No matter what corner of the world a woman experiences pregnancy in, some consistencies exist. Regardless of whether or not someone find themselves pregnant in the middle of the desert or the barren landscape of the Arctic, pregnancy is still nine months long. There will still be specific, unavoidable aches and pains and the eventual outcome of a baby is always worth the struggle.
The female experience is a shared one ad women everywhere can bond over the concept of motherhood. We love our children, would die for our children and believe there is no cuter human on the planet than the one that we ourselves birthed.
Similarities aside, different global regions do handle pregnancy uniquely. The medical care, social stigma, and even cultural expectations vary depending on what part of the world a woman is gestating in. Expectant mothers in a country such as Dubai and going to have a vastly different pregnancy experience compared to the mommies to be in the United States. Take a look at these twenty ways that pregnancy in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai varies from a typical pregnancy experience in the US.
20 No Husbands In Some Delivery Rooms
One interesting fact about Dubai hospitals is they all have different rules and regulations when it comes to childbirth. Some hospitals have reputations for being better than others when it comes to labor and delivery. Not all Dubai hospitals will permit a husband to be by his wife's side when she gives birth to their child.
Husbands are not allowed to be present in Iranian hospitals. They also can't be around if the mother is giving birth in a Sharjah hospital.
If women in Dubai want their husbands present for the birth, they need to do their research and make sure their chosen hospital allows it before the big day.
19 Giving Birth Out Of Wedlock Is Not Permitted
Having a baby out of wedlock is so common here in the states, no one even bats an eye over it anymore. If a woman finds herself with-child in Dubai and doesn't have a ring on her finger, she is really up a creek. Unmarried mothers can even end up locked away following the birth of their baby. It is THAT prohibited.
Pregnant and unwed mothers in Dubai have a couple of options: they can hightail it out of the UAE and return to their home country, or they can hold a wedding to avoid breaking the law. An unmarried Muslim mother is more likely to end up in a load of trouble compared to a Christian woman, but in short, all unwed pregnant women in Dubai are playing with fire.
18 Expat, Unmarried, Expectant Moms Are Asked To Go Home
Just because you come from a progressive nation somewhere far from Dubai doesn't exempt you from the strict laws that they have regarding marriage and pregnancy.
It might be perfectly fine to have a baby with someone other than your husband in many parts of the world, but it is not alright in Dubai, even if you are not Muslim or a natural citizen of the United Arab Emirates.
If you do discover that you are pregnant in Dubai with a partner whom you are intensely committed to, you might want to consider marriage, if not for love then for the ability to raise your child! If marriage is most definitely not in your life plans, you better get on a plane and truck it back to whatever country you came from before you deliver.
17 Couples Must Apply For Insurance Before Getting Pregnant
Insurance is a big deal in Dubai, and pregnant women need it, but not all insurance options are created equal. You get what you pay for. While most health insurance options will cover the natural birth or the cesarean section, couples will want to make sure the package they choose allows them to give birth at the hospital they desire and covers the tests that they prefer.
There might also be a lengthy waitlist when it comes to maternity insurance. Couples can be on a waiting list for almost a year before benefits go through, this can be a bit of a problem for some folks considering pregnancy is only nine months long!
16 Not All Hospitals Are Created Equal
Many women who are birthing babies in Dubai will find themselves in perfectly acceptable government hospitals. Others will be able to choose private hospitals that feel far more like a five-star hotel than a building housing ill humans. Imagine getting wheeled into a hospital surrounded by luxurious water fountains and beautiful palm trees! Now THAT is the way to give birth people.
Women who have babies in private Dubai hospitals might find themselves surrounded by flat-screen televisions, comfy day beds for their spouses and even a mini fridge for beverages and snacks.
Some also have all day dining menus. Sign us up!
15 Stay Away From Street Vendors
Street food is delicious and many delightful and tasty treats found in Dubai are bound to make a pregnant woman's mouth water. Expectant women living in Dubai are encouraged to stay away from street vendors and their yummies. Because the water sources that some of these vendors choose to use in the cooking process are less than safe, pregnant women could develop an illness.
In all fairness, Dubai or otherwise, street food probably isn't the best choice when it comes to meals for a pregnant lady. It's best to play it safe for the health of the unborn.
14 Home Births Are Not Allowed In Dubai
So you had your hopes set on having a home birth in the heart of Dubai? Think again. Home births, much like having a baby without being hitched, are not legal in the city. Midwives are not permitted to work outside of the hospitals, thus cannot travel inside private homes to assist with births.
If non-hospital birthing experiences are an absolute must for women, then they will have to consider traveling back to their native country to make that dream a reality. They are considered to be too risky to manage should complications arise for the mother or her newborn.
13 You Will Likely Have A Female OBGYN
Lots of women expectant women choose to work with female OBGYN's because they feel more comfortable relating to another woman in regards to the female experience that is pregnancy and childbirth. I too felt more comfortable with a female doctor with my first baby. All the rest though, I didn't care if an alien got them out of my body, as long as they got out in due time!
In Dubai, women are far more likely to have a female doctor for every pregnancy, though, because the city is in a Muslim country and the cultural norms are that pregnancy and childbirth is women's work.
12 UAE-Born Babies Might Not Have The Same Nationality As Mom
Yes, this is a bit of a confusing concept so let us break it down for you. When a baby is born in Dubai, he or she might not have the same nationality as the mother whose body he or she just came out of. That seems a bit off to many of us mommas in the United States because we equate our biological spawn to being an extension of ourselves.
In Dubai, the baby will not have the UAE nationally unless the baby's father is Emirati. As a mother, it is hard for me even to imagine my daughters having a different nationality than myself. In the UAE however, it is entirely typical for this type of arrangement.
11 There Are No Nurseries
In countries like the United States, many hospitals have an infant nursery full of around the clock medical professionals ready and waiting to tend to your a woman's newborn infant. Childbirth is serious work, and mothers often leave the experience exhausted and in need or some rest and recuperation. In Dubai, however, infant nurseries are not available.
This is because the medical professionals there believe that newborns and mothers need to be together and bonding during the initial days outside of the womb. Once the baby is out in the world, there is no sending him or her away so that you can catch a shower and a nap. Welcome to motherhood.
10 Doctors Book Up Fast!
A pregnant woman's doctor in Dubai will not only almost always be female, but she will also book up quickly. If a woman finds herself living in Dubai and in the family way, she better not wait too long to decide on a medical care practitioner to monitor her pregnancy.
Healthcare is a highly competitive business in Dubai, and the most popular doctors will have lengthy waiting lists attached to their name. Many women will begin their pregnancy journey with one doctor and switch to their first preference later on in their pregnancies, once the first choice doctor becomes available.
9 Have Your Marriage Certificate On Hand
When you are pregnant in Dubai, you will want your marriage certificate in hand. It's the golden ticket over there. To even have a maternity file opened at a Dubai hospital, one must present a license of marriage to hospital personnel.
Your marriage certificate will also have to be produced when you go to apply for a birth certificate for your newborn.
This piece of paper is LITERALLY your "get out of jail free" card. Women who are about to give birth in the UAE should probably make several copies of their marriage certificate and keep the original in a safe place.
8 Prenatal Tests And Checkups Occur More Frequently
Here in the United States, non-high risk pregnancies often result in one comprehensive ultrasound when the mother-to-be is around 20 weeks pregnant. This is standard here but would be considered negligent in Dubai.
Women there undergo far more checkups, and tests than expectant mothers in the states do. Appointments commonly occur every two weeks, as opposed to one a month as they do here. Many of the tests that women can opt out of here in the states are mandatory in Dubai. They don't mess around when it comes to a pregnant lady and her baby!
7 Doulas Are The Norm
By definition, a doula is a woman who is trained to assist another woman who is going through birth. They also frequently help with ani-natal care following delivery. While doulas are not unheard of here in the states, they are far more common in the labor and delivery experience in Dubai.
They will have to assist you in a hospital though, as home births are not happening in the UAE. Most of the doulas in Dubai are UK or US trained and are preferred by expat families that might not have their close kin nearby when the big day arrives.
6 Breastfeeding Support Is More Available Than In The US
For years, mommies in America have heard the mantra "breast is best!" While breastmilk has some superhuman powers to it, it isn't the only means of feeding babies. In recent years many women have moved over to the belief that fed is best, and no mother should be shamed because of how she chooses to nourish her child.
In Dubai, breastfeeding is highly encouraged by medical personnel.
There are tons of breastfeeding support groups in the city and many malls, and shopping centers have designated breastfeeding rooms. Women do have to stay covered up with feeding their infants in Dubai.
5 Your Hand Might Cramp From All The Baby-Related Paperwork
It's true. The pregnancy experience in Dubai is laced with piles upon piles of tedious paperwork. Paperwork seems to be a massive part of all UAE processes, not only childbirth.
Once you present your marriage certificate to the appropriate people, you will be issued a birth certificate in Arabic. It is then the parents' responsibility to have the birth certificate translated to the couple's home language if they are expat parents. Following that, parents need to fill out paperwork for their child's passport, their residency visa, and an Emirates ID to obtain legal residency status for their child in Dubai and the UAE.
4 Glucose Tests Are Mandatory
The Glucose test is one of the more unpleasant aspects of being pregnant. As unpleasant as drinking that sugary gunk can be for an expectant lady, the test is critical. It detects whether or not a woman is at an elevated risk for developing gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes can affect both the mother and the child, so it's considered imperative that expectant women find out if they are at risk for it. Women who are pregnant in Dubai won't be able to wiggle out of this particular test as it is considered to be mandatory for all pregnant women.
3 Midwife Home Visits Are Included In The Maternity Package
So many women in America leave the hospital with their newborn in tow and suddenly find themselves alone and worried. The care for the mother pretty much stops with the discharge papers. Sure a six week follow up appointment is typical, but let's be honest: a whole lot can happen in the six long weeks of new motherhood.
Women in Dubai are often seen in their homes by midwives. It is part of many maternity care packages there. I sure would not have minded a little visit from a midwife after I birthed my babies and found myself completely stressed by my own circumstances.
2 Elective C-Sections Are Popular
While the "down south" way of having a baby is still considered to be the safest, most natural way of delivery, many women living in Dubai and the UAE, in general, will opt for undergoing an elective cesarian section instead of letting nature take its course. E
lective c-sections are common in this part of the world and are popular among women who are worried about the trauma that takes place when the natural method happens. Almost HALF of the infant deliveries in the UAE are via cesarian section compared to roughly 30% of births in the United States. That is an astounding number to digest.
1 Unwanted Pregnancies Have To Be Carried Out
Thousands of women find themselves in sticky pregnancy situations every year. They realize that they are late for their monthly visitor, take a test and discover that they are with child. Not all pregnancies are wanted, however, and some countries allow women to make decisions regarding pregnancy and their bodies, but others do not.
According to UAE law, a pregnancy termination can occur if the pregnancy endangers the mom's life or if there is evidence that the baby will be born with an inability to survive outside of the womb.