If you are pregnant, or considering becoming pregnant during your time in Singapore, it is important for you to have a full idea of the costs associated with care and preparing for this new addition to your family.
While Singapore does have a high standard for maternity care overall, it is still important to ask as many questions as you can and make sure you find the right care for you. Tours are available at all maternity wards, so you can visit the space before making a choice.
For expats, the full cost of check ups and delivery falls on the individual family, so when negotiating your compensation package, be sure to push for comprehensive health care that includes coverage for all prenatal care, labor, delivery, recovery, potential complications and post-natal follow up.
Costs depend on at what point you start looking for coverage prenatal process, and on the style of hospital you decide to use for your maternity care.
Like many other things in Singapore, there is a wide range of options – from the more basic in public hospitals, to high end services in boutique private hospitals – which include healthcare as well as other comforts like welcome drinks, head massages, and a limousine ride home with your new baby.
Some of the reasons women choose private hospitals are their desires to give birth in a more comfortable and luxurious space, guarantee of their OB-GYN of choice, less pressure on time (also meaning faster pain relief) and more assistance with check-out and billing.
Public hospitals are also very good options and many women choose them for access to emergency services if needed, greater midwife involvement in the birth process, and cost effectiveness.
Prenatal care packages are also available for women beginning around the 4th month of pregnancy, and provide a way to bundle all the fees for exams and prenatal vitamins – such as calcium and folic acid – into one bulk payment to save on cost.
Only certain hospitals provide this service, which can range from around $1,000 upwards. Otherwise, you will pay per visit. So if it is important to you – be sure to check on availability before committing to a GP and delivering hospital.
A typical visit to the gynecologist will cost between $60-150, depending on the hospital, before any other procedures are accounted for. As mentioned previously, purchasing a full pre-natal care package up front can reduce these costs.
Standard practice for a pregnancy without complications will usually include around 3-4 ultrasounds. The fee for this will range from about $100-250 depending on the practice. Complicated pregnancies will require more, increasing the cost.
Amniocentesis, depending on the hospital, will run from about $500-800. If you believe your baby is at risk for other complications, including potential genetic issues, there are a few testing options to check for predisposition to disease based on chromosomal abnormalities.
One example is the Harmony Test, which does a series of checks on chromosomes 21 (Down syndrome), 18 (Edward’s syndrome), & 13 (Patau syndrome) will range from $1,000 – $1,500.
Those who are interested training for the process of birth or caring for a baby after birth also have some class options, which will raise the overall price tag. Both Lamaze breathing techniques and pre-natal newborn care classes will run from $200-500 for about 5 sessions each.
Delivery and Hospital Time
The largest substantial difference in costs is the delivery procedure and the length of stay in the hospital. The range of these costs is, of course, impacted by the hospital you choose.
A normal vaginal assisted delivery will only require 2-3 days stay and monitoring in the hospital. The cost for delivery and stay in a public hospital runs a large range – anywhere from $980 to $6,300, depending on the ward.
Even for private hospitals, the range is just as vast – the natural delivery and two nights stay will cost somewhere between $5,700 and $11,900, depending on the ward and extra amenities available.
However, if the delivery is complicated and requires a Caesarean section, the stay time will increase to five days, and the cost will go up to account for the additional care and use of hospital resources.
Those costs vary widely – with bills ranging from $1,000 in a two-bedded ward in a public hospital to upwards of $19,600 for a stay in a private room in a private hospital. Be sure to discuss the added cost implications with your doctor.
Vaccinations are mandatory for babies born in Singapore. While the cost is waived for nationals, expat families are responsible for an $800-900 fee to cover the 10 different immunizations that are required.
Asian traditions place a new mother in confinement, for up to one month to help encourage healing and recovery. During this time, many families hire a confinement nanny to help care for the baby or assist in other household tasks like cooking, cleaning, and looking after other children while the mother rests.
While most expats will not share that tradition, many women who have moved to Singapore look forward to adopting it, and accepting some extra help during a time of significant transition in their lives.
Confinement nanny fees depend on their experience, popularity, the time of year they’re hired, as well as how far in advance the booking is made. The costs will range from around $2,000 to $4,000.
Most of the costs listed above detail the needs of a family welcoming a child through a very successful and normal birth, and do not account for other fees that might occur if there are complications or extra needs – such a breast milk pumps, time spent in a NICU, protective headgear or breathing assistance devices.
Modern medicine makes it quick and easy to address the challenges that might face your new baby, but of course, these items do add to the overall price tag of bringing your new baby into the world.