Childbirth – What can possibly go wrong?

Many expats are away from the UK for a number of years, during which time they are very likely to start or extend their family. Most pregnancies are uncomplicated but it is advisable to plan for the unexpected. Medical care around the world can be expensive and local facilities can be problematic, so it is wise to be protected with international private medical insurance and to make sure that a policy covers you for all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. A useful feature of international private medical insurance often overlooked is that an insurer’s assistance provider, who coordinate all requests for care, keep detailed records as to the quality and range of healthcare facilities locally Regular check-ups can help the mother learn the difference between normal changes during her pregnancy and those that could present a problem, but most pregnant women will experience some minor complications.

The Duchess of Cambridge recently suffered from serious morning sickness leading to a short stay in hospital. Up to 25 per cent of pregnant women bleed during pregnancy. If this is moderate or heavy it should be reported to a doctor, as it may be a sign of miscarriage, preterm labour or problems with the placenta. For a minority, more serious problems can occur and if you are abroad, it is as well to know that you are covered, in case of emergency. According to the NHS, in women under 30, 1 in 10 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, whilst in women aged 35-39, up to 2 in 10 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. More than 50 per cent of miscarriages in the first trimester are caused by chromosomal abnormalities. Ectopic pregnancies occur when the fertilised egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus, most occur in the fallopian tube.  

Ectopic pregnancies occur in around 2 per cent of pregnancies,  April International UK, the specialist expatriate medical insurance provider, recently helped a client based in Hong Kong who suffered an ectopic pregnancy. The insurance costs amounted to over £11,000, clearly demonstrating the need for the appropriate cover.

Pre-eclampsia is characterised by high blood pressure and occurs is around 10 per cent of pregnancies. It is a serious condition which should not be left untreated. Many of the potential problems of pregnancy are best managed when they are detected early. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be life threatening to both the mother and foetus.

A small percentage of women develop gestational diabetes which can also be a serious threat. Expatriate private medical insurance is designed to cover expectant mothers during the term of their pregnancy, the birth and afterwards when extra care may be needed for a new born child. Policies are generally renewable so the cover can continue, which gives extra reassurance when it’s most needed. April International UK has over 30 years of experience providing international medical insurance to expatriates and their families of all nationalities. Debbie Purser, CEO, comments, “Being away from home can be a stressful period for expectant mothers, so it is important for them to know they will be fully supported in the event of complications both during and after their pregnancy.