What are some things you must know when planning on having a Baby in Brazil?
In Part 1 of the Giving Birth in Brazil Series, I will be covering must knows such as: Birthing in Brazil in a nutshell, being pregnant in Brazil, flying while pregnant and immigration, what kind of visa you should have.
Maybe you are currently in Brazil and the thought of giving birth there is not so foreign or maybe you aren’t in Brazil and the thought of giving birth there is very foreign?
Either way, there are some very common things that you must know in order to avoid problems and make everything as smooth as possible.
No matter what though, the most important piece of advice I can give you to start with is to keep your eyes on the goal: delivering a beautiful, healthy Brazilian baby.
If you aren’t sure why you should have a Baby in Brazil, make sure you check out the hub page for this series titled “Why Have a Baby in Brazil” – instant citizenship for the child plus permanent residency is a couple of reasons.
Birthing in Brazil in a Nutshell
In most countries, the common and preferred method of delivery is via natural birth.
I once heard a statistic claiming that up to 90% of births in Brazil are delivered via Cesarean. Wow!
This is due to three primary reasons:
- It’s viewed as prestigious to give birth that way.
- Many women believe that their “girl parts” get destroyed during birth, so a C-section keeps from that.
- A C-section is easy to plan so many doctors do everything they can to push a patient to choose this option, so that they can make their golf game or whatever…
This is quite unfortunate as surgical intervention should only be an a last resort due to the fact that the mother bounces back much better, produces better milk and all that after a natural birth vs c-section.
This is the area where most foreigners have the biggest difficulty and many times they go out and find a private doctor who promises a natural birth, but when push comes to shove (pun intended) they end up creating an excuse to do a c-section.
This usually comes in the form of a “the baby isn’t coming” excuse, which is pretty much code for “I don’t want to wait any longer for this baby”.
Fortunately, there is a huge push for natural births in Brazil and there are good doctors and birthing clinics out there.
My family is walking evidence of this, we gave birth to a healthy little baby girl naturally without hiccup or any problems.
So it is of the highest importance that you get the right birthing setup there and don’t just take a doctors word for it – references!
I will write all about that in part 3 of this guide.
Being Pregnant in Brazil
What is it like to be pregnant in Brazil in general?
Overall quite pleasant.
Good things about being pregnant in Brazil
People are friendly and curious about your baby often wanting to put their hands on the baby bump to feel it kick.
They love to shower you with attention and care, asking you all about the baby to come.
People will always make sure that you have a special place to sit, they may come up to you on the beach with a plate of food if they are bbqing, help you in any way they can, carry your bags and give you special help.
Brazilians just love babies and children – the men included!
Difficulties of being pregnant in Brazil
Some of the difficulties associate with being pregnant could be the heat, just make sure that you are either near a good watering hole, have A/C or at least a good fan.
Another is maternity clothes, they are quite pricey compared to the western world and there is a limited selection so make sure you stock up from abroad if possible.
It’s not too uncommon to see pregnant women walking around with their belly showing due to not having maternity shirts or pants.
So don’t worry if that ends up being you for whatever reason – it’s not taboo.
Flying while Pregnant and Immigration
What about when you are flying and arriving in Brazil, what do you need to know to make sure that everything runs smooth?
The first you will have to deal with is the Airlines, but don’t worry as it’s no real hassle.
The general rule of thumb is that you can maximum be up to 36 weeks into your pregnancy to travel, unless you get a special doctor’s note that says you are fit to travel.
Basically they would like to avoid any inflight births (for obvious reasons).
When booking your ticket, try calling the ticket office and seeing if you can arrange for seating in the cot area as there is more foot room and it’s more comfortable.
Some will let you, other’s wont – and some will just make you pay an extra fee. It’s worth the fee as flying when pregnant can cause more swelling than usual.
Make sure it’s an aisle seat too for all of the small pee breaks, and stock up on plenty of extra water before taking off (after security of course) as cabins are dry and pregnant women are thirsty.
When you are arriving to your airport, don’t sweat immigration.
What if they notice that she is pregnant and tell us to go back!
This thought crossed my mind when we arrived to give birth and I know many others who have said the same thing.
They usually hear about horror stories of people travelling to the USA to give birth and have the customs officer catch onto them and send them home.
Let’s get one thing straight here: Brazil is not the USA and their customs officers aren’t like those of the USA – I’ve never heard of anyone be turned away due to being pregnant!
If you are really far along upon arrival, it’s always wise to be discreet with clothing (as possible) in order to not show off the fact of how pregnant you are.
That’s not too say that you should be worried about being sent away – don’t be worried but use common sense.
When arriving you will have to present your passports with your pre-approved visa (if from USA for example) or to get a Visa stamp (if from other countries).
What Kind of Visa You Should Have
Nothing special, as I covered in this post, you can stay in Brazil up to a total of 180 days on a tourist visa.
It generally goes like this: you arrive on the initial 90 days of your tourist visa and then after 3 months, you can just renew for another 90 days at the Policia Federal.
This is a pretty straight forward process and headache free.
When you give birth on your tourist visa, and if you plan on staying as a permanent resident, you can just switch from a tourist visa to a permanent visa based on a Brazilian child.
Yep, you don’t even have to leave the country to apply, you just get your paperwork together, go down to the Policia Federal and apply for permanent residency – that’s it.
I will cover this in detail in part 5 of this series.
This should have hopefully given you an ok overview of the initial steps to be taken when giving birth in Brazil.
However, if you reach the end of this guide and you feel like you’d like some hands-on help, please complete this enquiry form and I’ll get back to you with a package that’s tailored to suit your needs. With the help of my team, I offer a range of services at reasonable prices that will take the stress and confusion out of your move, leaving you to focus on the important things, like giving birth and planning your family’s new and exciting future in Brazil!
Like always, make sure you share this with others you think could benefit from it.
If you have anything to share about the above, please feel free to post it below 🙂
Cheers – valeu!
Posts from the Giving Birth in Brazil series:
- Part 1: Planning to Have a Baby in Brazil – What You Must Know
- Part 2: Choosing a City, Housing + logistics
- Part 3: Finding a Doctor and a Hospital to Give Birth
- Part 4: All About Pricing when Giving Birth
- Part 5: All About Insurance When Giving Birth
- Part 6: Before and During Birth – Getting Ready and What to Expect
- Part 7: After Giving Birth, Here’s What You Do Next
- Part 8: Having Our Baby in Brazil – A Success Story