Written by special contributor, Hayley Jennings
The idea of having a baby abroad probably seems pretty daunting. You might have to deal with a foreign language, and what if your mom can’t be there? But many women end up having their baby in another country, either because they’re living there or because they have been taken by surprise while traveling. Although there are restrictions on flying when pregnant, some women can still find that they go into labor while they’re away from home. If you have your baby while you’re abroad, you could discover some surprising things. Take a look at some of the issues that you might discover.
Who Helps You Through Your Birth Varies By Country
Knowing who is going to look after you while you have your baby is important. While the best case scenario is that you get to know the person who will attend your birth before you have your baby, not everyone is so lucky. When it is time to welcome your baby to the world, some countries will have a doctor at your side. However, many will provide you with a midwife – who could be a man or woman; it’s the woman giving birth who is the “wife”, not the medical professional.
Some Countries Have Laws About Baby Names
Have you decided what to call your bundle of joy yet? Don’t worry if you haven’t; many parents don’t decide until after their baby is born. But if you give birth abroad, keep in mind that you might not be able to use any name that you want. Most countries have some kind of restriction on baby names, such as not allowing any special characters, but some go as far as having banned names or a list of acceptable names. If the name you want isn’t on the list, you might still be able to use it if you can show it’s a name in your home country.
You Will Need to Report the Birth to Your Embassy
If you want to make sure that your baby will be able to get a passport from your home country, you need to report their birth to the local embassy or consulate. Taking a newborn to the nearest embassy isn’t exactly something that you want to do, but it’s important. You need to make an appointment and make sure that you have all of the necessary documents when you go. These can include your marriage certificate and a passport photo of your baby.
Statistically, Your Birth Could Be Much Safer
If you’re from the US, having your baby abroad is statistically a lot safer in many countries. The infant mortality rate in the US is much higher compared to other developed countries, such as Canada, France, and Japan. Japan has one of the lowest infant mortality rates, with 2.1 deaths per 1,000 births in 2014. Many other countries are also safer for mothers.
Whether you plan on giving birth abroad or it happens accidentally, make sure that you have insurance or any other necessary financial support.