Next up in the series of The Global Differences of Baby-Making I talk to Clemence who is French. She’s shares her experience of having a baby in New Zealand. Here is her story:
Tell me a bit about yourself?
I am Clemence, French, 28 years old. I was travelling in NZ with my partner. We settled in Wellington and worked there as well, to improve our English. Then Pacome change our life… and it was not the plan to come back in France. Now we left NZ for Brisbane in Australia.
Where are you from?
How old is your son and where did you have him?
6 months, in Wellington NZ
Why did you have your son abroad?
I was on a working holiday with my partner and a baby was not really expected but we decided to cope with him, and stayed in NZ!
What do you feel were the benefits to having children abroad?
It was an amazing time! I made some NZ mums friends who are lovely, It was interesting to learn the English side and the French side for dealing with the pregnancy and babyhood.
In France, healthcare system is really good and everything would have been free for me… but fortunately in NZ too!! because we asked for a 2 years visa so that we had the maternity and childcare for free.
Moreover, Childcare system after the birth is so good in NZ! in France, you give birth and then you have to see the doctor at some points… in NZ, the midwives come to see you and baby every 2 days after the birth, then 1 week, then 3 weeks… and then there is a nurse who comes to see you until the baby is 2 or 3 years old!! It was so helpful, I was not alone even without my family.
As an expectant mother abroad how did you feel?
so great! just sad to not have my family with me, they could just see baby on Skype.. it was not the same 🙁 and nobody to visit us at the hospital.
Did you encounter any opinions that would have been different in your home country with regards to your pregnancy or parenting choices?
Maternity is different in NZ because you see midwives all along your pregnancy instead of doctors, midwives just help you to give birth in France… you create a relationship, someone listen to your worries, and help you to make your choice… they are really open minded about home birth, water birth, and some new way to think, and they try to not interfere with your choice… except maybe breastfeeding, they really encourage breastfeeding comparatively to France and natural birth… I think in France, they encourage you to have an epidural, in NZ it is just an option.
What advice would you give other mothers in your situation?
Don’t go back in your country! and give birth in an other country, it’s an amazing trip!