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Having a baby in the UK vs. the US

(10 Posts)
Koeksister Thu 18-Nov-10 16:42:41

My husband and I will be relocating to New York within two months. As I am already pregnant, we have come to terms with the fact that we will be paying cash for the birth. I have read somewhere that you can get 'catastrophy' insurance should we end up having an emergency related to the pregnancy. Has anyone been successfull in obtaining catastrophy insurance? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

On a slightly unrelated topic - as I am very unfamiliar with the US health system I would appreciate any insight into the difference in approach/quality of care between the UK and the US when it come to expectant mothers. Many thanks!

japhrimel Thu 18-Nov-10 17:02:54

In the US it is very hospital based and doctor led. You choose your hospital and that's where you have/do everything as they don't have community antenatal care. And you need to think about NICUs, etc when choosing because the hospitals aren't all under one network as with the NHS.

There are some midwife focused units, but ideally you want one attached/linked to a major hospital with an NICU so there would be no confusion about where to go if needed.

MY DH and I may have been relocating before I got pregnant (when we were TTC) so I looked into it a bit. But I've never heard of catastrophy insurance TBH. Have you looked into how much it would cost and that you can afford it? I know my brother's boss went to New York to have one of her children, years ago, and paid cash, and it was around $10K without complications.

frakkinup Thu 18-Nov-10 17:10:00

I would look at extended trip medical/travel insurance or expat insurance. Expensive but less than the $35k for a CS.

winnybella Thu 18-Nov-10 17:15:18

I gave birth in NY at Lennox Hill Hospital- was fine, although got a very bossy midwife.

You can find a good gynae/obs (private) and she will lead your pg. Then hopefully she'll be the one delivering your baby.

I don't remember about insurance- I did get something that was perhaps what you're talking about- not sure, it was related to 9/11 and that we were affected by it.

MmeBlueberry Thu 18-Nov-10 17:28:44

I have had a baby in the USA. Apart from not being able to have the baby at home, I was fairly satisfied with the care I received.

The antenatal care seemed really old-fashioned - weighing you, AFP tests, frequent visits. I was lucky enough to use an OB practice that had a midwife on staff, so she did the majority of my care. I did have to see the OBs in order to get to know them, but they were only interested in my pelvis. They didn't even care about my history.

For the birth, I think I irritated the nurse by not staying on the bed and by letting my waters break all over the floor instead of letting her do it into a convenient bucket. I didn't need or want any pain relief which put me into the weird bracket, but that was fine with me. My baby was born about 10pm and there was no food, and certainly no cup of tea and toast. There was also no medication for afterpains - they had to order paracetamol from the pharmacy which took 4 hours (tip - take your own food and drugs).

I prefered the UK system - it is more holistic and personalised.

expatinscotland Thu 18-Nov-10 17:30:36

I'm from the US, but I'm glad I never had a baby there, tbh.

LondonL Thu 18-Nov-10 17:34:47

I'm American and now live in London. I've noticed several differences between the styles of healthcare between the two countries. If I were you, I'd start by contacting your health insurance provider to find out what type of coverage you currently have and what types of options they provide for labor and delivery coverage. It really can vary from company to company. After learning how much they cover or don't, you'll want to learn if they have a list of preferred doctors. Sometimes this is referred to as 'in-network' or 'out-of-network.' If a doctor is 'out of network', you will likely have to pay more, but people do that sometimes because they prefer that particular doctor. It can be nice to have the choice.
There are several types of ways you can handle your maternity care and delivery. So, if you're more comfortable with midwife-led care, look around because you're likely to find an option... especially in NYC. If you prefer seeing a doctor, that's the traditional route. But in the end, you're the patient and should get what you're paying for. It's common to shop around until you find the best fit for you, even when it comes to health providers.
I wish you a lot of luck as it's never easy learning a new system, but I hope you find an option that makes you most at ease.

Oh, and i've not heard of catastrophe insurance. that's a new one to me.

babynelly2010 Thu 18-Nov-10 18:36:26

US healthcare is excellent, but you must research well to look for a top provider. I am from US currently live in London and would not mind having my baby in the US, I am scheduled to deliver here however. Not sure about the insurance. I think if you are already pregnant it might be difficult to get.

Good luck.

Loopymumsy Thu 18-Nov-10 20:54:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Koeksister Sun 28-Nov-10 18:29:31

Thank you to everyone for the helpful advice. The whole process is rather daunting (especially as this is our first baby), so we really appreciate the feedback. At least now we know where to start!

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