Thursday, April 24, 2014

giving birth in phnom penh

on february 1st at 15:55, lyra amaia was born in the capital of cambodia.



despite the opinion of many naysayers, we decided to go ahead and give birth in phnom penh. i understand there are not as many resources (incubators, blood transfusion facilities, etc) as, say, bangkok, but since i had a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy and the baby was doing great, we decided to go ahead.

i have been wanting to write about my birthing experience here in cambodia, far from home, for a while, in the hope of providing others with more information. it took a long time for us to find and decide which doctor and clinic to go for and we would like to share our choices. many expats living here choose to fly back home or to a neighbouring country with better health practices. however, for some of us this is simply not financially feasible.

i gave birth in khema clinic, tuol kork. it is exceptionally clean and modern, with lovely rooms to labour in, including bath or shower, fridge and dining area. the delivery room is well equipped, including an incubator. it's one of the most expensive options in phnom penh - the package is around 2000$ for a natural birth and 2700$ for a c-section (more or less) but it includes 10 prenatal visits, blood tests, room for 3 days and epidural, 3 meals a day from the shop, etc. also, the clinic is small, so it feels very cozy. i was the only woman giving birth whilst there so i had the entire team to lean on. the night nurses and midwives were incredibly sweet and helpful, as was the rest of the staff. all in all, i could not have asked for a better experience.

my ob/gyn was dr. ty sovannaroth. she came recommended by several people on cpn and i cannot say enough good things about her. she is kind, attentive, open to suggestions (i.e. more natural choices) and happy to answer all the questions a first time expat mom had to ask. she studied in france, speaks both french and english fluently and was simply a fantastic doctor.

another doctor i highly recommend is dr. huot seng. we visited him for the ultrasounds. i believe he is also a gynecologist. he too studied in france and speaks excellent french (no english, although his assistant translates). he was the most thorough ultrasound technician we visited - out of three. the cost of ultrasounds at khema clinic is 50$ whereas dr. huot seng charges 15$.

regarding prenatal classes, we took them with krist'l, a dutch doula and midwife. she offers prenatal classes as well as prenatal yoga and massage, postnatal baby swimming and other classes. she played a huge role throughout my pregnancy by offering support and advice on natural labour (i ended up with a c-section but nevertheless). she has been working in phnom penh for many years and knows the who's who of the khmer birthing world. she recommended khema clinic to us and when we found out dr. ty practiced there, the decision was made.

contact information

dr. ty sovannaroth - request her at khema clinic. tel: (+855) 92 616 113. the clinic's website is http://www.khemaclinic.com/. dr. ty is not listed for some reason but does work there. the address is #18 St. 528 tuol kork.

dr. huot - tel: (+855) 12782210 the address is #113Eo St. 182 oressey II (near the olympic stadium).

krist'l - (+855) 12 341 730 and you can email her at pregnancybirthb@gmail.com. krist'l also manages several facebook pages that could be useful to an expecting mom: pregnancy, birth and beyond and the mummy daddy club cambodia.

if you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to email me and ask! you can find me at kate.estivill@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and all the useful information's we gonna move in the end of the year with a little baby to Cambodia so your story makes me brave to believe in our plan.
    claudia

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