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Staying in the United States after the birth

After the birth you’ll stay in the United States for approximately three weeks or so, probably at a rental property rather than at a hotel.

When you look for a rental property, look for one that already has a washing machine and dryer, and a kettle to boil water for the baby. You should rent a property that has more than one bedroom even if you are “only” two people, so that one of you can rest properly when it’s not your “shift” of waking up with and feeding the baby.

Make sure the property has heating/air conditioning according to the season, and available parking nearby. Always check that the parking matches the weather (in very cold climates the parking should be indoors. In rainy or hot climates the parking should have a roof and be adjacent to the property. In apartment buildings, the elevator should be accessible with a stroller from the parking spot, and so forth).

There is a large selection of long-term residence options, so you don’t need to stay at a hotel. Aside from it being more expensive, the hotel’s address complicates insurance matters when the insurance company clearly sees that you do not have residence (see more information later in the guide under the Insurance category).

Airbnb and VRBO are popular sites through which people rent out their properties. This is the most popular option and it covers most areas in the United States. You can search numerous criteria and the dynamic display on the map helps to assess distances (like from the property to the hospital, for example).

Another option is HomeExchange (a home swap platform). You can pay with credit that’s really easy to earn, so it ends up being almost free (you earn credit by referring friends to the site and all sorts of other such methods).

Note that some American homes are multi-story and you need to take this into account when you’ll be moving around the house holding a baby (night feedings, sleeping with the baby). Speak to the property host and ask him to be flexible in case you want to shorten your stay (premature birth, for example), or extend it. Request to reserve a slightly longer period in advance, while promising you’ll let him know at the birth.

You came for the birth earlier than planned and it’s before your rental reservation? Try to see whether the host can give you the property earlier than ordered, and in the meantime book a hotel room somewhere close to the hospital. Don’t give the temporary hotel address to providers as you will not stay long enough to get mail, if needed use the surrogate’s address. Try consulting the hospital about accommodation like “Ronald McDonalds Hotel” which some hospitals can provide in a very low price or even free.

There’s also the option of a medium-term rental (at least a month) from Corporate Housing companies. These companies rent completely furnished properties. However, a check we conducted showed that it will usually be a slightly more expensive option for 4 and more people and also their availability isn’t always great. Usually these types of reservations are made with a sales representative and several days are required to close the deal. It’s worth looking into, especially if you aren’t planning to come with a lot of people for support.

You should also search for Facebook groups for surrogates and expecting parents in the surrogate’s home state, and post that you’re looking to rent something for a specific period of time.

The distances between cities and towns in the United States are vast. The cities don’t usually neighbor each other (like in Israel, where I live). Distance plays a significant role, so you should check what the distance is from the property you’re thinking of renting to the hospital (especially if there’s a chance of a lengthy stay at the NICU), to the surrogate’s home in case she pumps milk for you, or for any other plan you make before and after the birth.

I recommend a distance of no more than 20 minutes from the hospital, mainly in large cities where you can have traffic jams (a delivery can be spontaneous, and you don’t want to miss out on it because of traffic).

Verify where the nearest hospital/ER is to your rental home, where you will take the baby if necessary.

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