Having a baby in Singapore?
Singapore is a great place to have a baby; whether this is your first or fourth child life can be much easier here with the availability of home help. However having a baby in a foreign country can also be stressful especially not having the support network of family and more often than not a husband who travels.
First things first – before you choose an OB you’ll need to decide what kind of birth you want. Do you want a high intervention OB who will closely manage your pregnancy or more of a ‘hands off’ OB with a more natural approach? Talk to a few Doctors and find one you feel comfortable with. Homebirth is an option in Singapore but there is only one OB (Paul Tseng at TMC) who currently attends them. Once you find a Doctor you’re comfortable with go and visit the maternity wards in a few hospitals. Some Doctors have privileges to practice in other hospitals. Thomson Medical Center is one of the most mother friendly hospitals in Singapore. The staff is very flexible when it comes to birthplans and doulas and they don’t stick to a set of rigid hospital ‘rules’. The most popular hospitals for expats in Singapore are;
Thomson Medical Centre
KK Women’s Hospital (public hospital)
Many of the hospitals also offer childbirth classes. However you should also connect with some of the independent childbirth educators in Singapore – so you’re sure to get balanced unbiased information on what your options are. Doulas are also becoming more popular with expatriate and local women and there are several companies offering this service.
OBs offer maternity ‘packages’ which will cover a normal delivery but over all the costs are affordable (usually around 4-6k including hospital bill) However it’s a good idea to sign up for insurance before you get pregnant to cover any extras as a result of any complications. Most insurance companies have a 6-12 month wait time before you get pregnant so check out your options.
An important area to consider when planning for your baby’s arrival is the lack of aftercare in Singapore. There are no community nurses coming to check on you, as can be the case in many countries. The first few weeks with a new baby can be exhausting and sometimes isolating so this might be a good time to have a close friend or your Mum come to help out while you and your new baby get acquainted.
Once your baby is born in Singapore, his/her birth must be registered with the Registry of Births and Deaths at Singapore Immigration. Once you register, you can then obtain a Singapore birth certificate. This does NOT mean your child has Singapore citizenship. Only children of Singapore citizens can obtain Singaporean citizenship
Take time to relax and be good to yourself. There are plenty of activities available such as yoga classes, swimming and treats such as pregnancy massage. Make sure you keep yourself well hydrated and enjoy these few months.