Thinking about the financial burden of having children can discourage even the most eager couples. A middle-income family with a baby born in 2008 can expect to spend about $291,570 (Dh1.07 million) for food, shelter and other necessities, to raise that child over the next 17 years, according to the US Department of Agriculture. That's a little over $17,000 a year.
But even before the child is born, spending starts to go up during pregnancy and continues through childbirth. For families expecting a newborn in Dubai, hospital bills are one of the major budget busters.
Couples can spend from Dh2,000 to Dh17,500 on a normal delivery with just two days' stay in the hospital. Add Dh2,000 to Dh16,000 if an expectant mother needs a Caesarian-section. Add to that the cost of maternity care prior to delivery (antenatal) and you can expect to spend from Dh4,500 to Dh24,000 on a normal childbirth, depending on which hospital you go to and what type of care you require.
Most expectant mothers in Dubai normally go for pre-packaged medical services to take care of all their consultations, lab tests and other related exams during pregnancy.
Antenatal packages at low-end hospitals in Dubai can cost you about Dh2,500 while a normal delivery costs about Dh2,000 and a C-section procedure costs about Dh4,000. According to mothers who gave birth in Dubai, choices for those opting for low-budget packages include the government-run Al Wasl hospital and Dubai Hospital. Al Wasl is highly recommended for women with high-risk pregnancies or those who need to deliver early.
For women who opt for private facilities, basic antenatal packages can cost between Dh3,200 and Dh5,175, while normal delivery package prices can range between Dh 5,000 and Dh11,025. Bills can reach as high as Dh47,775 for a two-day stay in the hospital if a woman requires a royal suite to deliver a baby.
For women requiring C-section procedures, they need to set aside a budget between Dh9,000 and Dh22,800, if they want to go to private hospitals. A C-section package with a four-day stay in a royal suite can cost more than Dh96,000 at a high-end facility.
There are a variety of private hospitals in Dubai that offer maternity services. The list includes International Modern Hospital, City Hospital, Welcare, Medcare, American Hospital and Zulekha Hospital, among others.
For antenatal care, you can get a basic package for Dh3,200 at Zulekha hospital in Dubai or a standard package for Dh4,200. Normal delivery package at the same hospital can cost you between Dh5,000 and Dh8,000, depending on your choice of room, while a C-section procedure can cost you between Dh9,000 and Dh15,000.
If you want to go to Medcare, antenatal packages cost between Dh3,750 and Dh5,000 while a normal delivery package with a one-bed suite accommodation costs Dh9,500. C-section procedures at the same hospital cost Dh17,000 for one-bed suite, Dh29,500 for a VIP suite and Dh33,500 for a royal suite.