×
Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - Having a Baby in Lebanon
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In


Having a Baby in Lebanon

By Betsy Burlingame

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: This article explores key aspects of expecting in Lebanon, from choosing between public and private hospitals to pain management strategies. Gain insights on selecting the right doctor, and read firsthand accounts from expats who have experienced childbirth in Lebanon.

Lebanon, a country with a rich cultural tapestry and a vibrant lifestyle, offers a unique experience for expats and digital nomads who choose to start a family there. Having a baby in Lebanon as an expat can be a rewarding yet challenging experience, with considerations ranging from healthcare quality to cultural practices. The Lebanese healthcare system is equipped with modern facilities, especially in urban areas, and there is a mix of public and private healthcare options. Expats will find that navigating the system requires some local knowledge and preparation, but with the right information and support, the journey to parenthood in Lebanon can be a smooth and memorable one.

Choosing a Doctor

When expecting a baby in Lebanon, finding the right healthcare provider is crucial. Expats should start by seeking recommendations from other expats or locals they trust. Many doctors and midwives in Lebanon are accustomed to dealing with expat patients, and it is relatively easy to find English-speaking doctors, especially in Beirut and other major cities. It's important to choose a doctor who is not only proficient in English but also someone with whom you feel comfortable discussing your health and pregnancy. Hospitals often have lists of affiliated doctors, which can be a good starting point. Additionally, expats can consult their embassy for a list of recommended healthcare providers.

What to Expect for Prenatal Care

Prenatal care in Lebanon is generally comprehensive and aligns with international standards. Expectant mothers can anticipate regular check-ups, ultrasound scans, and blood tests to monitor the baby's development and the mother's health. Many private hospitals offer packages for prenatal care, which can include all necessary tests and consultations. It's also common for doctors to be available for any concerns or emergencies outside of scheduled appointments, providing a personal level of care that many expats appreciate.

Do Expats Typically Have Private Health Insurance when Having a Baby in Lebanon?

Most expats in Lebanon opt for private health insurance to cover maternity costs. The Lebanese healthcare system is a mix of public and private services, with the private sector providing the majority of care. Public healthcare is available, but it may not meet the expectations of many expats in terms of comfort and quality of service. Private health insurance ensures access to the best hospitals and clinics, and it often covers a significant portion of the costs associated with prenatal care, delivery, and postnatal care. It's advisable to check the details of any insurance policy carefully to understand what is covered, especially as some policies have waiting periods for maternity coverage.

Giving Birth at Public vs. Private Hospitals

The experience of giving birth in Lebanon can vary significantly between public and private hospitals. Private hospitals tend to offer more modern facilities, shorter wait times, and a higher standard of comfort and privacy. They are also more likely to have English-speaking staff, which can be a significant advantage for expats. Public hospitals, while generally less expensive, may not provide the same level of service or amenities. For those with private health insurance, a private hospital is usually the preferred choice for childbirth due to the personalized care and advanced facilities.

C-Sections in Lebanon

Cesarean sections are relatively common in Lebanon, with rates higher than the global average. Cultural factors, convenience, and a preference for scheduling births may contribute to the high rate of C-sections. It's important for expats to discuss their birth plan and any preferences with their doctor early on. While natural births are fully supported, there is a tendency for doctors to recommend C-sections more readily, so clear communication is key to ensuring that the expectant mother's wishes are respected.

Pain Management During Delivery

Pain management options during delivery in Lebanon are similar to those found in Western countries. Epidurals are widely available in private hospitals, and many women choose this method for pain relief. Other options, such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or pain medications, may also be offered. It's essential to discuss pain management preferences with your doctor ahead of time, as practices can vary from one hospital to another. Natural and alternative pain management techniques, such as breathing exercises and birthing pools, may be less common but can often be arranged with prior notice.

Hospitals with Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Lebanon has several hospitals equipped with Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), particularly in Beirut and other major cities. These facilities are designed to care for premature babies or newborns with medical complications. The quality of NICUs in private hospitals is generally high, with access to specialized care and advanced technology. Expats should inquire about the availability of neonatal care when choosing a hospital for delivery to ensure that their newborn has access to the necessary medical support if needed.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

William Russell
William Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get Quote

William RussellWilliam Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get Quote

Contribute to Lebanon Network Contribute
Help others in Lebanon by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Lebanon.

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides