It’s been six months in the making but my Sidra review is finally here! Our second daughter Mleya Faith McBean was born at Sidra Medical Centre in April. I could not recommend Sidra enough! Read on to find out more!
For baby number two we knew that I’d most likely have to have another cesarean. In most hospitals in Doha men are not allowed to be present during the surgery and this was a major concern for me. Mahari, my eldest, was born at Doha Clinic (you can read about that experience here) however I knew that Pat would not be allowed in with me and that’s when we decided to go to Sidra.
Before Delivery Day
We chose the 34 weeks and onward package (check out the Sidra highlight on my Instagram page to see the different packages available and pricing etc). We went for a tour around the stunning state of the art hospital. It just did not disappoint in any aspect at all. After the tour and choosing my package, I met my doctor, Dr Pradeep, at my first antenatal appointment. He was personable informative and most importantly he listened carefully to our concerns and questions. I had four appointments with Dr Pradeep before my delivery as part of my package. I found this helpful as it gave the opportunity for me to raise concerns and to get to know my doctor.
In addition to meeting Dr Pradeep, I also met with an anaesthetist as part of my Pre Admission Test or PAT. He explained clearly how a CS works, the difference between a spinal and epidural for example, asked questions about my medical history and gave me the opportunity to ask questions. While all this is standard procedure, I think what I liked the most about my antenatal and PAT appointments is that staff were always personable, they listened carefully and answered my questions with no error in communication (as can often be the case here I’ve found), and made me feel at ease. Surgery can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but my level of anxiety was on 100 and the staff did an excellent job of carefully explaining the risks while still allaying my fears.
On the morning of the delivery, myself and Pat were escorted down to the recovery area where two nurses and both of the anaesthetists talked me through the process again to make sure I fully understand how the procedure would work. After checking my vitals and completing all necessary checks, I was taken to the OR where Pat would join me after the spinal had been administered.
Once surgery had started Pat was by my side the entire time (I had been informed that in case of an emergency he would be removed, which is of course completely understandable.) and we chatted happily to the anaesthetist and nurses while the procedure was carried out. I had requested for the screen to be lowered if possible once the baby’s head was out and thankfully they were able to allow this to happen (again not always possible depending on your situation and some hospitals don’t allow for it at all). It was truly one of the most beautiful moments of my life!
Mleya was then taken to one side for the APGAR test while I was being stitched back up and then brought back to me. We had skin to skin and I even managed to breastfeed which was incredible!
Once I had been stitched up, I was wheeled back to the recovery room and given a few last checks before being taken to the ward to my private room.
Post Delivery Care
After the intial day of surgery, I was kept in hospital for a further three days, so in total I was there for three nights and four days. I have to say the care I received was outstanding! I’ll break it down the different areas of care and what I liked about it.
Unlike other hospitals, I didn’t have standard nurses, I had midwives to care for me. Meaning they are specialised in Obstetrics. All of my midwives were incredible. Not only did they fulfill their usual duties, but they spent time talking to me and were really personable, which I think is very important and something I have found that some staff at other hospitals I’ve been to had been lacking. They checked regularly to see if I needed pain relief etc and one of my midwives helped me a lot when I couldn’t get Mleya to settle. I think having friendly medical staff is one of the most important things ever when choosing the right hospital. I’ve seen people before who clearly knew their stuff but just had no people skills at all. This was certainly not the case at Sidra as everyone was professional but very personable and it settled my anxieties a lot. So a HUGE, HUGE thank you to my midwives: Ursula, Nicola, Regine, Remy, Iman, Anna the CNI and Ada the lactation consultant. These women were superstars!
If I told you I never really experienced any pain post surgery many of you wouldn’t believe me, but it’s actually the honest truth. I was given pain meds regularly and told not to wait till I feel pain but just keep taking them. Honestly, this was the best advice ever! I was mobile less than 24hrs after surgery and apart from feeling a little dizzy I was fine! That doesn’t mean to say I was lifting anything heavy etc, but I felt very little discomfort at all. I was really impressed by this because let’s face it no one wants to feel pain or discomfort.
Okay so I know you don’t stay in hospital for the food, but I believe eating well does help your recovery. The food was delicious and there was an abundance of choice. They can of course cater to your dietary requirements which was important for me at the time because of my H Pylori stomach bug especially. There’s also a great canteen downstairs for visitors (the beef stir fry is spot on).
One aspect I really appreciated about Sidra is that the nursery is only used for sick babies. This was a welcome feature for me, because with Mahari and in other hospitals I have visited staff had often boasted about and insisted that once the baby is born it spends some time in the nursery and this is something I am particularly against. It was refreshing to find that at Sidra this doesn’t happen unless the baby needs special medical attention.
If there were any vaccinations or procedures that were to be undertaken, I was clearly informed by the staff and explained why it was necessary etc. Even if I was confused, staff would take their time to explain to make sure I fully understood.
During my stay, I was given the option of seeing a lactation consultant and physio. I was fortunate enough not to need the physio but did require some help this time round from a lactation consultant. Ada, the consultant, was so incredibly helpul and patient with me. I’d become so stressed out because Mleya wasn’t always feeding as she should have been and I couldn’t get her to latch the way she had done when she was first delivered. I felt like a total failure, but Ada gave me plenty of encouragement to persevere and I’m so glad I did.
Sidra is the closest to a western style hospital you can get in Qatar I believe, while still successfully being sensitive to local customs and traditions, and this is something I really liked. I felt like I was given care and attention from highly qualified staff and not once did I doubt their judgement or advice. They delivered my daughter safely and I left feeling confident, which is I think is so important for any mum whether you are a first timer or a seasoned parent.
Sidra was absolutely the right choice for me and I would highly recommend it as a place to deliver your baby. I have had several friends deliver there since I had Mleya who had visited upon my recommendation and ALL of them had a fantastic experience.
So once again a huge thank you to all the staff who were there and involved from start to finish!
And an addition thank you to Shehar Bano (The PMP Mom Studio) who did our birth photography pictured above.
Desert Mama xxx