Traveling to Bangkok to Give Birth, Part 2: Getting There

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This is the second in a 2-part series of articles on traveling to Bangkok to give birth. Make sure to read Traveling to Bangkok to Give Birth, Part 1 – Choosing a Hospital!

So you’ve weighed the pros and cons and you’ve decided to pack your bags and head to the Thai capital for the big day. As you’re probably already aware, you’ll have access to some of the region’s best medical care, with first-world facilities and services provided at a very attractive price. After you’ve picked the city, the hospital and the doctor though, there are still a few issues all expat parents must address.

Traveling to Bangkok for birth

Flying while pregnant

Every mama-to-be gets a little nervous about traveling, especially when it comes to air travel. That’s totally normal. When you’re watching out for another very small and fragile life, you want to take every possible precaution.

Luckily, flying while pregnant is safe as long as you take a few things into consideration. First of all, make sure you talk to your doctor at home well in advance of your planned trip to Bangkok. While most mothers should not have any trouble flying, in some high-risk cases, it may be better to stick close to home. The doctor may also point out certain conditions such as anemia, placental insufficiency or sickle cell disease that could put both mother and child at risk. In these cases, the doctor might give the mother supplemental oxygen, or ask you to avoid the trip altogether. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and if your physician tells you not to take to the skies, start looking for a local alternative while there’s still plenty of time.

That being said, if you have a healthy pregnancy, you can make the trip a bit easier by timing it carefully. Try to avoid flying during the first trimester, when morning sickness may force you to dash to the tiny airplane bathroom an uncomfortable number of times. You also want to skip flying after 36 weeks, so make sure to book your trip well before your due date. In general, your second trimester (between weeks 14 and 27) is the best time to go and carries the lowest level of risk.

The good news about this is that you have a fantastic excuse to spend a few extra weeks living it up in Bangkok before your new family member arrives. Consider it an impromptu vacation and take the time to pamper yourself a bit as you adjust to the city.

Visa issues

Expecting parents often ask if a baby born in Bangkok will automatically receive Thai citizenship, or if there will be any difficulties in leaving the country with the newborn. The short answers are “no” and “no.” Although your child will have a Thai birth certificate, they can only apply for citizenship if one or both parents is a Thai national.

If and when you decide to leave the country, you will need to show officials the baby’s birth certificate. Be sure to leave extra time at the airport to avoid stress. Aside from that, different countries have different regulations regarding citizenship and dual citizenship, so check with your embassy in advance to see what you need to do.

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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