The Cayman Islands is a wonderful place to have a baby and women can expect to receive world class care. Read on to find out more about some of Cayman's best medical experts as well as first-hand experience of pregnancy in Cayman
Dr. Diana van der Borden
Dr. Diana van der Borden is a Consultant OBGYN at OceanMed.
Why did you choose your field of speciality?
As a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology you see patients of all ages with a tremendous variety of issues. Starting in adolescence with period problems, contraception choices, wishing to conceive, pregnancies, deliveries and gynaecological problems. The combination of counselling, being able to give treatments and performing operations yourself is very fulfilling – not to mention the possibility of building a long-term relationship with your patients.
What are the greatest challenges you have faced during your career?
When I started studying medicine, female students were more the exception than the rule so you really had to prove that you were as competent as your male colleagues. The majority of male doctors still expected you to bake a cake and bring them coffee. We were literally told that our place was in the kitchen! Finding the time for personal relationships or to visit family and friends was also challenging. We had no time to even think about hobbies. Weeks consisting of 80-100 hours’ worth of day and night shifts were normal in those days.
If you had to write a biography who would it be dedicated to?
Definitely my husband and my parents. My parents because they did everything to try and give their children a better life than they had. My husband because he was the one who had to put up with me; always being late, tired and moody. It was as though he was ‘on-call’ as often as I was, being woken up by the same phone calls, just without receiving a salary! He would even make me a peanut butter sandwich at 3am knowing I would not be able to eat before a full day in my clinic.
What excites you about medicine in general?
Interacting with people and solving problems. Just one smiley, happy patient makes my day.
Rachel Peterkin-Smith is a Midwife at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority.
Who or what inspired you to become a Midwife?
It was a student midwife I met while doing a college enrolment and the second midwife I had during my own labour (the first midwife demonstrated all the attributes I did not want!).
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Being nominated for ‘Angel of the Year’ when I worked in Guernsey. One of my patients nominated a colleague and I after we acted very quickly in a life-threatening situation when she was 28 weeks pregnant. Both she and her baby girl survived and the baby went on to be delivered safely and is now thriving.
What do you enjoy the most about working in Cayman?
I enjoy working in a small unit where the workload is varied. It’s also cool bumping into families I've cared for, in the supermarket or on the beach – that literally never happens in London!
What would you say to a child interested in becoming a Midwife?
I would remind them that it’s not really about cuddling babies, but more about caring for expectant mothers and fathers during labour, building bonds and trust, and recognising that a midwife's role is to advocate for their patient, whatever that may entail.
Which actor would you choose to play you in a film about your life and why?
Angela Bassett, just because I love her work and think she is an amazing example of a modern black woman.
What form of exercise would you recommend for expectant mothers in Cayman?
I guess I would always recommend yoga for expectant mothers, and if that’s not quite your thing, then walking. It's important to remind expectant mothers that they can usually continue their regular exercise routines but may have to adapt slightly as the pregnancy progresses. There are obviously some exercises that should be avoided completely.
Kayla Anderson has a five year old son and gave birth to her second child in July 2023.
What is your favourite way to relax whilst heavily pregnant?
I have a five year old so the best way for me to relax is a nice nap which is something my body never usually lets me do. Cuddling up with him on a lazy Sunday has been my favourite.
What was your biggest health worry whilst being pregnant?
The worry is never really for myself, but for the baby – especially leading up to those appointment dates when you’re unsure of what has changed since the last one. I have learned that to take care of baby, I need to take care of myself, so I do my best to be healthy.
If you could invite three celebrity mums to antenatal classes with you, who would they be and why?
Right off the bat I would say Rihanna and Blake Lively. I think they would be hilarious and the most fun. It’s hard to choose a third mum but I think I’ll say Serena Williams because of how open she has been with her post-partum struggles and health issues.
How did you go about choosing your obstetrician?
I did a lot of research, asked fellow mums, checked social media groups and met with who I thought would be the best fit. It worked out for me with my first choice but there is also nothing wrong with meeting multiple doctors.
What is your son’s current reaction or opinion on the arrival of a new sibling?
He is thrilled and promises to be the best big brother. I worry about him feeling left out but he is the best and has been so involved with the preparation and continues to express how excited he is to be a big brother.
Dr. Rommel El-Madany
Dr. Rommel El-Madany is a Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist with Helena Medical Group and has worked in Cayman for over 18 years.
Why did you choose your field of speciality?
On a busy day during my training as an undergraduate medical student in Obstetrics, I was offered the opportunity to deliver a baby under the direct supervision of a Senior Resident on duty. I felt immediately that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, to be part of this miracle. I was given the opportunity and special training to assist. I felt privileged to conduct a number of deliveries, many of them challenging ones, like breech, twins, instrumental and even caesareans – a wonderful opportunity at such a young age.
It’s been a long and stressful day. Where would you go on-Island to relax and unwind?
If the sun is still up, it would be at the beach, but most of the time I don’t finish working until late and so it would be home sweet home with my wife.
Which doctor or medical professional on-Island would you recommend for a ‘Golden Stethoscope Award’ and why?
It is hard for me to choose just one person. Many medical professionals on-Island have dedicated their lives to their patients, but I would probably recommend the award is split between the Anaesthetist, Dr. Vivek and the late Obstetrician Dr. Edward Caudeiron. I have worked closely with them and I can testify that they were available 24/7 for any patient in need, and especially for those less privileged than others.
How can mums-to-be increase their chances of a smooth pregnancy and birth?
My simple advice is to prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy. Diet and exercise are important, as is investigating any potential threat early on and taking action to prevent a complication from worsening. Additionally, a planned pregnancy is preferable as, statistically, we are told that 50% of all pregnancies are unplanned.