Tips to consider when travelling abroad for delivery on a budget from my personal experience.
This post was inspired by my personal experience two years ago. I have been looking for the right things that would benefit other women who might want to travel abroad just for the sole purpose of delivery. This post may not include a long-term tip that is, tips for new moms who decide to settle down abroad for a long time after delivery.
But that notwithstanding, you may learn a few things from my personal experience. I had my son while I was concluding my master’s program in Poland. Well, that was the height of multi-tasking for me; becoming a new mom, graduating with MA and coming back home to be with my lovely husband.
I know you are wondering why I said going back home to my husband, yes, at that time it wasn’t convenient for him to leave work and travel to be with me.
On the other hand, God blessed me with an awesome support system; my uncle and his darling wife, my flatmate, my friends. I truly appreciate you all.
So, that being said let’s dive right into it…
First, before you travel notify your workplace about your plans especially if your workplace covers your insurance. Why? Some companies refund you part of the money you spend on hospital bills abroad. So you should do your research properly.
If you have family or friends abroad ask them for the best hospitals to register with or to go to when your contractions start. You can also do an online research to know where the best place is for you and your budget.
During my antenatal, I signed up with a private OBGYN. This is because I was advised to do so to get maximum attention although it would have been absolutely free if I had signed up in a government hospital. It was my first pregnancy so I wasn’t willing to take the risk.
During labour, I went to the government hospital that I have previously researched on and found good reviews too.
ACCOMMODATION AND BILLS
This should be top on your list too while you draft your budget. There are a lot of online sites where house openings are listed. Keep in mind that you would also pay for electric and water bills. Sometimes Cable, waste disposal and internet are included in the rent.
So make sure you ask all the necessary questions. Most times prices vary especially with the bills depending on the time of the year and the location of the building. If you rent during winter you might have to pay a little extra for heating or if it’s an area where tourists flood during summer, the price might be higher.
Washing baby wears could incur extra bills. So buying a reasonable amount of baby wears can help save water. Find an apartment with a sizeable bed so you and your baby can share or you can buy a collapsible bed that is easy to travel with.
Prams and strollers are a huge NO NO in my opinion. Yep! A baby body carrier is handier if you would likely travel alone. Besides, once you come back home to Naija it is almost useless unless you live in an estate with good roads. So make a wise decision.
A shared flat could be an option for you if you don’t have family or friends to live with. You can share that cost of paying rent with someone and you might need that help because you never know when the baby would decide come.
There is absolutely no need buying clothes at home before you travel. Unless you are on a strict budget, then, by all means, buy and travel with them. If you are going to shop when you travel, look out for sales and to save stress online shopping might be an option for you.
Remember to shop a little above your baby’s age or size so your baby doesn’t outgrow them in a jiffy. Baby accessories should include feeding utensils, bathing towels and soaps etc.
IF YOU WANT A DETAILED LIST OF WHAT YOU SHOULD BE SHOPPING FOR DROP A COMMENT BELOW.
I bet you would expect that a bathing basin would make the list. Nope! This is what I did and why. The first couple of days all I did was clean my baby. Thereafter, I used a small bucket to mix water to the temperature that was ideal, and then put a towel in the bathroom sink which I had washed earlier and we had our first bath.
Why? I had limited space to store a bath; I had stitches which made it difficult for me to bath him the Nigerian way. There was no room for baths moving while bathing my baby, I didn’t have to mop a lot of water and carry the bath up and down. I stood straight saving me the stress of unnecessary backaches.
Remember, to dress your child according to the season to avoid getting a cold or having rashes from hot weather.
Make it a point of duty to study the town’s bus routes and time schedule. If there is an app for it, kindly download it. Always leave the house 30 minutes to 1 hour ahead of time, depending on how far the bus stop is from your house. So you don’t stress out trying to catch the bus. And carry some drinking water along.
Taxis are also an option. Call the taxi once you are ready to leave so you don’t incur extra charges while the taxi waits for you to board. Have a cab service number on speed dial in case you need to get to the hospital or an ambulance will be good too.
For those that will be in the hospital with you make sure your folks at home have their contact numbers. Keep your husband posted as much as you can, especially if he is not with you. Make him help you time your contractions when they start. This way he feels like he is involved and makes him less worried so to say. Baby Center App was very helpful.
I forgot to mention that you need to pack your hospital bag on time. Keep all jewellery at home. Take a little money for coffee or some other little things that you may need. Take fewer things so you can keep track especially if you will be sharing a ward. A house robe is essential too.
PASSPORT AND VISA
Travel as light as possible because you will most likely come back with a lot of things. Visa should be sorted out before your 5th month. Make sure you have all your documents photocopied and original especially if you have changed to your new name. Take all marriage certificates and change of name documents just to be safe. A copy of your return flight ticket as well.
For your newborn, if you are opportune to be entitled to a passport based on the right of soil that is awesome. But you might still need a Visa for your baby. Too expensive? Here is what you do. Go to the Nigerian Embassy and obtain an emergency travel certificate (ETC).
I would suggest you travel home with your before they are aware of their new environment. This way your baby will sleep more while you are in transit and it’s less cranky. You, on the other hand, will get some rest.
Once you get to the Nigerian airport, the immigration officers will collect it from you because it’s for a single entry. Once you settle down you can go and process your child’s passport later.
DO YOU WANT ME TO SHARE MY PREGNANCY STORY? IT MIGHT COME IN A MINI-SERIES. BUT THAT IS IF YOU WANT IT. TELL ME IN THE COMMENT SECTION IF YOU WOULD WANT SUCH.
Shopping, especially for groceries, might be hectic for you, but you have an option to shop online or go to the shop with a friend. Finding a Nigerian restaurant or an African food shop can help too but I don’t know what pricing will look like. I would definitely travel with some food items. I don’t joke with my taste buds. LOL
Try to sleep once your baby is sleeping, that is basically the best time to get some rest. As a new mother, it could be overwhelming. Eat well so you can produce enough milk for your newborn.
Make sure your child gets all the necessary immunizations and vitamins (vitamins C and D) A nursing bra and post-partum belt are your best friends. I believe you must have shopped for with breastfeeding in mind. If you need a post on fashion for breastfeeding moms indicate in the comments section below.
Drink a lot of water and keep up with your vitamins. Make sure to visit your OBGYN to make sure your stitches are healing properly and your uterus is going back properly.
I hope this post has been helpful to someone. If I have missed anything kindly drop some tips in the comments section so that I too can learn.
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This post is in honour of my sons’ birthday tomorrow. Please say a prayer for him as he turns two tomorrow. He came into my life and made it a bliss and full of fun stories. I love you, Ivan. God bless you, my dear son.
Until next time…