Moving to Nairobi with 13 mo. old and another baby on the way

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Moving to Nairobi with 13 mo. old and another baby on the way

Post  Jennipher on Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:26 am

Would love any insight anyone can share. We have the option of moving to Nairobi, which we would allow me to quit my job and be a stay-at-home mom. I'm wondering whether it is a wise move in light of any health concerns regarding my children. I understand the threat of malaria in Nairobi is minimal, but are there other things I should be considering? What is quality of prenatal and postnatal care like? How is the quality of pediatrics? Is there ready access to fresh (safe) produce (from what I understand, there is, but I want to be sure!). I've read about issues with water supply, too.

I think it would be a wonderful opportunity for me to be at home with my children when they are so young, so it's very tempting, but I want to make sure that I'm not jeopardizing their well being in doing so.

Thanks so much for your time!

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Nairobi with babies

Post  mama n on Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:02 pm

we moved to Kenya (from the States) when my first born was 4 months so i could stay at home with her, too. that was over 3 years ago, and while we've been back and forth since, we're about to head back again now that our second child is here.

there are good health care options available in Nairobi, we found a well qualified pediatrician for our daughter easily, but we've also never ran into health problems, so i don't know much about treatment beyond basic well-child care. our doctor was able to help us coordinate moving from the US vaccination schedule to the Kenyan one (some vaccines are given earlier in Kenya because of the risk of the disease - eg MMR, if i remember correctly)

as for food and water, others can correct me, but we've never had a problem. at times you'll pay more for water, and make do with less. and for food, there is always produce available, it may not be exactly what you're looking for, but it's fresh. the fruits are always delicious and what i miss most when we're in the US.

the only issue i had with living in Kenya with an infant was missing the family support system, but we were living a ways from Nairobi in a fairly rural setting then so i missed out on a lot of socialization that i imagine Nairobi-based moms can more readily access.

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forgot to login

Post  mamanaomi on Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:04 pm

sorry, i forgot to login when i posted that reply..

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Go for it! Nairobi with babies

Post  Admin on Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:31 am

I think that if the choice is to stay in the US and continue to work, or move to Kenya and stay home with the kids, I'd chose Kenya hands down. (maybe I'm biased since that's of course what I did!).

Now that my oldest is 9 and youngest is 4, I am beginning to realise how quickly the kids grow up and I'm so glad that I've been around doing baby groups, play dates, school pick ups, sports days etc with them without the stress of working too. Sometimes I've yearned to work and there are sort of 'identity' issues when you are simply a stay-at-home mun. Perhaps I am naive in thinking that I could start working again now that I have more time on my hands, especially having had such a long break - but personally feel very lucky to have had this opportunity not to while the kids are young.

My children have only ever lived in Africa. First Tanzania, then Kenya. Goes without saying that I have loved having the help of wonderful ayahs - I must admit we have sort of made bringing them up a joint effort and it has saved me many grey hairs! My third was born here in Aga Khan hospital Nairobi which was a great experience and highly recommended. There's a very good lady gynae called Cavello there.

Vis-a-vis healthcare. In Nairobi there are good medical facilities. Recommended experts dotted around in every hospital. It's still worth having comprehensive medical insurance though,ie a big company who will foot the bill in case repatriation is ever necessary in an unforseen emergency.

Vaccinations are also important as mama naomi said. It's not common but I 've know kids who've had Hep A here from food and also typhoid, which are preventable if vaccinated Measles is worth having early too and BCG is given almost at birth here.

Water is not too much of an issue. We buy drinking water in big bottles/barrels and then boil and filter City Council water for tea/cooking (it's also OK to drink once filtered - we tend to use this for tea etc).

There are always informal baby groups in every area, often expat based ones. It's worth trying to tap into one of these once you have arrived, then you can share concerns/iron out worries with fellow mums on your wavelength.

Good luck with the decision! Although perhaps scary initially, moving here will give you and your children so many opportunities that you would not have at home. It is perfect to come when your kids are small. I am sure that you would settle in in no time.

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