Giving birth in USA, or any other place is a thing of joy for every woman. After carrying your baby for 9 months or more, you want to welcome your little one into the world and be finally relieved of looking like a pregnant whale. Giving birth in a foreign land can seem daunting.
For Nigerian ladies who want to deliver their babies in America, this is for you! If because everyone around you is traveling to America to give birth, and you want to follow suit, no wahala. However, before making that decision, you really need to ask yourself if you can afford it.
Does your bank account carry much weight for you to afford the procedure as well as taking care of you and the baby? If its yes, carry on. If you are planning to deliver your wee one in the United States, the following factors must be put into consideration:
Depending on the nature of the procedure you want to have, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to spend:
- Vaginal Birth (Birth Center, not Hospital) = $3,000
- Vaginal Birth (Hospital, no complications) = $10,000
- Vaginal Birth (Hospital, with complications) = $13,000
- Caesarian Section (Hospital, no complications) = $15,000
- Caesarian Section (Hospital, with complications) = $23,000
It is important to note that these figures are for single births. If you are delivering twins or more, be ready to pay more. While it’s true that some states are cheaper than the other, and a lot of hospitals give discounts for people who pay early, or people who pay in cash, please do not use this as a basis when making your calculations.
If you get a discount, good for you. But if the reverse is the case, I shudder to think what might happen. Hence, it’s best to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
What state you will be going to
If you have friends or families (families are preferable) in a particular state, be sure to confirm that they are ready to take you in. Don’t surprise them! Also, be sure that they are willing to take responsibility for you, assist you with transportation to your doctor’s appointments, or to the shops to buy essential items, or to the hospital on the D-day.
Trust me, hosting a pregnant woman isn’t easy and adding a baby to the picture makes it even worse. You also need to make sure that you have enough cash on you to take care of your needs, assist with groceries and help financially if possible. It won’t be nice to impose on them and not help at all. Here’s a list of information about states and their pricing:
Wyoming and New Mexico
These two states have recorded decrease in charges for caesarean births between 2009 and 2010. Charges for smooth caesarean births decreased by 12% in Wyoming, and by 2% in New Mexico. Complicated cesarean birth charges decreased by 13% in Wyoming and by 6% in New Mexico.
Texas and Maryland
Compared with the average reports gathered across reporting states, hospitals in these states generally charge the least for all birth methods. Maryland hospitals charge about $3,000-$4,500 less for vaginal births and $7,500-$10,500 less for caesarean births. It’s only in Maryland that there is a difference in charges between vaginal and caesarean births which falls under $2000.
Hospitals in California have the highest birth for complicated caesarean births. Since 2009, hospital charges for other births have seen a tremendous increase in this state.
Stateswise, it’s only hospitals in California that shows the difference between complicated and uncomplicated delivery charges to be more than $6000 for vaginal births and greater than $10,000 for caesarean births.
If you are trying to be economical, you’d better steer clear of this state. Hospitals here charge the most for complicated and uncomplicated vaginal and caesarean births, at approximately $10,000-$13,000. On an average scale, New Jersey hospitals charge more than $17000, even though they do not charge the most for complicated caesarean births.
Charges for uncomplicated vaginal births are as much as 10% higher, complicated vaginal births 13% higher, uncomplicated caesarean births 10% higher, and complicated caesarean births 11% higher.
West Virginia, Utah, and Vermont also charge less for delivery.
Since you are now aware of how much hospitals could charge for delivery depending on the state and birth method, you should also know that you are going to pay doctor’s fee as well. Are you surprised? Don’t be. Doctor’s fees are separate charges which can range from $1000 to $10000 depending on the state and the doctor’s unique pricing.
Oh! and if you are carrying twins or more, be prepared for extra charges if your babies spend any time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The average cost for an infant in the NICU is around $3,000 per day. With multiples, there’s no need for me to do the math for you.
And let’s not forget the pediatrician fees too. I bet you are laughing by now and think its funny ehn? If you think you are just going to deliver the baby and disappear without a pediatrician examining your baby, you are in for a long thing! Have an extra $1-2000 handy to take care of this expense.
Get your visa
If you intend to travel with your valid travel visa, it’s possible. Just be prepared to speak a lot of oyinbo when you get to the immigration (both here and there). However, if you are applying for a new visa, it’s advisable to apply for a medical visa and save yourself the wahala.
The only downside to it is that getting a medical visa especially in Nigeria can be rigorous. But you won’t have any issues at all. Before I forget, if you are going for a visitor’s visa, be sure to apply long before you have a bump….say before your 10tyh week. No matter how much you try to cover it, those oyinbos can spot a bump with their eyes closed.
Make your accommodation plans
If you are not staying with friends and families, ensure that you arrange for a suitable accommodation, preferably near your chosen hospital. Averagely, be ready to spend $1500/month on accommodation. Some can be cheaper or more expensive. And you also have to make provisions for feeding and general expenses which you can budget for $1000/month.
An advantage of travelling early is that you still have enough energy to meet your doctor, run tests and do any last minute shopping. There’s nothing as stressful as waddling across streets with say a 30-34 weeks pregnancy.
Lastly, carry your ogi and pepper soup along. I heard those oyinbo doctors will give you iced water to drink even after birth. I trust Nigerian hospitals and mothers. Iced water for Naija? You will drink lots of hot water, pepper soup and ogi that will make your insides will feel like a sauna.