Having a Baby in Guatemala: Tips and My Experience
Guatemala’s private healthcare system is amazing, cheaper than the United States, and the equipment is top-notch. I can tell from my own experience, I have been living in Guatemala for the last few years. I gave birth to my second child here in Guatemala, that’s why I know pretty well how everything works here. Today we’re going to be talking about having kids in Guatemala, the actual birthing of kids in Guatemala as an expat.
Can you give birth in Guatemala as an expat?
I gave birth to my second son in Guatemala, and it was an absolute joy. Having a child in Guatemala, because we are on the American side, if you are not at all Guatemalan, have nothing to do with Guatemala, and have your child in Guatemala, they automatically become a citizen of Guatemala. And if you want to live in Guatemala and become a resident, this is your anchor, this is how you could do it.
That is obviously a legal process that you will have to go through once your child is born. But that definitely helped a lot of people I know become residents in Guatemala because they wanted to stay in Guatemala.
Giving Birth in Guatemala
But let’s talk about the actual birthing process of having your child in Guatemala. I cannot even stress the joy of having your child in these countries. My first son was born in Costa Rica. It was an absolute joy too.
There are fantastic, incredible hospitals in Guatemala. We are going to be focusing on private health care in Guatemala. If you want to go public, I honestly don’t have any experience with those, so I cannot give you any references.
I have an entire episode on health care in Guatemala, which completely has the best hospitals and more. Which are way better than the US. I cannot talk about European ones. Obviously, European, Canadians have their own benefits.
How much cost to have a baby in Guatemala?
I mean, I gave birth almost 13 years ago, and we paid $1,500, including the private nurse that I hired. Today, Obviously, the prices are a little bit more. But I do know in Guatemala City if you do not have insurance, and I’m not talking about your gynecologist, so your gynecologist, you will choose your own gynecologist. There are incredible amounts.
We live in Antigua, and we used the hospital here in Antigua. I personally would recommend going to Guatemala City. Guatemala City has several fantastic private hospitals, and they have packages. They actually have packages for births. It depends on how you’re going to do it.
You’re going to do natural, you’re going to do cesareans. They have different ones, and they all start very much from two to three to four-day packages. Obviously, if you have any issues with your child when they are born, that is a whole other thing. When I gave birth in Antigua, we used Hermana Pedro Private hospital.
I honestly would not do that again today, knowing what I know now. But it was a great experience. I mean, I even hired my own private nurse that stayed with me for 36 hours and I paid extra, and it was amazing. The price was great. I did not have insurance for natal care.
If you have it, you can use it. It depends on your health insurance. Because we weren’t expecting to have a child by the time I got pregnant, I wasn’t able to sign up with any insurance for that. So if you are prepared to have a child, there are many incredible health insurances, and it could be international and whatnot that is accepted all over the country, and then you could just use that. Obviously, it helps, but if not, it’s still super affordable.
Prices without Health Insurance
Even if you don’t have health insurance, because a lot of people come here, and they don’t, it’s so much cheaper than it will ever be in the US.
But if you are European, it might be a little bit more expensive still. Let’s say, you don’t have health insurance. I pay for my gynecologist today, $80, and that includes the PAP smear and so much more natal care. You will not be paying that much more.
I have a lot of ultrasounds that I do simply because you could do ovarian ultrasounds, and breast ultrasounds, I pay $50 for each ultrasound.
It’s the same exact price if you have a pregnancy. They do charge a little bit more if you want to do a 4D ultrasound, but not more than $100 each time. The total will depend on how many are you going to do during your entire natal care, saying that your pregnancy is normal. Many Guatemala City packages in the best hospitals include ultrasounds.
There are three perfect hospitals, which I mentioned in the healthcare podcast:
- Centro Medico
- Herrera Llerandi
- El Pilar
They are all very competitively priced between $3,000, depending on if you want the Presidential suite. And yes, they do have those, they’re incredible. With separate rooms for your husband or family to stay in.
Or they have just the regular private rooms, which is what we’ve always been in, and they have beautiful beds for your husband or your mother or father or whatever, whoever is there with you to stay, which includes three meals a day, comfortable bed. Between 3000, $6,000 or $7,000. Depends on if you’re going to do natural or if you’re going to do cesarean.
Because cesareans include a lot more. You need an operating room that includes your gynecologist, a pediatrician and anesthesiologist, and all these other extras that you will need. So let’s say you go with the most expensive package, which is this presidential suite. You get round-the-clock care. The hospitals are all top of the line. So you really do get really fantastic help.
Giving Birth Outside Guatemala City
Now, if you are in Lake Atlanta, they do have private hospitals there. There are other smaller private hospitals that are really fantastic. And again, those packages are between $2000 and $3,000. And when I say packages, they usually include all of the above.
You do need to have that worked out beforehand. If you do natural childbirth. I know a lot of people actually come from Lake Atitlan and other areas to Guatemala City, and they stay on airbnb beforehand or in Antigua and then travel to Guatemala City. And if you have a planned cesarean, I personally had two cesareans. There’s no judgment here. You decide what you want. I chose that because this way my mother was able to fly in. And it was great.
And that could help if you are living far away and with natural childbirth, it could be a little bit complicated. The traffic going to Guatemala City. The traffic here is real, and you can be stuck in traffic for two to 3 hours, and you really don’t want that. So if you are going to be doing natural childbirth, it’s probably easier to get an airbnb near the hospital.
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