Bali babymoon birth sparks pregnancy travel warning

Baby Cooper in intensive care

A babymoon is a must-do for many couples awaiting their bundle of joy – but as this mum found out, it pays to think carefully about your destination.

A Bali babymoon delivers a premature birth

Melissa Bain discovered as much when her son was born almost two months premature in Bali. She told WA Today that just hours after landing for a week-long babymoon, she went into labour with son Cooper. She was taken to an international hospital that was not equipped to deliver a baby, then transferred to a general hospital.

Cooper was born ten minutes later, but then had to move again because the hospital didn’t have an incubator. The next hospital had top-quality equipment, but staff didn’t know how to use it properly. After several days of to-ing and fro-ing with her insurance company and sorting out a passport for Cooper, the pair were sent home to Perth on a charter flight from Singapore. Cooper then spent another four weeks in hospital battling respiratory problems.

“We knew pretty quickly that we needed to get him home, but it was a bit of a battle,” Ms Bain told WA Today.

Possible complications of giving birth unexpectedly overseas

Emergency charter flights from overseas can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, let alone medical bills. Women have been urged to check their insurance policies, as many cover pregnant women up to twenty-six weeks gestation but not after the baby is born.

Western Australia’s Newborn Emergency Transport Service (NETS) has helped five women who have given birth prematurely in Bali since 2010. Of those, two babies died before being transferred home. NETS consultant doctor Dr Jason Tan tells WA Today women should think carefully about  travelling while pregnant and consider the services available at their destination.

“There’s no real cut-off point for travelling because complications of pregnancy and delivery can occur at any gestational age,” he says. “Bali doesn’t have a neonatal ICU so if your baby is to become very unwell, they may not be able to provide the services for your baby compared to if you were travelling interstate.”

Added complications of having a baby overseas include having to sort out birth certificates and citizenship.

Melissa Bain with newborn baby in intensive care

(Images via Melissa Bain/WA Today)

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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