As a Doula who always advocates a Birth plan, remaining positive and expecting the best, allow me to read you the fine print which is “Plans don’t always go as planned.” The more flexible you are, the better off you will be. When it comes to giving birth, especially the first time, you and your spouse want to be well prepared. You should have a plan A, but also a plan B, C, and D. Know your options, highlight your preferences as a means of empowerment. This is all in an effort to manage your expectations. If you are from abroad, you may be expecting a certain type of birth (whether it’s private, public hospital or a home birth) based on where you are from. In the UAE things are very different – hospitals aren’t always built with dim lights, warm and quiet environments. They’re busy places where the main objective is to deliver baby after baby. There are options of gentler and quieter birthing environments but it is knowing how to make it possible. The best way to prepare is to educate yourself so that you know what options are available to you. You can be positive and determined to give your ideal birth the best you can and that will get you closer to achieving that.
5 Tips How to prepare for a hospital birth in the UAE:
1. Find the right care giver. Have a list of questions for your doctor. If they questions are honored continue, if they’re ignored or belittled, run the opposite direction.
2. Visit the hospital and get a photocopy of the procedures. Read about Vitamin K shots, Cord Clamping and the advantages of waiting, eye ointments, skin on skin or Kangaroo care, rooming in and separation between mom and baby, breastfeeding the 1st hour and the importance of colostrums. Other things to consider are being overdue, induction, augmentation and its side effects.
3. Know your rights as a client (you’re not a patient). Read everything before you sign and handover your body and your child to the medical team. When in labor and going for a natural birth, stay at home as long as your contractions (Surges/Rushes) allow you to, try to keep a quiet environment at home and bring as much of it with you to the hospital (ex. Favorite Pajama, wear sunglasses to block the light which can slow down a birth, your favorite music or Hypno-birth sets).
4. Have a solid birth plan. Ensure that it is flexible to emergencies and gives many options and case scenarios that will prepare you for the best and the worst, it should be empowering yet informative.
5. Of course I will have to say this, Have a Doula. Doulas act as a buffer between hospital and your family. This allows your birth attendant or partner to focus more on you instead of running around chasing nurses or whatever else comes up. A Doula will let your loved one remain with you or if your loved one can’t be present she can be there to hold and comfort you. I had a marathon birth with my daughter which lasted 30hrs. If it hadn’t been for our amazing Doula, my husband would not have been able to remain physically and emotionally supporting me through out. For more information regarding Child Birth, please take a look at Child Birth Education and Doula Services on Facebook.
Baida is a Doula and Child Birth Educator from Kuwait. She’s married to a Dutchman and has been in the UAE for two and a half years. Her passion for breastfeeding, natural living and supporting moms through the early days has been ongoing since 2010 while living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She has put the business world aside to focus on her passion which is all about natural family living. She has a small herb and vegetable garden in her home in Khalifa City A where she makes remedies for her children minimizing doctor visits.