I hope my experience can inform my fellow migrant workers in Taiwan that we can participate in the growth of our babies


With a nine-month pregnant belly, Indonesian migrant worker Reni took her time to teach other mothers-to-be in the SPA shelter how to change diapers and share parenting experiences with them. This is Reni's second pregnancy. Her first child who stayed in Indonesia is already in elementary school. She often shares photos of her child on Facebook with words full of affection. Reni has nine years of working experience in Taiwan and speaks fluent Mandarin. She has taken care of elders in hospice and children with rare diseases. These high-intensity working environments have honed her strong stress resistance and developed her character of taking things as they come.

Indonesian migrant worker pregnancy SPA Shelter

Reni and her husband are from the same hometown. They met and got married in Taiwan, and they are very glad about the pregnancy. But her husband still has a work contract of more than one year, so he must stay in Taiwan. If Reni returns to Indonesia to wait for the birth according to their original plan, the husband will not be able to participate in the important moment of the child's birth.

There are many migrant worker couples in Taiwan raising children across the sea. They can only participate in their children's childhood remotely through the internet connection, but Reni and her husband don't want their child who is babbling to only see their father through the video camera in the future. The Reni couple, who are working hard in Taiwan, don't want to leave such regret, to miss every moment of their child's growth. They hope their baby can feel the warmth of their parents' arms from an early age, gradually recognize their faces, and learn to call them mom and dad. Therefore, after knowing that legal immigrant workers can expect to give birth in Taiwan, Reni decided to give birth in Taiwan. "This is so that my baby can recognize the faces of mom and dad from the very first moment. I want to stay and keep working in Taiwan with my husband, and then take our baby back to Indonesia together."

Indonesian migrant worker pregnancy SPA shelter

With our help, Reni terminated her contract with the employer after six months of pregnancy and came to the SPA shelter to wait for delivery. Although she feels exhausted suffering from morning sickness and feet edema, the warm atmosphere of mutual help here relieved her discomfort. She has been living here for more than three months now and frequently walks in the park with other mothers-to-be at the shelter. She said with ease that she is not afraid of the pain of giving birth herself, she only feels nervousness for other new mothers.

The purpose of the SPA shelter is not to encourage migrant workers to give birth in Taiwan, but to let pregnant migrant mothers know that they have other life choices besides being sent back or having an abortion. The rights of immigrant workers to conceive and give birth are protected here in Taiwan, and some employers now allow migrant workers to work with their babies. Separating from their children is no longer an inevitable situation for migrant worker parents.

Indonesian migrant worker pregnancy SPA shelter

Reni's due date is two weeks later, and we will continue to accompany her to wait for giving birth and return to the workplace after recuperation. Let's wish her a smooth delivery, and welcome a healthy and lovely baby with her husband.