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.
Maternity care is provided by two of Cayman’s three state-of-the-art hospitals, and the care in them is second to none. Cayman’s OB/GYNs and midwives are all highly qualified and experienced, giving parents peace of mind when it comes to the welfare of expectant mums. There is plenty of additional pre and postnatal care available to mums in the form of birthing classes, lactation consultants, doula services and more.
When the child is born, new parents can also feel safe in the knowledge that their children will receive excellent medical care from world class Paediatricians. Children born in Cayman will receive the same rigorous well-child checks, and be subject to the same vaccine schedule, as children in the UK, USA, Canada and other developed countries.
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.
RVC Rehab Services (Tel: (345) 949 6024) offers courses, both group and private, in the Lamaze method of childbirth. This is the most common type of birth classes and approaches childbirth as a natural and healthy process. They neither support nor discourage the use of medicine or medical interventions during labour and delivery. Instead, they inform mums-to-be about their options so that they can make decisions about their own birth plan. The course consists of six two-hour sessions with a maximum of 12 couples and are often a great way to meet other parents-to-be at a similar stage of pregnancy. The course covers topics such as comfort measures for coping in labour, breathing and relaxation techniques, birth plans, coping with problems during labour, breastfeeding and baby care. Private classes and refresher childbirth classes are also available. Doula Services are also offered.
Baby Whisperers Childbirth Education Workshops (Tel: (345) 324 1380) are run by nurse Kelly Johnson, these one-day group childbirth classes help parents-to-be prepare for the challenges of labour and life with a newborn. Classes cover labour, massage techniques, coping skills, labour support for the birth partner, epidurals, caesarean sections, breastfeeding and newborn care. Private classes can also be arranged. Kelly is also a registered doula.
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 Bump Boutique (Cayman Business Park, Tel: (345) 526 2867) sells fashionable maternity wear including sports clothing. Atlantic, Silhouette and the Baby Shoppe all sell a good selection of maternity bras. Bliss Living Yoga sells Lululemon and Dharma Bums yoga gear which is very comfortable and can be worn throughout pregnancy. Funky Monkey also has a good selection of comfortable clothing.