pregnant woman
Updated 2022-08-06 20:42

If you are planning to have a baby while in Tunisia, you probably have a lot of questions. Pregnancy in a foreign country can be complicated, especially if you are not familiar with how the healthcare system works.

The best way to manage this situation is to gather as much information as you can on your healthcare options as an expat in Tunisia. This way, you will feel more confident and will be able to make a more informed decision.

Prenatal care in Tunisia

After you've learned that you are pregnant in Tunisia, you will need to find a hospital with a

gynecological department and an OB/GYN that you feel comfortable with. In a lot of cases, gynecologists in Tunisia may work for several different hospitals. So, once you've picked the doctor you want to work with, you may talk to them directly and inquire about their schedule and availability.

Childbirth in Tunisia

Prenatal care, delivery and post-natal care are all available in Tunisia. You can choose to deliver your baby in a public or private hospital.

Public hospitals are fully equipped to offer a complete set of delivery services. However, a public hospital would not be the best option if you are looking for comfort.

Most public hospitals in Tunisia don't have private delivery rooms, which means you will be sharing the experiences with other women. Waiting lists at public hospitals also tend to be quite long, and you may not get the attention you need as hospital personnel are often overworked.

Most expats living in Tunisia opt for private hospitals. In a private hospital, you will have the option of choosing your doctor ? and you may find an English-speaking ob-gyn at a private hospital.

However, note that most doctors in Tunisia will be fluent in French and Arabic. If you find that there is a language barrier between you and your doctor that makes you uncomfortable, it's best to arrange for a translator to help you communicate.

Most private hospitals will offer you the so-called "pregnancy package", which will include all the essential delivery and post-delivery services. With that, the final price of your stay at the hospital will vary depending on the services provided. The fewer treatments you need, the less your bill will be.

Note that if your pregnancy comes with serious complications, you may be referred to a public hospital instead of a private one. Public hospitals are considered to be more equipped when dealing with pregnancy complications.

Good to know:

Note that most hospitals in Tunisia may not offer you a wide selection of birth options. For instance, you would probably not find options like water birth in most Tunisian hospitals. C-sections are also more common in Tunisia than in most European hospitals.

If you are looking for a more familiar environment, it may be best to travel to your home country for childbirth or arrange for delivery in a European country. Major European cities are just a short flight away from Tunisia, and there are no-fly transportation options as well.

What are the costs related to pregnancy in Tunisia?

The prices for having a baby in a private hospital in Tunisia vary greatly. They start at around 600 dinars (around $200) for a standard pregnancy package to 5,000 dinars ($1,600) and even 10,000 dinars ($3,250) at some hospitals.

Pregnancy insurance coverage in Tunisia

Most insurance companies, especially if you go with international health insurance, should have

maternity packages included in their premiums. However, you will need to check with your insurance provider regarding this option and related costs. The cost of your insurance will depend on your age, health condition, nationality, line of work, and more. Insurance expenses may range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Note that your insurance may not cover certain services that you may consider important, like lamaze classes. In this case, you will need to pay for these separately.

Postnatal care in Tunisia

Once you've had a baby at a hospital in Tunisia, you should be discharged within one or two days unless there are complications. Hospital stays are also longer if you've had a C-section. If you give birth in a private hospital, you may get some "essentials" to take home, like a supply of diapers, but this depends on the type of pregnancy package you have paid for.

Children born in Tunisia receive vaccinations against polio, measles, Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. You can ask for a vaccination schedule before you leave the hospital after the birth of your child.

There are a number of specialized children's hospitals across Tunisia, such as Hospital Children Béchir Hamza, Pediatric Clinic Tunis, Hospital Charles Nicole, and others. Once again, you will have your choice of private and public facilities.

Birth control in Tunisia

In general, Tunisia has some of the most progressive family planning services out of most African countries.

Here, you can buy different forms of contraception over the counter (including the morning-after pill) as well as request contraception in hospitals such as shots, implants, pills, and more. Note the prices for emergency contraception like the NorLevo pill are government regulated.

Good to know:

Abortion has been legal in Tunisia since 1973. It is the only Muslim country where women have access to abortion for social reasons.

Childcare in Tunisia

When it comes to kindergartens and early education in Tunisia, your best options will be in big cities like Tunis. Here, you will find kindergartens with English-speaking children as well as options for early education, such as Tunis Montessori School.

When it comes to daycare, things may be a bit more complicated. You may have a hard time finding a daycare center with English-speaking nannies. If this is the case, you can try hiring private help. The average monthly wages for a nanny in Tunisia are from 500 TND ($160) to 1,000 TND ($325). You can check available babysitters and nannies on Tunisia's online message board

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.