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Saudi Arabia – Maternity and Giving Birth

Saudi Arabia is a country located in the Middle East, known for its rich culture and history. When it comes to childbirth, women in Saudi Arabia have access to a range of options, including hospital births and home births. This article will explore the most common options for giving birth in Saudi Arabia, how to register a birth, and the attitudes and legislation surrounding abortion in the country.

Giving Birth in Saudi Arabia

Hospital Births

The majority of births in Saudi Arabia take place in hospital settings, with most women giving birth in government-run hospitals. In a hospital setting, women are supported by a team of midwives, doctors, and nurses. Women who give birth in a hospital have access to pain management options, such as epidurals, and medical interventions if necessary.

Saudi hospitals are well-equipped with modern facilities and equipment, and women who give birth in a hospital are supported by a team of midwives, nurses, and doctors. Most hospitals in Saudi Arabia have private birthing suites, which are designed to create a more comfortable atmosphere for the birth.

Home Births

Home births are also an option for women in Saudi Arabia, although they are less common than hospital births. Women who choose to have a home birth are supported by midwives who provide care throughout the pregnancy and are on hand to assist with the birth.


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Home births are seen as a safe and viable option for low-risk pregnancies. However, if complications do arise during the birth, the midwife will make the decision to transfer the mother and baby to the hospital.

Water Births

Water births are a relatively new option for women in Saudi Arabia, and they are becoming increasingly popular. In a water birth, the mother gives birth in a pool of warm water, which can help to ease the pain of contractions and make the birth process more comfortable.

Water births are generally seen as a safe option for low-risk pregnancies, and many hospitals in Saudi Arabia now offer this option to women who are interested.

Registering a Birth in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, births must be registered within 30 days of the baby being born. This can be done at any civil affairs office in the country, and both parents must be present. If one of the parents is unable to be present, they can provide a notarized authorization for the other parent to register the birth.

To register a birth, the following documents are required:

  • The birth certificate issued by the hospital, midwife, or doctor
  • Identification documents for both parents
  • The marriage certificate, if applicable

After the birth has been registered, the civil affairs office will issue a birth certificate, which is a legal document that serves as proof of the child’s identity and nationality.

Attitudes to and Legislation Surrounding Abortion in Saudi Arabia

Abortion in Saudi Arabia is strictly illegal, and there are no exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger. The punishment for having an abortion can range from imprisonment to the death penalty, depending on the circumstances.

The attitudes towards abortion in Saudi Arabia are largely influenced by the country’s conservative religious views, which prohibit the practice. Women who seek an abortion are often stigmatized and face significant social and legal consequences.

As a result, women in Saudi Arabia have limited access to reproductive healthcare services, including family planning and contraception. This can make it difficult for women to plan their pregnancies and can contribute to the high rate of unplanned pregnancies in the country.

In conclusion, while women in Saudi Arabia have access to a range of options for giving birth, including hospital births, home births, and water births, the country’s strict laws and attitudes towards abortion can be a significant challenge for women seeking reproductive healthcare. There is a need for greater access to reproductive healthcare services, including family planning and contraception, to help women plan their pregnancies and prevent unplanned pregnancies.

However, there are also organizations in Saudi Arabia that are working to provide women with access to reproductive healthcare and to challenge the country’s restrictive abortion laws. These organizations provide counseling, education, and referrals to women who need reproductive healthcare services, and they work to raise awareness about women’s reproductive rights.

Furthermore, the government has recently introduced a number of initiatives aimed at improving women’s healthcare in the country, including the provision of free healthcare for all citizens and a renewed emphasis on women’s reproductive healthcare.

Despite these challenges, Saudi Arabia has made significant progress in recent years towards improving women’s healthcare and reproductive rights. With continued efforts to expand access to reproductive healthcare services and to challenge restrictive abortion laws, there is hope that women in Saudi Arabia will have greater control over their reproductive health and rights in the future.


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