Raising a Family in Bangkok


If you’re planning to have a baby while living in Thailand, or have moved here with your children, rest assured that the city has the resources, facilities, and medical care to ensure that your pregnancy and childbirth will be as comfortable as what you’d expect back in your home country. Most international health insurance policies will cover maternity coverage, and benefits can include prenatal and postnatal care, costs associated with hospital delivery, treatment of potential complications during and after delivery, and even fertility treatment. For those who are using insurance, the best place to start figuring out what is covered under your policy is to check with your insurance provider. 
 


 
There are many hospitals in Bangkok that offer prenatal and antenatal care, although these services are more readily available at the larger private hospitals. Because of the preference for more personalized care and services in English or other languages, most international patients typically choose a private hospital for carrying out this important chapter of their lives. Most international health insurance policies offer coverage on everything from prenatal care to postnatal care, and everything in between. 


Bringing Your Baby Home

After giving birth, your doctor will determine the right time for you and your new baby to leave the hospital and start figuring life out there in the real world. Before then, make sure to discuss with your doctor all the little things you need to know about looking out for your baby’s best health, as well as working out the right follow-up schedule for the coming months. 
 
You can expect to have several follow-up medical examinations for yourself and your baby in the first weeks, lasting well into the first year as your baby continues to grow. 


Vaccinations

Whether or not a vaccine is mandatory in Thailand, it is extremely important to make sure that your child receives all of the recommended vaccines in order to make sure that your child has the best chance at living a healthy life. You can see below our vaccination menu, and plan the best schedule along with your doctor. 
 

Recommended Immunization Schedule

The following are general guidelines; important exceptions apply for specific individuals and situations. Please consult your doctor. 
 

Recommended immunization schedule, by vaccine and age group Thailand

 
For all persons in this category who meet the age requirements and who lack evidence of immunity (e.g. lack documentation of vaccination or have no evidence of previous infection).
   
Recommended if some other risk factor is present (e.g. based on medical, occupational, lifestyle, or other indications).
   
No recommendation.

Vaccination schedule according to Center for Disease Control (CDC), October 2014. 

 

Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule Thailand 
 

Range of recommended ages for all.
   
Range of recommended ages for catch-up immunization.
   
Range of recommended ages for certain high-risk groups. Please consult with your doctor.

*Two doses of HepA vaccine are needed for lasting protection. The first dose of HepA vaccine should be given between 12 months and 23 months of age. The second dose should be given 6 to 18 months later. Children and adolescents who did not receive the HepA vaccine and are at high-risk, should be vaccinated against HepA. 


Birth Certificate, Citizenship, and Health Record

Applying for a birth certificate for your newborn need not be a daunting task, especially if you deliver at a private international hospital. The staff at the hospital will help you ensure that you have met all your legal expectations as an expat having baby in Thailand. The registration process for a newborn is typically carried out in the District Offices across the country, although most hospitals have programs set in place for obtaining the document for you. The Thai government will only recognize a birth after it has been registered at the District office, which must be done within 30 days of your baby’s date of birth. Because the official government forms are all in Thai, your best bet is to arrange for this registration through your hospital. Once you obtain a Thai birth certificate, the next step is to contact your own embassy and provide them with a copy, often translated into your own language. 

Your child will only qualify for Thai citizenship if at least one of the parents is a Thai national. Otherwise, your child is considered an immigrant just like you and must apply for the necessary visa in order to stay in Thailand. If you’re in Thailand for work, it’s very likely that your employer already has procedures set in place to help you obtain the right visa for your child, so get in touch with your company’s Human Resources representative. 

When you’re ready to leave the hospital, you’ll be given your child’s health record.  This health record can be printed in English if you’re at an international hospital. Once you’re issued this document, make sure that it stays with your child at every medical appointment until they reach the age of 18. It is going to be your child’s most complete medical history from birth all the way through adulthood. 


Fertility Treatment

Many people to travel to Bangkok to receive fertility treatment at one of the city’s famous centers. If you find that you’re ready to have a family but unable to conceive without some help, don’t be discouraged. Many hospitals and standalone clinics in Bangkok feature fertility and IVF centers to help couples explore treatment options for infertility. During this time consuming and emotional process, you can take comfort in the fact that there are many people in the city who are grappling with the same challenges. It’s smart to do your research and find out which center’s approach will work best with your own desires. Take into account important factors such as language support and location when making your decision. Approach your treatments with a spirit of openness and take full advantage of the process by connecting with others in your community who know the challenges you’re facing. 


Support Groups and Community Organizations 

Bangkok Mothers & Babies International (BAMBI)

This non-profit organization aims to provide support for new and expectant mothers in Bangkok. Through these services, you can connect with other new moms and moms-to-be, sharing information and taking part in discussions about raising a baby in Bangkok. 


The Rainbow Room Foundation

If you’re raising a child with special needs, then the importance of a support group can’t be overstated. The special challenges as well as joys associated with having developmental and behavioural challenges are best to be met with others who know the same challenges. The Foundation encourages independence, confidence, and pride for people with special needs, to celebrate their lives and encourage their potential and success.
 
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