What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?
In May 2004 and September 2005
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
I had our two children in Pakistan, but at different times. The first time I was here on a diplomatic posting, and the second I was not workig at all, but was here as a dependents of my husband, who was working. We never anticipated number 2 being born in Islamabad, but it worked out that way. I went to the Shifa International Hospital, the main one and probably the best equipped. However, I saw a private ob/gyn for the first 7 months with our first before going to the hospital doctor. With our second, I was 35 weeks when we arrived, so had most of the care at home before arriving back in Pakistan. I did not use any pain management, although it was offered and easily obtained. I had a positive experience. Natural childbirth with both, and short labours. I realise I am lucky in that sense. I stayed in hospital for 24 hours after our first was born. I stayed for about 8 hours after our second. My husband was allowed to be present for both, and for our first my mother was also there.
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How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?
Word of mouth. I went to a private clinic in Islamabad first because I wanted more personal treatment and at the hospital they tend to rush you in and out and you are lucky if you get a decent ultrasound. At a clinic (a well-respected and equipped one) I could have ultrasounds as often as I wanted and I had very regular checks, blood tests and all other required tests.
If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?
Not really. It is possible to tour the hospital facilities if you ask (although they think you are strange for doing it) and you can talk to the anaethetist if you want too.
If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?
It is a personal choice. Most expats working temporarily in Islamabad prefer not to have babies here, however it is possible. If you have any complications, I would not advise it though. Doctors here are not good at explaining things, and while the treatment is good, you need to be ready to ask lots of questions and not be backward in coming forward. It pays to do a lot of research first oo - about the procedures, etc, to give yourself a level of comfort. I had a friend who had 2 c-sections at the same hospital and she was happy with how it went. She didn't think it would have been different anywhere else in the world. The one thing to be careful of is the quality and professionalism of the nurses - it is non-existent. That is why I did not stay in hospital for very long. It was better to go home as soon as you could. It was clean, but the nurses are very prying, they bring your food and medication, but are not properly trained nurses.