Maternity Advice for Moms to Be Living Abroad
Being pregnant as an expat can be an exciting experience, but also a challenge. Here are three factors to consider when learning what to expect as an expat expecting that can help ease the stress of the pregnancy.
Money and Financial Considerations
Of course one of the most stressful concerns when discovering you are pregnant in another country is how you are going to afford prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care. Maternity care can be expensive without an insurance plan that includes maternity. Purchasing international insurance with maternity coverage is extremely important, and hopefully something you did prior to becoming pregnant. Depending on the plan, your insurance can cover the cost of delivery, complications during pregnancy, prenatal care, newborn care, postnatal care and more. Without the proper expatriate insurance, you may have to deal with a costly situation. If you are not yet pregnant, yet considering having a child in the future- purchase your health insurance as soon as possible to ensure you will be eligible for the plan and breeze past any maternity care waiting periods.
Medical Care for Maternity and Delivery
Another huge concern is the care and treatment you will receive as a mother as well as the treatment your child will receive. As an expat expecting, you want your son or daughter to be healthy, but may be unsure of the quality of the healthcare system in the country you are located in. Because of this, proper medical facilities are a must. Expect to visit hospitals that are very different than the ones you are used to seeing back home. These hospitals may have different rules, different atmospheres and different systems. Choose a hospital that best caters to your needs, whether that is based on money, care, waiting times, cleanliness or flexibility. If you can choose a doctor, try and find someone who speaks the same language as you, and find someone who can answer your questions as you experience the journey of pregnancy.
After you have figured out the money and medical care aspect of maternity, you will want to know what to expect when it comes to being a parent and caring for your child. It would help to research what benefits you will be able to take advantage of, especially if you are working in the country. You should also research what’s considered culturally okay and not okay, and the legality of being pregnant in another country. Where can you breastfeed? Will you get laid off of work? Are you eligible for a 14 month paid leave from your job? Is your spouse also eligible for this leave? If you don’t research these, you may miss out on many benefits your host country has to offer.
As an expat expecting, you can expect the unexpected. You may not have all of the benefits and comforts you would have received back home, or you may have more. If you take precautions and do some digging, you may find that your experience is not as scary as you thought it would be.