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Singapore - Birth
Giving birth is costly, but inexpensive in comparison to some countries. An average cost of giving birth and staying in a ward for three days is around S$4,000. For a C-section, you might expect to pay S$6,000. Cost will often depend on the hospital, too. Hospitals that specialize in women and children’s healthcare are often cheaper than private hospitals. In a specialty hospital, you are more likely to have a more luxurious room and less wait time for doctors and nurses. Having medical insurance that covers maternity services can help bring costs down.
Many people choose to have doulas, individuals who are there to act on the behalf of the mother before she gives birth and after in the hospital. Doulas can be hired from ParentLink at http://www.parentlink.org. The support package starts at $1500. You can also find out information concerning homebirths and waterbirths on their website.
At least two physicians will attend to homebirths. These are Dr. Paul Tseng http://www.thomsonmedical.com/doc.htm and Dr. Lai Fon-Min http://www.acompanyforwomen.com.sg . Homebirth fees are higher than hospital births. A waterbirth or homebirth can start at $3,000. In a homebirth, you will be responsible for the medical supplies but there won’t be any hospital charges. In some cases, it might be necessary to transfer you to a hospital if there is an emergency.
Some women find that prenatal care in Singapore is better than what they would have at home. There is generally no limit to the number of ultrasounds you receive (you’re charged for them individually), you can decline many of the standard prenatal tests that are obligatory in other countries, and oftentimes the physician will spend more time with you.
Some of the management services you might expect to receive during your pregnancy include: fetal therapy, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, Down’s Syndrome screening, third trimester screening, 3-D fetal ultrasounds, screening for structural abnormalities, and fetal blood sampling.
In some cases, women travel to Singapore explicitly for the reason of giving birth. There is a social visit pass for this and women must apply for it. For more information regarding this procedure, visit:
Visitor Services Centre
Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
4th Storey, ICA Building
10 Kallang Road
(Next to Lavender MRT station)
Once the pregnancy has been confirmed, usually through a dating ultrasound, you will choose whether or not you want to pursue medical care through the public or private sector. Services through the public sector tend to be cheaper and give you access to many facilities, services, and personnel. You might experience longer waits, though. Singapore General Hospital, Kandang Kerbau Women and Children’s Hospital, and the National University Hospital are all public institutions. With private care, you will pay more money but you’ll also get more personalized care. Private hospitals include Raffles Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital, East Shore Hospital, Thompson Medical Centre, Mount Alvernia Hospital, and Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
Finding a physician, or obstetrician in this case, to oversee your pregnancy is important. A high intervention OB will closely manage your pregnancy while other low-risk OBs might take a more natural approach. You might want to meet with several doctors until you find one you are comfortable with.
You can also visit a few maternity wards in order to find one that you are comfortable with. The Thomson Medical Centre has a reputation for being one of the most mother-friendly hospitals in Singapore with flexible staff where birth plans are concerned and an acceptance of doulas. However, there are there are quite a few hospitals in Singapore with good maternity care.
Different hospitals have different facilities and services. Most have antenatal programs with lessons and lectures. Some also have breastfeeding classes. Maternity facilities can include delivery suites, televisions, recliner chairs for accompanying partners, telephones, central monitors, NICUs, nurseries, and post-natal care programs.
Hospitals might also have pediatric services that include surgical care, playrooms, baby changing rooms, arts and crafts, and neonatal high dependency care. Some also offer postnatal programs that include breastfeeding basics, bottle feeding lessons, newborn care, and other outpatient clinics.
The following is a list of maternity hospitals and their contact information:
Tel (65) 473-7222
Emergency Care: Ambulance Service 473-2222, Accident and Emergency 470-5688
Kandang Kerbau Women & Children's Hospital Branch
Tel. (65) 293-4044
Mount Elizabeth Hospital
Tel. (65) 737-2666
Emergency Care: Ambulance Service 731-2218 or 731-2259 or 731-4444, Accident and Emergency 737-2666 (24 hours)
Raffles Women's Centre
24 Hr Appointment (65) 6311-1222
Thomson Medical Centre
Tel (65) 6250 2222/6256 9494
International Patient Centre: (65) 6250 1965
After your baby is born, their birth must be registered with the Registry of Births and Deaths at Singapore Immigration. A Singapore birth certificate can then be obtained, although this doesn’t mean your child will automatically become a Singapore citizen. Your child will need this birth certificate to get a Consular Report of Birth Abroad from the US Embassy, or your home country’s equivalent.
The birth must be registered within 14 days. This may be done at:
Registry of Births and Deaths
Singapore Immigration Building
10 Kallang Road, #03-00, Singapore 208718
Registration costs S$18.00. Although you must choose a name at the time of registration, a request for name alteration can be accepted before the child is one year old. When you register, you will need the following: Notification of Live-Birth (Form BD 50), the identity cards of both parents (non-Singaporean parents must produce their foreign IC/Passport, entry-permit, embarkation/disembarkation cards issued by the Immigration Department), the parents' original marriage certificate, and a Letter of Authorization from the parents of the child, if someone else registers the birth.
All of the obstetricians in Singapore are certified and accredited by the Specialist Accreditation Board (SAB) of the Ministry of Health.
Citizens and PRs can have some of their expenses reimbursed through the Central Provident Fund (CPF). A general health insurance plan normally doesn’t cover childbirth but might cover certain pregnancy complications. Health insurance can cover childbirth, but it is expensive and the insurance provider usually requires the insured to have held the policy for a certain time before becoming pregnant. This could be as long as a year.
Employed mothers who are citizens or PRs are allowed to get 16 weeks maternity leave. Four weeks, at least, of this have to be taken post-birth.
The expectant mother must inform her employer as soon as she can and at least one week before her maternity leave is expected to begin. When the mother returns to work, the employer should allow her to return to the same job.
Abortion is legal on socio-medical grounds. It is legal to get an abortion up to 24 weeks. The Abortion Act states that there isn’t a defined age limit and parental consent is not required. Non-citizens and PRs may only get abortions if they have a work permit, have been in Singapore for more than 4 months, or are married to a Singapore citizen or PR.
Before getting an abortion, it is required that the woman undergoes counseling. This is brief and is led by a certified abortion counselor. The woman must also watch a video. Any female under the age of 16 has to undergo counseling at the Health Promotion Counselling Centre and will be issued a Certificate of Attendance which will then allow them to legally get the abortion.
After the counseling, there is a waiting period of 48 hours before the abortion can be done. The type of procedure that is done will depend on the age of the pregnancy. The cost ranges from S$300 to S$2000. The price is based on the anesthesia used, hospital time, and the type of procedure that is being performed.
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