From Bump To Birth

As soon as you find out that you’re going to have a baby, you need to choose where to go for your maternity care. Most expecting expat mothers opt for a private hospital rather than a government hospital, and as long as you have private health insurance this should be affordable, if not free. Bear in mind that some hospitals may charge extra for certain procedures, such as caesarean sections, costing around Dhs.20,000, and epidurals, which normally cost about Dhs.2,000. Having twins, triplets or more will cost you more, too. There are also additional costs for resuscitation after the birth, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), your husband staying overnight in the room with you, and, in some hospitals, baby’s nappies and wet wipes.

Prenatal care
Unlike some other countries, in the UAE the delivery will be performed by the doctor who treats you throughout your pregnancy, rather than a midwife. Therefore, it’s important to find a doctor that you are comfortable with from the beginning, as he or she will be with you ‘from bump to birth’. You can choose to have all your antenatal care at a local clinic, as many obstetricians are then authorised to deliver at a certain hospital. It’s also more than likely that you will be able to receive more frequent check-ups and scans in the run up to the birth as part of your care, including a 4D scan.

Hospitals
Mediclinic City Hospital, which has one of the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) in the UAE, and American Hospital are by far the most popular. There is also an NICU at the government-run Latifa Hospital; this is the largest NICU facility in the Middle East and provides treatment for babies from 24 weeks onwards.

Maternity myths
Let’s just clear up some of the misunderstandings about having a baby in Dubai. Here's what you need to know:
  • Your baby will have an Arabic birth certificate. You will need to have this translated, and apply for a birth certificate from your home country. 
  • He/she will not have UAE citizenship or a passport. You will have to apply for a passport from your home country.
  • Breastfeeding is allowed in the UAE - just be discreet.
  • Home births are not permitted in the UAE.
  • You must be married before giving birth.
  • The husband is allowed to be present at the birth at most private hospitals.
Overseas births
If you do decide to return to your home country for the birth, you will need to organise your baby's residence or visit visa before entering the UAE. The application should be filed by the father along with his passport and residence visa, salary certificate and a copy of the birth certificate. 

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