26 May 2004|Cynthia Chan
My sis-in-law just gave birth to an 8 lb 5 oz baby boy last Wednesday (yep, first baby in the family). She had her baby at the California Pacific Hospital in San Francisco. Her experience in the past nine months was a classic example of how Asian Americans live their lives in “home away from home” – living their life in the US, but also turn to cultures and beliefs they brought along with them. She went to a Chinese American OB/GYN who is bilingual, followed both Western practice as well as the traditional Chinese way of trotting along her pregnancy (including a full-range supply of herbal soup), and named the baby with both English and Chinese names (Kaden, Chi Ho Chan).
The day when me and my family stopped by to meet the baby for the first time (and to visit my sis-in-law), we literally saw at least three to four other Asian couples with their newborn. Given so many Asian moms were giving birth at their hospital, there are many things that were put into place to cater this crowd.
On their room-service menu, they have a wide selection of dishes, from pasta to potstickers, from steak to ginger fried rice. Many Chinese women will take ginger rice after they gave birth because it will help them with the healing process, and to our surprise, the ginger rice made it to the menu! Another (pleasant) surprise was the mom-and-dad-and-baby combo was moved to a bigger room. The maternity ward was not very full at the time, and the staff thought it would be nice for them to have a bigger room to accommodate frequent visits from the family – family, defined as proud grandparents from both sides, brothers and sisters (and their spouses, kids, etc), cousins (not to mentioned second cousins as well), aunts and uncles, and the list goes on and on…
This is just a quick peek into how Asian Americans live their lives in the US, and how companies (in this case, the hospital) have become more sensitive to their needs.prev next