What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Dubai and Abu Dhabi
How recently did you give birth in the country that you are reporting on?
5 & 2 years respectively
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...
Dubai: Extremely positive experience. We secured a prenatal care doctor and paid about $1500 for all the check ups and treatment leading to the birth. Several weeks before the birth we switched to the OBGYN at the MedClinic in the city. The birth cost and additional $5000. We induced birth so we knew when the day would be. We were in the same hospital that handles any complications as well. We (my wife) opted for natural. This needs to be made clear from the beginning as they will move to C-section quickly if you are on the fence. She also went without pain killers for the birth (her choice). Everything was taken care of at the hospital and the experience was very positive. It was also our first child. Many of our expat friends had babies in the very same hospital with the same positive experience.
Abu Dhabi was an extremely positive experience up until giving birth. The hospital was government which we thought would be great and covered by our insurance. The Dubai baby was not covered by insurance because I had just changed jobs. Anyway the Pink hospital was nice but the birthing and post natal care was less than desirable. We were happy to have the experience as we knew what to expect. However, the check ups from the 'nurses' were few and far between and not very comforting. We made sure we got out of there as quick as possible as we were pretty much on our own anyway.
All this said, the UAE is pretty much a baby factory. You can choose the level of stay you want (depending on insurance and wallet size) to make the experience like a five star hotel or whatever you can afford.
Our Dubai baby, we stayed the maximum length in the hospital, three days. Our Abu Dhabi baby, we got out exactly 24 hours from birth as that was the quickest they would let us.
My wife went on voltorin for pain management after both babies. She recovered quick and well (thank goodness).
Both rooms we had came with a small couch however, the MedClinic had a pull out bed for me to sleep.
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How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?
We chose all of our natal care professionals through word of mouth, cost and insurance coverage. It is easy to chose as there are many to chose from. You can pick a nationality or gender based on your liking.
Midwifes are assigned at the hospital and tend to be South African or UK. Much respect to all the midwifes we had. They far outweighed the terrible nurse experiences.
If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?
For the Dubai baby, no. For the Abu Dhabi baby, yes. We probably would have picked a different hospital if we could have. We had a lot of friends/family support which made the AD birth successful. Plus, my wife is a legend.
If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?
Understand your rights as a patient in the hospital. Know what is expected from you and know when you can leave. Push for what you want to happen. Many of the staff are underqualified and simply there to have jobs. Sorry to say but we experienced far too much uncertainty from the AD birth to have complete faith in their system. Our doctor was great but all of the support was less than stellar. Fortunately, we had no real complications and we were able to leave on our own. Remember, if you are working there, some maternity is up to 45-90 days. Use every bit of it. Also, the doctors and midwifes in the middle east will push for breast feeding for as long as possible. My wife's breasts became infected and the experience was not good until we went against the midwife's and doctors and started to feed with pumping and formula. Our girls turned out perfect. And our first time being parents was made easier when the stress of infected breasts went away.