According to UNICEF, 5 of the best countries to give birth in this year includes Japan, Iceland, Singapore, Finland and tie on the number 5th spot is Estonia and Slovenia.
They are considered the best according to birth safety and low newborn mortality rate. But not only that, these countries also have additional perks that every parent-to-be would love to enjoy.
From paid maternity leave, gifts and privileges, these countries are all worth living in for a while during your pre and post-partum phases.
So let’s dig in and find out more about the maternity health plans in these countries and why they are considered the best countries to give birth in this year.
5 of the Best Countries to Give Birth in Today
Japan is considered the safest place to give birth with a newborn mortality rate of 0.9 death per 1,000 babies.
Giving birth in Japan may be a little expensive, costing around 500,000 to 1,000,000 yen or $4,600 to $9,200. But for residents, the Japanese government is kind to offer a lump sum payback of 420,000 yen or $3,870, also known as the Childbirth and Childcare Lump Sum Grant.
The government also provides child allowance at 15,000 yen or $138 per child per month from birth until the age of three. Then 10,000 yen or $92 per month when they have reached four, until their third year in junior high.
Pregnant women in Japan are also given a pregnancy badge to wear so they can make use of special treatment and care in public places, like on subways and other modes of transportations.
Japanese doctors will also require pregnant women to attend an ultrasound from time to time to check the baby’s development, as they prefer a natural delivery with no pain management.
If you are foreigner and planning to give birth in Japan, you should confirm your delivery hospital at least five months before birth.
Number 2 on the list of the best countries to give birth in is Iceland.
As per UNICEF, Iceland’s newborn mortality rate is one per 1,000 live births.
In Iceland, nurse-midwives are the primary maternity health care providers. Pre-natal examinations for healthy women happen in local healthcare centers. These are free of charge for those who are expecting and have had a legal residency for at least 6 months in the country.
Giving birth in Iceland is also free as long as you have the national health insurance.
36 hours after giving birth, a mother can go home and will then receive home service from the midwife over the following days free of charge.
As per maternity leave, moms and dads have three months of leave and an extra three months for either of them to take anytime during baby’s first 18 months.
Third on the list of the best countries to give birth in is Singapore. It has a 1.1 newborn mortality rate and its healthcare system was ranked by Bloomberg as the most efficient in the world.
All in all, from the prenatal check-ups to delivery, giving birth in Singapore will cost around 12,000 SGD or $8,700 for natural delivery and 20,000 to 200,000 SGD or up to $145,560 for C-section or complicated pregnancy.
And if you opt for an upgrade, you can give birth within a luxury maternity suite. This comes complete with massage, a 24-hour nurse on duty, dinner to celebrate as new parents and a limousine ride to your home upon discharge!
For residents, the Singaporean government offers packages to help new parents save money on birth deliveries. There is a Medisave Maternity Package (MMP), which covers prenatal medical expenses such as ultrasounds, plus delivery expenses, and a Baby Bonus Scheme which offer cash gifts from 8,000 SGD for 1st and 2nd baby and 10,000 SGD for 3rd baby onwards.
This is Singapore’s way to help and lighten the cost of having children for new Singaporean parents.
Ranking fourth on the list is Finland with a 1.2 newborn mortality rate.
Pregnancies in Finland are monitored through child health clinics which are free and part of the basic healthcare arranged by municipalities.
Giving birth in Finland costs around 100 euros or $111 in which you can get back 50% as reimbursement.
Another perk given by the Finnish healthcare system is the Finnish baby box. It is a box given to expecting parents for free that is complete with all the needs of a newborn – Clothes, sleeping bags, creams, diapers, rugs and more!
After giving birth, new moms can spend more time with their newborn as they are entitled to 4 months paid maternity leave. While an additional 6 months paid parental leave is also available for either the mom or dad to have more time and provide the needs of their newborn baby.
5. Slovenia and Estonia
Tied on the 5th spot is Slovenia and Estonia with newborn mortality rate of 1.3.
In Estonia, fathers attend 80% of births and are allowed to be in the operating room for C-section deliveries. And much like in Iceland and Finland, pregnancy in Estonia relies on midwifes. And get this! Women are paid a salary up to 15 months postpartum.
While in Slovenia, if one of the child’s parent is a permanent resident you have the right to claim a one-time grant intended for the purchase of new born equipment. Vaccination for children against infectious disease is compulsory in Slovenia.