Have you always wondered how some Nigerian mums have been able to have their babies in the U.S.? Well, overall, the process of having your baby in America is not that complicated.
First things first here are the list of things you need to consider when considering to have your baby in the U.S. especially if you are a Nigerian.
● Research: Make sure you find out the average costs for different procedures – vaginal birth, C-section, emergencies during birth, doctor bills, travel, accommodation and others.
● Cost: Be sure that you can handle all possible costs including an emergency.
● Plan: You need to plan for everything. Be sure to ask questions, search the internet or get a birth tourism agent that can help to ease the process. You don’t want any surprises.
Below are the non-negotiables when planning to have your baby in the U.S.:
1. Get a valid visa: The main type of visa for birth tourism is a B1/B2 visa. A B visa is one of a category of non-immigrant visas issued by the United States government to foreign citizens seeking entry for a temporary period.
It is usually advisable that you apply for your visa at least three months before your intended date of travel.
2. Choose a Location: Picking a birth tourism location in the US could be dependent on your budget, or where you have close friends and or family.
One of the most affordable states to have your baby is Delaware & Texas.
3. Pick your doctor and hospital: One of the things you need when applying for your visa is a doctor’s letter of appointment stating you have a doctor and are scheduled for your first hospital visit.
As an international patient you are not entitled to Medicaid or any type of insurance.
Many doctors and hospitals give discounts as much as 20-40 percent if you are a self-pay patient (paying out of pocket). So don’t be shy to ask about this when doing your research on the hospital to choose.
Health care in the USA is set up very differently, hence you get several bills – hospital bill, obgyn (obstetrician/gynecologists), lab works/ ultrasound, anesthesia, pediatrician.
It is advisable to arrive no later than when you are at 32 weeks into your pregnancy. Most doctors don’t accept patients after this and the ones that do usually require you to pay more.
If you have previously given birth in the USA, then you need to have your zero balance receipt on you as part of your travel documents. If your name changed due to marriage please travel with both passports as well as your marriage certificate.
Be sure that all other necessary documents are easily accessible in your in your carry-on luggage because the immigration check at point of entry into the US takes place before you get your checked bag at the airport.
Also be sure that you have enough cash in US dollars on you upon entry into the US.
There is also the option of getting a travel birth service provider Shelow’s Childbirth Services to help you with the process. There are service providers that will offer to help you with various aspects of your birth trip or those who will handle everything for you from start to finish.
Shelows childbirth services is one of such service providers. They are based in Houston, Texas which is one of the most cost effective place to have your baby in the US. In Houston, you can have your baby for as low as $4,200 with the doctor and hospital bill inclusive.