What to do First
The most important thing you can do to educate yourself on pregnancy and giving birth in Croatia is to network.
Talk to women, both expats and locals, about their experiences. Find out all you can about prenatal, birth, and post-partum care in Croatia. Online expat forums can be an invaluable source of firsthand information from women who have gone through this before you. Some online forums include Facebook (Expats in Zagreb, Expats in Split…), visitcroatia.proboards.com, and the RODA forum (in Croatian).
Attend prenatal classes at your local hospital and/or medical center (Dom zdravlja). Many local associations also offer independent prenatal classes or meetups you can attend, and if you contact them you may be able to arrange private classes in English. The parents in your local area are a treasure of information on local maternity services and other information for expecting parents.
Check your insurance coverage and budget
While you are doing all that networking you want to check your insurance and financial situation. Do you have insurance through the HZZO (Croatian state system) or another provider? How much does coverage does your insurance provide for prenatal care, birth, and postnatal care? Croatian insurance covers the cost of care surrounding pregnancy and birth, but your expat policy might not. Check this now and make arrangements to get adequate coverage if needed.
Another consideration is a budget in the event you should decide to get private prenatal/postnatal care and/or give birth at the private hospital in Zagreb.
Finally, if you end up deciding to give birth outside of Croatia you will want to make sure your budget and insurance allows for that.
Photo credit: Selbe Lynn, Flickr