A new baby is a joyous time but giving birth in a new country can be daunting. Dr Gina Dahel from IMC Children’s Clinic explains the ins and outs of giving birth in Singapore and all that comes after.
Public versus private hospital
Expectant mothers face the choice between giving birth in a public or private hospital.
Expats in Singapore who have their birth covered by insurance usually give birth in a private hospital and see Obstetricians for pre-natal check-ups. However, public hospitals also provide quality care and can be a more affordable option for those without insurance. Public hospital may have birthing pools and have the benefit of providing excellent neonatal care if required.
All hospitals will provide tours of their maternity services, and it is advisable to visit at least three before making your final decision. Singapore has exemplary medical care so which ever you choose; rest assured you will be well taken care of.
For a summary of birthing hospitals in Singapore including facilities click here.
If you are not a Singaporean Citizen or PR, you will pay higher tariffs to give birth in public and private hospitals. Private hospitals are more expensive than public hospitals.
Your hospital cost will depend on a variety of factors such as length of stay, type of delivery, drugs given during delivery, private room vs open bay and any complications or medical care required for baby. Most hospitals will offer financial consultations where they discus the likely hospital costs.
This government website can gives a brief overview and comparison of the costs between different hospitals in Singapore.
Midwife lead birth
All deliveries in hospital are obstetrician led and this is very different to other countries. You can nominate a midwife to help support you during the delivery but an obstetrician will have overall responsibility.
Unfortunately home births are very unusual in Singapore and many hospitals and obstetricians will not be set up to support home births.
At birth a paediatrician may be called in delivery if there are any complications to assess and manage your baby.
After birth a pediatrician will check your baby from head to toe, arrange for the newborn metabolic blood tests, hearing screens and immunisations and discharge them from the hospital.
In public hospitals, a paediatrician will be assigned to you depending on who is covering the deliveries on the day. In private hospitals you will need to nominate a paediatrician to attend delivery/check baby. It is best to check with your obstetrician, which paediatrician they are happy to work with and whether they cover the specific hospital you are giving birth in.
When you get home
After you and your baby are discharged, you can choose any paediatrician to monitor your babies health. Unfortunately the Children’s doctors at IMC Children’s do not attend deliveries in hospitals, however any care after discharge can easily be carried out at the clinic.
You are not obligated to say with the same paediatrician who attended to you in hospital, you can pick a pediatrician you feel comfortable with and will provide the best care for your baby.
Choosing a paediatrician
The most important thing when choosing any health professional is whether you trust them. This is even more important when entrusting the care of your baby. Not all paediatricians are the best fit for each family so you may decide to visit a few before choosing the perfect doctor for you and your family.
IMC’S Children’s approach
The doctors at IMC Children’s Clinic are dedicated to providing the highest standard of care for you and your child. Our doctors are all expats with children and we understand how difficult it can be raising children far away from extended family. We are always on hand to answer any questions and offer support when required. You can trust that we provide evidence based clinical care based on international guidelines.
Birth to two years checks
Our developmental assessments are designed to monitor how your child grows and changes. We assess if your child meets the typical milestones in gross and fine motor skills, vision, hearing and social development. Early detection is vital as it improves your child’s outcome.
Each visit also provides an opportunity to discuss any concerns and provide evidence based advice on weaning, feeding, and caring for your baby.
Most visits will coincide with vaccinations. At IMC, we are flexible and will tailor your child’s vaccination schedule to ensure adequate coverage for Singapore, your home country’s recommendations and travel circumstances.
We offer regular consultations during the first 2 years of life as children develop rapidly during this time.
Each consult will cover the following:
- Discussion of on going medical issues
- Identification and discussion of new issues
- Your child’s routine including feeding, diet, toileting and sleeping
- Developmental Screening
- Growth Screening including height, weight, head circumference and BMI
- Physical Examination
- Vaccine review and update
- Referrals if necessary and follow-up if required
Dr Gina Dahel is a paediatric trained doctor based at IMC Children’s. Dr Gina has worked as a Consultant Paediatrician with expertise in Cardiology and is Head of Department for IMC Children’s.Call 6887 4440 to make an appointment.