This is The Best Aussie City For Having A Baby, According to a New Study - Women's Health

This is The Best Aussie City For Having A Baby, According to a New Study

Pregnancy is an exciting time but as any mum will know, it also carries with it a variety of stressors - especially if you’re living abroad. But with a number of cities looking to make things easier for new parents, which ranked highest? We take a look at the best cities for expecting mums.

Pregnancy is a time of new beginnings and new experiences. From the changes that occur in your own body, to those that result from the new life you bring into the world, it’s a period of great excitement and change. Few things can eclipse the feeling of bringing your new bub home for the first time, waking up to baby breath and every other delight that’s in store for you and your newborn. But as any new mum will know, it’s also a time of great stress. From the worries you have about your pregnancy to the aftermath, pregnancy can be particularly challenging for many – especially if you find yourself based overseas with little support network by way of family and friends. 

For expats, there is the question of health insurance, medical care, and even maternity and paternity leave. It begs the question then: just what is the best city to have a baby? If you’ve never given much thought to where you give birth, you might want to consider some of these factors. A new study by William Russell analysed 50 global cities, looking at factors like maternity leave, pre-school costs, healthcare and safety in order to reveal the leading places to live when becoming a new parent. 

Taking out the top spot instead is Reykjavik, Iceland, with a pregnancy friendly score of 7.28. The city scored particularly well for environment and safety, with a safety index score of 78.03 and a pollution index score of just 15.01. Helsinki, Finland was seen as the best city for parental leave, offering 170 weeks of combined leave. Given how important time off is when welcoming a new addition to the family, the disparity in maternity and paternity leave was evident across the research, with some places offering far more than others. While Helsinki topped the list, Seoul in South Korea also deserves a mention with the longest available paid paternity leave for fathers at 52.6 weeks. 

Sadly, for those of us in Australia, none of our cities managed to crack the top 10. Sydney managed to make the top 50 at number 24 and a pregnancy-friendly score of 5.67, with Melbourne coming in at number 31, with a pregnancy-friendly score of 5.37.

The overwhelming absence of Australian cities from the top echelons of the list is largely due to the fact that Australia has some of the most expensive childcare costs in the world. As the study revealed, the monthly price for one child in preschool or kindergarten costs $1,860 in Melbourne which far exceeds the likes of Berlin, Germany, where it costs just $132. 

As Inez Cooper, founder of William Russell notes: “Becoming a new parent away from your native country can be a stressful time. Whether you’re planning a family or you already have children – you’ll want to ensure you and your baby have access to the best possible maternity care and best environment throughout your pregnancy.”

Cooper added, “By conducting this study to help new parents gain a really rounded view on what the process is like all over the world and equip them with the best knowledge of the location when the time comes. Avoiding unexpected high costs and cultural misunderstandings could make welcoming a new child away from home more stressful than it needs to be. Ensuring you are fully covered with an international medical insurance plan will bring peace of mind as well as providing the best possible start in life for your new baby.”

For more information on the findings and research conducted by William Russell, visit the official website here.

Image courtesy of William Russell

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