I am a midwife, childbirth educator, lecturer, doula, and natural mother of eight children. This is not a medical reference; I do not proclaim to give medical advice. Anything stated here is from personal experience, research, study, and opinion. Each woman has the responsibility to do her own research, consult with her own medical team, and make her own decisions about pregnancy and birth.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Birth Won't Wait!

 Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
A fellow blogger had been reading my blog and commented that, "It can be a nightmare to deliver here in KSA and the Mid East."  She mentioned a few things that I made note to research and write about.  One was a horror story about someone she knew personally who experienced a tragedy while giving birth in Syria.  It's a sad story, but one that I want to feature after I get more details.  She also talked about women giving birth at home or abandoning their babies for fear of being deported or punished for not having current iqamas, or proper marriage documents, or not being married at all.  She mentioned babies being held "hostage" at hospitals when the parents were unable to pay the costs of hospital delivery. 

Just today she sent me two stories that were published in the Saudi Gazette newspaper.  The heading of her email to me was "See what I mean!"  She commented in her email, "This is an outrage!" and she's right!  Both stories feature women who were turned away by hospitals in Saudi Arabia and forced to deliver their babies without assistance within arms length of medical facilities and staff.  I've copied both stories here for you to read.

Although the stories are "an outrage," I hope you enjoy reading this blog.  I'd love to hear your story ideas and share your birth stories.  If there's a relevant news link please forward it to me and I'll share it on the blog.  Now on to the stories...Birth Won't Wait!...

Woman delivers baby in Yanbu hospital corridor (Saudi Gazette, October 25, 2010)

YANBU: A Saudi woman in Yanbu was allegedly forced to give birth to her baby in the corridor of the Royal Commission Hospital in Yanbu when medical staff refused to admit her because they said there was no vacant bed.

The hospital administration did not answer any telephone calls from Okaz/Saudi Gazette to get their version on the incident. The hospital had been sent a copy of the complaint lodged by the woman’s husband. The officials at the medical center also did not respond to calls.

Ibrahim Al-Anezi, the woman’s husband, said his wife was in a critical state when he rushed her to the hospital. He said her condition worsened because of the labor pains.

Al-Anezi said that when the medical staff refused to admit his wife, she had no choice but to deliver her baby in the corridor in full view of patients and members of the public. 

He said the health of his wife and their baby boy were threatened because of the incident.
Al-Anezi said he was astonished that the hospital staff managed to provide his wife with a vacant bed only after she delivered in the corridor. He said the incident had also caused embarrassment to him and his wife. 

—Okaz/Saudi Gazette 

Woman delivers in parking lot (Saudi Gazette, July 13, 2010)
By Rashed Al-Thuwaini
HAIL – A mother delivered her baby boy under the scorching sun in the parking lot of King Khaled Hospital here – after clinics would not admit the woman, her husband said.
The man, who requested anonymity, said he took his wife from Wadi Saqf village, about 80 km southwest of Hail, to find a clinic. No clinic would admit his wife so he was forced to travel to Hail.

The father, who said he was unaware of a private maternity hospital in the city, rushed directly to King Khaled Hospital while his wife’s condition got worse.
Sami Al-Ateeq and Abdullah Dhaifallah, receptionists in the hospital’s emergency room said a patient told them there was an emergency in the parking lot so they summoned female nurses to help the woman. The nurses discovered that the woman was in the final stages of delivery so they rushed her to the emergency room, the receptionists said.

They said the nurses provided primary health care and summoned a specialist doctor. They said the mother and her baby boy were taken by ambulance to the maternity hospital. 

– Okaz/Saudi Gazette


  1. Assalamu alaikum Aisha, I just came across your lovely blog! Don't know how you do it all mashaAllah! And your new baby (a Saudi homebirth!!!) was born on my birthday :) Congratulations mashaAllah!

    Just wanted to let you know the link in the post here just goes to the Saudi Gazette homepage. I don't see any article there related to birth.

  2. Enjoyed reading all the articles, birth stories and post.

  3. Asalam Alaikum,

    To Jessi, Masha'Allah! So nice to know my precious Amani shares her birthday with you!

    Thanks for taking the time to read the story and post your comments. As for the link, the stories themselves are pasted into the blog and can be read here, so I only linked to the homepage of the paper to give credit, not directly to the stories.

    To Anonymous, Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment!

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom