Never have your baby in North America!…. without reading this first!!
Your baby is about to be born… you’re considering having your baby in the United States? Visa is set, and you’re excited to finally get the load off…. Well, I believe in the saying ‘whatever is worth doing is worth doing well’.
A lot of people take up this idea without an actual plan. Trust me, without being strict on your budget, having a baby in the United States is very expensive. For the aforementioned reason, it’s wise to be clear on expectations and of course ‘stick to the budget’. I’m known to be a finder of deals, I may have the same Micheal Kors purse as you do,but you can bet that I found the best deal possible to get an authentic one. So yes, I apply that whenever I start plans to ‘deliver abroad’.
The first step is to decide what state you will be residing. I have found that Texas is relatively cheaper than most States, and there is a higher probability to know one or two people there (Naija capital of yankee lol).
The next step is to find a good Doctor. Google can help! you can look up real reviews and ratings of doctors by their patients; you can also utilize referrals, don’t be ashamed to ask someone who has gone through the process.These will help you narrow down your options.
Next, make a lot of calls! Call the doctors’ office, find out the hospitals they utilize (then call those hospitals for an idea of their delivery cost). It’s important to note that, your doctors bill is totally different from your hospital bill, this is a common confusion families make.
Some people will advise you to pick a doctor based on your physical address while in the United States. I, however will suggest finding your doctor first. The worst thing you can do is settle for a doctor and have a horrible delivery experience or an outrageous medical bill. Choose your Doctor first, then decide on how to make your living situation suit your choice.
Next, where to stay. This is a tricky question…. Nigerians residing abroad have been known to get uncomfortable with long-staying guests (I’ve been lucky with amazing family and friends, although I’ve had my fair share of ‘pepper body’ hosts lol), so usually people opt for renting an apartment (an average extra of about $1000+/month to your total bill sha). As long as you’re not travelling alone, a rented apartment is okay. But! If you’re travelling alone, abeg! it’s better to chop the ‘b.s’ and stay with family/friends if you have that option. Trust me, When labour kicks in,you do not want to be alone!
Your average deliver cost in Texas (doctor plus hospital charges) should not exceed $9,000 (all things being equal with no complications, God forbid!); a friend of mine delivered in El Paso and paid $4,000 in total (but I am not advising anyone to go to El paso oh!), just further emphasizing that Texas is your best bet in cutting costs.
I had my first baby in Christus St. Catherine hospital, with Dr. Lee (email me for specific details), although pricey, this experience was heavenly…. everything was perfect (normal delivery) …. the second time around, I tried a cheaper option, I delivered in Memorial Hermann with Dr Whitmire. My Doctor did an amazing job (delivered via caesarean section), however I’m not quite sure I was superwoman enough for the hospital. In my excruciating pain, their expectations were a bit high…. okay, well, maybe not everyone who works there is terrible, but bad service travels way faster than good ones….one particular nurse made my experience horrible! She would refused to bring my pain meds on time…. till I cry, literally! Once, my mum had to go home to refresh and bring my other son, she thought she was giving me time to rest….This evil nurse won’t let me be, she expected me to change diapers and even bath my son a day after my cs! (needless to say,I went off on her, I doubt she’ll ever forget me, I probably got her repremanded too #nonsense!). Memorial Hermann is also big on exclusive breast feeding ( all hospitals are, but their own is a bit annoying). They will make you feel less than a woman if you opt for formula (especially in those first few days of post cs pain). I am actually glad I didn’t let my pain deter me from exclusively breast feeding… however, I believe every woman knows her birth plan,and should be allowed to choose whatever route…without being judged. Long story short, not a big fan of Memorial Hermann. Good news is, Dr. Whitmire (who is an incredible Doctor) also delivers in West Houston Medical center (I’ve heard good reviews), so he is certainly an option for cs situations.
For any questions you may have, feel free to shoot me an email (email@example.com), I’ll be glad to help as much as I can.
So, whether it be medical reasons, or personal choices (ps: I know we have amazing Doctors and great hospitals here at home, although we are used to tolerating some crappy medical services that would usually go unpunished. But that’s gist for another day), make sure you do your research, and budget accordingly.
I wish all moms-2-be an amazing pregnancy and subsequent delivery!
Like I always say, don’t stay trapped in the norm! Unleash your alter ego.