You’ve just landed in a foreign country on an expat assignment and you find out you are pregnant. All of a sudden everything changes because you are bringing a baby into the world. Naturally you want everything to be perfect and instead it all just feels strange.
I hear you. I am a serial expat and I know what it’s like when you want to be near home and family. Especially when it comes to major life events like weddings and birth. But the fact is that you probably cannot just up sticks and leave and now is the time to stay connected to your reasons for being abroad and open your eyes to broaden your horizons about having your baby abroad.
As an expat you are probably more adaptable than most and now more than ever you will need to adapt to your new circumstances. Don’t let your pregnancy shut you down to the opportunities that being abroad opens up for you, and you may be pleasantly surprised.
5 Top Tips
1. Be informed. If you don’t know your choices, you don’t have any.
2. Be patient. It is easy to think that things would be different or better back ‘home’. Consider that you might be more complacent about your care if you were back home and that being hyper alert might actually be in your best interest.
3. Be prepared. There are going to be cultural misunderstandings. Guaranteed. Prepare for them and as far as possible, prevent them. Don’t be afraid to be specific in explaining exactly what you want and need in the simplest possible terms and in a culturally sensitive way.
4. Be clear. What you say and what they hear are often completely different. Get things translated. Policies, prescriptions and routine blood tests. If you don’t understand what is written, how can you make informed choices and decisions?
5. Be open minded. Speak to other expats and locals about any traditions, customs or procedures that might be routine and acceptable for locals but strange and undesirable for you. Decline them in a culturally sensitive way.
The Virtual Midwife platform was created for women just like you. My goal is to help you feel more connected, not just with a community of like-minded women, but also with your body.