Being pregnant can be scary, especially the first time. Put that together with being in a strange country, strange Abu Dhabi hospitals and it is downright frightening.
Be reassured. Some of the best maternity care in the UAE is available in Abu Dhabi.
Everyone has different requirements when pregnant and different things they look for in a doctor and a hospital. But most important is the right to feel comfortable and safe.
Read this advice and these Best Birth Stories to help you find the right care and the right hospital for you.
Every Abu Dhabi resident is required to have health insurance. Different insurers have different ways to provide this insurance. Some, for example the most common, Daman, only allow patients to go to hospitals/clinics that are listed with them. If you go to another then you will not be reimbursed. Be careful of this, it can get very expensive.
No matter which type of health insurance you have or intend to arrange, you will need to make sure it offers the kind of coverage you need.
Maternity coverage is not always included in the standard health insurance policies.
Review any policy to confirm exactly what it does cover you for e.g pregnancy, delivery and postnatal support. It is very important that you know the boundaries of coverage (such as financial limits) so you don’t end up with a financial burden on top of a newborn!
Things to consider:
Please please don't cut any corners with checking this. Make sure that the best possibly health insurance is available for both you and your baby.
Abu Dhabi Hospitals
These are the main Abu Dhabi hospitals and clinics that are popular for pre-natal care, delivery and post-natal care. We are not trying to steer you towards any one in particular, rather help you to make your own decision.
Al Corniche Hospital
Located in downtown Abu Dhabi this hospital is the United Arab Emirate's leading referral hospital for obstetric and neonatal care. With over 8000 deliveries a year, the care is the best there is. Speciality clinics deal with lactation, fetal medicine, obstetric medicine and others so you will not have to go anywhere else.
Owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) Al Corniche Hospital is managed, along with Al Rahba Hospital, by Johns Hopkins Medicine International.
The waiting times for routine appointments are definitely among the highest.
You will be extremely unlikely to get a private room, either for labour or after.
The Womens Healthcare Clinic is an outpatient clinic that you can attend while pregnant. With generally shorter waiting times it is a popular choice. You can now continue you care at the clinic to 40 weeks if you have a low risk pregnancy.
Any uncomplicated delivery is generally midwife led.
Often people will register at Al Corniche Hospital even if they plan to deliver elsewhere. This is because, if you or your baby have a problem then this is likely to be where you are transferred.
Along with Al Rahba Hospital, Al Corniche Hospital has the best NICU, able to take the youngest babies in Abu Dhabi. If you have a high risk pregnancy then this is the place to be.
It is also an officially recognised UNICEF ‘Baby Friendly Hospital'. Breast feeding is positively encouraged and lactation consultants readily available to offer help if required.
Website: Al Corniche Hospital
Al Rahba Hospital
Located on the edge of Abu Dhabi as you head to Dubai this hospital is still busy. It is a general hospital and has an Emergency Room. The care is still excellent as it is is managed, along with Al Corniche Hospital, by Johns Hopkins Medicine International. The main difference for standard maternity care is that for a normal uncomplicated delivery it is doctor led, unlike the Corniche which is midwife led.
Waiting times are generally ok although you will potentially trek around the hospital for various appointments (ultrasounds, bloods etc).
You may get a private room but it is unlikely.
Website: Al Rahba Hospital
Al Noor Hospital
Obstetric and Gynecological care is provided for routine care and emergencies 24 hours a day. A general hospital with an Emergency room there are also clinics across Abu Dhabi.
A 'private' hospital you should get a private room for labour and delivery but if there are any major complications you may be referred to Al Corniche hospital.
Website: Al Noor Hospital
Another major referral hospital in Abu Dhabi, this time southeast of the city. Mafraq hospital is hoping to move into a new campus in 2015.
Run by SEHA like Al Corniche Hospital and Al Rahba Hospital it deals with referrals from all across Abu Dhabi. It also has a dedicated Paediatric Emergency Department.
Whilst currently not as popular as Corniche we suspect it may become more popular soon.
Ultimately, Mafraq Hospital aims to become an officially recognised UNICEF ‘Baby Friendly Hospital' like Al Corniche.
Website: Mafraq Hospital
Abu Dhabi's largest private tertiary care hospital. This hospital is becoming more popular with expats delivering in Abu Dhabi.
Website: Burjeel Hospital
We have to say that for elective caesarians people very often seem to go to Dubai. Not always for the prenatal care but often for the actual delivery. The guarantee of a private room and good care outweighs the distance. In fairness, some of the closer Dubai hospitals are actually almost as close in driving time as Al Reef to Al Corniche Hospital.
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