Pregnancy in Saudi Arabia

Pregnancy and childbirth customs are more traditional and conservative in the Kingdom than perhaps most other places.  To my knowledge I am not yet aware of any hospitals or clinics which offer childbirth classes for couples.  The tradition is such that when the wife goes into labor she will be admitted to the hospital where perhaps a female family member and the hospital staff will assist her through her labor and delivery.  The husbands are not by their wives side and instead usually wait in a male-only waiting area for the news of the birth.  If a woman is giving birth in a government-run hospital, this practice of no men in the labor/delivery area is further enforced because the woman is in a female ward with other women in the same condition (labor and giving birth) with the Saudi practice of unrelated men and women must remain separated from seeing one another.  But of course, after the woman has given birth, she is moved to a room (which may or may not be private) where male family members are allowed to visit her and see the new baby.  Separation of unrelated men and women will be maintained through the use of opaque curtains concealing other women who may be in the ward.


When the woman is discharged from the hospital, depending on the conservatism and traditions of the Saudi family, she may be released and go immediately to her parents home.  Many Saudi families practice what is refered to as the “40 day rule.”  After a woman gives birth, the woman is expected to have 40 days in which she rests and her body heals before she is viewed as ready to return to her home and sharing a bed with her husband.  During this 40 day period, the husband may naturally come and spend time visiting with his wife and child but he will not stay or share a bed with her.  And again, I reiterate this practice is not necessarily followed by all Saudis but some.


Such practices are indeed a contrast with the Western practices where the father is pretty much expected to be in both the labor and delivery rooms with his wife.  Classes and training are given to the couple during the pregnancy so the father can be a pro-active coach to his wife.  And in many cases, it may be the father who gets to first hold the newborn child and then present their child to the new mother.  Of course such an experience forges an incredible bond between the new family – mother, father and child.  If these practices take place perhaps in some of the private hospitals in the Kingdom, then I  am not aware of it.


I’d like to hear from all readers and particularly the Saudi readers.  How do the Saudi men and women feel about the practices of childbirth in the Kingdom?  If given a choice, would a Saudi man prefer to be there throughout his wife’s pregnancy and delivery?  Do Saudi women prefer to have the husband there or do they feel more comfortable knowing he will not see them during labor?  And of course, for those of you who did share as a couple the birth of a child, please share your views on this experience as well.

134 Responses

  1. Private hospitals allow the fathers to be present in labor and/or delivery. The staff at the Government hospitals have told me that the doctors do not want to be bothered with men in the room, because they try and take over.

    I have 4 children and only one was born in the States. My husband got to attend her birth (via c sec), he held her before I did. He hasn’t attended another birth and we begged!

    I envy the women who have family to help them for 40 days. However, they don’t get that much rest because the house is buzzing with guest.

  2. That’s nice to learn that private hospitals will allow the father to be present if he desires.

    You’re right about buzzing with guests… the tradition is to come and pay respects for a birth or if someone has been released from the hospital. It’s quite nice but if one is not accustomed to most the guests arriving at once, it can indeed be overwhelming.

  3. Well, since I had the opportunity of giving birth in Saudi and in the US, I certainly have the ability to tell you which is better, in my opinion.

    In Saudi, to be honest, I was ecstatically happy that my ex was NOT around for the birth of my first child period. So, that aside, the entire process was not quite a great one. My ex-mother-in-law was with me through out the entire time. I was admitted to be induced. In the beginning, I shared a room with a woman who if I may say was NOT clean at all. When it was time for my labor, I was given this gas and it knocked me out and the next thing I know when I woke up, I already delivered. I was like “where is my baby and how the heck did he come out if I can’t remember even pushing once?” All I saw was the nurses cleaning up a couple of feet away from me. My ex-MIL was not there, nor the doctor, and neither was my baby. It was just odd that I was left on the bed table with no one around. If I had to sum up the entire experience, it felt as if I was more of an object than a human being……Again, this is simply my experience and how I feel about it. I am sure in Saudi, plenty of experiences for other women are just fine!

    If I were to compare to here, all 3 experiences were by far much more pleasing and memorable. With my daughter, I was just recently divorced and I had the privilege of having my mother attend the entire labor and that was wonderful having her there by my side. My father, bless his soul, sat in the waiting room the entire time.

    The last two boys, AbuSinan was with me during the labor and it was a great experience too. To be honest, I was not prepared to having the guy thing be in the room because in my culture, like you stated, this pretty much never happens. And so when he said he was going to attend, it was pretty much a new thing for me, and mind you, I grew up in the west! LOL Or perhaps, the whole situation was completely different that I was a bit surprised………

    In the hospitals where I am at, ALL women, regardless, get their own private room which makes the experience even better. I don’t know, but I feel that people are dealt with differently here. Of course, you will always find the occasional medical staffer who is rude and disrespectful in their dealings with patients but over all, this is quite rare, although it does occur. In ending, my birth experiences here are far more memorable than the one I had in Saudi…….

    Sorry for the long post…….lol!

  4. I was alone for all 5 births of my children here in Bahrain. And when I say alone…I mean during two births the attending nurse had left me on my own…when she returned there was a baby either between my legs all ready…or pretty much there. And for one…my c section…I first had to nearly die on my own in a hosp room for two days…no husband…no family…until a visiting doctor happened to stroll in and heard the fetal heart monitor…she was immediately all action and had me in the emergency OR in no time. Even though I had begged for my husband in those two days before the op…they wouldnt let him come in…men dont enter maternity areas…even if the wife is severely ill apparently. That was 18 years ago…hopefully it changed.

    It was particularly hard my first time …in a strange country…no family…nurses speaking a foreign language…not even my husband close by. It was harder on me emotionally then physically.

  5. Wow! Manal and Coolred thanks for sharing your experiences. Very illuminating indeed.

  6. I wouldnt have missed watching the boys being born for the world! I was there, from begining to end, for the both of them.

    I even cut Sayf’s cord. I would have done Sinan’s as well, but wasnt given the option.

    I am not ashamed to say I openly wept when both of the were born. Those father’s who missed being there for the birth of their children are REALLY missing out.

  7. I had my four children in Kuwait, and I think it varies by the hospital and your own wishes. I never went to the government hospital, but men definitely aren’t allowed to be with you in labor there.

    I had my first baby in the oil company hospital, and my husband was with me almost the whole time, but he didn’t want to be there when the baby actually came out, so he want out to the waiting room at the end.

    I remember asking a lot of women about this, because in American culture (at this point in time anyway, because it changes), we think it’s great for the husband to be there. None of the Kuwaiti women I asked wanted there husbands to be there; in fact, they were pretty adamant about thinking it was a bad idea. If they’re going to have anyone, then having a woman – mother or sister – is much more comforting for them.

    The idea of hiring doulas seems to me to be tyring to recreate the situation that these women already have – a mother who takes care of her and the baby for 40 days, teaches her how to care for the baby, cooks her special foods, etc. I think the 40 days with the mother is great. The woman usually has tons of visitors while she’s still in the hospital – although they’re entertained by her mother and sisters – but during those 40 days, visitors don’t come – only the family and maybe very close friends. When the 40 days are up, she invites a lot of women for a big reception.

    I did stay home for 40 days, but in my own apartment (in my MIL’s house). She sent me up some of the special foods and all, but I took care of myself and the baby – although my husband did help a lot.

    I had the other three in different hospitals. My hsuband wasn’t with me for the births, because he was home taking care of the others, but he probably could have been. And I actually enjoyed having some time to rest with just me and the new baby.

    But some private hospitals do allow the husbands to be in the delivery room, although I have heard of people who were told at the last minute that because there were several women giving birth, and the man would be hearing another woman, they couldn’t lt him in. It’s usually only Westerners who ask for that that, though. And I read a report on the BBC a while ago saying that it was actually a better experience for the mother when she had a woman with her instead of her husband.

  8. Carol,

    I have had all of my children in the US. Insh’Allah my 6th is on its way any day now! Mosh’Allah there is 20 years between my oldest and this one so over the years the experiences have definately been different. With the first three I had to share a room with one other mother. With the last two I had a private room with a couch that folded out to a bed if someone wanted to stay with me.
    Mosh’Allah I’ve had great experiences with all of my births but mind you my longest was 3 hours and the rest about 1-2 hours from start to push! Alhumdulillah, I have been very fortunate in that area! ; ) I have had my husband present during the whole experience along with cutting the cord and I have also had him step out into the hall and let the doctor and nurses do their thing. I was fine with whatever he chose to do as I was very confident with the staff I had to help.
    I’ve also had my husband with me the whole duration of my stay, day and night, for three days while my mother stayed with the kids at home and I’ve also stayed alone while my husband was at home with the other kids. Either way was fine with me.
    As far as the guests and visiting, Africans like to visit at the hospital as soon as they get the news and there is usually alot of them! The new mom usually has a cooler in her room full of bottled water, pop, and juice and also has a tray full of fancy sweets and candy to pass out to her guests. For those who didn’t visit at the hospital, they usually end up visiting your home within a week, if not, its considered to be in bad taste! Personally, I wouldn’t hold that against someome! ; ) And most don’t! The downside of visiting is that most do it in the late evening hours which can sometimes be a trying time with a newborn and other kids who still need their bedtime schedule with all of the new chaos in the house. Mom needs her rest too! ; ) One other thing about visiting, when someone brings the baby a gift it is not opened in the presence of the giver. I’m not really sure the reason behind it. I still have a hard time getting used to that one as I’m used to opening it and oohing and aahing over the gift and thanking the person. Anyway, Alhumdulillah, I’ve had great birthing experiences and Insh’Allah this one will be too!!!


    I had the first 4 naturally and the last one I had an epidural. I plan to have another epidural!!! It was great!!!

  9. It is great hearing the differing experiences of those who have chosen to comment. My perception (in general at least) seems to be that while Arab men do adore children they take little action in the day-to-day care. While I am sure there are indeed exceptions, I’m not aware of any Saudi man yet who willingly changes a diaper or gets up for the crying baby. Either the wife or the housemaid/nanny seems expected to do this.

  10. Tina, are you in Saudi? I met a Tina the other day in Carrfore.

  11. Ummadam,

    Nope, I’m in Indiana! Insh’Allah would like to come to Saudia as thats where most of my husbands family is.


    Alhumdulillah! My husband (African) changes diapers, cooks for the kids, feeds the kids, puts the kids in the bath, helps with bedtime, wakes at night to help, and watches the kids if I want to run errands without them. Also, when it comes to housework, he will help with all of it including getting on his hands and knees to help clean the floors and scrubbing toilets!!!

  12. Tina, your hubby sounds like a precious treasure!

  13. My shortest birth from absolute start(first contraction) to finish line(baby born) was my 4th child…I had my first contraction at 9 am on the dot despite my water breaking late the previous night(clock was on facing wall so could see it clearly)…and 3 major(MAJOR!!!)contractions later she was born…this is one of those times the nurse left me unattended…she assumed I had loads of time left considering I hadnt had any contractions at all yet. She was born at 9:15…yes…15 minutes later exactly. While I recommend a speedy birth for everyone(get it all over with soon as possible is my motto…lol)….what comes after (stitches) was the real nightmare(dont worry…I will spare you the details…ouch).

    I was unaware of the 40 days thing until after my delivery of my first child. I found out about it…not from my husbands family…but from other ladies. They innocently asked me how I was doing with all the pampering from my husbands family….I was like…what pampering? Even though I lived in the same house as them…they werent doing anything even remotely considered pampering for me. It was assumed that because Im American…I wouldnt be needing anything special done cause we Americans are a “tough” bunch and we have womens lib and all that and prefer to do things ourselves…from what I understood from all the excuses I was given later when I asked how come I wasnt getting the 40 days post natal treatment plan….in other words…they couldnt be bothered….sigh!

  14. […] & Protectors News » News News Pregnancy in the Kingdom2008-08-05 19:30:10Who bond between the new mother. Of course such an incredible bond between the […]

  15. Carol,

    That is my impression of most Arab men as well. After we had the first boy we had Arab women over and they remarked about the fact that I changed diapers, fed the boys, did dish and the like. They said an Arab man would never do those things.

    That is sad on two levels. First, doing a lot of the more mundane things for the kids actually helps you to bond with them and get to know them better, as well as appreciating all the mother does.

    Second, as Muslims, helping with the children and the chores around the house is actually the example of the Prophet of Allah (SAW).

    Men who do not do these things are actually ignoring the Sunnah of the Prophet and following their culture instead.

  16. Carol,

    “I’m not aware of any Saudi man yet who willingly changes a diaper or gets up for the crying baby.”

    I did all the above with both our children. Actually when we had our daughter I was with her most of the days as my wife worked and I went to graduate school. We reversed roles 2 years later when my son was born. I guess living in the US and having less social rules to deal with makes it easier to adjust as necessary. In Saudi it will be socially unacceptable for a wife to delegate these responsibility to her husband, even if both agree and it is to the benefit of the family.

    Regarding attending the birth, even though I had the training I just could not watch it. The nurses took me out of the room, because they would’ve had tended to me as much as my wife if I stayed 🙂

  17. First of all I don’t work for planned parenthood. I’ve had 6 children. All blessings.

    2 in the U.S. and 4 in Kuwait. My twins were born during the war with no water and electricity—so with that being said I really have no complaints on the others.

    I never had anyone in the room with me, and didn’t even want my mother with me. Call me strange, I just don’t like anyone around me when I’m in pain!

    I suppose I never cared about a man changing diapers etc, and didn’t let the maids touch them. I really enjoyed taking care of them, but I definitely agree fathers should be a part of nurturing their children.

    I do recall the ”bird food seed mixture” as I called it, my former MIL sent for me to eat daily. Some Arab cure all for afterbirth. I swear a bird wouldn’t eat it.

  18. I remember my mom saying my American dad would also never change diapers or the like and that seemed typical of his generation. But the newer (American) generation (those born after the 1970’s) seem to be more proactive with the care of children.

    I have also noticed the “Americans are Tough” syndrome and expected to do more, heal faster and be more tolerant of pain than the Saudi woman. And in some ways, I believe it is true just based on the distinctions in cultures and how certain things are approached and dealt with.

    Saudi in US: I’m not surprised to hear that you took care of the children and changed diapers! You know if you said you had not, we’d all be giving you a very difficult time! (LOL)

  19. Sort of a tangent here…but when my boys were growing up I made sure they had their turn washing dishes etc. Had too many arguments to count with dear daddy…apparently real men dont do “womans work”….how these He-Men conveniently forget that the Prophet did plenty of “womens work”. Anyhow…I explained to my boys that when they marry(and especially if they dont) dishes dont d themselves…and if the wife is ill or gne or whatever the case maybe…are we to assume the dishes will be waiting or her to recover or return back home? Dont think so…and for sure dear mommy is not coming over just to clean up after her grown up sons…they learned the lesson and they do dishes and whatnot without complaint(well not too much…lol)

    btw whose baby is that? absolutely gorgeous with all that hair…reminds me of my second daughter…a head stuffed with dark black hair that had to eventually be shaved off cause it was such a horror to keep from matting etc…sigh….Im jealous.

  20. My Saudi husband attended during my c-section for our firstborn son. He later commented that no husband should see what he saw. : ) However, he has always been a very loving and involved father with the children and still is to this day.

  21. In Kuwait, the private hospitals have gotten nicer and nicer. A normal room now looks like a luxury room. When a woman has a baby, the place is full of visitors, and her mother or sisters offer sweets and tea, with juice for the kids. Now, the hospitals usually provide an employee who’s sort of a hostess, to serve everyone. (There doesn’t seem to be any worry abuot germs or anything.) But even with all that, having a baby only costs around $2000 – $3000 for everything, with a normal room, which is stil very nice (more if it’s a Caeserean, or for more deluxe rooms).

    Here are the rooms in some of the hospitals:

  22. I’m curious…in the States it seems the procedure is to be in and out when giving birth, so how many days is a typical stay in a GCC hospital when giving a “standard natural childbirth?”

  23. My childbirth experiences in the UK and KSA were not very different. Hubby was present at the birth in Saudi as he was in the UK and there was never any moment when we were told he would not be allowed in the room. Alhamdu Lillah because I really needed his support since, as an expat I have no family in KSA, either from his side or mine, who could be with me for the birth and it’s quite daunting giving birth in a foreign cuntry, at least the first time anyway.

    (It was a private hospital in Riyadh where I gave birth).

  24. I realized I did not share my own experience about giving birth although compared to many who have shared, my experience was a-g-e-s (32 years) ago! (LOL)

    My son’s father was present and we had indeed attended child birthing classes together. Fortunately for me, it was an easy albeit long (14 hours) labor.

    This was in the States and I was in a private room. What also made it extra special where I gave birth is that my mother and mother-in-law were practicing nurses at the hospital (at the time) and the doctor who delivered my son was a family friend.

    And at least at that time, it was standard for a mother to spend a complete week in the hospital as well as specified and adhered times to when a baby was allowed to be brought in to the room with the mother.

  25. […] News » News News Pregnancy in the Kingdom2008-08-06 07:04:30First – mother, father and then present their child to the new mother. Of […]

  26. American2Saudi,

    LOL! I’ve heard alot of men make that comment!!!

  27. The private hospitals in Kuwait are normally 2 to 5 days for a normal birth, it really depends on the mother’s choice.

    They were nice even way back when I delivered. I had one child in the public hospital, nightmare experience I would never repeat.

    I’ve always stayed 24 hours only, just a personal choice, I cannot tolerate hospitals and would rather rest at home. The US really rushes women, but then again, I think laying in bed for weeks doesn’t help you heal.

    I delivered my last child in Florida, and took all the kids to Disneyland 3 days later. I really felt fine.

    Gee Carol, I also delivered 32 years ago, you must have been quite young!

  28. I guess we were both child brides, Viking Daughter!

  29. I gave birth here in Riyadh, at Mamlaka (Kingdom) hospital last summer… I had my husband, mother, and aunt (she got kind of squirmy in the end and waited in the hallway) by my side the entire time. My husband held my hand, and would go check whenever they told me they saw the babies head.. lol.. (they were lying!!!) and my husband would whisper in my ear ‘their lying to you, but keep pushing.. lol”. It was great having him there, and truly made me relax (I didn’t take any meds… I did it all naturally.. :D), it made us bond as a family before the baby even arrived. As soon as my baby girl came out, my husband was there to hold her, and enjoy those precious first moments. His first words were… ‘Yes… she looks just like me (himself).. lol”

  30. Just wanted to add… I spent 3 nights in the hospital, and everything cost about 10,000 SAR… but kept my baby in the room the entire time… and my mom slept with me in the room… I stayed in Riyadh for a week, and then went to shargiya to my mothers family for my 40 days!

  31. I’ve had my 3rd child in Doha, Qatar, in a public hospital. The doctor was from Syria, but lived all his life in USA, just happened to arrive few months earlier. Since I’ve had 2 C-sections before, I had a 3rd one. Anesthesiologist was the best, all of the doctors were highly qualified. The room I satyed in after giving birth was a single room (had to pay additional for that), with my own bathroom, TV, catered food.
    The only thing that was strange was that I was advised to rest, rest and rest, while in the West they tell you: get up ASAP and walk…
    When my Syrian-American doctor released my from hospital three days after C-section, the personnel was quite shocked. He said that he treats Qatari women totally different, but he mentioned that they prefer to stay at least 2 weeks in their bed in hospital, which is not the best idea….

  32. Between my 5 kids it was somewhat different:

    1. first daughter…fairly quick delivery…4 days hosp stay.
    2. first son…emergency c section…very bad experience…10 days hosp stay
    3. second son…quick delivery…2 days hosp stay
    4. second daughter….damn quick delivery…2 days stay
    5 third son…fairly quick delivery…barely a day and a half hosp stay…wanted out of there.

    The first two were born in a very old hosp in Muharraq…set up by the Navy many many moons ago. I felt like I had stepped back in time quite a few decades…which made me even more nervous.

    Last 3 were in the military hosp. More efficient and definitely more up to date etc…but some of my experiences left me wondering how well trained some of them were.

    I was in a private room for just the first one(by accident actually…they assumed a Western woman would want one and took me to one without asking)…all the rest were shared. Govt hosps here are without color…decoration…without anything to make you feel comfortable and rested. its all stark and loud and looks similar to prison hosp on tv….just screams at me…hurry up and go home all ready! so I do….lol.

    btw for all the births I was up and running(I wish) within just a few days…other than the c-sec which. considering it was a vertical cut…left me in bed for nearly 5 days…then hobbling in a great deal of pain for another 5 or 6. I might remind everyone that I did not have the “40 days treatment” plan as a treat from his family…so was still taking care of my first daughter who was just 2 years old….i would seriously like to see a Bahraini woman do that

  33. Om Lujain – what a beautiful experience! And am I correct that both you and your husband are Saudi?

    In regards to the “cosmetics and amenities” of private hospitals (at least in Riyadh), Memlika (Kingdom) would be my favorite. I’ve not been there as a patient per se but for consultations or a visit and I love the atmosphere. I had heard and perhaps you can confirm, that not only are all rooms private with own bath and tv, but the rooms are also equipped for internet?

    Iwka, Cool Red – the experiences seem to be pretty much similar throughout the GCC with great distinctions between giving birth in a public or private hospital. Also even the mindset of many doctors seems to be that “Western” women follow one set of procedures and “Arab” women another. (particularly in regards to length of stay and days to recuperate from a birth).

  34. Coolred38, your ”family” sucks. be glad you’re rid of them.

    All these delivery-stories freak me out; I don’t want to give birth to anything.
    Getting too old too anyway. I always thought it would be so much easier if you could just lay a nest of decently sized eggs, and put them into an incubator for a few weeks.

    I’d go for the epidural every time.
    Or better still: fullout anasthesia.
    They are not keen on giving women epidurals in Holland; they think you should suffer! It’s good for you to suffer!

    My mum delivered me at home, I was very quick so the doctor only arrived after. But I can’t remember anything of it.

  35. Aafke, trust me….by the time you are in labor and giving birth, you don’t think about anything but pushing and then once you see the face of your child and hold him or her in your arms, you forget about whatever went on in labor!

    But even if one could hatch their kids, imagine the pain to go through to lay the egg in the first place?!

    Ugh…keep me away from anesthesia. I feel like I still have lingering side effects of it and my surgery was 01 July!

  36. This baby in the photo is just too cute! : ) : ) : )

  37. I managed to get them all delivered without drugs or gas…other than the c sec one. I just dont like the idea of drugs or whatnot getting in the way…the stories I had heard freaked me out.

    I remember when my neice was getting set to deliver…she was actually more worried about docs etc seeing her “ahem” then anything else…..I told her that when it came time to deliver…the entire island of Bahrain could parade through…take notes…some pics…and have lunch and she wouldnt mind in the least…that brought out the giggles in her…for a few minutes anyhow til she realized why she wouldnt mind…lol.

  38. Here’s a man’s point of view.
    my background: AA muslim converted to Islam over 20 years ago. Remember delhi4cats that your descriptions of husband’s involvement with pregnancy is quite modern, not long ago here in the US men did not at all attend the labor & delivery, and a woman’s female relatives were expected to be at hand to assist with things. The fact that we have birthing classes nowadays and husbands in the delivery room is more a result of break-up of extended families in US and distance between family members. I’m 45 and I don’t think my dad was in the delivery room nor did he wake up for feedings or do any diaper changing. yet he was regarded as civilized, modern, educated, good family man. So it’s more about culture and accepted norms in a given society, not that one way of doing things is superior to another social practice.

  39. Well I just had a lovely conversation with my son in the States and he is so eager for the birth of their son in a few short months. Yes, he not only plans to be there but will be the one cutting the cord as well!

  40. Welcome Ismael!

    I appreciate your point and a man’s perspective. I hope that my post does not imply or infer that one way of doing things is superior to another social practice. My whole intent was to point out the distinctions due to cultures and traditions.

    Actually my Dad did deliver my brother 54 years ago. However it was due to circumstances beyond his control. He and my mom were on their way to the hospital when she shouted from the backseat “pull over now and help me.” Within 2-4 minutes my brother was born with the assistance of my Dad. They did not cut the cord but then proceeded to drive to the residence of the family doctor as he was closer than the nearest hospital!

  41. Hey there…

    You are almost correct.. lol.. My husband is Saudi, and my mother is Saudi. I lived the majority of my life in the UAE, US and Canada.

  42. It sounds like you must have an interesting story Om Lujain!

  43. […] & Protectors News » News News Pregnancy in the Kingdom2008-08-08 15:42:33Who bond between the new mother. Of course such an incredible bond between the […]

  44. i’ll probably be the only one other than om lujain posting a positive birth experience here in saudi … both my children were born here in saudi!

    my son was born at dr. bakhsh hospital in jeddah where i had a pleasantly good experience. Dr. Bakhsh Hospital is pretty well reputed and has been around for at least 30 years now, but I had never heard of it before a friend recommended an ob-gyn and urged me to give it a try. i barely ever saw any expats there – it seemed to be more popular with saudis and other arab nationals.

    my ob-gyn was a wonderful saudi woman called dr. al-sinani. it was my first pregnancy and when i developed complications at the end of my pregnancy due to gestational diabetes, she was extremely kind and calm – considering that i completely FREAKED and could have driven any sane person up the wall. she was also very supportive when it came to talking about a birth plan etc and like all pvt.hospitals here – i was allowed to have my husband present during the birth.

    i had not toured the facilities before the birth, so was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the private rooms were, the nurses were very efficient and helpful and bakhsh hospital has birthing rooms – which feels nicer than being in a ‘ward’.

    i was induced (because of the diabetes) so everything had been discussed beforehand and there were no unpleasant surprises. i did ask for an epidural towards the end but i already knew that unless i had requested it in advance, it would not be available to me – and the nurses told me to just bear it because i was like 7-8 cm and there was no point in taking an epidural then. i felt like bashing someone’s head in then – but in retrospect, i think they did me a favour by ignoring my request. i DID take entonox (gas & air) once i was in the birthing room, and they gave me a muscle relaxant – i was a bit conked out from the combination (that’s mostly because my husband thought he was doing me a favour by putting the gas mask on my face even if i pushed it away – he thought it was helping with the pain though i told him it only made me drowsy) .. right before my son was born, i remember telling the ob-gyn i was too sleepy and they’d have to just take the baby out on their own! the sleepiness resulted in a necessary episiotomy … but then my son was delivered & once i saw him – like carol said – i completely forgot what had happened the past 8 hours or so. . . but what i regret is tht i was SO sleepy from all the gas etc, that all i remember is that as he lay on my belly, dr. al-sinani made me recite a dua before he was whisked away , and then i fell asleep… when i woke up, the room was empty except for the baby, my husband and my mom and even then i was too sleepy to hold him or look at him properly before he was taken away to the nursery. .

    my daughter was born at dallah hospital in riyadh last winter. once again – i had a very good experience. i did find dallah hospital to be less organized than dr.baksh hospital but overall the quality of health care etc was pretty comparable. once again, i had gestational diabetes and a very difficult pregnancy. i had some complaints — unlike my experience in jeddah, i wasn’t allowed to have monthly ultrasounds here and so towards the end, it just resulted in very nearly missing a complication that was developing – my daughter had IUGR since week 30 whcih we only discovered at week 37 .. it was inexplicable and so just to avoid further complications i was scheduled to be induced again … though similar to my previous birth experience: i was already in (painless) labour when i showed up at the hospital to be induced.

    since this time we had my toddler to contend with & noone to leave him with during the birth – my husband very nearly missed being with me. till the last moment he was running around doing stuff and then some friends managed to pick my son up and my husband joined me for what he thought was going to be the next couple of hours before our daughter was born – but ten minutes later i was calling a nurse to say, “the hell with natural labour, give me something for the pain” and being told : “too late, your baby is coming – lets go to the ward” .. and another 15 mins later my daugther was born – just as the call for prayer came through on the speaker system subhanAllah.

    the good thing was — there was no time for the pethidine (muscle relaxant and pain killer — makes one drowsy too) that i’d been injected with to set in – so i was wide awake during and after the birth and could get a good look at the baby and spend time with her unlike my previous experience.

    so overall – i’d say, pregnancy and birth in the kingdom is not so bad 🙂

  45. Thank you for sharing your experiences Riyadh Mom and you have had the benefit of being in both a private and a government hospital. Yes; Dallah hospital is an older and traditional government hospital but also provides good care.

  46. I am an American married to Saudi and my husband has been present at the birth of our two daughters. I am currently pregnant with my third child and my husband also plans to attend the delivery(which will be C-section)! I dont know but I guess that I am really lucky because my Saudi husband not only is with me the entire time during delivery but he also changes diapers and feeds the newborn. I just wanted to let everyone know that not all Saudi’s are the same! I got a good one!

  47. Erin,

    That is wonderful to hear! Where are you all located since you mentioned he was present at the births?

    Wish you all the very best!

  48. I am located in Jeddah. I am having my third child at King Faisal Hospital!(Inshallah) I just discovered your blog and I really enjoy reading it! It seems that you have some of the exact frustrations that I have living hear. My husband and I have lived in several different countries and I have found that there is good and bad wherever you live. It does help to get out the frustrations and hear the good about the place you are living. Keep up the good work-Erin

  49. Thanks Erin.

  50. Hi Carol,

    My husband and I are not saudi but I had the joy to get pregnant and give birth to my gorgeous twins in Jeddah (baby girls) at King Faisal Specialist Hospital. No family except my husband but all my friends came to visit me (they were my second family here). I can tell u that it was a wonderful and beautiful experience. The team was great, warm and carefull and my saudi gyne …. I don’t find the right words to tell him all my gratitude. I gave french and saudi names to my daughters in memory of this country and more specially in memory of this wonderful doctor who helped and supported me from the beginning of the adventure till the end.

  51. Val,
    Thanks for sharing your experience and congratulations! I noticed you say “him” in referece to yur gynecologist. I may be wrong but I believe that for the majority of Saudis, the OB/GYN will likely be a woman.

    I’m glad to hear your experience was positive and that you had a beautiful support network in KSA.

    Best Regards,

  52. In addition to the Chicago Sun Times, Reuters has now picked up this post too:

  53. I gave birth at private hospitals in Jeddah. I had 4 children and was treated like a queen. My husband was present at all of the births and the doctors and nurses were “on it”. They really took good care of me and the baby. I had a baby in the states too, and although I was offered an epidural for pain, which I never was in Saudi Arabia, I was not pampered as much during and after the birth. There is good and bad to everything!

  54. Thanks for sharing Ameera. I’m glad to hear your husband was present and that he had that choice of whether he wished to be present or not!

  55. These are all such interesting and amazing stories. I just happened upon your blog and stayed here for quite some time.

    I am now very curious about what Saudi Arabian mothers are like. How do they interact with their babies? Are they culturally very different from western mothers? I’m Asian but mothering in my family has been quite western as we all grew in so many places.

    I’d love to hear from you.

  56. Thanks Rose for giving me an idea for a future post…but to answer your question in general, Saudi women like most women the world over are very loving and protective of their children. But in my view and from what I have observed, I feel like Saudi mothers may be more susceptible to “over-mothering” and pampering than Western mothers.

  57. I do hope to read about this in a future post. I’ve heard about the over-pampering. I just cannot imagine what this is like in the Saudi context given gender roles and expectatinos. I suppose the pampering would be very different between sons and daughters.

  58. I do hope to read about this in a future post. I’ve heard about the over-pampering. I just cannot imagine what this is like in the Saudi context given gender roles and expectations. I suppose the pampering would be very different between sons and daughters.

  59. Hi Rose…stay tuned. I’ve already written the post and it will be forthcoming!

  60. Hi,

    My wife due soon and more than likely we will be in Saudi when this happens.

    Does anyone have any good recommendations for a decent hospital in Riyadh where *I* can be present during the birth.

    Also why do so many people have c-sections? I can understand it for medical reasons, but most people I am talking to, tell me their wife had a c-section and that its the most common way to do things in the Middle East.

  61. You may wish to investigate Kingdom Hospital as well as Saudi-British Hospital or Saudi-German hospital. These are all private hospitals.

    For what it is worth most of the women whom I know here (being married into a large Saudi family) in fact had natural childbirth rather than c-section.

    Good luck with your move to KSA.

  62. Thanks for your information. I am glad to hear what you say about natural childbirth. It must just have been an issue with the people I spoke to which I read as a higher than average statistic. That is a big relief.

  63. You’re welcome Giles! And good luck!

    Please let me know if there are any other questions which I (and the great readers here) can address for you.

    Granny Bedu

  64. Can anyone tell me if homebirth is an available choice to women in SA?

  65. Hi Anna,

    I would imagine it is and suggest you ask your doctor or nurse how to arrange it. In many rural areas traditional bedu women are known to birth at home.

  66. Assalamu Alaikum,
    I stumbled over this site while i was googling for homebirth in jeddah. The posts were quite intresting and i read them all. I am a mother of three kids and had them all in Baksh hospital the first two with the same doctor as Riyadh mum had, dr nawal sinani, a rather wonderful doctor, and the third one with another one, i would rather not mention her name. She was nothing like my previous doc, unexperienced, in a great hurry to speed up labour, and rather rude at times. I ended up with a c-setion….. and now i am expecting my fourth baby, i have been surfing the web and i find myself more and more wanting a homebirth.
    Does anyone know about midwives attending homebirths here in jeddah? and where can i find one?

  67. Salam Alaikum Um Ahmed and welcome!

    If your question does not get answered here by a reader familiar with Jeddah you may also wish to join the yahoo newsgroup expatsinsaudiarabia and post the query there.

    You might try calling or visiting one of the hospitals in Jeddah and ask an OB/GYN nurse for advise?

    Good luck and thanks for sharing your own experiences as well.

  68. Um Ahmad – I don’t think anyone has home births here. I could be wrong but, I doubt it.

    Carol is right – you could try posting your question in the yahoo group and see if someone can come up with a solution for you.

    Am so happy to know you also had Dr. Nawal as your ob-gyn. She’s fantastic, isn’t she?

  69. Umm Ahmed, I have a friend in Jeddah who is a home birth/natural birth guru and even she did not have a home birth in KSA. I think the problem is in getting a birth certificate. Most people I know who reaklly want a home birth just stay at home as long as they can and then go to the hospital a the last minute. i even had a friend give birth in her car in the hospital parking lot! Another friend went to the clinic…stood up on the bed then squatted (while the nurses begged her to get down) and popped her baby right out and wenr home shortly after. If you have the baby at home you will have a difficult time getting a birth certificate. i’ve heard of people not cutting the cord and then going to the hospital…but that sounds risky.

  70. […] reader during the month of October after reading my post “Pregnancy in the Kingdom” was curious to hear what Saudi mothers are like such as how do they […]

  71. Hello everyone! First many congratulations to American Bedu for builidng this wonderful website! reading it is a pleasure….
    I recently had my first baby,,,but unfortunately didnt choose KSA,,,I had a terrible experience in Europe, where legal suites w.r.t hospitals have increased the rates of c sections…..even though the baby was in the right position, I had no problems and it was 3.5 kilos at birth….Personally I would prefer a more natural approach and I would definitely try KSA, due to the traditions related to childbirth…I find Islamic traditions much less agressive on the woman and even if dh is not around, it would really not matter to me…

    I read that many of you, like coolred had a c-section and then went on to have a vaginal delivery…

    Please, please please! send me some info…how did you manage it? It seems from your discussions that it is quite common!

    xxxxxxx GigiGirls

  72. Welcome GigiGirls and glad you have found the blog useful. I hope some of the other individuals who have given birth here in KSA will respond to your queries!

  73. Assalamu aleikum Umm Ahmed,
    with regards to your question please email me at [email protected]

  74. Assalamu Alaikum

    Riyadh Mom- Yes!!! Dr.Nawal is really a very very wonderful doctor, i just can’t get my words together to describe her as i feel. I saw her recently when i went for my regular checkup, and she received me very warmly.
    She is and will be always in my prayers.
    And by the way she no longer works in Baksh, she is now in Faqih.

    ummadam, i have a friend here in jeddah -who has an aversion to hospitals- with 5 kids, she gave birth to 4 of them at home only with her family around and all her children have birth certificates, i remember her husband mentioning that he too wasn’t sure how he could get the birth certificate,
    but then he drew up his courage and just told the truth, that his wife had a baby at home and he was suprised at how easy the whole process was. Sooooo i think the birth certificate won’t be an issue. I am more worried about finding a kind, knowledgable midwife doula etc who can be around and support me emotionally, physically and give me sound medical advice when needed.
    Anyway i am due in a weeks time and if i don’t get to know anyone by then i will probably be going to dr. nawal inshallh. I very much pray that i will have a normal birth.

    By the way, since i always go beyond my due date, have anybody got any ideas on inducing labour naturally. I read about sage and i think i am going to make a loaf of bread with lots of sage in it.

  75. Hello everyone 🙂 ! I didn’t get to hear anything about VBAC’s ( Vaginal Birth After Cesarian) after my post, but after some search it seems that it is common after one c section and most if not all saudi practitioners recommend it!
    I reall find that very humane! and it is great news for all women, as in the west ( at least europe) the c section rate is high and there is no such encouragment-once a c section,,,always,,,,which can be very devastating!

    P.S. Um Ahmed,,,they say driking rasberry leaf tea helps to bring on labour naturally!

    Happy New Year.


  76. Dear Giles,,,,,here in KSA, c-sections are not that common at all,,,,,unless patients request it or…..fall on a doctor that wants to make money out of a surgery…( that is only lately I guess)
    The aim is big families- at least in the Gulf countries- so they need to preserve the woman the best way possible. In general you will find many good Saudi doctors that really support natural childbirth!
    I heard of one in AlHabib Centre in Riyadh with the name of: Mobed Bugna,if I write it correctly…
    Hope I am of help!

  77. thank you for the helpful info Gigigigi girls!

  78. Castor oil apparently helps to bring on labour. A friend had a magic bottle of it, that was passed around the family! Other friends have had a good result from moving-boxes, furniture, apartments etc. Not sure of the safety of this, though.

  79. Assalamu’alaikum

    I am 23 weeks pregnant mashaALLAH but my doctor told me that my baby is quite low. She asked me not to stand too long, no long walks and to raise my legs while sleeping. I am still worried. I had a c-sec before and i want a VBAC so much. InshaALLAH i will go for a second opinion soon. Anyone could give me an estimate how much Dr Nawal would charge for a normal delivery?

    Also, any info on homebirth would be much appreciated.

    Jazakunnallahu khayran. Wassalamu’alaikum


  80. Umm Faatima,

    I wish you all the best for your upcoming delivery. I’m sorry I do not know the answers to your questions but inshallah, some of the other readers here who are more knowledgable on this subject will respond.

  81. Dear Umm Fatima,,,many congratulations on your pregnancy…..Yes 23 weeks is the somehow ‘danger zone’ that tests how strong your cervix is…..being the time that your baby starts to put on weight….I do not know though if that is what your doctor means…..
    If that is the case, they recommend pelvic rest and limited standing…..some recommend even some antibiotics, just in case the cervix opens more than expected—in that case the risk of infection will be low, so no baby sack rupture from it….

    If that is the case, i.e. IC, I would do all the bedrest and avoid a cerclage, to keep the cervix more supple, especially if I want to VBAC …..

    Going for a VBAC is excellent, but I do not know much about Jeddah,,,,here in Riyadh, I have put a recommendation up, but have not been yet to see that particular doctor….
    I know homebirths are great! and I would personally definitely go for one,,,but considering VBAC for the first time, maybe it would be best that you choose a very good midwife and have her with you in hospital, just in case. Make sure though that the OB is really VBAC friendly and has experience…..Not sure, if you have done a lot of research on VBAC, but there is a lot out there,,,,It is important you have the right support….

    All the best!

  82. Alhamdulillah.

    Thank you very very much for the responses + good wishes. Na’am, I am new in Jeddah too thats why i was abit worried. I have an active 2 year old son to chase around the house (mashaALLAH) thats why it is not easy for me not to stand much. I was trying hard to potty train him but now i think i have to take it easy…

    For you guys information, i went to Dr Nawal today mashaALLAH she is good. She said my baby isnt too low so there is no need for over-concern. But still better to be on the safe side not to be too active. Seems she is very supportive for a vaginal birth too. Hopefully i will have it (inshaALLAH if it is for good for me and baby).

    Again, shukran katheeran…


  83. That is wonderful news Umm Faatima!!

  84. Alhamdulillah. All is khayr inshaALLAH.
    Jazakunnallahu khayran.


  85. Dear Umm Faatima,,,please tell me about Dr. Nawal..What is her opinion on VBAC? In which hospital can one find her? Thanks!

  86. GigiGirls,

    Dr Nawal as-Sinani is working is Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah. I am not sure what street and hayy is that. But you can try to call this number inshaALLAH: 6655000 / 6603000 (general lines) and ask them to pass you to the ObGy section. They have a website too, These are what written on my patient card, so hopefully they are accurate and up-to-date.

    She encourages me to have VBAC which is just what i always wanted walhamdulillah. Afwan, i just went there once so not much of info i can tell yet. Hope it helps inshaALLAH.


  87. Assalamu’alaikum.

    Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital is very expensive!! No offense – but i dont feel good with the environment – more like shopping mall than a hospital Allaahul-Musta’aan.


  88. Assalamualaikum
    I will be giving birth soon inshaallah to my first child. I want to know if Soliman fakeeh hospital allows the husband into the delivery room? I am really nervous.

  89. Sharifa,

    I do not know Soliman Fareeh hospital. All I can say is that the majority of Saudi hospitals do not yet allow the husband in the delivery room. You should check with your doctor soonest to see if it can be arranged.

    Best Regards,

  90. Sharifa-if your husband is not allowed in the delivery room (or even if he is) you may wish to look into other strategies to help with your anxiety (or reinforce those strategies if you already have) including relaxation techniques, visualisation, reviewing with your Dr your own most likely course of labour and delivery, use of appropriate medications, having husband nearby for immediate contact before and after, having a favourite nurse in on the delivery, hospital education and social work counselling services, a pre-delivery visit to the relevent areas of the hospital, etc. Hope it all goes well!

  91. Erin, BTW, I have a good Saudi husband also. : )

    Carol, From experience here in KSA and no matter where you are in the world, the parents should be sure to have a good team of doctors ready for the newborn baby as well as the mother. You never know what kind of help the baby will need.

    And never go to a new hospital to deliver….they usually aren’t set up for premies or other problems that might come up with a newborn. They might have the latest and greatest equipment, but they probably won’t have the staff yet that knows how to use it.

  92. Sharifa-Assuming you and the baby are in the vast majority of totally normal obstetrics and delivery experiences, it might still be reassuring to know that based on the website info about the Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital, the hospital is 30 years old, and has an Adult ICU, and a Neonatal ICU, although Miriam Mac’s comments are valid, and unlike myself she lives in Saudi. 🙂

  93. My (Saudi) husband willingly changes diapers, feeds our son and helps out in active parenting on a daily basis with our son. Though as far as changing diapers he will not admit that to his friends! 🙂

    He is a very good father, and husband. I gave birth to my son in the States but are considering moving to Saudi in a few years so I hope to give birth to future children there. God willing. 🙂

  94. I was wondering if anyone knew of some places for women to get excersize while pregant in Saudi? My first birth was in the US and was lucky that the experience was more pleasant (very short pushing time) because I was able to exercise daily and walk 1-2 miles a day here. I know there are more restrictions in KSA, so what are my options there?

  95. does anyone know anything about hospitals in Medina?

  96. @Umm Abdurahman – I do not know about the hospitals in Medina but I hope someone with knowledge will respond to your query.

    Regards, Carol

  97. I had a c section when I was in London for my first child after which I became educated about the subject and about home births. The last place I want to give birth at this point is a hospital because of their interventional approach. Currently I’m in Medina and my husband is a student, I’d like to have a home birth but I’m not sure if this is possible here, and how to get paperwork for the child afterwards. I haven’t found any option until now and we’re debating going back to the US although it would be very costly for us and stressful. Because the time between my first son and my second pregnancy is 14 months I’m not sure that I will be able to find a doctor who will give me the chance to have a VBAC. I’m sure people must not always make it to the hospital, if anyone knows about the process of getting a birth certificate from ahwal al madani, or of open minded doctors in the area I would appreciate it.

  98. @Umm Abdurahman – do you have a doctor now in Medina who is attending you? Perhaps you could ask her in regards to your available options and the procedure for registering your child? Another thought is if you are an American citizen, try also calling the US Embassy and ask to speak with the US Citizen Services officer and see if he/she can provide you with any information.

    Good luck! Carol

  99. Umm Abdurahman- as you probably know there are many medical factors that determine whether a VBAC is possible, and some that make it more likely. The most important would be the reason for the previous C-section and whether it is present again, or precludes a VBAC. Another would be the type of C-section (planned, low tranverse incision best to prevent uterine rupture), your health, the baby’s size and position, etc.
    You should consult at least with an Ob/gyn about the feasibility and safety of a home birth in your particular situation.
    A summary of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommendations:

    Bottom line: their recommendation is a “trial of labour” in a hospital setting equipped to do a C-section if necessary unless your previous C-section was a vertical incision, which would result in a repeat C-section.

    Good luck!

  100. This is a very fascinating topic. I found you while I was researching to teach a class about Saudi Arabia. Many of the sites and testimonies I have come upon say that women do not work in Saudi Arabia, however in pictures and here I have seen women doctors, nurses, etc. With all the separation issues in Saudi Arabia I was wondering how the whole birthing experience was like there. Do they allow men doctors to deliver babies?
    I am teaching 3rd and 4th graders so I won’t be discussing this with them, but I’m so fascinated and curious.
    I have so much now I want to look up for my own interest.
    I went through in vitro because we were unable to conceive. I have beautiful G/B/B triplets and naturally got a c-section with my husband right beside me. Is in vitro an option in Saudi Arabia?

    One of the ladies above scared me with their answer of the doctors/ nurses left her alone and they came back and the baby was already out between her legs. YIKES! Is this common there? Would multiples be delivered in the same manner?

    Just curious.

  101. @Chelle,

    Welcome to American Bedu! I am sure it is very interesting to research and prepare material to teach a class of young children about Saudi Arabia…kind of like where does one start and where does one end since there are so many different directions which can be taken. Please let me know if I can address any specific questions, issues or assistance.

    Congratulations on giving birth to your triplets! Your life has to be very busy!!

    Yes; invitro is an option in Saudi Arabia for couples who have difficulty conceiving. To my understanding the majority of OB/GYN physicians practicing in Saudi are female due to the culture but of course if a woman is in advanced labor, a male doctor would attend her if a female physician is not available at the time.

    I think like medical care in the USA same as in Saudi you will have the good and the bad places or experiences, such as the reference to an earlier commentor and her terrible experience.

    We also need to remember it wasn’t that long ago when many women in Saudi simply gave birth in their homes. Some still do. It depends where they are located and their circumstances in life.

  102. just found out this website and it is very informative, im planning to give birth in Riyadh cause that is where my husband works, for my second baby and my first child was delivered by a C-section, hope anyone could recommend OB/GYN who is specializing in a c-section

    thanks and more power

  103. @ Chelle
    My husband (Lebanese) and myself (Kiwi) have just finished a successful IVF/ICSI cycle (inshallah) at KAMC Riyadh (old name King Fahad National Guard Hospital). It cost SR12000 for one IVF cycle, bloods, meds.
    The KAMC Riyadh IVF clinic is staffed entirely by females – nurses, docs, receptionists, embryologists, lab staff etc. All the men wait outside and only come in to deposit semen samples. I asked if my husband could be present for my embryo transfer (I read that this is common practice overseas). I was told ‘no’ because all the female staff would be uncovered. I was fine in the end – the fentanyl/midaz combo knocked me out completely.
    They do a standard 3 x cleaved embryo (day 3) transfer, no day 5 blastocyst. I asked about freezing the other 8 cleaved embryos, and was told ‘no’ – they was no reason given, so can only suppose that their gradings were too low.
    We are only 5 weeks pregnant (so too early on to know how many embryos implanted. But plan to deliver in NZ if expecting multiples. Reasons being: medical insurance will only cover SR10,000 maternity per year (which, for example, is a normal vaginal delivery w/ epidural at SMCH in Riyadh).
    Overall the IVF experience we had was ok. We chose KAMC Riyadh because of the standard of care, staffing experience/expertise, international accreditations, quality assurance standards, anecdotal evidence, personal experience – I’ve nursed here for the last 9 years working in a private government facility, KFSHRC Riyadh, KAMC Riyadh, Shemaisy, KFSHRC Jeddah, KAMC Jeddah.
    I had a male fertility specialist at SMCH last year who was unfortunately quite conservative with his approach and insisted we do Clomid x 3 cycles and IUI (which he performed at Samir Abbas because SMCH don’t offer it). I had a terrible experience during my hysterosalpingogram at SMCH after this failed cycles (why they do treatment followed by diagnostic testing I don’t know) where the female Egyptian doctor was late, rude and hurried, so injected the dye so fast it caused uterine spasm and leaked straight back out, so had to wait, unsupported speculum in place, while the Philpino radiology technician tried to draw up another syringeful. Not even a nurse present – too bad if I’d had a anaphylactic reaction or a vasovagal! I spent two days in bed afterwards with heavy PV bleeding. I know the Ob/Gynae HOD at SMCH is a British male doctor who is VERY popular with the local and ex-pat population. I have a Muslim Lebanese nursing friend married to an Italian-American ER doc who delivered with him in 2008 and they both loved him. She did IVF at KAMC Riyadh beforehand incidentally.
    Sorry my post is so long, but I hope it helps Chelle and others.

  104. @Dancing,

    First of all, Congratulations!

    Secondly, thank you for sharing this valuable information. NGHA/KAMC is, in my view, the best hospital in the Kingdom for IVF. Additionally it is also known world wide for its successful separations of Siamese twins. I worked at NGHA/KAMC’s King Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, College of Medicine, until my husband was diagnosed with his illness.

    Please do let American Bedu readers know how you progress and whether you will give birth to more than one child!

    Best Regards, Carol

  105. Hi,

    Loving this blog, since I came to Riyadh with my husband last year in November, and I am 17 weeks pregnant with my first child. I have been seeing a consulting gynecologist for the past 3 months now. She suggests now its time for me to register my maternity case at a hospital. She has suggested Obeid Specialized Hospital to me. It would be really helpful if others could suggest some more hospitals to me, based on their own child birth experiences, so that it would be easy for me to choose. I’m originally from Pakistan, and don’t know any arabic at all. So I’d be needing a hospital where staff and doctors can either easily communicate in Hindi and/or English. I’d also prefer a hospital that is not too expensive for us to afford. Furthermore, I am v.scared of having a c-section, so could someone recommend me a hospital/doctor in riyadh who are in favor of conducting a vaginal birth, unless its absolutely necessary to have a ceasarian?

    Thanks and Regards,

  106. Hi Hafsa,

    Welcome! You may have some answers in the comments that have been written to the initial post. And I am confident that some American Bedu readers can give you specific answers too.

    To reassure you, the majority of the hospitals in Riyadh have English speaking staff, to include doctors. For private hospitals, there is Kingdom Hospital.

  107. Hi Hafsa and Lor,

    Hope your pregnancies are going well. I’m 8 weeks pregnant with twins (we only found out the twin bit last week!).
    @Hafsa – sorry, I am not familiar with Obeid Hospital.

    Which hospitals do your medical insurance policies cover? Some policies allow you to pay and get reimbursed later, others dictate which hospitals you can go to and then you just pay a surcharge and registration fee.
    I am personally going to check out a few different hospitals and consultants and then decide.
    My first choice is KAMCR – King Abdulaziz Medical City Riyadh (old name King Fahad National Guard Hospital). But alas the high-risk ob/gyn there Dr Sonia Sultan does not see private patients. We are still hopeful that we can sort something out enshallah.
    Just in case, I also have appointments at Sulaiman Habib (w/ Dr Nawal) and Kingdom Hospital (w/ Dr Hadeel Naqas).

    HTH x

  108. What a nice blog to read from our mommies! 🙂 Very informative indeed! Hi, I’m wondering about how much would it costs to give birth in Kuwait? My husband and I where debating about the thing that the insurance will be given automatically to him by the Government when he is employed there (Hopefully..) So therefore would automatically cover me too. Is this true? or if ever how much would it cover me? or if not, How much also it would costs if we spend it out our own pockets ?(if we are not provided with an insurance). I’m still halfway, but it will be good to hear opinions from mommies with experience too in giving birth in Kuwait. Hope to hear comments back.. Need to plan ahead and be ready! 🙂

  109. @Tessa,

    I’m sorry but I am not at all familiar with Kuwait and its regulations. I wish you all the best and Congratulations that soon you and your husband will have a wonderful bundle of joy!!!

  110. My husband got a job offer teaching English as a foreign language in Saudi. I have a 14 mos old daughter and am pregnant with our second, Al Hamdulillaah. I had a complicated first pregnancy and had a lot angst over whether to say here and have the baby or go overseas. I really can’t imagine being separated from my husband for that long. We will be living in Riyadh. Should I be worried about having a high-risk pregnancy and delivering in Saudi?

  111. @Umm Sumsum,

    I would recommend National Guard Health Affairs or Kingdom Hospital for delivery options in Riyadh. Both of these hospitals have excellent physicians and nurses on staff. I’ve no doubt that others who have delivered in Riyadh will provide their own comments since I’ve never given birth while in Saudi.

  112. salaams –

    Very interesting discussion for parents in Saudi Arabia. I thought maybe one of you might know the following:

    Does anybody know the procedure for obtaining a government-issued birth certificate in Jeddah? It has been explained to me, but I’m not sure I have the complete information.

    I went to the Civil Affairs office today and it was a long wait to get a number. I arrived at 6:30 am, but didn’t get a number, and will have to return on Saturday, much earlier.

    What I really need to know is how long it takes them after receiving a complete application to issue the “temporary Arabic birth certificate.”


  113. Alhamdolillah –

    I’m glad to report that I got my infant’s temporary birth certificate today. The process began with waiting in line right after Fajr prayer at the mosque near the office of civil affairs (ahwaal madania mawaleed in hayy al-Naseem) and ended with me walking away certificate in hand, a little after noon.

  114. Mabrook, Abu Mustafa!

    Thank you for sharing.

  115. Does anyone know where I can find a lactation consultant in riyadh and from where can i rent a breast pump. I am trying to relactate my 3 month old.

  116. Hi all. Just found out about this website and love it as giving me lots of info. Somehow, i just moved to Riyadh 5 months ago and now 16 weeks pregnant. Wondering if anyone can recommend a good doctor in Kingdom hospital. Now i’m attending at National gaurd hosp.But after reading as it said husband wont allow to be with you while you are delivering. So i would like to switch to private hosp instead. Kingdom hosp is good choice for us and close to our compound. But i dont have any info about good doctor there. Would be great if anyone can recommend one. thanks a lot.

  117. Hi All and pinkie,

    So glad I found this site!

    I moved to Riyadh with my husband about 6 months ago and am now newly, 6 weeks pregnant. Am considering Kingdom hospital for the full duration and delivery. pinkie, how are you doing? would love to hear from you regarding your choice and doctors. Would very much appreciate names if possible.

  118. hi,

    M 24 weeks pregnant & new in Riyadh. would like to know how is Suleman al habib hospital & the doctors & staff there , if i opt for the delivery there?
    Or are some good indian doctors available here in riyadh whom i can consult ?
    Is there any indian doctor in suleman al habib hospital….. pls help me out

  119. Please if anybody know about DSFH in Jeddah is it good or not?

  120. Assalamualaikum Ladies, Can anyone here guide me. Im new in jeddah and 21 weeks pregnant. Im looking for good female Dr. (gyne n ob) who encourages Vaginal normal birth. Thanks alot dear sisters

  121. Can anyone tell me where Dr Nawal as-Sinani is working? i chekcd DSFH website but could not find her in the OBs n Gyne Doctors list on their website.

  122. i delivered my daughter at the alMana hospital in alKhobar in 2009… My experience there was great! They allowed my family in the room including my husband during labor, and when it was time to push my husband stayed with me. I would have had my mother stay as well but they only allowed one peraon in the room. It was very private and I ws very well taken care of by the doctors and nurse… I was never left alone. I had a private room after delivery, and they respexted my wishes about not giving my daughter formula in the nursery.

    This time I will be delivering in alMamlaka hospital in Riyadh. If you have inaurance.many private

  123. Opps didn’t finish! I was saying insurance usually covers delivery in care in many private hospitals. I went to many hospitals in the beginning of my pregnancy and liked Mamlaka the best, I recommend Dr. Alexandra. They told me I can have more than one person in the delivery room if I want and they practice all the westernrn proceedures in prenatal care.

    Someone asked about Obeid hospital, a Pakistani friend of mine delivered her daughter there and she loved it, her dr. was Pakistani as well.

    My ob told me that in the Habib hospitals they push c.sections

  124. AOA.can anyone tell me a gud hospital in jeddah.iam 5th month pregnant.This is my 2nd pregnancy my first baby born by csection.thanks.

  125. Assalaamu Alaikum,
    Looking for a hospital in Jeddah for my wife who is new in Jeddah and 7 months pregnant. Would prefer English or Urdu speaking doctors. We have full medical insurance cover. Please can anyone let us know of a good hospital to visit. Thanks in advance. JazzakAllah Khair.

  126. Assalamualaikum,
    I too am looking for a good Doctor/Hospital reference in Jeddah. My wife is 3 months pregnant.
    Thanks in advance 🙂 !

  127. Hello

    I usually do not write a feedback for posts, but since I ‘m Saudi and I work in hospital. I felt very bad about what was being posted. First for the main writer I do not know from which city you are, but I can tell you that many hospital give the choice for the husband to be with his wife during the delivery. Usually the women prefer to be with their mother most of the time. Then, I can tell you that many men would like to be around their wives, it depend on the family cultural thoughts they have. Finally, about the couple classes there is no couple classes, but there is hospitals that teach the pregnant woman the exercises she need during the pregnancy , delivery , and after the delivery. These classes are under the physical therapy department usually. And regarding to the privet room all the privet hospital will provided it, but for the public hospital that option is limited to some cases and situations.

  128. Assalamoalykum!
    Hello eveyone! pls if someone could tell me of a good hospital to have a baby in jubail?

  129. Hi! Al-Mana hospital in jubail is a good hospital…delivered a baby girl from there in June of 2011. Now I’m expecting my fourth child and due in nov….inshaallah ….have been to Al-Mana from the beginning.

  130. Salaams/Peace, I am a childbirth educator and doing my doula studies. I have lived here in Jeddah since 1985, 3 children (home births in the US). Husband Saudi. Please feel free to contact me if wanting childbirth education & birth support. Also the website can also help you get in touch with Doula’s in the Kingdom. Sadly there is a very high c-section rate here, its easier & quicker for docters, and more revenue for hospitals of course. Our advice: take childbirth classes, and help yourself to make things quicker & easier. Go to the hospital as late as possible, when your contractions are about 10 minutes apart so that they would induce you or give you alot of proceudures that may lead to other undesirable interventions. Natural is better and safer for mothers and babies, with bonding and nursing better and more alert.
    Best wishes sisters, may Allah make things easy for you!

  131. I enjoyed reading this blog as I was wondering and wanting a natural birth in Riyadh myself. Still looking for doctors and hospitals I feel comfortable with!

  132. salam.
    Hello this blog helped me. I will be moving to Madinah Saudi Arabia and I’m 6 weeks pregnant and most likely will be giving birth there. I Dnt knw anything about the hospitals and OBGYN. I’m very concern and scared. Can I find a private hospital in Madinah? Do they have monthly check ups? Can my husband be with me during each apointment and delivery? Please help despret for some info.

  133. Assalamu Alaykum, Does anyone know if midwifery is used in Saudi Arabia or is it mainy gynaecologists and doctors in hospitals? Also what is the dress code of the midwives in saudi? Are they able to wear niqab and abaya? I saw a documentary where a Muslim lady was a gyneacologist and was wearing an abaya with a doctors coat on top and a niqab and shayla scarf. Or is the dress code more relaxed sue to the less presence of men? As here in the west women have to wear trousers and short sleeve tops and small hijabs so they are unable to cover appropriately.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,277 other followers

%d bloggers like this: