An Unplanned Pregnancy: Planning Your Next Steps (Phase 2)
(Click here if you have not read phase 1.)
In Phase 2 of your planning when experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you will need to be looking ahead into the future.
As a reminder, put things down in the format that works for you. It is important for you to be able to physically check where you are in the planning, to tick/cross what you’ve done, to see what you need/have to do next and to write down anything that comes up at any stage of the plan.
Your Next Steps (Phase 2)
1. Communicate with Your Spouse/Partner and Family Back Home
There are many things to prepare for prior to the arrival of a child. Communication is one of the key elements in planning! Discuss the following points, in the best interest of your unborn child:
- Where to Give Birth?
In Hong Kong
As you are eligible to assess highly affordable public healthcare in Hong Kong, you may wish to consider delivering your baby in one of the public hospitals.
These are some IMPORTANT things to consider:
- YOU will have to cover the cost of the delivery yourself.
- Your employer is NOT obligated to provide accommodation for your baby after the baby is born.
- The hospital could care for your baby temporarily; but only under certain circumstances, such as baby and mother’s health, waiting for documentation to be ready prior to returning home.
- Under your FDW’s visa, your baby will NOT automatically be a Hong Kong resident (unless the child’s father is holding a Hong Kong residency status and he is acknowledging the child).
In Home Country
Not only will having your spouse/partner and family around when your child is born bring so much joy, they too will help and support you whilst recuperating from the delivery.
Please note that:
- As a general guideline, you will need to return to your home country before your pregnancy reaches 32 weeks. It is best to check with the airline you will be flying with. Every airline has a different policy.
- Have a “Fit to Fly” certification from your doctor to be given to the airline.
2. Care for Your Child
Now that the baby is born, the planning continues.
- If the baby is born in Hong Kong, plan VERY carefully as to where the baby will be raised, ensure that it will be a place that could provide him/her with a lot of love, nurture and care. The environment will need to be healthy and stable.
IMPORTANT things to consider below:
- Your employer does NOT have the obligation to provide accommodation for your baby
- Under Hong Kong labour law it states that an FDW MUST live at the premise of the employer.
- Where will you and your baby live when ’live-out’ is NOT an option and is illegal.
- The ‘live-out’ situation will jeopardise your employment and put your employer at a huge risk of breaking the law in Hong Kong.
- There is a need to approach the Labour Department for an exemption if living out is the wish of you and your employer.
- Who will care for your newborn baby every day when you have to return to work 6 days a week, more than 8 hours a day?
- Will you be able to support your baby financially, when Hong Kong is ranked in 2020 the third most expensive city in the world to live in?
- Once you’ve decided to return to your home country with your baby, and have your spouse/partner/family look after him/her, you will need to have these necessary documents prior to returning to your home country:
- Birth certificate from the hospital in Hong Kong,
- Registering the birth of your baby at respective consulate
- Baby’s travel document
- If the baby is born in your home country, do plan very carefully as to who will be the primary carer when you have to return to your employment in Hong Kong at the end of your maternity leave. Do give special attention to:
- Ensure the primary carer understands the importance of immunizations and vaccinations
- All your baby’s milestones, such as crawling, walking and talking; please seek appropriate help and support where your child resides when you notice your baby is not reaching his/her milestones.
- Monthly financial management. Appoint someone you trust and will be able to bear the responsibility in managing the sum of money you are sending over every month.
3. Managing Your Employment
Having checklists of what needs to be done can help a great deal. Prior to returning to your employment in Hong Kong, ensure that you have ticked all the below:
- Your passport is valid and is up-to-date
- Check your return ticket (to Hong Kong) details
- Your last day of maternity leave and working visa validity
- Communicate with your employer about your arrival or if any changes.
During the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Check the latest information and procedure when entering Hong Kong
- Communicate with your employer about your arrival and any special arrangement required by the Hong Kong government if needed.
Planning will not only help you to get things organised, it will also help you to prioritise and keep you staying focused on those priorities.
However, it is very important to bear in mind that sometimes, even with all the planning that you’ve done, things may not at all go as what you’ve planned… This is called life…
Don’t get discouraged or frustrated when Plan A didn’t work. Communicate with those who are involved, ask for help when and where you need it and try your very best to stay and keep calm. Remember: “If Plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters”!
If you have not read phase 1, click here!
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