Preparing to Have a Baby
Anyone who has ever had a baby in Cayman will tell you it is a lovely place to be pregnant. Apart from having access to the sea, people are generally very considerate and the medical care is fabulous. There are also lots of young families, so even if you are far from home, the community is very supportive, and there are many opportunities such as playgroups, help from nannies or helpers and support from many other sources.
Cayman is a very child-friendly place and children are welcome almost everywhere. Helpers are readily available part-time through local agencies, or you can hire someone full-time. Domestic help is very affordable compared to other countries. Residential and work districts are within easy driving distance so working parents can conveniently pop home for lunch with the kids.
This past year brought significant positive developments for anyone considering having a child or being pregnant in the Cayman Islands. Parents-to-be breathed a sigh of relief when in July 2017 (almost exactly a year after the first reported on-Island case), the country was removed from the travel advisory for Zika virus. Additionally, CTMH Doctors Hospital re-opened its maternity ward, offering four dedicated private maternity suites with two birthing beds. Great strides were also made in post-natal treatments with Health City’s team of specialists including a paediatiatric cardiologist, plastic surgeon, anaesthesiologist, intensive care specialist and radiologist, making history for the Caribbean region in successfully performing the first lifesaving surgery on a child whose heart was born outside of his chest. Services provided by these two hospitals, combined with the superb standard of care available in the maternity ward at George Town’s Cayman Islands Hospital (CIH), continues to leave parents-to-be with a sense of peace when it comes to the welfare of both moms-to-be and their babies. For more comprehensive information, check out the Pregnancy chapter of our sister publication Cayman Parent Magazine.
Once you have selected a doctor and hospital, be sure to call your insurance provider and discuss the fees in relation to your insurance coverage. You will want to ask about your prenatal care, the cost of the delivery and the immediate care of your newborn baby.
The Cayman Islands Hospital offers a free eight-week educational series called ‘Parent Craft.’ It is held on Monday evenings 5.30pm-7.30pm in the Women’s Health Centre. Topics include, among others, Nutrition for Pregnancy, Labour & Delivery, Knowing your Baby, Breast Feeding and Infant CPR. There is no charge or need to register in advance. Bring a cushion and also a snack – especially if you are coming straight from work. Call the Antenatal Services Department on (345) 244 2649 for the schedule. If you miss classes, you may make them up during a subsequent eight-week course cycle.
Jacqui Smith and Tana Walters at RVC Rehab Services are both Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators, run a four-week series of Childbirth Education (Lamaze) classes five times a year. Topics include Techniques for Labour and Delivery, Labour Support, Problems that can Occur in Childbirth, Medical Procedures, Breast Feeding, Healthy Pregnancy and Baby Care. These classes are held on Monday nights at 6pm-8.30pm and cost CI$200 per couple. Call (345) 949 6024 for information and dates.
Baby Whisperers offers one-day group Childbirth Classes to help you prepare to meet the challenges of labor and delivery. Classes cover labour, massage techniques, coping skills, epidurals, caesarean sections, breastfeeding and newborn care. The one day workshop costs CI$300. Private classes can also be arranged. Contact Baby Whisperers on (345) 324 1380 for more information and dates.
Pregnant and new adolescent mothers are encouraged to enrol in the Family Resource Centre’s Young Parents Programme. Call (345) 949 0006 for information.
The selection of maternity wear on the Island is slim. Little Darlings (Tel: (345) 949 2580) stocks a small range of maternity clothes and Bliss Living and Yoga in the Marquee Plaza sells Lululemon Athletica yoga clothes, as well as exclusive Australian company Dharma Bums, which are wonderfully comfortable and can be worn all the way through pregnancy.