Giving birth is seldom free from stress and concern, but it can be even more challenging in a foreign city, especially one as different from the UK as Dubai. The best thing to do is get informed to avoid surprises, so here are five things you should know about giving birth in Dubai.
- You Need a Marriage Certificate
Plenty of paperwork is necessary when you give birth in Dubai, including a valid health card, passport, and residency visa. Make sure that your health insurance includes maternity cover, and check to see how much is provided as you can often add coverage upgrades if maternity coverage is not provided. What often surprises expats is that a marriage certificate is also required. Hospitals will not be able to issue a birth certificate until they have seen the parents’ marriage certificate. They even need to make sure the dates add up to show that you were married before the baby was conceived.
- Husbands Aren’t Always Allowed to Stay
When you’re trying to pick the right hospital, remember to check policies covering whether the husband can stay during the night and whether the husband can stay after official visiting hours have ended. It might seem odd, but many UAE hospitals will not allow this.
- Caesareans Are Common
The World Health Organisation reports that 25% of all births in the UAE involve a C-section, which is well above the worldwide average. This is mainly because woman generally give birth to more children, continuing to give birth into later life as a result. Unfortunately, it means that Caesareans are often encouraged, partly because operations are expensive and provide additional scope for profit. Don’t let yourself be pushed into one if it isn’t needed.
- Home and Water Births Are Not Allowed
If you want a water birth or feel like bringing your baby into the world in your own home, Dubai is not the place to be. Home births and water births are not legal. To provide comfort, you should consult with a doula – they can provide sought-after support during and after the birth.
- You’ll Room with Your Baby
UAE hospitals encourage mother/baby bonding, so your new-born will be roomed with you right after birth instead of being taken away and placed in a nursery. It can be nice, but get ready to cope with the crying.