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Having a baby in another country in an unfamiliar healthcare system can prove to be a challenge for anyone. So if you are a pregnant expat, here are a few pointers that could help reduce that overwhelming feeling.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
It is important that you educate yourself about the healthcare system, pregnancy and giving birth in the country. Doctors may not be forthcoming, particularly if there is a language barrier. Self-advocacy is important. So don’t be afraid to ask questions about a procedure before it is performed. This will also help you achieve the birth experience you want.
Finding a Doctor
Choose your doctor based on referrals and language requirements. If you are in a country where women receive prenatal care from doctors who work in local hospitals and clinics and see patients by appointment, it is unlikely that you will see the same doctor throughout your pregnancy and in the delivery room. This is a far cry from private obstetric practices in other countries.
Picking a hospital
Shop around and visit different hospitals, both public and private, to see the facilities and check their flexibility in accommodating birth plans. Talk to the staff and see how they answer your questions to estimate their thoroughness and friendliness.
Working Women and Maternity Benefits
If you are a working woman then some research on maternity benefits can do you good. For instance, a mother to a two month old in the US could be thinking about putting her baby in day care and getting back to work while her counterparts in Canada could receive up to fourteen months of paid maternity leave. Read up on benefits like leave entitlement for check ups during pregnancy, duration of maternity leave before and after birth, special rights for breast feeding and so on.
The cost of delivering a baby is high in many countries. Expats with health cards do not have to pay for deliveries at government run facilities in some countries. If you are thinking of starting a family abroad it’s best that you choose expatriate medical insurance before your pregnancy.
Insurance plans usually cover pregnancies only with a 10-12 month moratorium but if you are already pregnant talk to your insurer and see what extra premium is payable.
You can start now by comparing the major providers BUPA healthcare, Clements International, ExpatPlus and more or request a free quote from an independent broker to help you compare the market and find the best solution.