x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Busy with babies on special deliveries at Dubai's Al Zahra Hospital

The Life: Sally Hunter-Madubuko, a midwife at Al Zahra Hospital in Dubai, talks about a day in her life.

Midwife Sally Hunter at the Al Zahra Hospital in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
Midwife Sally Hunter at the Al Zahra Hospital in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

A Sally Hunter-Madubuko came to Dubai to join Al Zahra Hospital as a midwife and women's health manager last October. The 48-year-old from the United Kingdom says she hopes to see more normal deliveries in UAE hospitals.


I wake up and [exercise] with keep-fit videos. These are six-week sessions but I keep repeating them. I get a shower and have a breakfast of coffee and sometimes porridge, as I am usually in a rush.


I get to work around this time, or once a week when I am in the supervisory role I get in around 7am. I check the staffing levels and see whether we are staffed for the day and night. I check the equipment and emails. We are constantly updating the information packet that we give to expecting mothers such as on breastfeeding, bathing and sterilisation of bottles. So far, we have done two deliveries and both have been Caesareans. If a patient is on a delivery schedule, we do drills. It is the responsibility of a midwife to give personal attention to the patients. The UAE is challenging when it comes to midwifery when compared to the UK. It is very Caesarean-oriented here. At Al Zahra Hospital Dubai we hope to build a culture of midwifery through education. In Dubai there appears to be a mixture of obstetric nurses and midwives working on labour wards. At Al Zahra Dubai we only have midwives in the labour rooms. The term midwife means "with woman:", and the primary aim is to support the pregnant and labouring women throughout pregnancy, labour and postnatal phase. We have many birthing aids such as a birthing stool, birthing balls and a proposal for a birthing pool as water is an excellent aid for pain relief in labour.


I have lunch between 1 and 3pm. Usually it is pineapple or pomegranate juice with a salad.


Staff training and paperwork is an ongoing process. I have 28 people working for me. They include midwives, registered nurses for obstetrics and gynaecology, and the nursery and healthcare assistants. Among the emergencies so far we have had a pregnant woman who is diabetic and she came in just for monitoring. She had slightly high blood pressure. But we saw the baby was not at all happy. We called the team and we had to do a Caesarean.


I finish around this time but nowadays am going home around 6pm to 7pm. If a patient is getting ready for discharge they have lots of questions.


I live in Jumeirah Lakes Towers and after I get home I go for a walk on the marina. I love my Kindle. Currently I am reading Desperate in Dubai. I also read adventure stuff. I cook depending on whether I get time. I have dinner with chicken and rice, and curry sometimes.


I go to bed by 11pm.