Having a Baby in Costa Rica



Costa Rica is one of the last countries in the world where childbirth is not a problem, even if you don’t have private health insurance.

The country's public hospitals have the best obstetricians, with fully equipped maternal wings to ensure good health for mother and child. The hospitals may look worn out and crowded, but they offer high-quality maternal care and at no cost.

It doesn't matter if the pregnant woman is a citizen or expat, or if she is a member of the public health system, prenatal and postnatal care will be available for free. Giving birth in any of these public hospitals is also free-of-charge. These maternity benefits also include access to gyneco-obstetrics, ultrasound and pharmacy, among others. And while private hospitals offer the same quality of service for a cost, rates will still be generally affordable. Still, expectant expat mothers are advised to obtain private health insurance.

Alternative or natural birthing methods such as water births and homeopathy are also practiced in Costa Rica. Some women may still give birth with midwives, but this is now strongly discouraged, especially when the pregnancy is considered high-risk or childbirth-related complications are expected to arise. Midwives may still deliver babies but only when the situation is an emergency. Otherwise, all pregnant women are obliged to give birth in hospitals.

One thing expats may have to deal with when giving birth in Costa Rica is impersonalized care. However, patients always have access to what they need from equipment to medications and laboratory or diagnostic tests. Fees are also either zero or minimal and often, this is enough.



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