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An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Jeddah

How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?

20 years ago

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...

This was my fourth pregnancy. I decided to stay in Saudi for the delivery because the baby was due in late October and I didn't want my older child to miss school, which he would have done if we had gone home to the States. I chose a small private maternity hospital that was very highly recommended by an American friend, who had delivered three children there. A month before my due date, my physician, who was also the owner of the hospital, urged me to allow her to induce labor, saying that the fetus was so large that she doubted that I would be able to deliver it normally. I questioned this, since it was my fourth pregnancy, and I'm pretty broad of beam, but she insisted, so finally I agreed. The induction and labor took two days. The labor was hideously painful, as the cervix had not even begun to efface, and I received no analgesia during either the labor or the delivery. The baby weighed just less than 5 pounds, and had to be transferred to a proper hospital for several days in a premie intensive care unit, where she did receive excellent care. She had several health problems in early childhood, but I don't know that they were a direct result of the forced premature birth. Now in college, she's tall and healthy, thank God, in spite of her criminally poor birth care.

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How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?

As mentioned above, she was highly recommended by an American friend

If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?

I now have a Saudi friend who is a very highly qualified OB/GYN, with British, as well as Arab, certifications. Of course, I would consult her.

However, if possible, I would deliver the baby at Home, in the USA. (See below.)

If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?

Go to one of the large private hospitals and ask to see the most popular OB/GYN on the staff. If you don't like the doc you get, ask for another one or go to another hospital.

A good technique, actually, is to ask a doctor you trust who s/he recommends. Who delivered her (or his wife's) children?

Best, of course, to go Home, if at all possible. It's also important for the baby to be born in the USA, because otherwise the baby cannot confer US citizenship on his or her children, if they are born abroad.

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William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

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