Pregnancy in Vietnam

A new born
Updated 2023-11-12 08:50

As an expat couple or an expat in a relationship with a Vietnamese person, the notion of having children has probably been a point of discussion. If you're already halfway there, then allow us to be among the first to congratulate you. Moreover, get used to this: the elderly and children are highly regarded in Vietnam. Therefore, pregnancy is a huge topic of conversation and praise here. Naturally, parents of both parties will be overjoyed nine times out of ten. However, you're probably going to receive attention from strangers, too.

Prenatal and postnatal care in Vietnam

Provided you have the funds, the Hanoi French Hospital (HFH) is one of the best medical facilities in the country to bring your child into the world. It is located in the Dong Da District of Hanoi, and its maternity facilities include consultation rooms, delivery suites, and antenatal classes.

Prices for delivery during a normal, single pregnancy start from around 35 million VND ($US1,500). Of course, this is a private, international hospital, so the service is top of the line. If you are living in Ho Chi Minh City, FV Hospital is an excellent and highly reputable hospital preferred by expats who have given birth. Learn more about their pricing and different maternity packages on their website.

Public hospitals in Vietnam are completely equipped to deal with any matters of maternity, although standards are much lower. Thus, prices reflect this. By going to a public hospital, you can expect to pay 1 million VND ($US 45); however, this is for the absolute basic of care. If you have the funds to upgrade, then no expense should be spared.

Routine checkups during your pregnancy in Vietnam

Regardless of whether this is your first or third pregnancy, you'll want to stay informed about your baby's health and condition. This can take place during a monthly checkup, and there are two options for new parents to consider.

The first is to use a local healthcare clinic (in Saigon, it would be Victoria Healthcare or Hanoi Marie Stopes Clinics), where they will have a pregnancy specialist. Through the clinic, they will schedule monthly checkups. The downside is this doctor might not be available for delivery and only perform monthly checkups or clinic care.

The second option is to start your pregnancy immediately with the above-mentioned private international hospitals. Starting your relationships early on with these hospitals will also ensure you know the doctor on your delivery date, but the downside is it is more expensive.

Health insurance for pregnant women in Vietnam

Many health insurance providers do not include maternity coverage in their basic packages. If you are planning to conceive, it's best to reach out to your insurance provider to add the coverage, if possible.

Sample questions to ask an insurance provider include:

  • Is there a waiting period for maternity coverage?
  • Do you cover complications, including ectopic or miscarriage?
  • What are the benefits for delivery and hospital charges?
  • Is my child automatically added to my health insurance after birth?

Celebrations following the childbirth in Vietnam

After one month, family and close friends will gather for an informal celebration. A flower drenched in Holy water is placed above the head of the child. The belief is that any water that drips into the infant's mouth will result in a sweet and well-spoken child as he or she develops. Babies born in Vietnam are considered one year old at the time of birth. They become two by the following lunar New Year.

Thôi Nôi, or the “quitting the cradle” celebration, occurs one lunar New Year after the birth of the child. This celebration is much larger and involves a number of interesting rituals. The most notable is placing the child into its cradle and surrounding it with everyday objects such as scissors, books, and shampoo. It is believed that whatever item the child chooses first will be a sign of its future. For instance, if he or she chooses the book, the child may become a professor.

Vietnamese belief systems related to pregnancy

To ensure a healthy baby is born, a number of other rules and customs are adhered to. A number of these are based on superstition, whereas others are based on fact. Pregnant women in Vietnam are encouraged to eat nourishing food only; however, they are expected to moderate. They are also discouraged from any work that involves overloads of stress or heavy lifting. Women who are expecting a baby are also urged to avoid weddings and funerals as popular belief dictates that she would be considered a bad omen. It is also believed that if a pregnant woman steps over a hammock, her child will be naturally lazy.

During the later stages of pregnancy, the bump is enough to alert members of the public to be careful around the mother-to-be. However, little is visible during the first trimester, and this is when the event of a miscarriage is most common. Should you or your partner be going to crowded places, be careful. Queue-up culture is almost non-existent in Vietnam; things work on more of a competitive basis, though never violent.

We sincerely hope this short guide has been useful and that your pregnancy goes safely and without hiccups of any kind.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.