Advice on bringing babies to developing countries
December 11, 2013 1:42 PM Subscribe
MeFites with experience raising or traveling with young infants as expats in developing country settings: what influenced your decision to bring your baby with you as you worked abroad? What were some challenges you faced? What were some benefits? In hindsight, do you think it was the right decision? What issues came up that you would not have expected?
posted by palindromic to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am due to have my first baby in March, and am in the 2nd year of an international health-oriented PhD program. My research group has a grant in review, which, if approved, would find me in sub-Saharan Africa before the baby is 12 months old. If the grant is approved, I would be out of the US for 4-6 months, and I have a number of reasons for preferring to not be separated from my baby for that amount of time at that age (e.g., breastfeeding, emotions, etc). While my partner is willing and able to raise our child in my absence, we are inclined to think that it would be easier on both of us if we were able to co-parent during the whole of her first year, and he is game for joining me abroad.
I am also interested in the other side of the decision as well - those who chose to temporarily separate from their infants while working abroad for an extended period. What influenced your decision-making process? What were some challenges of the separation that you did not anticipate? In hindsight, do you think it was the right decision?
I should note that I am an infectious disease epidemiologist with a specialty in tropical diseases, so I am familiar with most of the health risks to infants in the country where I would be working, but I would still be interested in hearing of your experience with accessing appropriate health care and so on. We will also most likely be in an urban setting, where would be at relatively low risk for many infectious diseases and have relatively good access to shops, doctors, pharmacies, and so on.
Any advice on this topic is most welcome.