Information about the facilities for giving birth in Qatar and what postnatal support you can expect...
Arrangements will be made for the delivery at the hospital or clinic that the mother-to-be has been attending for her pre-natal care, unless she specifically requests otherwise. Facilities for delivering babies are of a high standard in the private hospitals and clinics. They provide private rooms for delivery and post-delivery care, and standard pain relief options such as gas and air and epidurals are freely available, as are facilities for delivering by caesarean section. Midwives work on the labour wards and assist the mother during labour, while a principal doctor or consultant usually supervises the birth itself.
Government facilities also have a good reputation, and private rooms are available in the Women's Hospital, for an extra fee.
In government run facilities, women are usually discharged 24 hours after the birth. In private hospitals, women generally remain three days following the birth or more after a caesarean section.
Water births and home births are not available in Qatar.
It is also an option for mothers to return to their home countries to give birth, and then return to Qatar after the baby has been born. There are different procedures for obtaining a visa for the newborn.
Postnatal care for mothers and babies in Qatar is not as prescriptive or encompassing as it is in some western countries; there are no mandatory home health visits, and check-ups take place at a hospital or clinics.
Some hospitals run Well-Baby programmes (such as Doha Clinic Hospital), and the vaccination programme is comprehensive. The government is looking to improve both pre and postnatal care as part of its National Health Strategy five-year plan, which launched in 2011.
Qatar's child immunisation programme currently offers vaccinations against 12 diseases: tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, haemophilus influenza, polio, pneumococcal infection, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox).
The website of Hamad Medical Corporation (the main government healthcare provider) has an interactive facility for determining what immunisations are due for an individual child.
The schedule and full details can also be viewed on Qatar's Supreme Council of Health website. The doctor or consultant should also advise of schedules and follow-up care.
Children can be immunised at government hospitals or private hospitals. All babies born in Qatar receive a vaccination card, which states the inoculation schedule and should be brought whenever a vaccination is due. Babies born outside Qatar should have records of any immunisations already received, plus a birth certificate, in order to be granted a Qatar vaccination card. These can be obtained from the Vaccination Centre Unit at Abu Hamour. With this card, vaccinations can be given at most government clinics.