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Question:
My wife is due to give birth to our second child in December and we have been advised not to give birth in Moscow (first birth had complications). We are wondering if there are any 'programs' for Russians or expats to give birth in Europe or Scandanavia?
SS
Answer:
Could you amplify your question a little? If it's about programs that pay for the costs, there are some insurance companies which cover costs of delivery overseas (we do not on this site 'recommend' any brands / names) but almost none that pay for the costs of travel and accommodation. There are some delivery facilities in Helsinki and also closer to the border i.e. near St Petersburg that do quite a busy trade in pregnant ladies traveling up from Russia to give birth there. Of course, at practically any large city in Western Europe you can book in and pay for delivery facilities. Common to all options are the problems of cost - most insurance companies set a (low) ceiling on paying for anything more than what a 'normal' delivery costs, and generally they will only cover this if you have other insurance - after all, unlike most medical insurance, delivery 'insurance' will absolutely inevitably be claimed for - and "when do you go": too late and you may not be allowed or able to fly, too soon and you spend > 4 weeks in a hotel in a strange city just waiting to deliver. Our experience - and what our SOS staff usually do - is accept that as a consequence of taking an expatriate posting, that for safety's sake the mothers-to-be go home to a culturally familiar environment, if possible with grandparents-to-be providing support (the delivery is not the end of potential problems, which can range from fortunately unlikely complications requiring extensive and expensive stays in a neonatal intensive care unit, to more basic but still worrying issues like not getting any sleep, not getting breastfeeding established, etc). Hope this helps.
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