Giving Birth Abroad as an Expat

An expatriate (expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing, usually as an immigrant, in a country aside from citizenship.

The arrival of a baby in one's life represents and redefines the life of everyone involved, and it also comes with tremendous amounts of responsibility, whether or not it's an expat living abroad. However, as an expat living apart from loved ones in a country in which customs and policies differ could be crushing and overwhelming. However, there are strategies and solutions for this issue.

This article gives a general idea of some valuable tips in planning of childbirth abroad or away from home as an expectant expat mom (and dad).

Preparation

The truth is you may not have such luxury of care you would have had if your family and friends were available. No one may be around to spoil you and ensure your comfort. All the same, you have about nine months to prepare and you should do the following:

·      Get to know all necessary things about pregnancy in your host nation.

·      Get all information about pregnancy, prenatal, birth, and post-partum care and other related topics.

·      Choose your doctor carefully. It is preferred that you find a doctor who can speak to you in your mother tongue.

·      Purchase an excellent expat guide and follow the instructions carefully.

Networking

Interact and converse with other expat mothers. Take time to learn more about their experiences, both good and bad, so that you can learn about what to expect and how you can avert the birth and pregnancy from taking on the wrong direction that may cause complications later on. 

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Get in touch with your employer, sponsor or guarantor and found out what coverage you have for pregnancy and childbirth. Many expat medical policies may not insure or make provisions for the cost of giving birth.

Choose a Hospital

Choose a hospital that your insurance level can accommodate for. Search for multiple choices and only make do with the one that best that suits you and meet your needs adequately. A majority of private hospitals offer tours around the maternity ward or unit and could give you an opportunity to understand the facilities available to you and also, a chance to ask questions about what goes on concerning childbirth policies and norms of the institutions. Also, be aware that there may be some cultural differences pertaining to childbirth in the nation you are giving birth.

Availability of Medications and Supplements

It is customary for pregnant women to regularly visit healthcare facilities to obtain dietary supplements during pregnancy. Therefore, if such medications or supplements are available in your host country, then you need to contact your doctor/physician. If they’re not available, then try buying them online, as technology has made things easier.

Creating a Birth Plan

A birth plan is very necessary for all expectant mothers. For expatriates, it is of utmost interest for you to have a birth plan not just to know your expenditure but much more, regular birthing practices and procedurewhich may be very different in your host country than they are in your countries of origin.

Check Citizenship Processes

Delivery abroad may guarantee the child’s right to citizenship in both your host and home country. You should ensure that you inquire from the authorities of your passport country in advance to find out what you will need to do to ensure that your offspring is legally registered as a citizen. 

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