woman holding small baby
Updated 2022-03-03 13:02

While having a child in a foreign country may seem quite overwhelming at first, with the right research and preparation, your experience in Saudi Arabia can be no different from that back home.

Pregnancy in Saudi Arabia

Prenatal care, delivery and post-natal care are easily available in the country. The standards of medical care in Saudi Arabia are quite high. You will also find a lot of expat doctors in major hospitals who speak English.

Most insurance companies will have maternity packages included in their premiums - however, this is something that you will need to check with your insurance provider. Your insurance may also not cover some prenatal services that you may find important - like lamaze classes. In this case, you may choose to pay for these separately or upgrade your insurance package. Keep in mind that your insurance is generally tied to your job contract ? or that of your spouse.

Note that when not covered by insurance pregnancy-related medical costs can get very high - the cost of delivery alone can go up to SAR 20,000.


Having a baby while not being married is illegal in Saudi Arabia. Because of this, if you are not married and want to confirm a pregnancy, the only way to do that is with a home pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, it's strongly advised that you leave Saudi Arabia.

Prenatal care in Saudi Arabia

The first step to take after you've discovered that you are pregnant is to find a hospital with a gynecological department and an OB/GYN that you feel comfortable with as they will be the ones guiding you throughout your pregnancy.

How frequent your OB/GYN appointments will depend on your doctor and the specifics of your pregnancy. A standard appointment will include the doctor taking your temperature, weight and blood pressure and performing a short ultrasound. At about the 20th week of your pregnancy, you will have a more "detailed" ultrasound and will be able to find out the gender of the baby.

Childbirth in Saudi Arabia

When it comes to the delivery itself, there are options that you can and should discuss with your doctor. Make sure you establish if you want a natural birth or can it be induced, when you should arrive at the hospital after your contractions start, etc. You will have all the standard options available during delivery: painkillers, epidural, nitrous oxide and so on.

Note that if you are giving birth in a public hospital, your spouse won't be allowed in the delivery room as this area is reserved for women only.

When you arrive at the hospital on the day of your delivery, make sure to have the following documents with you:

  • Passports and residence permits (Iqamas) of both parents
  • Your health insurance card
  • And marriage certificate

If the delivery goes without any complications, you will be able to go home within a few days.

When it comes to postnatal care, your doctor will give you all the needed guidance for follow-up check-ups, vaccinations, breastfeeding and for. There may also be classes for new mothers in your area.

Useful link:

Childcare in Saudi Arabia

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