A County Hospital Experience with Reproductive Travelers to the United States for Obstetric Care: Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes

Chiamaka Onwuzurike, Joy A Ungaretti, Helen E. Cejtin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To describe the maternal and neonatal outcomes, health care utilization, and cost to reproductive travelers for obstetric care (RTOC) at a single institution. Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of women identified as reproductive travelers who delivered at Stroger Hospital in Chicago, IL when a self-pay package of obstetrical services was offered. Data included maternal characteristics and obstetric and neonatal outcomes. Results: A total of 413 reproductive travelers delivered during the study period. The majority (88%) was of Nigerian citizenship. The median gestational age at first prenatal visit was 35 weeks with a median of three prenatal visits. The patients were in good health with a high prevalence of infectious disease and a low prevalence of chronic disease. Women had complex obstetric histories, and 28.6% had cesarean delivery, with the most common indication being prior uterine surgery. Severe maternal morbidity occurred in 4.1% of the women and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in 16.3% of the babies. Extra charges beyond those covered by the financial package were incurred by 230 (55.7%) of the women. Conclusion: Reproductive travelers have better obstetric outcomes and fewer NICU admissions than non-Travelers who delivered at the same institution. However, the care of RTOC in this manner is fraught with challenges, including late presentation for care, lack of medical records, providers at times managing unfamiliar conditions, and unforeseen financial obligations assumed by patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)864-869
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Keywords

  • birth tourism
  • cross border health care
  • medical tourism
  • reproductive travel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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