Part 4: Prices for Giving Birth in Brazil

Today, I am going to give you a great idea of how much it costs to give birth in Brazil.

This is part 4 of The Giving Birth in Brazil Series.

When considering giving birth in Brazil, the first questions I usually get is about how much it costs.

And this was actually one of our main concerns and questions when we considered giving birth in Brazil – it is an important one!

Here is what I am going to address in this post:

  1. How much a hospital birth costs
  2. How much a home birth costs

And in the next post I will cover insurance options.

Let’s get this ball rolling!

1. What a Hospital Birth Costs

When giving birth at a Brazilian (private) hospital, there are several factors that could greatly affect the prices of things.

Those factors include the location (major city, medium city, small city), the doctor, the nurse team, hospital facility and birth type.

Note that the estimates I will give should not be quoted but used as a reference and they are estimations without insurance.

Price for a Doctor



A doctor can vary a lot in price depending on:

  • Who he is
  • What services he will offer
  • What city he is located in

With that in mind, think about what city you are looking at giving birth in and determine how expensive things are.

In our case when shopping around, we wanted to make sure to find a doctor that was specialized in natural births since most doctors push c-sections (see my post on why).

Natural Birth

In the area we were looking at (Florianópolis – medium city), there were basically 3 doctors who specialized in natural births.

We were basically told that the birth “package” for the natural birth doctor would run around R$7,000 – that’s excluding nurses or the hospital.

This amount of money would only be the birth itself, any checkups would cost around R$150,00 per visit (plus ultrasounds at around R$150 each and other things) – and count on around 6-7 checkups totaling roughly R$1,500 with extras included.

Then there will be a few post-natal checkups to make sure the baby is ok, which would run around R$500 in total with the expensive doctor.

This is an insane amount of money for just the doctor, but that was because he was a very high-profile one.  If you looked around, you could probably cut that price in less then half in Florianópolis.

I know for a fact that in smaller cities you could pay as little as R$1,500 for a doctor. And a more average price would be around R$3,000 in a medium sized city.

Again, it pays to shop around, get references like I talk about in this post.

C-section

Since cesarean sections are so common in Brazil, finding a competent obstetrician to do one is pretty easy.

So if you are going this route, then it shouldn’t be too pricey.

You can choose a good, referred doctor who charges more reasonable prices.

I would expect to pay around R$3,500 in a medium sized city and about half that in a smaller city.



Nurse team, anesthesiologist and pediatrician

A doctor will need the help of a nurse team during the delivery or if you go with a c-section, then you will need a combination of a obstetrician/doctor + pediatrician + anesthesiologist.

So if you are going with a natural birth, then expect the doctor to request a couple of nurses he/she knows to accompany during the birthing process.

I would expect to pay around R$500-1,000 for the nurse team for a natural birth (or pediatrician) in a medium sized city.

If you are going c-section, then here are some round-about prices for a pediatrician + anesthesiologist to accompany the obstetrician/doctor:

  • A pediatrician will probably run around R$500
  • An anesthesiologist will probably run around R$600

Hospital Facility



The last cost in the hospital birth equation is the actual hospital facility.

This is usually dealt directly with the hospital unless the doctor offers you a complete package.

Here are a few things that affect the cost of the hospital:

  • Quality of the facility
  • Room type
  • Equipment to be used while there

Quality of the Hospital

Think of the hospital as being the difference between a hostel and 5 star hotel, what level do you prefer?

If you remember my last post about finding a hospital to give birth in, you will remember that I talked about the difference of quality out there.  There is everything from the Einstein hospital in São Paulo (and the best hospital in Brazil), which feels like a 5 star hotel to a little clinic out in a rural city.

You can basically find whatever is out there to suite your budget but as a warning: you get what you pay for.

Room Types

At the low end of the equation (think Hostel) is an “Enfermaria” and is basically just a shared room where all of the mothers get to be for a couple of days after birth.  This is the absolute cheapest option for a private hospital birth

At the high end of the equation (think hotel) you have “apartamentos” or quite literally “apartments”.  This is your own private room where the quality of the hospital determines the quality of the apartments.  In some hospitals, they even go so far as offering different qualities of these apartments, where you can stay in everything from low-end to luxurious rooms.

Equipment to Be Used at the Hospital

Equipment-wise, this will effect the price a little bit but not as drastically as one might think.

What hospital supplies where used before, during and after the birthing process?  Did you request an epidural? Etc.

These costs usually are only in the few hundreds of Reais.

Tallied hospital cost

Unfortunately, I cannot give you an exact cost as they just vary too much, rather I will give you an estimate.

So expect to pay anywhere from R$1,000 to R$6,000 for your hospital stay (with the average somewhere on the low middle side).

For estimation sake, let’s say that it costs R$2,500 for an a decent apartment for 2 days.

It pays to shop around and get some quotes and of course to ask the doctor if he offers a total package with a discounted rate.

2. What a Home Birth Costs

When talking home births, this is a bit taboo in Brazil but I am 100% for them.

Why?  Because it’s one of the only ways to be sure that the birth will be all about you and not the doctors or hospital.

During a home birth, a team of midwives takes care of everything from start to finish – everything.

This includes

  • Prenatal checkups
  • Labor
  • The delivery
  • Post-birth checkups
  • Helping with the birth certificate
  • And all materials

The birth itself takes place at your place, so there is no running back and forth to hospitals – you make one call to them and they come to you with all the necessary equipment.

It’s also super safe, a midwife once told me that out of 160 or so births, only 4 had to be transferred to a hospital due to complications (about 2% vs around 60% in hospitals).

We chose a home birth and were super happy we did.

Costs



This is the tricky one because you have a couple of options:

  1. Hiring a couple midwives and arranging everything with them
  2. Hiring a group to take care of everything and paying a package price.

If you choose option A, then you can find some midwives like I discuss in this article and agree upon a price with them.  Be aware that there are a lot of variables to discuss!

If you choose option B then you pay a package price for the midwives to take care of everything.  We chose this option and it costs roughly R$6,500 with everything included A-Z!

3. The Total Price for Giving Birth when Added up

So let’s look at some pure number based on what I wrote above.

Natural Birth at a Hospital – Total Price

This is my best estimate for a medium sized city:

  • Doctor = R$3,000
  • Pre-natal checkups = R$1,000
  • Post-natal checkups = R$300
  • Nurse Team = R$1,000
  • Hospital Stay = R$2,500
  • Extras = R$300

Total (roughly) = R$8,100.00 (or R$6,800 with the birth itself)

Cesarean Section at a Hospital Total Price

When talking c-sections, the prices are going to be quite similar to what I quoted above just with a couple of different variables.

Here is my best ballpark figure for a medium sized city:

  • Obstetrician = R$3,500
  • Pre-natal checkups = R$1,000
  • Post-natal checkups = R$300
  • Pediatrician = R$500
  • Anesthesiologist = R$600
  • Hospital stay = R$2,500
  • Extras = R$300

Total (Roughly) = R$8,700.00 (or R$7,400 with the birth itself)

Shopping Around and Package Prices

If you shop around, you can get the price down a few thousand reais, I know of plenty who did their birth for under R$5,000.  This is keeping in mind that it would be at an “ok” hospital with an “ok” doctor.

The birth we wanted to do with the doctor we felt comfortable with and at the hospital we wanted, would have cost us around R$16,000 all said and done – so prices are a huge variable here.

One great tip is to contact the hospital and ask if they offer any complete packages (doctor and everything), this could give you a pretty nice savings compared to sourcing everything separately.

The problem with buying a package deal could be that they over work a doctor and he doesn’t give you the care that you would like, so it pays to investigate.

Unless someone recommended that you do a package deal at a certain hospital, I would find my own doctor and ask his recommendations, this gives you the freedom to choose what is right for you.

Home Birth Total Price

This is much more straightforward, more hassle-free and a lot less complicated then arranging for a hospital birth.

We actually felt the most comfortable going this way as (like I said above) there is so much more focus on the humanitarian side of things – we were the central focus.

Plus to top that off, we got one specific price with everything included, and this includes help to get the birth certificate taken care of (worth it’s weight in gold for a foreigner).

Like I wrote above, the price for a really good home-birthing clinic is around R$6,500 and that is all said and done.  I would says that the quality of service and birth was right up there with the original Doctor + hospital package we wanted that costs around R$16,000!

We actually have a friend that chose that package due to her needing a c-section and we feel that we received better service then they did (and saved about R$10,000 in the process).

Final Words

Was this post helpful?  I hope so despite some of the prices and information being a bit vague.  It is really hard to generalize about prices and services, as there are so many variables in the birthing equation.

But at least you can get an idea of what you are up against.

In the end, it will cost a decent amount of money to get a decent birth (especially if you don’t have Brazilian health insurance), but just think about how cheap it costs you for your child to be born Brazilian and to get permanent residence because of your child!

There are people who spend beyond R$300,000.00 just to get an investor visa, which is limited and hard to renew unless you’ve provided tons of jobs, but you can just have a child for a few thousand reais and you get the best kind of residency possible!

If this post was helpful, then make sure to share it with others.

Do you have anything to share about your birthing experience in brazil?

Cheers – valeu!

Kevin

Posts from the Giving Birth in Brazil series:

Like What You Read?
Then Discover the #1 Secret To Living a Life of Love and Freedom in Brazil
Daily tips teach you step-by-step everything you need to know to make the move to and live a happy life in Brazil >>
    • http://liveinbrazil.org Kevin

      Good to hear that you have coverage with those prices! Sounds about right for a great large city clinic though.

      Public hospital locally and they know that you have insurance? Let me know how everything works out!

    • Matt29Nyc

      By the way , Kevin porter did not answer his own question in his posting, which is: Can the parent of the child give birth then depart brazil and come back at a later time to claim residency?

      • http://www.facebook.com/saira.azfar.3 Saira Azfar

        Yes, they can. They might need to stay here for a certain time period though. But they are entitled to it.

    • Diane Weatherford

      And if you are having problems finding a midwife or home birth team in your area, you can always contact an certified professional midwife from the US who would love to take a trip to Brazil! Hint, hint! ;-)

      Diane
      Fairflowersbirth.com

    • http://www.facebook.com/saira.azfar.3 Saira Azfar

      Hi! I am in Florianopolis and settled here as an expat. I had a daughter here n Floripa .If I can help you in making Floripa your home, or make life simpler here in any way, feel free to contact me. Floripa s a wonderful place. Safe, better quality of life, friendlier people. And now, thankfully, I have a small group of English speaking friends! I sure missed that initially.