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Expat Exchange - Having a Baby in Argentina
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Salta, Argentina


Having a Baby in Argentina

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Discover the ins and outs of having a baby in Argentina through this detailed article. It delves into crucial topics such as the differences between public and private healthcare, approaches to pain management, and the process of finding a suitable doctor. Plus, enjoy personal stories from expats who have embraced parenthood in Argentina.

Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience, and for expats in Argentina, it comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. Argentina offers a vibrant culture, a relatively low cost of living, and a healthcare system that is generally accessible. For expats expecting a baby in this South American country, navigating the healthcare system, finding the right medical support, and understanding local birthing practices are crucial steps in preparing for the arrival of their new family member. The experience can be quite different from what one might expect in their home country, but with the right information and preparation, having a baby in Argentina can be a positive and memorable event.

Choosing a Doctor

For expats in Argentina, finding a doctor or midwife to manage their pregnancy is an important first step. Many expats opt for private healthcare where they are more likely to find English-speaking doctors. While there are a number of English-speaking doctors in major cities like Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Mendoza, they may be less common in smaller towns and rural areas. It's advisable to seek recommendations from other expats or consult expat forums and groups for referrals. Additionally, many private clinics have staff who are accustomed to dealing with foreigners and can provide assistance in English. It's important to start looking for a healthcare provider early in the pregnancy to ensure a good fit and to establish a comfortable relationship.

What to Expect for Prenatal Care

Prenatal care in Argentina typically includes regular check-ups with a gynecologist or obstetrician, blood tests, ultrasounds, and other routine monitoring to ensure the health of both the mother and the baby. The frequency and type of care may vary depending on the healthcare provider and whether the pregnancy is considered high-risk. In private healthcare settings, the level of prenatal care is often comparable to what one would expect in North America or Europe, with the added benefit of more personalized attention due to lower patient-to-doctor ratios.

Do Expats Typically Have Private Health Insurance when Having a Baby in Argentina?

Most expats in Argentina opt for private health insurance to cover maternity costs. The public healthcare system is free, even for foreigners, but it can be overwhelmed and under-resourced. Private health insurance provides access to a wider network of hospitals and clinics, shorter waiting times, and generally higher quality care. It's important to check that maternity care is included in the insurance policy and to be aware of any waiting periods that might apply before coverage is effective for pregnancy-related services.

Giving Birth at Public vs. Private Hospitals

The experience of giving birth in public versus private hospitals in Argentina can differ significantly. Public hospitals are accessible to everyone and free of charge, but they may be crowded and have limited resources. Private hospitals, on the other hand, offer more modern facilities, shorter wait times, and generally more comfortable accommodations. They also tend to provide a more personalized experience, with the option to have a private room and choose one's own doctor to be present during the delivery. However, the cost of giving birth in a private hospital can be high without adequate insurance coverage.

C-Sections in Argentina

Cesarean sections are relatively common in Argentina, with rates higher than the global average. Some private hospitals have particularly high C-section rates, which can be attributed to a variety of factors including scheduling convenience for doctors and patients, as well as a more risk-averse approach to childbirth. It's important for expats to discuss their birth plan and preferences with their healthcare provider early on and to be aware that some doctors may be more inclined to recommend a C-section over a natural birth.

Pain Management During Delivery

Pain management during delivery in Argentina varies depending on the hospital and the patient's preferences. Epidural anesthesia is widely available in private hospitals and is commonly used for pain relief during labor. Other forms of pain management, such as nitrous oxide or natural methods like breathing exercises and birthing pools, may be less common and not available in all facilities. It's important for expectant mothers to discuss pain management options with their healthcare provider well in advance of their due date.

Hospitals with Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Major cities in Argentina, such as Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Rosario, have hospitals equipped with neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) that provide specialized care for newborns who are premature or have medical complications. These facilities are generally found in larger, private hospitals but some public hospitals also have NICU services. For expats living in more remote areas, it may be necessary to travel to a larger city to access these services. It's advisable for expectant parents to research the availability of NICU facilities in their area and to have a plan in place should the need arise.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Salta, Argentina

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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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