Maternity in Singapore

Here you go, the pregnancy test has spoken: you are going to have a baby… in Singapore! Being pregnant abroad is not always a peaceful experience that is why we give you all the advice and information about maternity in Singapore: how to enjoy your pregnancy in here? How does the delivery take place? How to choose an obstetrician?

How to choose the doctor and the hospital

In Singapore you can to choose between the public and the private sector. In both cases you will benefit from excellent care. The main difference is that private maternities offer maternity packages (including some consultations, epidural, delivery, etc.) at different prices, depending on the additional services and room you choose. You don’t have to book a room 9 months in advance; you can do it a few weeks before the expected date of birth. You may have to place a deposit a few days before the delivery.
Many women choose the KKH because of its excellent service and also because the mother can stay close to their newborn in case complications arise. Indeed, at other hospitals, if there is a complication the newborn is brought to the KKH specialised neonatology service while the mother stays at the hospital.

When choosing a doctor, many choices are available: from a world-class gynaecologist to natural or water birth, etc. Every woman has different needs and it is essential to take time to discuss with several doctors in order to be sure you are both on the same page. Do not forget to specify beforehand all your queries and requirements for the delivery. Be picky about details, you will be much more relaxed on the D-day. By the way, many women in Singapore appreciate the services of a doula. Doulas help you to prepare for the delivery and to feel supported.

The doctor will then give you a certificate of pregnancy. If you have an insurance plan that covers maternity, don’t forget to give it to your insurance company to have the expenses reimbursed.

Please note that in Singapore it is very common to have a caesarean birth. For those of you favouring this option, you will be able to schedule a date and time.

Key tests

Once you chose your doctor, monthly appointments are scheduled for ultrasound tests and other standard pre-natal checks. Not all the doctors suggest you to do the same tests, some may convince you to do extra tests which may not be medically necessary and can be quite expensive. Be careful of escalating maternity costs due to this: if you exceed the amount covered by your insurance policy, you will have to pay the following bills yourself.
Note that toxoplasmosis is not tested in Singapore because it is a rare condition in here.

Support through pregnancy

You can find in Singapore everything you need to have a smooth pregnancy: classes for young parents, pre-natal massages or yoga for moms. You can also contact doulas and sophrologists to help you relax and prepare for a serene childbirth.

Delivery

If you chose delivery by caesarean, go to the hospital the day of the appointment. Nurses will take care of you as soon as you enter the hospital. The doctor will examine you before the operation. Your partner can stay with you all the time but is not allowed to go to the operating theatre.
For a natural birth, call you doctor and go to the hospital as soon as you feel the first contractions. Note that you can ask an epidural anaesthesia at any time, even if it is not included in your maternity package. In Singapore, you can also have a water birth but this option must be discussed and scheduled with your doctor a few weeks before the due date.
Nurses take care of your baby right after delivery, under paediatrician supervision. Your obstetrician will be present for the delivery.

Your partner cannot enter the operating theatre but he can either wait in the comfortable waiting rooms, equipped with Wi-Fi, go to the restaurant or go shopping… at the hospital.

Post-partum

Once you are back in your room, a lot of personnel will visit you: doctors, nurses, counsellors for breastfeeding and baby’s hygiene, etc. All the birth documents and administrative registration can be done at the hospital (fees between 40 and 60 SGD). You can also open a bank account for the baby directly at the hospital. The doctor will examine the baby before signing a discharge document that allows you to leave the hospital.
A new life as young parents begins. To answer all of your questions, many personal coaches and advisors are available in Singapore. Everything can found from breastfeeding advice to post-partum massages. However these services are usually not reimbursed by insurers.

Cost and packages

Similar to medical care, maternity care in Singapore can be costly. The cost depends on several drivers: the number of tests done during pregnancy, the type of delivery chosen, the room and the hospital chosen (public or private), additional services, etc. A health insurance plan that includes maternity coverage may cover all or part of the cost. A waiting period will apply in all cases and vary from one insurer to the other. If you are considering having a baby in the next 18 months, please note that insurance is meant to cover random events. Offering a maternity premium lower than the expected maternity cost is unlikely if the chances of having to reimburse them are almost certain.
In a public hospital, a natural birth costs between 5,000 and 7,000 SGD whereas a caesarean birth amounts to 6,000 up to 9,000 SGD. In a private hospital, a natural birth is charged between 12,000 and 15,000 SGD while a caesarean birth costs between 16,000 to 25,000 SGD. Note that these price ranges don’t include any complications.

Where to go:

To get our APRIL Health and Wellness guide in Singapore, please contact our advisors. You will get the best addresses to find a doctor and counsellors to enjoy maternity in Singapore.

 

Date of publication Mar 22 2016