Having a baby in Istanbul

Hi there!

My name is Susanne and I'm about to move to Istanbul with my New Zealand husband, 11 month old baby/ toddler and our second baby is due at the beginning of March 2012. I'm hoping that anyone can tell me what the system is like in Istanbul when you're expecting - is it a midwife who looks after you or an obstetrician or a team of doctors/midwives/obstetricians? Do people have their babies in hospitals or are there also other options? And are there certain places to stay after you had your baby or do you go home as soon as possible?

And does anyone know anyone I could meet as I would love to meet some different people/ professionals before deciding who's gonna look after me when I move to Istanbul.

I'll be in Istanbul in 2 weeks time so would love to make some appointments. Not moving until after Christmas which is why I would love to take a few steps into the process now and understand most of it so I kind of know what to expect in the last couple of months of pregnancy ;-)

Would really love to hear from anyone who's got experience with this or knows anyone I could chat with. Please get in touch with me, would be hugely appreciated.

Talk soon!

Susanne Smith

hi Susanne,

There are many good hospital. i can suggest you Acıbadem Hospital.
hospital look after you and your new child. you dont need anyone with you. But u should find someone to look after ur older baby.

Talk soon.

Hi Susanne,

I have a 2 months old baby girl. I have her in a privite hospital called Kadıkoy Sifa. 
Just to remind you, if you dont have insurance private hospitals are very expensive(i dont know how goverment's hospitals works for foreigners).

i can suggest a few private hospitals link for you to check their web site. you ll see an english option on the site as well. you can see the doctors profile, CV and choose your doctor.

there are many of them. try one if you dont like it you always have chance to change. my suggestion is the hospital you choose must be close your house. that is what i did.   

and you need someone to take care to you and your babies. for that there are some companies find such person for you. you can try. they are reliable. if you dont like the person they send you have right to change. i never need it because my mum helped me. you can check these links.

when you arrive here you can call and talk to them.

where are you gonna stay in İstanbul. i live in Asian side.

and do not worry. Turkish people love to help. very soon you will make lots of frineds.

if you need to ask something please do not hesisate. 
good luck

Hi Susanne,

Acıbadem Hospital is good and the doctors are experienced and they speak english.It costs high price,but you can feel yourself better if you go to a good hospital.You will spend money.But I think the health of the children is more important.You will go regularly every month to the hospital for checking the health and growing of the children.But some doctors try to make sezarien,operation instead of the natural way.Because it is easier and there is no risk.But natural way is always better.Anyway your doctor will decide to this.

After your baby burns,you will stay one,two days at he hospital or you can talk to the hospital to stay more.But after you have to find nurse for your children.It is not easy to find a girl.It costs min 1500 tl.There are the nurses from Turkey,Turkmenistan,Uzbekistan,etc.I know from my friends that always they change the nurses.I think if you find a girl from Philippines,it is better.You can speak english also with her.Turkey,Turkmenistan,Uzbekistan have Turkish blood.They do not like to be nurse,but they work.Because of this,it is better a girl from Philippines.

Your hospital must be near to your home.If it happens something,you can go quickly to the hospital.There is so much trafic in Istanbul.

Istanbul is a beautiful city and the people is hot,try to help.You will like it.But it is not a cheap city.Fruits,vegetables are more expensive than some of the European cities.One beer is around 2-5 euro depending to the place,the is cheap around 0,50 tl.


Hi. I have been married to a Turk for almost the past 10 years although we just moved here 20 months ago.. I am actually quite surprised that people are recommending Acibadem hospitals. No one, not one person that I know has opted to have their child at any Acibadem hospital. Most of the expats I know choose the Amerikan hospital and my husband's cousins have chosen other hospitals that I can not think of the name of right now. I am about 8 weeks pregnant right now and all I hear is don't go to Acibadem. The cost has nothing to with it either it is just the way healthcare is practiced here. It feels more like a business than a hospital.
I have an almost 2 year old son and the past 20 months has been really difficult for me because Istanbul is not set up for toddlers at all. The weather here is horrible to boot. I would suggest that you get out and meet people as soon as you get here. Play dates are key unless of course you plan to put your child in daycare. Got to bolt. My husband is an inpatient at, you'll never guess where- Acibadem Maslak. Lol. Just another patient on the cash cow conveyor belt.

Hey, we managed to find a doctor that truly believes in natural birth and practises in the American Hospital, I'm so relieved!! She has told us a lot about the systems here around having a baby so we know what to expect when we get here. So if anyone needs her name or some more info feel free to email me on suusmsmith[at]

Thanks so much for all your info on having a baby in Istanbul. Apart from moving countries, having a baby is a true adventure in itself, let alone doing it in another country ;-) We've got piece of mind now and I'm def trying to already set up some contacts before we actually move. If anyone is keen for a baby/ toddler playgroup feel free to get in touch and maybe we can set something up!!

Susanne xx

Susanne, I hope you are enjoying your baby by now and must be very busy. I'm also planning to have a natural birth too. I just moved to Istanbul and my husband and I are expecting a baby boy in July.

Cakaren & Bahar, I'd love to meet new people here but being 6 months pregnant, I cannot go to the usual expat get-togethers at bars and such. Plus, I'm also very sensitive to cigarette smoke... If you fancy meeting up or know of some pregnant-friendly get-togethers, please let me know.


Hi Susan

I just posted then saw your thread - sorry to be brief but if you have time I'd love to share a little

I have had a really good experience in Seoul I studied hypnobirthing which totally complimented my natural birth as well as opening doors to a lovely network of new mums in Seoul

We are considering moving to Istanbul - my husband is originally from there although we met in Australia.

I would love to hear how your mums and bubs / playgroups network is over there

Warmest wishes


Hi Sara and Amanda!

We've had a beautiful baby boy 7 weeks ago and everything went really smooth. Very happy with how things turned out :-) I'm a member of the International Women of Istanbul (IWI) and they organise playgroups/coffeegroups for pregnant women and mothers. It's a great way to meet new people and their kids! I would def recommend checking out their website as they organise lots of things to do and opportunities to meet up! Sara, I have a friend who's 6 months pregnant as well so maybe we could organise a catch up all together. Feel free to send me a private message and we can go from there :-)



It was so helpful to run across this post. I am 7 months along and just moved to Istanbul yesterday.

suus, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing your cost of birth with me? Since I arrived pregnant, my insurance will not cover anything. I have some money saved up, but I have heard such differing accounts of how much it will cost. I was really curious what you ended up paying.

Also, did you get insurance for your baby? How easy was it and when did it kick in and start working?

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It gives me so much peace of mind to know other people have done this. I'm very nervous at this point because everything is so brand new and I don't really know anyone yet.

Hi Heather!

Welcome to Istanbul!! Gosh, I was in exactly the same position as you - 7 months pregnant and moving countries...I felt like I was the only person to be so crazy to do that, but when I got here I met loads of mums who'd done the exact same thing! I guess there are a lot of different ways to arrange your help here as there's a public and a private system so that's prob why you hear so many different amounts of money people paid. We went through a private obstetrician which cost us around 5000 tl and then we had to pay the hospital around 2500 tl plus the regular appointments with our obstetrician before the birth which were about 250 tl each so altogether quite an amount of money.

We haven't got health insurance either as we haven't lived here for 9 months yet, but my husband's work reimburses whatever we spend on health care (thank goodness!!). Our son is still not insured as he needed a passport to get insurance and to get his passport was quite a process in itself so it has taken a bit of time to get organised... 

I would be more than happy to catch up one day to talk about it more if you like, feel free to send me an email or private message :-) You must be busy trying to get settled, let alone getting into the new Istanbul mindset. Happy to help, just give me a shout!!

Suus xx

I would highly NOT recommend Acibadem. They are like sly foxes waiting for foriegners to come so they can rip them off! I came to Istanbul when I was 22 weeks pregnant and they took me for a ride. The doctor did an ultrasound, which I thought was a routine in Istanbul and then told me that she needed to run some more tests... and starting peeping me for it. The test was amniocentesis! Which cannot be done without the patients consent at all anywhere in the world! It has its risks, it is an invasive procedure, requires to take out amniotic liquid.  AND is NOT at all recommended by any sane doctor after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The idea was just to make as much money as they could! They charge me 1300 liras for a normal scan NOT a detailed scan and I was not even given the report because the doctor said it was not possible for her to complete the scan til I get amniocentesis done. Which is TOTAL xxxxx!  So I basically I ended up paying a good 1300 plus Liras and  am back without any reports or conclusive diagnoses from the doctor. I would never recommend it any foreigner!  Although I have gad a good experience at Liv hospital.

As a mother of two cute boys,i have come to realize that,bringing a human being to this world is a wonderful thing. Mothers!!! we are so blessed  and privileged to even share the same body with someone who have a different destiny. Though it's amazing experience,it also brings a lot of involvement along. Where,when,how to give birth runs through the 9 months. Everyone's experience in this field is different. There isn't any reason to fear though,you just have to trust your body to carry it's task Well,it will do it!!. On the 12th April,2016. I gave birth to my 2nd baby boy Aslan Judah all by myself,in the house,here in Istanbul. It was a supernatural birth. I had very short Labour which I thought it was pre-Labour. It was too late for my husband to come back from the office,to call a friend or even a neighbour for any help,thank God for His holysholyspirit Who was present to help. I had a prophecy from a man of God Pastor Corey Erman #[link moderated] this supernatural that previous Sunday Service. I had to prepare my body though,and so i took communion as I claim the blood of Jesus to cleanse the birth way and His body to strengthen my borns and body to perform its role and less than 1hr I had my baby on my hands. The months before then,I had visited different hospitals in Istanbul and when i inquired about birth and all that involves it  fee,it was really expensive that even the last one Kolan hospital near my residing area,asked me for 10,000 liras,claiming that it includes the fee for the baby's  clinic for one year. If you have residence permit #Davlet hastanesi and Okmeydani Eğitim hastanesi are favourable.
Hope this post would help you in one way or another.


Can anyone with prior  pregnancy experience tell me where I can get a maternity belt from in Istanbul? I have looked at several pharmacies with no success.

Hi Naila,

You may want to check out Ebru Maternity. They offer online services along with an outlet in Bakirkoy.

Hope this helps.
Good luck

Nailash :

Can anyone with prior  pregnancy experience tell me where I can get a maternity belt from in Istanbul? I have looked at several pharmacies with no success.

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