Having a baby in Seychelles
Posted by Dannielle Noonan
Having just given birth to her second child in the exotic Seychelles, the blogger behind Seychelles Mama had a chat with Medibroker in between feeds and nap times - Supermum or what?
We know that having a baby abroad is one of the most stressful parts of expat life, so we asked Chantelle to share her experience.
Where are you from originally and where have you lived?
I'm originally from the UK. I spent 2.5 years living in San Diego, California with my mum dad and brother when I was 17. We then returned to the UK and I moved to the Seychelles with my husband, Mark in 2012
Why the Seychelles?
Mark is a teacher and applied for the job when he saw it advertised. We laughed at the idea of actually getting it, thinking there was no way! Turns out he was obviously the best man for the job as here we are three years later!!
While planning your move, what was the biggest obstacle?
The majority of the paperwork was actually sorted for us by the school. The biggest problem for us was that we were getting married just a couple weeks before we came out here and so had no paperwork ahead of time to prove we were married or with my new surname! We were lucky that this didn't actually cause us as many problems as we thought it might, I'm sure in some countries it could prove to be a problem.
What have you learned from your experience of living abroad?
I've learnt how to enjoy my own company! I was always very bad at occupying myself! Perhaps now having kids has been part of this, I now appreciate the quiet time a lot more!!!
What has been your most memorable experience since moving?
Aside from the obvious, having kids here! Learning to dive and then getting to do lots of great dives!
Did you have your son Arthur abroad? How was the healthcare?
Yes, we had Arthur here in the Seychelles! We have now also just had our second child Freddie here too!
Healthcare here is free for locals but we have to pay! We have healthcare through Marks work but pregnancy is not covered! In total for all antenatal checks, scans, hospital stay, Caesarian section operation and meds cost us around £800 I was always very happy with the care I recieved and recieved extra scans in both pregnancies. The hospital is by no means top of the range but obviously it's not too bad as I went back to have Freddie! Second time around and all the nurses remembered us from having Arthur which I thought was really nice!!
As I had a Caesarian with both my boys I had to go to the main island of Mahe. This was not ideal as we had to rent accommodation and a car for the time we were there. Most local people that have to do this will have family or friends that they can stay with. I did however, meet a lady in hospital who had to stay in hospital while she waited to have her baby as she didn't have anyone to stay with, that must have been horrible for her!
If you'd like to read a little more I've written about pregnancy in Seychelles here.
Ive also written about having a baby in Seychelles here.
What advice would you give to someone planning to raise a family abroad?
This is a tough one. We kinda fell into that mythical "ideal time" to start a family when we moved abroad as I do not have a visa to work and we were able to financially support ourselves this way.
I think an obvious piece of advice would be to "be prepared" but let's be honest, when you start a family, wherever you are in the world you are never truly prepared! We did very little in the way of research before moving here and the same again when starting a family! When we decided to have kids here we spoke to a few other expats who had done it and then very quickly decided we would stay in the country for the birth (as opposed to going home for it).
For me the main things I'd recommend you consider would be:
*if you will hire help I.e a Nannie due to not having family around
*being away from family - yes you are already away from them but it definitely changes how you feel once you have kids
*costs of childbirth
*cost and quality of childcare/school
Young babies need very little, just you so their surroundings won't matter too much!
Obviously education is a huge area to consider once your kids reach that age, will you use local education, is there an international school, private schools, will you homeschool etc!
Tell us about your blog, Seychelles Mama!
I started my blog at the start of 2014. I had been enjoying reading lots of parenting blogs of people I chat to on Twitter and thought it would be a nice way to record Arthur's life. I also wanted to record memories of our life here as an expat in Seychelles. As time has gone by I've also enjoyed documenting our travels. I have also started a monthly blog link up called "my expat family" on my blog where expat family bloggers come and link their posts about their expat lives around the world. It's been a great way to "meet" other expat family bloggers and share experiences.
If you're living somewhere where healthcare isn't free or to the standard you feel comfortable with, it's important you buy a private health insurance plan. With Medibroker you get a dedicated personal advisor and completely impartial advice on over 100 plans - for free!