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‪#‎EMMAseries‬: HAVING YOUR BABY IN THE US – PART 2 (A Q&A SERIES WITH Deluxe Childbirth Services)

11. I already have a 2 year visa which i got before I became pregnant, will this pose a problem when travelling?
This will not pose a problem; because at the time of visa issuance you were not pregnant. However, it is advised to contact the embassy via the contact details on their website to inform them of your new intention of have a baby in the US.

If their response requires an action from you, do it. But if they don’t require any further action from you, kindly print out the embassy’s response and have with you during your trip to the US.

12. I am visibly pregnant; will this jeopardize my chances of gaining entry into the US?
No, this will not jeopardize your chances of gaining entry into the US; as long as during your visa interview, you had stated your intention to seek medical treatment in the US. The only exemption is if you secured your visa before you became pregnant. In this situation, we advise clients to still make this ‘new’ intention known to the US embassy in their Home country prior to travel.

13. I am married but my passport is in my maiden name; will this affect anything during my trip? 
This should not affect your trip. However, please note that if any of your documentation such as the OB/GYN’s letter of acceptance, Appointment confirmation, Payment receipts etc -are in your married name; kindly have a copy of your Marriage certificate with you as well.

14. I have my visa but even though I was pregnant, I told the Visa officer that I would not be seeking medical treatment as I was going on vacation. Now I am afraid; what do I do to correct this mistake?
Ok…guess you made the mistake because everyone told you it was the right thing to do. Good thing is that now you know better and can still make it right.

In order to do so, you need to send a mail to the embassy that issued your visa letting them know of your ‘new’ intention to have your baby in the US; and let them know you are prepared to handle the costs and have a doctor who will handle your care while in the US. If their response requires an action from you, do it. But if they don’t require any further action from you, kindly print out the embassy’s response and have with you during your trip to the US.

To prove to the immigration officers that the above act was not just a gimmick and you are serious about handling your finances yourself; you should have pre-paid some of your bills such as the Hospital and/or the doctor; and have the receipts on you during your trip.

15. What are the different costs to expect when planning to have a baby in the US?
The key components of a US childbirth medical bill are as follows: 
• Hospital Fees: This covers the use of the hospital facilities for delivery and your stay in the hospital. 
• OB/GYN Fees: This covers the cost of your pre-natal care, one post partum visit and the doctor’s professional fees for delivering the baby. 
• Labwork and Ultrasounds: This covers the tests and scans that will be conducted by the OBGYN during your pre-natal visits.
• Anesthesia Fees: This covers the use of anesthesia; which is usually charged based on how long the anesthesia was used for. This fee also covers the anesthesiologist’s fees for administration. 
• Pediatrician Fees: This covers the evaluation of the newborn after birth in the hospital; and subsequent visits post-discharge.

16. So with all these costs included; what is the total cost of having a baby in the US?
The costs for having a baby in the US differs depending on which city you plan to have your baby, what kind of delivery you would be having(Vaginal or C-Section) and what kind of facility you will be birthing the baby at (Hospital or Birthing Center).

For example, our best costs for having a baby via Vaginal delivery at a hospital is about $5,500 in Houston, $5,000 in Los Angeles and $6,000 in Chicago. However in some parts of cities like New York, Boston and Maryland, costs for having a baby can be as high as $10,000 for same vaginal delivery. In these ‘expensive’ cities, birthing centers are more affordable and about 50% the cost.

17. What is a Birthing Center? 
While most hospitals are large with several departments, a birthing center is much smaller. Birthing centers are managed by Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) and they usually cost less than the traditional hospital approach; depending on the state. Post-delivery stay in the Center is also less compared to a Hospital; 6 to 8 hours after delivery vs. 1-2days in a Hospital.

18. When can one use a Birthing Center?
If you are open to a Vaginal delivery, have had an uncomplicated pregnancy and are not a first time mom, you may want to consider a birthing center. Personally, we recommend all first time moms should use a hospital as they have no childbirth history.

However, if you are expecting multiple babies, have had a previous cesarean section, have a history of being breech at term, have diabetes which is not controlled with diet, has chronic high blood pressure or other serious medical problems; you will not be eligible for delivery at a Birthing Center.

19. When does payment need to be made; before or after arrival in the US?
All payments can be made when you arrive the US; except you choose to pre-pay, In this situation, pre-payment is subject to acceptance by the Hospital and doctor as not all health facilities or care givers accept payment prior to arrival in the US.

20. I would like to know how payments can be made prior to my arrival. 
If the Health Facility or Physician accepts to take payment prior to arrival in the US; payment can be made over the phone using your international VISA or MasterCard. Do ensure a receipt is sent to you via email; as you will need this when travelling.

21. Can I register for Medicaid to cover my bills?
International patients are not entitled to Medicaid. We also advice clients against using any government benefits during their stay in the US; as these are meant for US residents only. Using any of these could negatively affect subsequent visa applications for yourself and the father of the baby.

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