During this year's pilgrimage season, eight babies were born in Saudi Arabia's holiest areas, the Ministry of Health recently revealed.
A ministry report published by the Saudi Press Agency stated that Makkah Maternity and Children Hospital registered five births. Two other births were recorded in Arafat and another in Mina.
Both infants born in Arafat were delivered by pilgrims performing Hajj rites in the area on August 10. They were later transferred to nearby hospitals for monitoring and check-ups.
One of the mothers who gave birth during Hajj has been identified as 40-year-old Libyan pilgrim Suad Mohammed Barbush.
The woman delivered a baby boy at the Jabal al-Rahma Hospital and named him after the holy mountain of Arafat. Speaking to local news outlets, her husband Ashan Yusuf expressed his gratitude to the medical teams who took care of his wife and newborn following the birth.
Another new mom is 23-year-old Guinean pilgrim Maimunah Ali. The woman gave birth at the East Arafat Hospital on Saturday afternoon. This came hours after she and her husband had climbed Arafat mountain in the morning as part of their Hajj ritual. The couple decided to name their son Mohammed Salman after the kingdom's crown prince.
Hajj babies aren't uncommon
In 2017, nine pilgrims gave birth while performing Hajj rites in the kingdom. At the time, the director of the Maternity and Child Hospital in Mecca, Dr. Anas Saddayo, said the region's medical centers were well prepared to receive and help the women safely deliver their babies.
Hajj births aren't uncommon. In fact, they are recorded nearly every year as millions descend on the kingdom's holy region to perform the Islamic pilgrimage. Several of the births recorded in recent years took place on Mount Arafat, the granite hill where the climax of Hajj takes place.
In 2018, a Jordanian woman went into labor while praying in the area. In 2015, a Moroccan pilgrim also gave birth while standing on Arafat.