Friday, August 8, 2014

Having a Baby in Abu Dhabi

Hearing that you're pregnant can bring out such a wave of emotions! You can be happy, excited, scared and nervous all at once. I certainly was! The anxiety I experienced was slightly heightened by the fact that I was unsure of what the procedures were for delivering the baby here in Abu Dhabi, and also knowing that my family would be back home.

Based on my experience having my daughter here in Abu Dhabi, I thought I would mention a few tips. Please note however, that I delivered my daughter at the Corniche hospital but rules may differ between hospitals.

  • Take a good look at your health insurance, and see which hospitals will be covered. Then, visit those hospitals, and get a better understanding of what each one offers in terms of its system for prenatal check ups, and for what will happen on the big day. (Shared room/ epidural covered? etc)  Assess whether you would prefer to have your baby in your home country based on this information.
  • Check to see what the insurance policy is for the baby once he/she is born as well. 
  • Check to see if the hospital will permit your husband to stay overnight after the delivery of your child.
  • If your pregnancy is not deemed "high risk", you may find, that at each prenatal appointment, you are met with a different midwife.
  • You might only discover who will be delivering your baby on the day you give birth, again if you are not deemed to have a 'high risk" pregnancy.
  • Check to see if your hospital offers free parent education classes for couples to attend in preparation of the big day (these were so helpful!)
  •  While I can say that there was plenty of support for me while pregnant, there was no follow-up care once I had delivered. No appointment for a 6 week check up post-partum.
  • Check to see if the hospital offers lactation consultants to advise you should you need information, tips, etc.
  • You will not be permitted to leave the hospital with the baby unless you have a car-seat.
As for the birth certificate, in my case, we took care of it at the hospital. It is issued once the co-payment and any additional charges have been made and the discharge papers have been issued and submitted (by you) to the health authority office on location. A list of the documents you will need to submit can be found here.

In general I had a positive experience. The midwives I had during delivery were kind, supportive and patient. They explained everything to me as it was happening and I felt extremely comfortable and confident in their abilities. As a result, I had a relatively smooth delivery.

If you've got any tips that you'd like to share, please leave them in a comment! 

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