Posted on Mar 16, 2015 by Alex Nellist
If you have a baby on the way, or you and your partner are planning to start a family in the near future, you likely already know that it’s no easy task. But, with the ever increasing improvements to medical practices and equipment, many private hospitals in Asia are more than capable of offering excellent pre and post-natal care. That being said, great health care doesn’t always guarantee a happy pregnancy. Parents will need some help along the way, so, to make things easier here are 5 tips on how to have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
1. Secure pre-pregnancy care
Doctors and other health experts recommend that women schedule their first pre-natal checkup almost as soon as you decide to start trying for a baby. This pre-pregnancy screening will involve a consultation with your doctor or birth specialist and usually an exam to ensure you are healthy enough to carry a baby to term.
During this consultation the doctor will usually conduct blood tests for Hepatitis B and syphilis, along with Body Mass Index and lifestyle assessments, which could influence a pregnancy. Based on the results, your doctor will make recommendations on life changes and things you can do to ensure your pregnancy will go as smooth as possible.
These screens aren’t just for moms-to-be however! Fathers are strongly recommended to get a check-up as well. Beyond a test for potential genetic diseases, any concerns regarding fertility can also be addressed.
Healthy pregnancies aren’t all about physical health, in fact, many doctors advise that you attend pregnancy-specific counseling sessions. These sessions are a great way for couples to discuss their excitement and trepidation regarding birth and family.
Finally, if you are considering trying for a baby, it would be a good idea to talk to your insurance provider. The reason for this is because many insurance plans have conditions relating coverage of the costs of birth. Some for example impose a waiting period that must pass before costs related to birth are covered.
2. Healthy mothers lead to healthy babies
If you are pregnant, or trying for a baby, it is important to keep yourself in good health. Being active and healthy is one of the most effective ways to not only maintaining your wellbeing during pregnancy, but also giving birth to a healthy baby. There are a range of activities out there for expectant mothers, so why not try a few until you find one what works for you. Some mothers at Pacific Prime have found that pre-natal yoga, pilates, and low-impact barre dance workouts have been a great way to stay fit.
Fitness shouldn’t be all about mom, expectant dads need to get involved too - it won’t be too long until you have a young toddler to chase after! Once your baby is born, you will be surprised at how the effort you put into fitness now will pay off.
3. Take your time selecting your health care providers
Regardless of your location, the vast majority of expectant parents have two health care options at their disposal: Private, and Public.
In many countries, the first place parents will turn is to the public system. While it likely is adequate for most situations, as an expat you may not be able to speak the language or there may be extremely long wait times. Beyond that, there is always the chance that you may not get to see the same physician at each visit, which can make the whole process seem a little impersonal.
If you don’t feel comfortable with the public system in your country, the next option is the private system. These hospitals usually offer care in your language, with little to no wait time and expertly trained doctors. Of course the trade-off here is that it will be more expensive, so much so that in many countries health insurance will be necessary to offset the costs related to giving birth at a private hospital.
For the vast majority of expats, private hospitals are the way to go because of the increased care options and care being available in their language.
4. Be aware of maternity and paternity leave
Almost every country popular with expats, and many home countries as well, have some law regarding maternity leave. Some offer weeks, months, or even a year, while others allow moms and dads to split the leave. It would be a good idea to check the law in the country you are currently living in and let your employer know as early as possible when and how you will be taking maternity leave.
5. Don’t forget about post-natal care
The challenges, and indeed the excitement, don’t end after your baby is born though. It would be a good idea to plan ahead and purchase infant necessities before your child is born. There are numerous online local and regional stores such as Amazon that have a wide selection of items from nappies, to cribs, to strollers, and more.
Once your baby is born, be sure to schedule regular check-ups with your primary care physician. Use these appointments to discuss any physical or mental health questions you may have, and what you can be doing to help ensure your baby is healthy. New parents should also be on the lookout for health conditions such as irregular bowel movements, jaundice, and difficulty breathing, and know where the nearest emergency room is incase urgent care is necessary.
Pacific Prime is uniquely situated to help expectant families secure the best health insurance plan that will ensure costs related to birth and beyond are covered. Contact us today to learn more.