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View Full Version : Moving to Moscow in 2 weeks - just found out I'm pregnant too - yikes!



alannah
01-08-2012, 14:39
Hi there :)

I'm 23 and about to move to Moscow, I was offered a job a month ago and I accepted, my visa is sorted, my flight is booked, my accomodation is found. My job contract runs until next June. I have been really excited about this.

Everything's great. Just one teeny issue.....I just found out I'm pregnant!

If any ladies have been in a similar situation, I would really appreciate hearing your experience.

The main things I am concerned about are:
- telling my new employers I am pregnant - I am scouring the contract looking for something about maternity leave, etc, and can't find anything. I don't know if I will have any entitlements, or when I will need to tell them, etc.
- healthcare / prenatal care - I will have global health insurance during my time in Russia. I know that my company will pay for a certain amount of medical expenses to a point, but I don't really even know what the process is in Russia of finding an obstetrician, etc. and I'm sure the language barrier (I don't speak any Russian except for basic greetings) will not help this.

It is very early on in my pregnancy and I have not even told close family yet, but I have literally just found out and this obviously has big implications for moving far away. I am still determined to go, as I really want to make this work.

If anyone has any advice, or anything to contribute, I'd be really grateful :)

Thanks so much :)

Alannah

RichardB
01-08-2012, 14:43
Oh dear...

I know exactly what your bosses would WANT to say to you when you tell them.

Swordfish90293
01-08-2012, 14:45
Yikes!

There are excellent expat medical facilities in Moscow:
http://www.amcenter.ru/en
http://www.emcmos.ru/en/

You should ascertain if and to what degree your insurance coverage is applicable, and especially in your condition.

I don't have kids, but it strikes me that Moscow is a very polluted place for an expectant mother or an infant. And if you're still pregnant in the dead of Winter, you don't want to run the risk of slipping and falling on the ice.

alannah
01-08-2012, 14:50
Hmm. Yes it's far from ideal, I'll admit that. These things do crop up at the most inappropriate times. I'm sure they will want to strangle me. But c'est la vie I'm afraid. Anyway, I will assume, Richard, that you have never been pregnant seeing as you are a man. Would you have any experience of seeing female colleagues in Russia working through pregnancies / what it might be like for them?

Thanks :)

Alannah

alannah
01-08-2012, 14:56
Yikes!

There are excellent expat medical facilities in Moscow:


You should ascertain if and to what degree your insurance coverage is applicable, and especially in your condition.

I don't have kids, but it strikes me that Moscow is a very polluted place for an expectant mother or an infant. And if you're still pregnant in the dead of Winter, you don't want to run the risk of slipping and falling on the ice.

Thank you :)

Yes, these things have struck me and worried me a little. I will be "with child" in the dead of winter so I don't really know what I'll do - learn to ice skate like a professional or get someone to wheel me around the place. :eek:
I am trying to ascertain what exactly my insurance company will cover me for, still not 100% clear on that one. thanks for the links!

Potty
01-08-2012, 14:58
Would you have any experience of seeing female colleagues in Russia working through pregnancies / what it might be like for them?

Thanks :)

Alannah

It's normal for russians to work being pregnant. They take maternity leave after 30 something weeks. But I cannot imagine I could move to another country (especially Russia) being pregnant. Do you want this baby? Where is the father? Will you have any support in Russia? You never know what your pregnancy would be like. It can be perfect, it can be unbearable.

alannah
01-08-2012, 15:24
It's normal for russians to work being pregnant. They take maternity leave after 30 something weeks. But I cannot imagine I could move to another country (especially Russia) being pregnant. Do you want this baby? Where is the father? Will you have any support in Russia? You never know what your pregnancy would be like. It can be perfect, it can be unbearable.

Thanks. To answer your questions, yes I absolutely do want it and am happy about it, despite the timing being a bit of a pickle. The father is my partner of the last three years who is in graduate school and for that reason can't join me in travelling. The only support I'll really have in Russia is my colleagues (one of whom I knew previously) and the company. I can't see any of them being overjoyed at this as it means more difficulty and upheaval in getting a maternity cover worker, but my boss is a lady and I am hoping she will be somewhat sympathetic to my situation.

Or maybe not.

I don't know, I suppose my thinking on it would be that I'm pregnant, I'm not dying or sick! And I'm resilient. I could be being slightly over-optimistic here but I figure stress isn't good for me right now!

DavidB
01-08-2012, 15:42
Probably a better idea to stay in your own country for 12 months and then think about moving to Russia with your spouse. You will likely get depressed in Moscow because new mothers don't have any social life and you won't have existing friends and family to rely on.

I don't think you will get maternity support from your employer. In addition, medical costs will be very high if you want to use Western standard clinics in Moscow. In your own country, you can take advantage of Socialism and someone else will pay all of the expenses for you, even if something goes drastically wrong.

yulia kashutina
01-08-2012, 15:57
first of all, congrats! second, the pregnancy might go either way, so it is too early to think that you will have a baby 100%. it is too early. well, i think you can survive your bosses responses and Moscow, it is not the worst city, btw, to deliver a baby. my main concern will be amount of stress you might be exposed to. You would better be close to your family, your partner, friends, when you are pregnant regardless of easy or dif pregnancy. you just need a social network. So, to start a new job, in a new city/country, and go through all phases of changing your identity as a prospective mother might be hard.

Inola
01-08-2012, 16:07
Is this your first expat life experience? Bear in mind, that it is very hard and stressful for anyone to get used to new life conditions, especially if you not master the language.. At least up to 6 first months of adaptation, for almost all your pregnancy term. Having a child (suppose this is your first) with no family support is also very stressful. If you are serious about giving birth, you should first of all concentrate and care about the baby's health and prevent any unnecessary stress...

Honestly, coming here now in your situation is a very bad idea...

But if you are determined to come, you'll need a nanny and a car (with a driver if you don't drive or wouldn't want to drive yourself- not surprisingly at all - in Moscow:10641:)... Because using metro with a newborn in your arms is unthinkable :10641: Count nanny and car in as additional expenses...

As to your employment agreement (silent RE pregnancy/maternity issue). I presume it is governed by the Russian law, which means:
- they can not dismiss you because of your pregnancy prior to your empoyment expiration
- you have the same rights to maternity leave as Russian citizens, but being a temporary employee (not a permanent resident) you won't have the right to the financial support from the State Social Fund to which the residents are entitled... So basically, if your employer does not cover this either via personal agreement with you or provide additional corporate benefit, you'll need to have savings to survive during your maternity leave.

Sorry if my post is discouraging, but moving to Moscow alone and pregnant just for 1 year-contract seems pretty wreckless to me...

BabyFirefly
01-08-2012, 16:34
I'm just echoing what others have said here probably but hey...

If this is the first time you've lived abroad, I'd rethink it. Moscow is not a very easy city to live in; it's very overcrowded, polluted, dirty in many places, people are pushy and even rude. Your first months here will likely be very stressful, which likely won't be good for the baby whether he's in your tummy or has already been born.

Once the kid is born, as you're coming alone, you'll need a nanny, so that's an added expensive right there. You'll need to either live in a place where you can just walk to a store or have a back up babysitter, as using the metro with a young child, especially during rush hours, is hellish. Driving, considering the traffic jams here, isn't so different.

IF you can afford it... you can most definitely get excellent medical care here, if you go to one of the clinics mentioned in this thread. You can try other Russian private hospitals, but while they are good for some stuff, I don't know if I'd deliver a child there....

Also, most things here are real expensive, so, you'd be essentially buying a bunch of baby stuff, only to have to get rid of it later.

But again, this is all doable only if you have a lot of money to spare.

mrzuzzo
01-08-2012, 16:53
Sounds like a bad idea to move to Moscow, or any other big city for that matter, if you're pregnant... unless you're raking in a ton of cash and can afford to be comfortable about it. Then again, just the stress of being in a foreign country alone will not do any good for the future child.

andymackem
01-08-2012, 17:33
I'm no expert, but I seem to recall that non Russian citizens won't qualify for standard maternity rights unless they have _officially_ worked in Russia for a minimum period (might be 6 months, might be 12). A former colleague of mine (Ukrainian, with a Russian husband) had a real battle with this, and was left entirely dependent on the backing of her boss to keep her job at all.

I've no direct personal experience to draw on, but the broader strokes I picked up from that story suggest that legally you're in the lap of the gods here. Plus, as mentioned, settling into a new job, a new city, a new country is already stressful. I wouldn't fancy adding a new baby to that equation (but I'm fairly conservative and not prone to big adventures!).

tasel
01-08-2012, 17:42
In your case its bit difficult, but not impossible. I work in an international organization and we do face such situations with our colleagues. It might be bit difficult if you live alone here. Congrats and good-luck for you for a new start.

sis
01-08-2012, 17:43
Maybe you could ask your Boyfriend to take a year of from his studies.. He could help you, it would solve a lot of problems...

rusmeister
01-08-2012, 18:21
As a father of four, two of whom were born in Russia...

I have to agree with the others that it is a serious and difficult step to take alone. Can't your boyfriend take a year-year and a half off studies to be with you? (Something that strikes me as more important than his studies); plus, being married would strengthen your position and hand here. The child needs a stable father ASAP, can it not be he?

But if you still come, having the baby is not as frightening as some might make it out to be; listen to the people who have actually HAD them here on at one - babies are born all the time, most of the time, without complications.

Afterward, you will certainly want support; this is where a husband is an enormous plus. You might find it easier if you become part of a community, a church or something as well.

Best of luck!