Giving Birth in Taiwan

Know the options available to you when the time comes for the birth of your baby, and find out about postnatal care in Taiwan...

Expectant parents need to choose the hospital or clinic where they want to give birth. The best way to choose a hospital is to get a recommendation from someone who has given birth locally. Birthing centres and water births are also possible in some major cities in Taiwan.

Some hospitals have English-speaking staff, specifically in private clinics and hospitals where the facilities and treatment are very similar to those found throughout the Western world. It is advisable to check a hospital's view of pain management and natural childbirth; as childbirth tends to be highly medicalised in Taiwan.

Following the birth, there are also a number of confinement centres (postpartum nursing centres) for new mothers, especially in Taipei. These centres focus on parenting, exercise, breastfeeding and infant care classes. It is advisable to book a place at a confinement centre at least six months before the birth.

Healthcare for Babies

The welfare and rights of all children and young people, including babies, is the responsibility of Taiwan's Child Welfare Bureau. The Bureau is part of the Ministry of the Interior and delivers services through local government departments.

Parents of children under the age of three are eligible for subsidies for their medical treatment for services covered by the National Health Insurance (NIH) scheme. Foreigners employed in Taiwan are eligible for National Health Insurance as soon as they start working in the country; their dependents become eligible once they are resident in the country and stay for four consecutive months. A baby born to two foreign parents is not eligible for NHI cover until he or she is four months old; parents are advised to have private health cover to assist with the cost of care during this time.

General health checks are provided following the birth. At these a baby's growth and development is monitored and their height, weight, hearing ability and sight checked. Parents are also given health counselling, including advice on breast feeding, injury prevention, nutrition and child development. Four checks are offered to children in the first 18 months of their life, with further checks as they grow up. Health clinics, which can be found in every district, city and township, are the first point of call for healthcare in Taiwan. They promote child health management.

Vaccinations

An immunisation programme is provided free of charge for babies and toddlers in Taiwan. Children can receive their vaccination at a health clinic or in some hospitals.