of constant financial responsibility for another person, however we never thought we would have to leave a Saturday brunch with the words, “We’ve got to go pay for our baby!” Which is exactly what we did late in November.

As we mentioned before we have no insurance coverage for maternity care so our best option was to purchase a package, which covers prenatal appointments and birth. You can visit the hospital and pay for each appointment individually, though buying the package allows you a discount from the al a carte prices. Additionally as AmCare is fairly new to Tianjin they have been offering their packages at a further discount.

As 12 weeks marks the start of official prenatal care we were gearing up to make the purchase at our upcoming appointment. In preparation I had contacted our translator to request that the weekly appointment details be translated into English as so far she had only been able to show us the documents in Chinese. She told me that the documents were only available in Chinese after several times asking I gave up. I accepted I would have to go by the oral translation given when we met and could have a friend translate the page later. I did feel quite disappointed in this answer but decided to not make a big deal of it.

It was a week before our 12 week appointment and whilst out to breakfast with friends we received a call from our translator saying there was a sale on the birthing package but it must be purchased before December (it was the 29th of Nov). We were not planning on heading to the hospital but for a savings of about 2,000 rmb (£210/$320) we thought is was worth a taxi ride.

We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived that our translator had managed to get the documents detailing the prenatal appointments in English. All but two documents were provided to us in English. Our translator went through all the details and answered our many questions.

We signed on the dotted line and with a heavy hand gave over our credit card. 36,244 rmb (£3,813/$5,809) and we had purchased 13 doctors visits and a birth!

Though we weren’t expecting to make a special trip that day it was nice to get the business out of the way. The next time we would visit the hospital we would be able to focus on the excitement of seeing our baby for the first time on the ultrasound and getting to know our Dr and translator a bit better.

-Mrs T

(If you are interested in seeing any of the documents from the hospital please send us an email and I would be happy to share them with you: turnersabroad@icloud.com)

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