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Australia | What advice do you have for expats having a baby in Australia? | Expat Exchange
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What advice do you have for expats having a baby in Australia?

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We asked expat moms who gave birth in Australia about their experiences and advice they have for other moms to be. They said...

"I'm not an Australian national nor a PR and was not under their Medicare system and I didn't have maternity coverage, so I was a wholly private patient and had to pay 100% of the cost. It is very expensive if you don't have maternity coverage. Each OB visit or consultation was AU$420.00 (equivalent to a month's pay for the average Malaysian eg. clerical worker, taxi driver etc)A GP would charge AU$90.00 - 180.00 per visit. The birth itself including hospital costs, epidural & medical care was AU$5-6 thousand dollars. My daughter is now 10 months old and I had such a wonderful pregnancy and birth experience that my husband and I were keen to have another child immediately. I am now 6 weeks pregnant with our 2nd child and planned to give birth in Sydney again. Coincidently, the day after my pregnancy was confirmed, we submitted my PR application to the Australian High Commission here in KL and also informed that we planned to give birth in Sydney. My PR application was rejected as I could not undergo the medical exam because I was pregnant and was advised to apply again after the birth. So we requested for an extended visitor visa whereby I could stay in Australia for 6 months. We were then told that "a foreign national cannot enter an Australian hospital until they have undergone their strict medical examination and received the all clear" which includes a chest x-ray which I can't have due to my pregnancy. They even went so far as to say that now that they know of our intention to give birth there, I am now on their `special alert' list and they would not grant me permission to visit Australia during the months when I'm close to the delivery date! So either I put my unborn baby at risk by going for an x-ray in order to go to Australia or we are forced to look for other countries to give birth in. So, if you do plan to give birth in Australia, unless you have a PR or some sort of special visa to live and work there, do not inform the Australian government. The hospitals and doctors there will accept anyone who wish their services, once you are already in Australia, there's nothing to stop you from giving birth. With my 1st baby's birth, I went to Australia on a normal 3 month tourist visa and nothing was ever mentioned about this rule and we have never had any repercussions from it. As my husband was Australian, my daughter automatically got citizenship and we got her passport ready within days and nobody questioned my foreign status. Ironically, when we tried to 'do the right thing' the Australian Government seems to be putting so much red tape in front of us as if we are being punished by being truthful. Therefore, now we are looking to give birth in Bangkok and we'll be going there in a couple weeks time to check out the hospitals etc. On a positive note, it is a very baby friendly country. Breastfeeding is highly encouraged and natural birth very much promoted in Australia. Looking back, the cost and stress of giving birth in a strange land was well worth it knowing that my daughter and I had the best medical care. Australia has very high standards and the facilities there are world class. The healthcare professionals there treat you with the utmost respect (except for that Malaysian doctor)," mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Sydney, Australia.

"It is important to plan ahead when having a baby in Australia. Make sure to research any laws, regulations and customs related to childbirth and parenting in the country. Gather all of the medical service providers needed for prenatal care and labor, delivery and postpartum care. Become familiar with the type of insurance you will need for pregnancy and newborn care. Ask for guidance from other expats and Australian citizens about childbirth and maternity services, visit options, and support groups that can help. Finally, make time for yourself to relax and enjoy your pregnancy, as well as get familiar with your new home in Australia," commented one expat who made the move to Australia.

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Allianz Care's plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Our flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. You can submit your claims digitally and our helpline is available 24/7 to help you anytime.
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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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