Getting a Pregnancy test
If you suspect you might be pregnant, you can buy a pregnancy kit over the counter from any pharmacy to find out for sure. These kits cost around SAR 20. If the test is positive, it’s time to book an appointment for your urine and blood tests.
Finding a Doctor
Most of the hospital websites list resident medical specialists like gynecologists, as well as visiting doctors. Details such as country of origin, qualifications, and languages will be listed as well.
Another alternative is to request recommendations from your friends or social media platforms for hospitals and doctors with strong OB/GYN department in your area. Whoever you choose will be with you for your entire pregnancy, so be sure you’re comfortable with them.
?Pro Tip: You can get to know if a doctor is famous or not by checking their booking schedule
Maternity Packages on Visit Visa
For those who are on visit visa, the health insurance card isn’t available and are not accepted in most of the hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The visit visa insurance is applicable only in Emergency pregnancy cases and you need to have paid the visit visa insurance fee (~SAR 5000) to avail this.
But nevertheless, it will not help you in non-emergency cases (natural or cesarean).
The best option for an expat with visit visa is to look for hospitals that offer maternity packages to provide antenatal care. These packages usually cover all the tests and consultations that are required throughout your pregnancy. You would need to pay the hospital bill upfront, in cash.
?Pro Tip: Most hospitals offer huge discounts (25% or more) for cash patients. Make sure to request them for the same.
Usually the cost of these packages are split into two
Cost of Antenatal care
|Number of Consultations
|Antenatal Care Months 1-9
|Antenatal Care Months 4-9
|Antenatal Care Months 6-9
Cost of Delivery
Therefore the total cost for pregnancy ranges from SAR 5500 -SAR 9500. And obviously these costs varies depending upon the hospital type and location you are in. Below is an example of a maternity package and the tests that are conducted.
Make sure you plan to book your appointment at-least a week before the appointment date. And once you are at the hospital, select the right maternity package as per your requirement and proceed to consult the doctor.
During these appointments, you’ll visit with your OB-GYN or a maternity team member who will follow your pregnancy. In case if you choose not to opt for maternity packages for whatever reasons, you will be charged a regular consultation fees for every visit. The cost for this ranges from SAR 50 – SAR 300 per visit with 1 or 2 follow-up visits for free.
Tests, Scans and Checks
In every visit, your doctor will let you know how regular your appointments will be and they will likely take your vitals (temperature, weight, blood pressure) as well as a short ultrasound.
At around 6 months, you’ll have to take ultrasound test where the technician makes sure that everything is normal and can let you know the gender if you’ d like. If there are any abnormalities at this point, you’d be referred to a specialist.
?Pro Tip: Get advise from the doctor regarding nutrition, exercise, pain management, among others.
Delivery and Childbirth
As your delivery date nears, it’s wise to have a concrete birthing plan that you’ve discussed with your doctor. Discuss if it will be an induced birth or natural birth and what sign that you need to wait to visit the hospital.
When it’s time to go to the hospital, be sure to bring all your identification documents as well as all the normal essentials (clothes for you and baby, toiletries, diapers, etc.). Be sure to ask your doctor to confirm what you need to bring with you to the hospital. Generally, you need the following
- Passport or Iqamah
- Marriage certificate
Discharge from Hospital
If it is a natural birth, you are likely to be discharged the next day. But if it is a cesarean section, you might be required to stay 3 or more days depending upon the complications.
Make sure to collect the Discharge summary paper which will be required for you to apply for birth certificate for your newborn. Being born in Saudi Arabia does not grant you residency, your little baby needs a Saudi Residence Permit. This is only possible after their registration.
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