(MENAFN - Arab News) The majority of expatriate wives living in the Kingdom say they prefer delivering a baby here rather than go back home.
Although women say they prefer to be in the company of family and relatives when delivering a baby, there are more health care facilities in Saudi Arabia. It has a safer and more technologically advanced medical environment than their home countries.
"Medical care in Saudi Arabia is great, except that the nurses at government hospitals can get a bit cranky at times," said Umm Tariq, an American national who is married to a Saudi and living in the Kingdom.
"I had my first and second babies in a hospital in Jeddah, and I'm due again in December," she sadded. "Both my deliveries went fine, and I was satisfied with the cleanliness of the hospital and the patient care. You have to always make sure you have the right doctors for everything to be perfect. You could probably get a word from other expatriate women who have given birth in the Kingdom and find out their experiences and doctor recommendations."
Expectant mothers cite their own countries insufficient medical care and high mortality rate as a reason for remaining in Saudi Arabia. Most South Asian countries have high mortality rates.
The number of deaths per 1,000 live births in Saudi Arabia averages about 15.61 per 1,000. India's infant mortality rate is 46.07 per 1,000 live births. In Pakistan, it 's 61.27 per 1,000 and in Bangladesh it's 48.99 per 1,000 live births, according to the CIA's World Factbook.
Many husbands bring their mothers-in-law or an elderly relative to be with their wives at the time of delivery and help with taking care of the baby.
"Because of the fact that my insurance policy covers maternity costs, my wife chose to deliver our baby in a private hospital in the Kingdom rather than in India," said Kumar Vinesh.
Vinesh said that ever since they found that his wife was expecting, they made plans to arrange for the arrival of his wife's mother.
"I had my baby here and it was a good experience, although I was alone and it was my first baby," says Javeria Mufti. "Thank God, I had doctors and nurses who were very cooperative and made everything easier for me."
Mufti said although she had a cesarean, due to the good medical care in the Kingdom she felt no pain after the surgery, in contrast to her friends in Pakistan.
Indian housewife Farah Khan, on the other hand, wanted to have her baby here but she was skeptical because she was not familiar with the procedure at the hospitals in the Kingdom.
"I have no family here and since it was my first time and I was all alone, I decided to do it back at home, in India, upon my parent's request," says Khan. "My decision to do the delivery in India was worthy since I had people around me and my mother to take care of me and the baby post-delivery."
In the case of Alia Naureen, a Pakistani housewife and mother of three, even though maternity is not included in the insurance, the surgery is preferably to take place at hospitals in Saudi Arabia.
"As far as the cost of delivering a baby is concerned, it is much more expensive here compared to Pakistan," says Naureen. "I don't have any medical insurance, but I prefer better medical care, which is why I chose to deliver my children here. I paid SR 4,500 for the full package."