Moving overseas to take up an expat role can be stressful. This is particularly true if you are pregnant or planning to start a family while you are away.
Maternity benefits for expats
Maternity services for expats
International health insurance for expat families
Support for new parent
Becoming a parent for the first time while you or your partner are also juggling a demanding expat role can be challenging. One of the most difficult aspects of expat life is not having the support of family and friends around you, particularly at this most pivotal time.
No matter where you are in the world, there is likely to be some form of support for new parents that you can tap into. Some easy ways you can find support as expat parents include:
- Join expat family groups: if you find yourself in a popular expat destination there are likely to be expat family groups you can join. Meeting other expat parents is a great way to allay your concerns or fears about becoming a parent overseas. Other families may be able to offer advice on having a baby in that particular country or the challenges they have faced parenting away from home.
- Take a postnatal class: this is a great way to meet other new parents. Although most will be in the local language, there may be options in other languages if you are in a city popular with expats.
- Join a playgroup, baby massage or swimming lessons: meet other mothers locally by joining a baby-centred activity.
- Find parents on social media: search Facebook for ‘new parent’ groups in your area. If that doesn’t work out, see if there is a MeetUp group for expats or parents that might help you widen your local support network.
- Arrange a visit: if friends or family can visit, try to arrange for them to come after you have had your baby. Make sure they understand the visit is to spend time together and meet your new arrival rather than see the sights in your new home!
- Expat assistance programme: if you are finding becoming a parent while abroad particularly tough reach out and speak to someone as soon as possible. If your international health insurance has an expat assistance programme, you should be able to access professional help quickly and easily.