PHUKET: Expats preparing to give birth in their domiciled home-away-from-home, will be happy to know of a new website recently launched.
ExpectingExpats.com provides a forum for pregnant expat women and new mothers living in Thailand and adjoining countries to share their experiences, learn from one another, ask questions and seek advice.
The first website of its kind in Thailand, ExpectingExpats.com incorporates blogging from moms, open discussions and real doctor input, with a panel of Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital gynecologists regularly providing answers to community questions along with general advice.
The website’s forums are open to all women, families and maternity care professionals.
“Expat women in Phuket can join the conversation about being a mom in Thailand and will have access to a wealth of advice from Samitivej Hospital doctors and fellow expats in the various forums.
“The doctors and nurses are highly experienced in working with moms of all nationalities, so Phuket moms should feel at home on the site,” said Ms Merritt Gurley co-founder of Bangkok based Bedside Media, which developed the community website.
“Our target is not only the mothers in Bangkok, but in Phuket and other provinces as well. The issues are often the same for expat moms regardless of location. For example, how to choose the right doctor, dealing with the tropical heat, whether to birth naturally or using a c-section, how to deal with dietary issues, how much physical exercise to take during pregnancy and more,” she explained.
“There are a lot of benefits to having a baby overseas, but it can also be challenging without the support of your family and childhood friends near by,” Ms Merritt continued, “That’s why it is so important to foster the bonds of the expat community and create our own little family of moms.”
ExpectingExpats.com was created on the understanding that there are so many choices for birthing in Bangkok and the rest of the Kingdom, with many internationally trained, top-tier physicians, new technologies and trends, that it can all be a bit overwhelming.
The website gives women a place to share what has worked for them and ask questions about new advancements.
For example, women’s centers at Thailand’s leading hospitals use Array CGH technology with 3D and 4D ultrasound that can detect any pre-natal abnormalities in the fetus. Women can chat about the value of these services and what the procedures are really like.
On the website’s community forum pages, women are currently discussing subjects such as natural birthing vs c-sections, whether vitamin supplements are necessary or not, and the advantages and risks of water birthing.
Medical doctors from Bangkok’s Samitivej Hospital specializing in natal care have responded to many of the questions posted.
“We are lucky that high quality care is so affordable and accessible at the leading hospitals in Thailand,” said Ms Gurley, “but even with the best medical care in the world, you can always benefit from the advice of women who have already been through what you are about to experience.”
She added: “If we lean on each other, and share what we’ve learned, we’ll all feel a little more at home.”
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