Moving to a new country can be lengthy and complicated at the best of times, especially when you’re pregnant.
When you’re carrying the extra weight of a growing baby, it places extra strain on your body and mind. During pregnancy, you can feel more physically tired and mentally drained, and this is only exacerbated by a chaotic move abroad.
There is also the worry of complications during your pregnancy and making sure you’re able to access specialist medical help if and when you require it. When you’re relocating, you need to keep this in mind, so you don’t put yourself and your unborn baby at risk.
What to Expect When Moving Abroad During Pregnancy
Compared to somebody who isn’t currently pregnant, there are lots of extra steps that you need to take when relocating to another country when you’re carrying a growing baby. There are also a lot more considerations to take with regard to your antenatal clinic appointments, so you don’t miss any important check-ups.
Below, we’re going to break down some of the key things to expect when you’re relocating while pregnant.
Health and travel insurance
Anybody who is relocating to a new country needs to arrange health and travel insurance before they move, and this doesn’t change during pregnancy. If anything, having valid health and travel insurance is even more important when you’re pregnant.
Speak with your current health provider to determine whether you can transfer your policy directly across to a new provider, keeping the same coverage when you move. You might be able to stay with the same provider if they offer intentional coverage.
If you’re transferring to another provider, make sure your new policy covers your pregnancy needs. You will need access to antenatal services and maternity clinics during your pregnancy to check on the health of you and your baby. Your insurance will also need to grant you access to a nearby hospital that has maternity services and a delivery suite for when you go into labor.
The GeoBlue travel insurance plan is a great option when you need pregnancy coverage for moving abroad. This plan enables you to access non-emergency and emergency medical services during your travels and outpatient prescription services.
Speaking to your current doctor
When you’re pregnant, you need to attend antenatal appointments and scans at certain stages of your pregnancy.
It’s best to keep your relocation date as far away from your appointments as possible. This way, you won’t accidentally miss them or feel overwhelmed amidst the chaos of moving.
There are also travel recommendations based on how far along you are in your pregnancy. Usually, if you’re more than 28 weeks pregnant, you’re advised to avoid long-haul flights, and you might need a medical note to confirm that you’re able to travel when in your third trimester of pregnancy.
Speak to your doctor or midwife to determine the dates of your upcoming appointments and scans, and to get advice on when you should avoid traveling. Make sure to get expert medical advice before booking your flights.
Find a doctor and midwife in your new location
Part of the research for your relocation must revolve around finding medical professionals in your destination location. You’ll need to find a specialist gynaecologist or obstetrician and midwife for your antenatal appointments.
It’s a good idea to speak to a few different healthcare professionals directly, whether it’s over the phone, via email, or on a video call. This allows you to get more information about their expertise and availability.
If you find professionals that meet your needs, you can book your antenatal appointments before you relocate. Doing so will make your planning easier and less stressful.
Before making your appointments, double-check the recommendations for check-ups and scans during pregnancy in your destination country. Antenatal recommendations can vary from place to place. If you’re unsure, this is something to ask when you contact different medical professionals before your move.
Figure out the costs and fees of maternity services
When arranging appointments and general maternity care, you’ll need to get clear details about the costs and fees of these services. Different healthcare professionals charge different fees for the same services.
You’ll also need to liaise with your health and travel insurance providers to determine how much they will cover for certain services. Some providers might cover the costs of traveling to your antenatal appointments, while other providers won’t always cover this as part of your plan.
Gathering the details of your care and insurance providers makes budgeting a lot easier for you during your relocation. It also minimizes your stress and prevents excess stress for you and your growing baby, which is essential for a smooth and enjoyable pregnancy.