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Saudi mother refuses to take her newborn home ... because she's a girl

StepFeed logo StepFeed 16/05/2018 StepFeed

Saudi mother refuses to take her newborn home ... because she's a girl

a hand holding a baby © Provided by Step Platform DMCC

A Saudi woman who refused to accept the fact that she gave birth to a baby girl shocked health authorities in the kingdom's Ha'il governorate earlier this week. 

According to 7ail news site, minutes after giving birth, the new mother asked the doctor how her newborn was doing, and he replied assuring her that the "infant is doing great." 

The woman later said she took the statement to mean she had given birth to a boy، because the words the doctor used in his sentence were masculine. 

Speaking to local newspapers, medical sources said the woman later decided to file a lawsuit against the hospital and the doctor treating her, claiming they had switched her child with a baby girl. 

a screenshot of a social media post © Provided by Step Platform DMCC

The woman claimed the hospital had given her child to someone else...

In her complaint, the woman accused hospital staff of giving her son to other parents. However, both hospital staff and management refuted her claims. 

In a meeting with the new mother, the hospital's management team explained that hospital staff often use gender neutral phrases when briefing parents about their infants. 

After long negotiations, the woman finally backtracked on her claim and decided to take her newborn girl home. 

She also withdrew the legal complaint filed against the hospital and medical staff. 

"There is this pressure, especially when a woman is pregnant with her first child, for it to be male"

In a statement to StepFeed, Lamis, a Saudi social worker who often works on cases related to new mothers in the kingdom, explained that while it isn't widespread, the phenomenon of families favoring boys over girls isn't uncommon. 

"Unfortunately, even though we've advanced greatly in recent years, to many families in the kingdom, boys are still more favorable than girls. There is this pressure, especially when a woman is pregnant with her first child, for it to be male. This is because we live in a patriarchal society that always tends to put men above women. I've come across so many cases when expecting mothers were put under extreme pressure just because they were pregnant with girls," she explained. 

When asked about the Ha'il woman's case in specific, Lamis added: 

"She might've been under similar familial pressure, so desperate for her child to be a boy. That might also explain the denial she was in even after doctors reassured her she had given birth to a girl. I personally think that is what happened here." 

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