How to plan for childbirth in America: step by step instructions - ForumDaily
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How to plan for childbirth in America: step by step instructions

Many Russian-speaking mothers dream of having a child in Miami in order to receive the highest level of medical service, citizenship for a child and spend six months near the palm trees and the ocean. “Forum” already wrote about the tendency that more and more people from post-Soviet countries come to America for this. And the birth in Miami became available not only for politicians and stars, but also mere mortals.

This time we will tell you about all the intricacies: how to choose a doctor, how much time you need to spend in America, what budget you should expect, what is the difference between hospitals and doctors


Organizing childbirth is perhaps even more difficult, and certainly no less exciting, than the birth itself. There is a lot to do before your trip. The first and very important thing is to prepare your relatives that an American citizen will appear in the family. Oddly enough, there are cases of protest from patriotic relatives.

Secondly, decide on the timing. Expect to stay in the US for a minimum of two and a maximum of six months. You need to arrive at least four weeks before the birth (later you may simply not be allowed on board). After the birth of the child, you need to obtain all documents for the baby.

Third, decide on the budget and birth plan, that is, choose a doctor and hospital.

We get a visa

You can come to give birth on a regular tourist visa. If you don’t have one, it’s not as difficult to get as it seems. You need to have a valid passport, get insurance, get a certificate from the place of work and an account statement, for children to get a certificate from school or kindergarten, translate everything into English. If you are traveling with a nanny, then you need a letter of guarantee from you as an employer stating your salary, as well as a cover letter that you undertake to provide the nanny with accommodation and meals, plus the entire package of documents and a questionnaire for her.

You can get a visa in the USA either independently or with the help of visa agencies. Photo:

You can get a visa in the USA either independently or with the help of visa agencies. Photo:

You may well be given a tourist visa only on the grounds that you want to see the sights of America. However, you can also indicate that you are going to give birth - then you will need a letter from the doctor.

With a letter from the doctor or tourist trip plan filled out by the questionnaire (see here)paid consular fee, documents in support of your appeal, you sign up for an interview at the embassy (here see addresses) and go for an interview.

An interview at the embassy is not scary. The main thing is not to make up stories. The visa is now issued for 3-5 years, depending on the country from which you are applying.

Myth: easier through the agency

Reality: you will have to collect the documents yourself, you also have to go in person for an interview

To the question “Why did you decide to give birth in America?” One can say that the level of medicine is much higher in America, that you have a negative experience of childbirth at home and so on. Mention that you just want to get American citizenship to a child is not worth it for objective reasons.

Myth: visa can not give pregnant

Reality: Pregnancy does not affect the decision whether to grant a visa. The main thing is to fill out the form correctly and tell the truth.

We are looking for a doctor and hospital

Many hospitals are interested in international patients and provide an invitation letter to the embassy. To do this, you need to contact the doctor’s office and ask the assistant to send you an invitation. Florida has an official site, where you can see the license doctor.

Ilona Nesterova, a writer from Kyiv, who is expecting a baby in March 2016, relied on the advice of friends when choosing a doctor. “It turned out that on the same day two different people recommended Dr. Starikov to me. And I didn’t want to go see other doctors and show myself to them anymore,” says Ilona.

Assistant at Miami Medical CenterAstar Medical Center» Natalya Klyuchko says that most mothers choose a doctor by listening to reviews and recommendations from friends. “All doctors work based on the principles of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and if the doctor recommends or advises something, it meets American standards,” she assures.

Natalya Potapova, a florist from Moscow, mother of three sons, says that she changed doctors. At first she agreed to manage the pregnancy with one doctor, everything went well, she paid the money. After this, the doctor relaxed and his inattentive attitude began to confuse the patient. Potapova changed doctors and did not regret it. “Maryana Bubucha immediately saw my problem,” says my mother. “Some time after giving birth, she performed surgery on my bladder and relieved me of a long-term problem. And Dr. Starikov was my doctor during my third birth, which I am very happy about.”

Photos from personal archive

Dr. Albert Starikov from Astar Medical Center. Photo from personal archive

Myth: You can find a doctor, having already arrived in America.

Reality: it is possible, but still it is better to do “homework”. Also, it is still better to have a contract or a letter of agreement with the doctor in your hands to show an officer on the American border.

We are looking for housing

Finding an apartment or house in Miami or the surrounding area is not a one-day process. In America, even for a short period of time, up to six months, renting an apartment is more difficult than in your home country. You will need to get approval from the home association.

For example, apartments on the first line of the ocean will cost from $ 1900 to $ 10000 per month per month. Apartments in America are counted by the number of bedrooms. That is, a two-bedroom apartment in America is equivalent to a three-room apartment in the traditional sense. It is useful to ask the price and look around on sites, realtor.comand then contact your realtor to prepare all the necessary documents.

In addition to the rent itself, the residents' association charges a fee for processing the application - starting from $100. Plus, as a rule, you need to leave a deposit. It is usually equal to a monthly fee and is refunded upon departure if nothing is broken.

Nadezhda Barkova, who gave birth to her second daughter in America in November 2014, says: “In addition to the flight, I was afraid, of course, of some kind of “set-up” with the rented apartment. But everything turned out to be very simple in reality, the scheme was really very transparent, and I was even a little ashamed in front of the owner of the apartment that I, as a lawyer, corrected the errors in her version of the rental contract. And she still managed to report on each one without fail. In fact, they really don't bother much. There are databases where you can look at reviews of apartments and check the owner’s rating.”

Myth: You can quickly rent an apartment, already being in America.

Reality: possible if you're lucky. It all depends on your budget, quickness of a realtor, knowledge of the language. For self-search, especially budget options, you should try sites (for short-term rent, there the owners themselves rent housing) and Craigslist.

Flight, passport control, customs

Airlines typically accept pregnant women up to 36 weeks on board. If you prepare properly, a long flight, even in economy class, can be easily endured even if you are heavily pregnant. Try to book a seat either at the emergency exit or at the counter with a screen - there is more legroom and you can relax. Sometimes there is a half-empty flight, and then you can take a whole row of seats.

Dr. Mariana Bubucha of “Astar Medical Center” recommends moving during the flight and drinking more fluids to avoid dehydration.

Myth: if you give birth on a plane to America, the child will automatically have American citizenship

Reality: America grants citizenship to children born on board an aircraft just directly above US territory.

Many pregnant tourists admit that passport control is worse than a flight. Hide pregnant belly is not worth it. It is better to show it and documents: an invitation from the doctor, for example. It is necessary to answer in monosyllables, not to invent a long story. For example, the question: “Do you have friends or relatives in the USA?” You just need to answer “No”. And not to say: “There is no Miami, but my friend in California has been living there with her boyfriend 12 for years.”

Myth: better to carry cash

Reality: not always. In addition to restrictions on the import of currency (there are requirements to declare amounts greater than $ 10000), there is still the likelihood of additional verification if a meticulous officer is caught.

Rent a car

In America, you can’t live without a car; public transport in Miami is very inconvenient. From the airport you can take a taxi or Uber and already on arrival go to the nearest car rental point. Always read the contract carefully (if English does not allow, ask the dealer to translate everything, they must do so). Always find out if insurance is included. Specify return details. It is also nice if the car will have a paid pass for highways (in Florida it’s Sunpass), otherwise at the end of the rental period you will be provided with an account for the use of toll roads.

Myth: better for compatriots

RealityA: Among Russians and Americans there are both honest dealers and crooks.

The difference of ideologies and medical approach

In America, pregnancy is not a disease, but a complete positive. Here, expectant mothers are rarely prescribed pills and prefer not to be intimidated. Nadezhda Barkova compares it with the Russian experience: “The American doctors translated everything and carefully read the copy of the map even before my arrival. On my first visit, they took all the tests, did an ultrasound, palpation and everything necessary. And then I relaxed, realizing that I was in the capable hands of professionals, who, by the way, stopped all the pills except the vitamins. I felt like I was pregnant, and not sick, as, unfortunately, I often felt in the Russian Federation, after another visit to the antenatal clinic.”

Dr. Albert Starikov notes that in spite of all positive things, if you have specific problems, such as low hemoglobin or high sugar levels, you should listen to the doctor and not look for answers on the Internet.


Dr. Albert Starikov urges not to self-medicate. Photos from the personal archive

“Russian-speaking patients are used to self-medicating and do not trust the doctor’s opinion. But you need to understand that American medicine is the best in the world; it is very difficult to obtain a doctor’s license here. We have to convince our patients that if the doctor recommends something, it’s for a reason,” notes Starikov.

Also in America, pregnant women are almost never placed in “conservation” care. At most, they can recommend lying down at home for a while, resting more and drinking water.

Plus, Russian mothers are very afraid of inducing labor. In America, this is a common thing, according to Natalya Klyuchko, “protocol”. And Dr. Bubucha generally believes that it is best not to wait until the full forty weeks, much less to carry it to term, when the baby is gaining weight every day and the skull bones are becoming stronger. “It is much easier during childbirth for both mother and child if the child is small,” notes Dr. Maryana.

Birth plan and preparation

In America, in most hospitals at the request of mothers to give birth to anyone. Although a rock band, if they fit into the chamber. However, most often it is the father of the child. Doctors recommend making a “birth plan” straight. A delivery plan can be a completed questionnaire or a printed list, you can also write it by hand. In essence, this is how you present your birth, the wish list for the hospital staff. For example: “I want to take the child in my arms before cutting the umbilical cord”, “I want my husband to attend childbirth” or “I would like the light to be dimmed during birth”.

Doctors, as a rule, try to make every effort to have a natural birth, if there are no serious indications for cesarean section. Many American doctors practice the so-called VBAC (natural birth after cesarean section).

Dr. Maryana Bubucha recommends actively having sex after the 36th week, when the fetus is already fully formed. “This helps soften the cervix and kickstart labor,” she says.

Dr. Mariana Photo from personal archive

Dr. Mariana Bubucha of Astar Medical Center. Photos from the personal archive

Epidural anesthesia is needed to relax the cervix and to speed up the birth process. According to Dr. Bubuch, put anesthesia when a woman begins to feel pain that she can not tolerate. The doctor is confident that the epidural allows the woman to relax and gain strength before the attempts, also removes muscle tone and helps stretch the tissues. And sometimes it is epidural anesthesia that allows for natural childbirth instead of cesarean.

And if earlier it was believed that the epidural can be set only when opening at least 4 centimeters, now doctors deny this information. Epidural anesthesia during childbirth using 61% Americans according to statistics American Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The doctor is not usually present with you throughout the entire birth. This did not happen at home, and it will not happen in America either. But Maryana Bubucha still gives out her mobile phone in order to be as accessible as possible. “Some patients, however, sometimes think that they can easily call me late at night and ask where they can have dinner. But it’s still better if they have an emergency number,” she laughs.

Doctors at Astar Medical Center deliver babies in several hospitals: North Shore Medical Center, Mount Sinai and Memorial Regional Hospital. “There is no fundamental difference between the hospitals,” says Natalya, an assistant at the center, “everywhere there is the latest equipment and excellent quality of service.”

In each hospital there are familiarization tours, which is useful to go to see where the birth and the first days with the baby will take place. There are also free courses for expectant mothers, where they will tell everything about the process of childbirth. There you will surely be taught how to breathe correctly, show techniques of anesthesia: massage, meditation, yoga and Kegel exercises before childbirth, as well as suggest how a partner can help. By the way, they are discharged in America on the second day after natural childbirth and on the third day after cesarean. Day starts at midnight.

In case of unforeseen circumstances, there is an intensive care unit for children (NICU) in hospitals. Naturally, no one is going there, but it is always better to know that help is near.

In the postnatal department, the food is à la carte; there are no restrictions, as in Soviet maternity hospitals, there is no. Very polite and attentive staff, everything is incredibly clean, beautiful and American. As a rule, there are Russian-speaking nurses in the hospital, or you can always ask to contact the translator by phone.

Yulia Shumskaya from Moscow gave birth in June 2014 at the North Shore Medical Center hospital; the doctor gave her a planned cesarean section, since the baby was more than 4 kg according to ultrasound. She had spinal anesthesia, and the caesarean itself went very quickly. “I was warned that my back would hurt, and indeed, my back hurt after the operation, and also that it would radiate to my right shoulder, but all this is forgotten, and all that remains is a pleasant impression of the professionalism of the doctors and the high quality of service in the hospital,” says Yulia .

American and our documents

The request for social security number is filled in the hospital, then the document comes by mail. After discharge from the hospital with the baby, you must issue a birth certificate in the department Vital Records (analogue of our registry office). A passport for a child can be made at the post office by pre-registering online (look at Onlinewhich branches receive documents) or courthouse without recording in a live queue. Both parents are needed. The passport will arrive in the mail in two to six weeks.

How much does it all cost

Approximate budget for childbirth

US visa per person – $160

Air ticket for one person - from $500

Rent an apartment/house – from $1000 to $10 per month

Car rental – from $700 per month

Doctor – $3500 – $6500

Hospital – $3000-$7000

Pediatrician - from $145 per visit

Document preparation – $150

Shopping - about $100 per day for groceries

Total at a minimum, if you return with your child to their homeland in just two months, you need to have at least $ 17 000. In practice, the amount is much larger.

See also:

Childbirth in Miami: how Russian-speaking people come to the United States for citizenship

Top 5 states with the most expensive kindergartens in the US

Russian kindergartens in the United States: the pros and cons

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