The birthing experience is a universal experience but strongly influenced by the culture of the patient, health care providers, and institution. Arab Muslim patients’ spiritual and cultural values are intertwined and affect their lives, including pregnancy, labor, and neonatal care.
A review of the literature and practices within a tertiary hospital in Saudi Arabia describes the values of the Arab Muslim patient. The spiritual values based on Islam necessitate an understanding of practices such as using zam-zam water, praying, reading of the Qu’ran, and specific religious practices around the neonate including Adhan. Cultural practices specific to the perinatal period that need acknowledgment include the use of special phrases such as Ma’shalah, Bismi’ allah before caring for patients as protection against beliefs such as the Evil Eye.