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Expat Exchange - Having a Baby in Peru
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Having a Baby in Peru

By Betsy Burlingame

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: Discover the ins and outs of having a baby in Peru 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 Peru.

Having a baby in a foreign country can be a daunting prospect, but for expats and digital nomads living in Peru, the experience can be both rewarding and challenging. Peru offers a diverse range of healthcare options, from public hospitals to private clinics, and the quality of care can vary significantly. For expats, navigating the healthcare system, understanding cultural practices around childbirth, and finding English-speaking medical professionals may be among the top concerns. This article aims to provide an overview of what to expect when having a baby in Peru, from choosing a healthcare provider to understanding the options for pain management during delivery.

Choosing a Doctor

When it comes to finding a doctor or midwife in Peru, expats have several options. It's important to start by seeking recommendations from other expats or consulting expat forums and social media groups. Many expats opt for private healthcare where it's easier to find English-speaking doctors, although they are not as widespread as Spanish-speaking professionals. In major cities like Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa, there are more likely to be English-speaking doctors available. It's advisable to interview potential doctors or midwives to ensure they align with your expectations for prenatal care and delivery. Additionally, consider the proximity of the healthcare provider to your residence, as well as their affiliation with hospitals equipped for childbirth.

What to Expect for Prenatal Care

Prenatal care in Peru typically involves regular check-ups with a gynecologist or obstetrician, ultrasound scans, and routine blood tests to monitor the health of both mother and baby. The frequency and nature of these appointments can vary depending on whether you are using public or private healthcare services. In private clinics, the standard of care is often comparable to what one might expect in North America or Europe, with the added benefit of more personalized attention and shorter waiting times. Public healthcare facilities may offer fewer amenities and longer wait times, but they are also more affordable for those without private insurance.

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

Many expats in Peru opt for private health insurance to cover maternity costs. This is because private insurance can provide access to a higher standard of care, more comfortable facilities, and English-speaking medical staff. Without insurance, private healthcare can be expensive, and while public healthcare is more affordable, it may not meet the expectations of some expats. It's important to check whether your insurance policy covers maternity care and to understand what services are included. Some expats may also be eligible for health coverage through their employer or through a local insurance plan.

Giving Birth at Public vs. Private Hospitals

The experience of giving birth in public versus private hospitals in Peru can differ significantly. Public hospitals are accessible to everyone and are much more affordable, but they may be overcrowded and have limited resources. Private hospitals, on the other hand, offer more modern facilities, shorter wait times, and generally a higher standard of care. They also tend to be more accommodating of birth plans and may offer more options for pain management. However, the cost of childbirth in a private hospital can be quite high without insurance.

C-Sections in Peru

Cesarean sections are relatively common in Peru, particularly in private hospitals where the rates can be higher than the global average. Some private hospitals have C-section rates of over 50%, which is often attributed to the convenience for doctors and patients, as well as the higher fees associated with the procedure. However, if you prefer a natural birth, it's important to communicate this to your healthcare provider and ensure they support your birth plan. Public hospitals may have lower C-section rates, but this can vary depending on the specific facility.

Pain Management During Delivery

Pain management during delivery in Peru varies depending on the hospital and the patient's preferences. Epidurals and other forms of pain relief are available, especially in private hospitals. However, in public hospitals, the availability of such interventions may be limited due to resource constraints. It's essential to discuss pain management options with your healthcare provider well in advance of your due date to understand what is available and to make any necessary arrangements.

Hospitals with Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Hospitals with Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) are primarily found in larger cities in Peru, such as Lima, Arequipa, and Trujillo. These facilities are equipped to handle high-risk pregnancies and provide care for newborns who require special medical attention. If you are living in or near a major city, you will have better access to hospitals with NICUs. For those living in more remote areas, it's important to plan ahead and consider the logistics of traveling to a hospital with the necessary facilities in case of complications during pregnancy or childbirth.

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.


SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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