Singapore maternity care is handled by an Obstetrician (OB) who you choose to see from around 8 weeks gestation (calculate an approximation using the first day of the your last period). Midwives do not really feature here from an antenatal care perspective.
How you choose your OB may depend on a number of factors perhaps primarily whether you will be going to a public restructured hospital such as National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) or KK Women and Children Hospital (KKH) or a private medical centre. The fees you pay at the government hospitals will vary according to residency status with it costing more for expats paying semi-private than citizens. There is the option to pay more for private rooms, midwife teams and water birthing depending on the hospital.
The private hospitals include Mount Elizabeth, Mount Elizabeth Novena, Mount Alvernia, Gleneagles,Thompson Medical, Raffles Hospital and Parkway East) The fees at the private centres are greater than those of the public restructured but come with more comfortable rooms, generally shorter waiting times, smoother admin and billing procedures and special perks.
All can be contacted to get an idea of the standard cost of birthing at each site and there is information about facilities on most of their websites (see links for each hospital name above). The Smart Parents website shows a breakdown of average costs and lengths of stays for the different hospitals.
If you are choosing to aim for a natural delivery, VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and/or using HypnoBirthing it is strongly recommended that you choose your OB based on their openness to natural, expectant care of labouring women. There are few things that stand in the way of achieving these goals than an unsupportive team. It is important when deciding on an OB to tell them your birth goals, be honest about expectations and ask questions. They should be able to tell you things like c-section rates, natural relief methods and their experiences of HypnoBirthing. The most widely reported OBs in favour of natural methods are Professor Chong Yap Seng, Dr Paul Tseng, Dr TC Chang, Dr Lai Fon-Min and Dr Mahesh Choolani.
If its water delivery you are aiming for NUH (Prof Chong introduced water birth to Singapore) and Thomson Medical are your only options. A couple of the other private centres offer labouring in the tub for pain relief but need you out for delivery. If you want a water birth you will almost certainly need to engage either a midwifery team (NUH) or doula.
NUH offer EmmaCare midwifery a holistic care package looking after you through pregnancy, delivery and the post partum period. Doulas can be hired for a reassuring and knowledgable presence at your birth.
Read around, use social media groups (Storks Nest, New mums support group etc through Facebook) for reviews and tour the facilities. You may spend a few hundred more dollars meeting several OBs but getting someone you feel comfortable with who will support your birth plan is priceless. You only get one go at a birth after all.
If you are interested in taking HypnoBirthing classes read all about the method here
Check out our useful links page here for information about chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncture therapists and more.
Image Courtesy of Kate Sperry Martin PhotographyGoogle+