Having a Baby in Thailand: A Step By Step Guide for New Parents

Having a baby is an exciting time. Having a baby in a country you aren’t native to—like Thailand—is even more exciting. But after your nerves settle and you share the good news with your closest family, you and your partner have much to think about. Where do you start? How do you find a good doctor? How do you find a good hospital? How is childbirth handled in Thailand? How much will it cost if you don’t have insurance? The questions never end. But don’t worry, we did all the legwork for you in this article. You’ll find all the info you need about having a baby in Thailand below.

The information in this guide is sourced from credible news sources, Thai agency websites, forums, Facebook groups, interviews from visa experts, fellow expats’ experiences, and my personal experience as a tourist, then as an expat.

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Are You or Your Partner Really Pregnant?

If you or your partner have all the symptoms of pregnancy—morning sickness, exhaustion, sensitivity to smells, mood swings—then it’s time to get tested. You can take a pregnancy test at home before you go to a clinic or hospital.

At-Home Pregnancy Tests

You can buy an over-the-counter, do-it-yourself home pregnancy test from any local pharmacy in Thailand. Or you can go to the supermarket. Most supermarkets have a pharmacy inside near the front of the store. Don’t know where to find a supermarket? You can find the closest Big C or Foodland by checking their websites or even order it online. The pregnancy test costs about 150 baht. After you get the blue stripes or pink plus symbol or smiley face or any other tell-tale sign you’re pregnant, you’ll want to follow up with a professional.

Clinical and Hospital Tests

Most doctors in Thailand work out of hospitals or clinics.

Clinics are what we’d call doctor’s offices in the West. Clinics are good if you only want to confirm you or your partner are pregnant.

Bria Lab is a popular clinic in Bangkok that offers pregnancy screenings.

If your ultrasound and blood work come back positive you’ll want to get a checkup at a hospital.

Hospitals have better equipment to help patients through their pregnancy. This will be important if you have problems.

Prenatal Care

Pregnancy related complications are very common and, in most cases, avoidable. Especially if problems are detected early. So it’s important for you and your baby to get a full health checkup.

Ideally, you should get your checkup before getting pregnant. But if you’re already pregnant, get one done as soon as possible.

During a health checkup, your doctor may recommend that you change or stop taking certain medications that may be harmful to your baby, and they can detect and treat any health problems early on.

There are a lot of great hospitals in Thailand where you can get your health checkup done, but we recommend Bangkok Hospital.

Aside from having very short wait times, Bangkok Hospital has been known to diagnose conditions previously missed by other hospitals.

Calculating Your Budget

If you’re pregnant you need to think about how much you can afford to spend on your pregnancy. Because when you’re paying out of pocket, the costs add up.

If you have insurance, talk to your insurance company to find out what’s covered. And find out what hospitals they deal with. You’ll also want to ask your insurance company how they’re going to reimburse you if you first have to pay out of pocket.

With Luma Health for example, you can get 80,000 baht coverage on the cost of delivering your baby if you take out insurance at least 10 months before you deliver your baby.

If you’re already pregnant (which is very likely if you’re reading this article), then getting health insurance still has some benefits. Although you won’t be covered for maternity costs, you’ll be covered for other general health problems. And you can buy coverage for your baby as soon as he or she is born.

If you don’t have health insurance, but you want coverage for your baby, you need to wait until your newborn is older than 15 days before you can buy it.

Most insurance companies won’t cover your baby since newborns face the most risks during their first two weeks of life.

If you want to compare more health insurance plans with maternity packages all in one convenient place, check out Mister Prakan. When you enter your info, you’ll be given a list of insurance plans sorted by price and coverage limitations.

Pregnancy Packages

Most hospitals offer expecting parents “childbirth packages” for one flat rate. The cost of the package covers all normal delivery services. But if the mother or baby has problems before, during, or after delivery, the cost goes up.

An important note about private hospitals: Private hospitals offer childbirth packages for a set price. But it’s not unusual for new moms and dads to walk away with a bill for three-times the amount of the package. Hospitals sometimes add on services and costs without your consent. If you chose deliver your baby at a private hospital ask them what the package includes, and what other services and costs should be expected.

The cost of extra nursing care for mom, emergency care for your newborn, and some medications will be tacked onto your package price. So ask hospital staff to get your approval before doing anything your package doesn’t include. And make sure you have a member of the hospital go over your costs line-by-line to be sure you actually received the services they charge you for.

Here is a chart of hospitals in Thailand and what they charge for natural birth packages and c-section packages.

HospitalNatural BirthC-Section
Bangkok Christian฿42,000฿65,000
Bangkok Hospital฿56,500฿80,000
Bangkok Nursing Home฿57,900฿89,900
Bumrungrad฿69,900฿108,900
Ramathibodi฿27,500฿55,000
Samitivej (Gold)฿64,000฿79,500
Samitivej (Platinum)฿76,000฿95,500
Siriraj฿30,000฿42,000
Sikarin฿34,000฿45,000
St. Louis฿39,900฿58,000
Thainakarin฿39,000฿50,000
Ramkhamhaeng฿36,000฿48,000
Sukhumvit฿35,900฿49,900
Ladprao฿32,900฿44,900
Kasemrad Bangkae฿26,900฿41,900

Cost During Pregnancy

Costs add up if you don’t have insurance. Aside from the delivery costs you have to pay for ultrasounds, routine check-ups, and important fetal tests. Tack on another 20,000 – 30,000 for these visits. If you have insurance, these routine checkups might be 100% covered. Or you might have a copayment. Check with your insurance company. If you want to find out more on how health insurance works in Thailand, check out this article.

My family’s biggest cost outside of our childbirth package was the ultrasound and blood work to test our baby for Down Syndrome. That test costed us 16,000 baht. You should also have money set aside for non-medical costs. Moms-to-be need new clothes and plenty of food for their changing bodies and growing babies.

Because of these expenses, check our ebook, Thailand Starter Kit: Save Cash, Land a Job, Avoid Pitfalls, and More. Tips from this book could save your family over 5,000 baht every month.

Universal Healthcare Scheme

Thailand has a universal healthcare system for qualified Thais. If you’re a native Thai woman or married to a native Thai woman the government may provide free healthcare. Each visit to the doctor is free up until the delivery. Then the family would have to pay a fee. But the cost of childbirth under universal healthcare could be a third of what you’d pay out of pocket. The downside to universal healthcare is longer wait times during check ups and the inability to pick your doctor.

Paying Your Doctor

Some people may pay their doctor a side-fee for extra care at public hospitals (e.g. for a private delivery room, a dedicated doctor and other amenities that might otherwise not be part of the public system). This isn’t done on the record or through the hospital. And it’s an amount agreed upon between the doctor and patient. I don’t recommend doing this. But you should know ahead of time that these things do happen in Thailand.

Researching Hospitals

Now that you have a budget in mind or you’ve spoken to your insurance company it’s time to look for hospitals. You should research hospitals and doctors at the same time if you’re having a baby in Thailand. So consider the steps in this chapter and the next chapter (Finding a Doctor) something you should do at the same time.

Private Hospitals

The most convenient choice when planning to have a baby in Thailand is usually a private hospital.

While there is a significant overlap of doctors working at government and private hospitals, the biggest differences may be in the available equipment, waiting hours, convenience, the degree of influence the prospective parents have on the proceedings, and of course the price.

Private hospitals also offer more perks, like cozy rooms, better food, or the rights of the father to be in the delivery room if the mother is having a C-section.

A well-known private hospital that has a solid maternity program is Bangkok Hospital. They have modern facilities and experienced doctors and offer top-notch services.

Public Hospitals

Your cheapest choice for having a baby in Thailand is a public hospital. Public hospitals have good healthcare for the cost. But you wait longer to see the doctor—all day long. And patients don’t get to choose their doctor. In other cases, doctors at public hospitals might have less experience or they may be apprenticing under senior doctors. If you’re interested in a public hospital for your delivery, check out this complete list of public hospitals in Thailand.

Premium Clinics

Premium clinics are located at public hospitals. But the service you get at a premium clinic is a step up from public hospitals. For example, you get to choose you doctor. And most doctors who work at premium clinics also work at private hospitals. Wait times are shorter than wait times at public hospitals as well. The cost of having a baby at a premium clinic is cheaper than private hospitals but cost more than public hospitals. But you get great healthcare for the value.

My wife had a lot of problems during her first pregnancy. So she decided to deliver our second daughter at Ramathibodi Hospital. Ramathibodi has one of the best NICUs in Thailand. And the doctor had a long history of experience with high-risk pregnancies.

Taking a Tour

Once you’ve slimmed down your choices you’ll want to take a tour of the hospitals on your list. On the tour you should visit the delivery ward—and just in case—the NICU. Ask plenty of questions just like you would back home. Remember, things aren’t always done the same way in Thailand as they are in your home country. It’s better you know what to expect ahead of time so you’re not surprised on the big day.

Important questions to ask:

  • Does this hospital deal with your insurance company?
  • Are special services available for high-risk pregnancies?
  • Who can be in the room during delivery (natural and c-section)?
  • Is your partner or child allowed to stay with you overnight?
  • Does the hospital offer private rooms? and is there an extra cost for the private room?

Finding a Doctor

While you’re looking for the perfect hospital to welcome your baby to the world, you’re going to want to find the perfect doctor as well. If you’re from the West you’ll want a doctor who can relate to your worries.

You should find a doctor who has either studied, worked, or lived abroad. Or at least find a doctor who understands Western culture because cross-cultural misunderstands can happen easily.

In Thailand social hierarchy is important. It’s not always okay to question doctors. I learned this the hard way. I recall one doctor I’ve visited in the past who got offended on more than one occasion.

She felt my questions insulted her expertise as a doctor. And during one visit she told me, “You know, Thailand has smart doctors too.” I had to explain to her that the questions I was asking her were the same questions I’d ask any doctor in America as well.

In the case of my wife’s pregnancy, one doctor would not support my wife’s decision to push naturally because my wife’s first pregnancy was a c-section. And strangely enough, we were told that had I been Indian—not American—my wife could probably deliver our baby naturally.

But even if this is your first pregnancy, doctors will push you to have a c-section. It’s more convenient for the doctor, and in some cases, is used to generate more profits. Doctors from the Childbirth and Breastfeeding Foundation of Thailand have fought tirelessly to change these policies.

Important questions to ask potential doctors:

  • Is the doctor board certified?
  • Will the doctor listen to you and answer your questions? Be sure the doctor is open to answering your questions.
  • Is the doctor open to working with you and the outcome you expect? For example, if you want a natural birth after having a c-section the first time around, will the doctor support your decision?
  • Is the doctor accessible? Can you reach them in an emergency?
  • Is the doctor affiliated with the hospital you chose? Most doctors in Thailand work at several hospitals. Make sure he or she works at the hospital you decide to deliver at.

Start Looking for Nannies

If you need help during your pregnancy with cleaning the house or getting your baby’s new bedroom in order, get a reputable and trustworthy nanny.

Compared to America, the cost for a nanny is fairly cheap in Thailand. And you get to decide how much you want them to be involved with your day-to-day life.

You can hire a nanny to live with you full-time or come for a few hours a day. They can help with the laundry and household chores while you’re carrying your baby. Or they can help take care of your newborn when the little one arrives, allowing you to get some much needed sleep.

A few reputable options for finding a nanny in Bangkok are Kiidu, Bangkok Nannies, and Ayasan.

  • Kiidu’s prices range from 300 baht an hour to 15,000 baht a month for full-time, live in nannies.
  • Bangkok Nannies don’t list prices on their site, so you’ll have to fill in their contact form to get a quote.
  • Ayasan’s prices range from 4,000 baht for part-time nannies to 15,000 baht for full-time nannies.

It’s important to vet your nanny before hiring her. After all, she will be responsible for the health and safety of your newborn. You can set up an interview with any three of the agencies above before hiring your nanny. You should do this well in advance so you and your nanny are prepared for the big day.

Monitoring The Important Stuff

The next nine months will be the craziest, most nerve-wracking time of your life—especially if this is your first child. Doctors may want to test you, your partner, and your growing son or daughter a few times over the next nine months. Here are a few of the major tests.

Ultrasounds

In Thailand, doctors give expecting moms ultrasounds during every visit to the office. Each ultrasound tells the doctor something different about your baby’s progress. Here are a few major ultrasounds you’ll have.

First Trimester:

  • Predict due date by measuring heart rate and fetal length
  • Down syndrome
  • Trisomy 18
  • Heart defects

Second Trimester:

  • Body and organ scan
  • Baby’s sex

Third Trimester:

  • Check body and organ growth
  • Check for heart defects

Checking for Down Syndrome

This is the first of two serious tests.

The older the mother is, the higher the risk of the child being born with Down Syndrome. Changes are about 1 in 200 at age 35. Medical staff considers that risk sufficient to justify a procedure called amniocentesis.

During this test, doctors check your baby’s skin-fold at their neck to see if they might have Down Syndrome. Mothers may have to give blood as well.

Fetal Heart Monitoring

It’s not unusual for babies in the womb to have holes in their hearts during their growth. When the doctor tells you about the hole in your baby’s heart don’t panic. It usually closes up before you deliver the baby. But just to be sure the doctor checks your baby’s heart through ultrasounds.

Anatomy Scan

During the second trimester the doctor does a full anatomy scan on your baby. They’ll check your baby’s limbs, toes, fingers, facial features, and internal organs to make sure they’re growing correctly.

Boy or Girl?

At the 20 week mark you get to find out what you’re having. Congratulations! Now you can start thinking of your baby’s name and whether or not you’ll be giving your baby a Thai nickname. Pancake, anyone?

Tests for the Parents

Mothers and fathers aren’t free from the testing process during pregnancy. Doctors may test one or both parents for sexually transmitted diseases. And if your partner or you are Asian, doctors will test for Thalassemia.

There are two types of Thalassemia: major and minor. Thalassemia minor is when you are a carrier of the disease but show no symptoms. Thalassemia major is when you have symptoms of the disease, which can lead to anemia. Thalassemia is most often found in people from Southeast Asia as well as Italy.

Doctors test women for the disease during their pregnancy (or, if it’s a planned pregnancy, they’ll even test it before conception). If the mother is a carrier then doctors also test fathers. If both parents are Thalassemia carriers the baby might be at-risk for anemia.

Scheduling the Birth

After doctors finish testing you or your partner and the growing baby reaches the important milestones, you’re ready to schedule your child’s birth. In Thailand, doctors like to schedule births and they prefer c-sections over natural delivery. You can have natural delivery and you can find doctors who’ll support your choice. But don’t be surprised if doctors try to sway you toward getting a c-section.

C-Section

You schedule the c-section in the last month of your pregnancy. Doctors use your due date and ultrasound measurements to see what week is best for your baby to enter the world. My wife begged her doctor to let our second daughter come when the baby wanted to. But my wife’s doctor insisted she schedule the c-section. My wife’s doctor said it would be easier and less of a risk for everyone.

Natural Delivery

If you plan on delivering your baby through natural childbirth you won’t have to schedule anything. But you should ask your doctor if he or she will be the one delivering your baby. Bangkok is not an easy city to drive in. If your baby decides to come out during rush hour your doctor might not reach you in time. Find out which doctor helps you in an emergency.

Packing Your Bag

As a general rule of thumb have a hospital bag ready when you or your partner are pregnant. Even if you’ve scheduled the delivery, surprises happen. My wife kept telling me to pack our hospital bag for weeks.

One Saturday it was too late and we had to rush to the hospital empty handed. If you have a car, keep your hospital bag in the car. If you’re going to take a taxi keep the bag by your front door. Make sure the bag is light enough to throw in a taxi. This means packing just what you need.

The Must Haves

Make sure you have these things packed in your hospital bag. You can buy everything else at stores inside the hospital.

  • Insurance paperwork
  • Sweater (hospitals are cold)
  • Travel size toiletries
  • Contact lens solution
  • Cell phone and charger (so you can Facetime your family back home)
  • A few days of clean clothes for you and your partner

What’s Optional?

You’ll want to bring things that remind you of home. Maybe a comfortable pillow or pajamas. Also, bring things to pass the time. Remember, if you get a c-section that means you’re having major surgery, not just delivering a baby. You’ll spend a lot of time recovering in the hospital room.

  • Magazines
  • Music
  • Clothes for your baby

Hospitals give you a gift basket welcoming your baby into the world. You should have enough in the basket to get the baby home.

Things to Help You During Delivery

In the West hospitals have stabilization balls and other gear to help moms get comfortable and push the baby out. You’ll be hard up to find these things in the delivery ward at Thai hospitals. So if you plan on using something to help you, make sure you bring it with you.

A special note for Bangkok residents.
Are you planning on delivering your baby at a hospital on the other side of the city? You might want to stay at a hotel close to that hospital for the last few days of your pregnancy. If you start going into labor during rush hour it may take you several hours to get to the hospital.

What to Expect on Delivery Day

Delivery day is nothing like you’ve see in the movies. So if you’ve never had a kid before, forget everything you’ve ever thought about the process—and just go with the flow. To lower stress, you should keep in mind this is Thailand and things work differently here. It doesn’t make things better or worse than the way they’re done in your home country. Just different. Here’s what you can expect.

C-Section

If you’ve scheduled your c-section then delivery day won’t be a surprise. You’ll arrive at the hospital like you’re going in to get a tooth pulled—nervous, anxious, and a little uncertain about the whole thing. The mother goes into the operating room with only the nurses and doctors. You can make plans at a private hospital for fathers to follow along. But dad usually waits outside for the good news.

In most cases the anesthesiologist will set spinal anesthesia which result in feeling numb for 3-4 hours.

Once doctors have delivered the baby the father’s allowed to go in a snap a picture with his new family. Then the nurses shuffle the father out and tell him to wait for mom to recover. Or he’ll get to see the baby in the delivery ward. The hospital lets the dad go in and watch as the nurses clean up your baby, check his or her weight and vitals, and dress them up. This is also where you’ll get to hold your baby for the first time.

A newborn baby sleeping in the Ramathibodi Hospital’s delivery ward.

After mom recovers she’s allowed to spend time with her new son or daughter. Nurses bring the baby back and forth between mom and the delivery ward for monitoring over the next few days. Once the nurses see your baby’s okay, the baby can sleep in the same room as the mother.

Mom will also have a catheter in her bladder for a few days.

Natural Delivery

When you check into the hospital nurses assign you a delivery room. If you’re contractions are far apart you won’t have much help. But as they get closer nurses assist you until it’s time for the doctor to deliver your baby. Father’s can go in the room with the mother for natural childbirth. And some hospitals may let your children in the room as well.

There are option for ‘painless labor’ where epidural catheter is put in, less pain but retained push power. Usually the catheter is removed a day or two afterwards.

The recovery process for mom isn’t so severe with natural childbirth. So you’ll get some initial bonding time with your baby before he or she is sent to the delivery ward. Then the same process for c-sections happens for natural childbirth.

The Days After Delivery

The days after delivering the baby are foggy for the entire family. You won’t sleep because you’re excited about the new addition to your family. And when you sleep nurses barge in and throw the lights on and poke and prod you. But it’s all done with good intentions. Nurses in Thailand go above and beyond. They spend extra time with you. They make sure you’re getting everything you need while recovering from the delivery. But they’ll also have to follow the guidelines of the hospital. So if you have any special needs for you or your baby let the nurses know your personal choices.

My wife decided to do exclusive breastfeeding with our daughter. She had to tell hospital staff so none of the nurses gave our daughter formula. Whether you or your partner want to breastfeed or give formula or do a little of both, tell the nurses. They can make a note of it on your baby’s crib.

Birth Certificates

If either you or your partner are a Thai citizen then your baby can get Thai citizenship. If neither parents are Thai citizens then your baby can’t get a Thai birth certificate. But there may be special cases in which your child can get Thai citizenship. If both parents have permanent residency in Thailand then their child is entitled to Thai citizenship. You should check with Thai Immigration. Immigrations laws in Thailand can change overnight.

Thai Birth Certificate

Hospitals can take care of processing your baby’s Thai birth certificate. We paid an extra 250 baht for the administrators at Ramathibodi Hospital to process our daughter’s Thai birth certificate. At Bumrungrad Hospital the Thai birth certificate is included with their childbirth packages. With all the excitement going on it’s better to pay them or let hospital staff take care of the birth certificate. Or else you’ll have to take your newborn to the local district office and sit and wait.

Home Country Birth Certificate

If you’re not a Thai citizen you’ll also want to tell your home country of your baby’s birth. There’s no time limit, but the sooner the better. It’ll be easier if you have to travel out of Thailand. Traveling with a Thai passport doesn’t entitle you to the same perks as traveling with a Western passport. You can start the process by visiting your home country’s embassy website. You can set up a date through their website. You can usually do the birth certificate and passport at the same time. Make sure you ask what papers you need to get translated or bring with you and how much everything costs. Here is a list of 128 foreign embassies and consulates in Thailand.

Paying for the Delivery

When the doctor clears you and your newborn to leave the hospital, it’s time to pay for everything. You have two choices.

Paying Out of Pocket

Whether you have no insurance or universal Thai healthcare, you’ll have to pay for all hospital costs before you leave. If you don’t have a credit card to pay for the costs, have cash on hand. You can only take out 20,000 baht from the ATM machine per day, based on your agreement with the bank. If you know the delivery is going to cost more start taking out money a few days before. Or go to a bank and take out your money from the teller.

Paying With Insurance

Insurance companies may ask you to pay for healthcare costs upfront. Then you’ll have to send them the bill and they’ll repay you. Hospitals can bill some insurance companies if the companies work directly with the hospital. Either way, be sure to get a list of every single thing done at the hospital and how much it costed.

A Note About Medication

Private hospitals are in the healthcare business to make a profit. Yes, they help you and give you excellent care. But they also need to make money. It’s just the way it is. So most private hospitals mark up the cost of medication, sometimes by 400%. A private hospital in Bang Na charged my wife and me 200 baht for meds one time. We found out later we could’ve bought it for 50 baht from the pharmacy.

You have the right to decline buying medication from any hospital. In this case, ask for the list of meds you need and buy them at the pharmacy. Public and premium clinics don’t usually mark up the cost of medication. But it’s best to check.

Bringing Your Baby Home

Is this your first baby? Then you’ll need a bunch of things like a car seat, chest carrier, a crib, high chair, clothes, and all the other basics.

Car seats and other safety devices are still luxuries in Thailand. But because Thailand’s roads are ranked the second most deadliest in the world I’d suggest you buy one—and use it. Expect to pay a lot of money for a quality car seat. If you have family coming to Thailand to welcome your new baby into the family, buy a car seat online and ask your family to bring it with them.

To get all the basics for your newborn, go to Mega Bangna Mall. They have a bunch of baby and children’s stores that sell things for newborns. Mothercare, Kiddo Land Baby, Baby Gift, Toys R Us, and Momories are five stores that sell quality things for your baby. If you’re looking for bigger furniture like cribs, dressers, or high chairs, Mega Bangna also has an IKEA.

You can buy baby bathtubs, sippy cups, plates, and baby utensils at Big C for a lot cheaper than the larger department stores. Big C also has a selection of children’s clothes. They’re not the best quality but they last long enough for a growing baby. If you plan on using clothes as hand-me-downs for your next baby, you’re better off buying them at a department store like Robinson.

If you prefer to shop online for new and used baby items, Facebook has groups and pages like Mommy’s Flea Market Bangkok, The Mommy Club, The Mommy Club Sale Board, and Mommy Garage.

For a larger selection check out Alibaba.com, Zalora.co.th, and Lazada.co.th.

Lazada kid's furniture sample

Baby Insurance

Many insurance companies offer health insurance for newborns at least 15 days or older.

In addition to normal protection provided in an adult plan, this baby insurance usually includes vaccinations, follow-up doctor appointments, and annual eye and hearing tests. These plans can also be found at Mister Prakan.

If you don’t already have so, this can be a good time to start looking at family health insurance.

Finding a Pediatrician

Finding a good doctor for your baby is as important as finding a good Ob Gyn was for you.

Again, if you’re coming from the West it helps to have a doctor who’s familiar with Western standards or at least knows the Western mindset.

If not, your doctor may grow impatient with the slew of questions you’re going to have as a new parent.

Bangkok Hospital, Samitivej Hospital, and Thainakarin Hospital all have top-rated pediatricians who understand the needs and concerns of Western parents.

Important Questions to Ask:

  • How long has the doctor been practicing?
  • What is the doctor’s childcare philosophy? For example, if the mother chooses to breastfeed, will the doctor be supportive?
  • Does the doctor have children? This will help the doctor relate to your concerns.
  • How are emergencies handled?
  • Is the waiting area clean and welcoming?
  • Is there a separate area for sick kids?
  • Does that hospital or doctor accept your health insurance?

Vaccines and Follow-Ups

Once you settle your baby into the world it’s time for their vaccines and follow-ups.

Vaccines

Thai doctors follow the standard vaccine schedule endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But children in Thailand get vaccines children in the West don’t get. One is a vaccine for Japanese B Encephalitis.

If you’re concerned about any of the vaccines ask the doctor to give you the name of the vaccine and the name of the company that makes it. You can then research the company online. The major question you want to answer is: Is this vaccine new or has it been around a while? Avoid any vaccines without a proven track record for safety.

Cost of Vaccines

The cost to vaccinate your baby changes with each stage of the vaccination process. For a single vaccination like Hepatitis at a private hospital you’ll pay around 1,000 baht. For a combination vaccination like Infanrix you can pay up to 3,000 baht. At a public hospital or premium clinic the cost drops to around one-third of that price. Over the course of three years you can expect to pay about 16,000 to 20,000 baht for all your child’s vaccinations at a private hospital. There is a cheaper solution, though.

One way to get cheaper vaccinations is to purchase a vaccination package from a hospital. Bangkok Hospital in Koh Samui, for example, has a vaccination package for 11,000 baht.

Follow-Ups

Your baby’s visits to the doctor’s office include height and weight checks. This is where Thailand and the West differ. Average weights and heights in Thailand are different than average weights and heights in the West. If your baby isn’t Thai, or is mixed Thai, check online with baby weights and averages from your home country as well. A doctor in Thailand may tell you your baby is too big for their age. But in your home country they’d be on target. During follow-ups doctors also make sure you baby hits their important milestones.

It’s important to ensure that your baby is healthy. But it’s also important for the mother to go for a postpartum checkup. During the exam your doctor will make sure that your body is healing properly, and they’ll check that your uterus is returning to normal size. They can also check that your C-section is healing properly and detect any other post-birth complications.

The health checkup is important for both you and your child. The last thing any new mother wants to do is be away from their child. This is why I recommend getting your health checkup at Bumrungrad Hospital. They have very short wait times; you’ll be in and out of there in no time.

Support Groups

Whether you’re a Thai or foreigner, it’s always good to connect with like-minded moms and dads to share experiences and find solutions to your challenges including planning an education for your kid. Bangkok has many support groups, but two of the most popular are the Childbirth and Breastfeeding Foundation of Thailand and Bambi. If you live in or near Chiang Mai, check out Le Leche League of Chiang Mai. They offer mother-to-mother support and meet regularly to talk all things motherhood.

Expat Birth Stories

From Mitchelle

Having been a working expat and given birth to two children in Hatyai Hospital, Mitchelle wrote a practical guildline on the necessary procedures and documents to have for a smooth baby delivery. In addition, she covered other useful maternity tips and tricks, including medicine for your baby, child registration, and more on her blog. Hatyai Hospital in Hatyai City

From Pamela

Pamela Herrick married into a Thai family and opened a Thai massage school in Chiang Mai. She shared her detailed experience in giving birth to her son in Lanna Hospital,  which was an interesting combination between modern procedures and local traditions. Being a Thai massage therapist, Pam wrote several articles on Thai medicine for mothers and massage therapy.

From Dorrete

Dorrete is an expat from South Africa and has experience in giving birth in Thailand. She told her inspirational story of the day she delivered her baby, starting from the early morning of December 24th. Because of the good care she received from an English speaking nurse and midwife, Dorrete had a complete change of mind from her personal misconceptions on Thai hospitals and ended up grateful for it.

Now, on to You

This article is based on the experiences my wife and I had when she delivered our daughter in Thailand.

It’s also based on the experiences of Thai and Western friends who’ve had kids in Thailand.

There are many variables with having a baby in Thailand. Your experiences may differ.

If you’d like to have your baby at a high-quality hospital with internationally trained and qualified doctors, then fill in the form on this page and we can help you schedule an appointment with a specialist at Bangkok hospital.

10 comments
  1. Very informative article John.

    I have one question to ask which is, in your opinion, is it necessary to have a car if you have a child in Thailand? I feel taxis and other pubic transport aren’t suitable or practical.

    1. If one could afford, why not. If comfort is something the family values, why not. If it means keeping the kids healthy especially if there’s a history of asthma in the family, why not.

  2. Great article John. I would just like to refer to the ‘C’ section. I have many friends with families in Thailand, and it seems like it or not their children were born by ‘C’ section even if their wife requested natural birth. My theory is this standard practice in Thailand, so the hospitals can keep within their schedules.

  3. Thank you so much for this incredibly useful article! I am living in Chiang Mai and 4 months pregnant so this will really come in handy. Do you happen to know how I can reach out to support groups in Chiang Mai?

    1. Glad you found this helpful! I’m not too familiar with the scene in Chiang Mai unfortunately. Have you tried reaching out in the Facebook groups mentioned in the article? I’d assume they can point you in the right direction with this.

  4. Hey John, so awesome that you’ve taken the time to put this together. Thank you! Are your recs for nanny agencies up to date? Which have you and your friends used personally for your kids? I’ve also come across one called PNA which seems well recommended.

    1. Hi Samantha. We’ve never used an agency. So I can’t recommend one personally. We usually hire someone to come in once in a while to help us out, but we’ve known her for a long time and met her through a friend. We plan on publishing an article on hiring nannies in early 2019 though 🙂

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