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Helping Chinese Families Prepare for Birth

I am a Dutch lactation consultant (IBCLC) with a background in nursing (I did a BSc in nursing in The Netherlands) and midwifery (I graduated from the School of Midwifery in Bedford, UK). I have worked with expectant and new mothers since 1992 in the UK, The Netherlands, and in China.

Together with my husband and two daughters, we moved to China in 1997. After studying Chinese in Tianjin, we relocated to Shanxi Province, Yangqu County, where we have lived and worked for twenty years to serve the people of China. During these years I conducted trainings for hospital staff, township and village doctors; I did health education, provided teacher training sessions, and taught antenatal classes. Since 2017 I have been invited to various cities in China to provide lactation training for those who want to support women who (want to) breastfeed their babies. My primary interest and skills are to train others in antenatal and postnatal care, and breastfeeding management and support. Teaching and supporting pregnant and newly delivered women is a central goal in all I do.

Working with pregnant women and newly delivered mothers in the UK, The Netherlands, and China, made me realize that women all over the world have the same needs: They need support and good care; someone who prepares them for the birth of their baby, for breastfeeding, and for taking care of a new life. It is such a privilege to support families during a special, new, exciting time in their lives.

Face-to-face support and training certainly is the best way: meeting the women, answering their questions, supporting them as they face challenges, sitting beside them as they feed their baby. At the same time, I realized that I can only be in one place at a time, limiting the number of women I can help. Apart from that, Chinese women are all over the world. What if they are in places where they have no access to professional, scientific-based, easy to understand information about topics related to childbirth? Or what if they are in a place where they don’t understand the local language? How to reach these families and support them in preparing for the arrival of their baby?

One way is by offering information which can be accessed online from any place in the world where there is an internet connection. For this purpose, I first developed a website with information about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and the postnatal period in both English and Chinese. The pdf files can be downloaded for free. I also decided to develop video lessons. There are two series of short video lessons to help families learn about pregnancy and the birth of their baby. Each course has a total of 10-13 short lessons of around ten minutes each.

Pregnancy is a life changing experience. A new life is growing within the mom. The video lessons about “Pregnancy” start by looking at the beginning of life. Parents will see how wonderfully a new life is created in the mother’s womb. How can they protect this new life? How to take care of themselves and their unborn baby? In these video lessons, I explain what to do, what not to do, and what things to be aware of during pregnancy.

In the second video course about “The Birth of Your Baby,” I explain the birthing process as this might help pregnant women to know what to expect. Some of the topics discussed are: How to cope with labor pain? How can others support the woman during labor? When to go to the hospital? C-section or a normal birth? Perhaps you’ve heard about “无痛分娩”(painless birth). What do people mean when they say this? Is it really possible to have a baby without pain? In China people use the phrase “三早一晚”(three early, one late). What does this mean? What doesn’t it mean? Is it important and why?

If you want answers to these questions or you know someone who might benefit from this information, please visit my website:

and pass the link and information on to others. You can find the links to the video lessons on the website as well as the free-to-download pdf files. I’ll include them here as well:

孕期保健 , Pregnancy
分娩的过程, The Birth of Your Baby

Special Promotion

For our friends in the China Source extended family: Send me an email (, and I will send you a voucher code to access the course for free. You can use the code for a limited period of time. You can help me promote the course by watching the video lessons, writing a review, and sharing them with others. In this way, the website will be more visible and the reviews will encourage others to watch the courses as well.

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Images courtesy of the author.
Petra de Ruiter

Petra de Ruiter

Petra de Ruiter is from Holland. She has BS degree in nursing and also graduated from the School of Midwifery in Bedford, UK. As a staff midwife she worked in the hospital, coaching women through labor and conducting deliveries, providing both antenatal and postnatal care, looking after high-risk pregnant women …View Full Bio

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