Planning on having a baby in Thailand soon? Haven’t yet moved over, but want to do some advanced planning? Or maybe you have already lived in Thailand for a while and would like to learn more about giving birth in Thailand?
If you are in this situation, you are not alone! Many expats view giving birth in Thailand as a nerve-wracking experience filled with many unknowns. But, of course, who would blame them?
For this reason, Pacific Prime Thailand is pleased to present this short guide to help future parents make the right choice when planning to have a baby in Thailand.
In this guide, we will help answer some of the most important questions asked by expats, including:
- Where can I go to buy pregnancy tests?
- How do I determine my budget?
- How much will it cost to give birth in Thailand?
- What is maternity insurance and what does it cover?
- Where can I go for pregnancy packages?
- How do you find a good hospital in Thailand?
So, without further ado, let’s get into the subject and get you started on your planning.
Pregnancy tests in Thailand
Are you feeling sick, lethargic, sensitive to aromas, or have you missed your period? you may want to consider getting a pregnancy test.
In normal circumstances, if you are not in your home country and living in Thailand, then you can buy a pregnancy test kit over-the-counter. You can pop into any local pharmacy or supermarket in Thailand and request for a pregnancy kit. There are different types, so ask the pharmacist for guidance on how to use the kit properly. Don’t forget to mention your symptoms and they will recommend the best test for you. Standard kits normally go for THB ฿150-200.
If the results come back positive, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with an obstetrician-gynecologist that specializes in female reproductive health.
Determine your budget
If you are pregnant, you and your partner may need to think carefully about how much you can afford to spend on giving birth in Thailand. Just to give you a heads up, the cost of visiting the hospital, especially to give birth, can be overwhelmingly expensive.
Cost during pregnancy
It is worth noting that costs can add up if you don’t have maternity insurance. Aside from the delivery costs, you have to pay for:
- Routine check-ups
- Fetal tests
- And more
As a reference, at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, the total cost of a standard pregnancy with labor will range from anywhere between THB ฿160,000 to ฿THB 270,000.
Add on top another THB ฿20,000 baht to THB ฿30,000 baht for check-up visits, and the total cost could be anywhere between THB ฿50,000 to THB ฿2000,000, if not more. This, of course, depends on whether any additional services and treatments are opted for at your hospital of choice.
Assuming that you have, or are considering getting maternity insurance, routine checkups might be 100% covered by your health provider. Always check with your insurance company for more information.
What is maternity insurance?
Unless you have plenty in the bank to pay for whatever cost is thrown at you, then the advice from Pacific Prime Thailand’s experts would be to secure maternity insurance.
Maternity coverage, also known as medical pregnancy insurance, is a form of health insurance that is oftentimes not included with a standard health insurance plan, and as such, needs to be purchased as an additional policy.
Be mindful of waiting periods
Maternity insurance comes with a moratorium, or waiting period. This means you will need to purchase a plan at least 10 to 24 months before you can claim any maternity benefits on it.
Plan in advance
The best advice for couples is to plan well in advance, and conceive when you and your partner feel financially ready to pay for all maternity and baby costs. Every couple wants to have a positive pregnancy, and finance shouldn’t be the worrying factor.
What does maternity coverage offer?
Many maternity insurance plans include coverage for a number of tests and check-ups during the prenatal period, as well as coverage for labor, ultrasound scans, delivery, and possible complications. Where post-birth complications arise, maternity insurance will generally cover a newborn for up to 30 days after birth, as long as any illnesses or other conditions are related to the birthing process, or were contracted in the womb.
For more information about maternity and newborn insurance check out Pacific Prime Thailand’s maternity page, and the chance to speak to an expert.
Now that you have your budget sorted, or maternity insurance secured, the next step would be to look for a suitable hospital. Across Thailand, most hospitals offer expectant mothers “childbirth packages” for a flat rate. The cost of the maternity package typically covers normal delivery services. So, with this in mind, if you or your baby has health problems before, during, or after delivery, the cost can rise.
Here is a list of public and private hospitals that you may want to consider wherever you are in Thailand. Check for childbirth packages that are offered.
Do take note that although there are excellent hospitals in many regions of the country, you will generally find reputable and experienced medical professionals that are based in Bangkok. Also, as an expat, when choosing the type of hospital to attend, either private or public, you should be aware that private hospitals may fit your needs more.
Private versus public hospitals in Thailand
As mentioned, expats that are planning to give birth will benefit greatly by attending a private hospital. Obstetrician-gynaecologists in private hospitals have extensive knowledge and experience.
Private hospitals offer more benefits and perks, like cozy rooms, better quality food, or the rights of the father to be in the delivery room if you are having a C-section. Waiting times are minimal or absent, and medical professionals are internationally trained with an excellent level of communication in English.
Public hospitals, on the other hand, will be a cheaper option for having a baby, but you may have to wait a long time to see a doctor. Other than the long queues, medical professionals may not be able to communicate in English, or other often-spoken languages. These doctors may also have less experience or may be junior doctors in training. You won’t even have a chance to choose your doctor and you will most likely be allocated one that is available for you.
Therefore, it is recommended that you have a maternity insurance plan so that you can check which hospital is available within the network of hospitals provided on your plan.
Get covered with a maternity insurance plan
No matter your query, Pacific Prime Thailand’s experts have the knowledge and expertise to help you along the way. Our advisors are accustomed to the inquiries coming from expats, and are all ears to help shape the future of your family by comparing a number of maternity plans and choosing a plan that fits your budget and needs best.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today!