Having a baby whilst living far from friends and family back home can be a daunting process. Not to mention, there could be hidden costs that may cast a shadow over what should be one of the happiest times of your life. Let’s take a look at the maternity costs involved if you decide to have your baby in Singapore.
Visit the hospital first
Singapore has an extremely high level of medical care, including that for maternity care. As with any hospital anywhere, it is highly recommended to visit first and to fully prepare a list of questions before you arrive.
Check your insurance policy
The cost of maternity care falls entirely on to the family itself, who will be required to pay the cost of all bills that will be incurred. If your healthcare policy doesn’t include maternity care, both pre and post natal, then it is a wise idea to ‘top-up’ your coverage to include comprehensive care for not only prenatal, delivery and postnatal care but also for any possible complications and check-ups that will be required.
The hospital itself
Here the choices really do range from the sublime to the ridiculous, as you can find boutique hospitals that are really more like hotels and will make the whole process as bearable as possible. Furthermore, you can also find mega-hospitals that employ such state of the art technology that you will think you’ve launched yourself forward 300 years into the future. If you prefer, you can even organise a limousine ride home after the birth. Private and public hospitals are much the same as in the West, but the standard of care being of the highest quality in both. Private hospitals will of course be more comfortable, you can have your choice of doctor and pain relief, as well as assistance with every aspect of caring for your new baby. However, public hospitals are equally excellent in the level of care they provide, but you can expect the usual time pressures. Of course, public hospitals give you access to emergency services if required, as well as greater midwife involvement. Cost-effectiveness is also high on the agenda, and you can find that many will bundle together packages to reduce the initial cost. Of course, check that your hospital can provide this before making a commitment.
The average cost
Here we have compiled some average costs to keep in mind when visiting the hospital.
- Consultations usually range from S$60-150 but if you do have the option to bundle these into a package, it will usually work out cheaper.
- Ultrasounds usually come in at around S$100-150 per scan. Expect to have around 3-4 during the length of your pregnancy but if you suffer from any complications, these will of course increase.
- Any kind of testing, such as amniocentesis, often runs the highest price tag. These can range from S$500-800. If you want more complex testing, such as that for Down’s Syndrome, then you can expect to pay around S$1,500.
- Pre-natal classes are also quite costly. Taking a standard package of classes which will total around five sessions will cost about S$200-500.
- The delivery itself and subsequent hospital stay will impact enormously on the amount of money you will spend. A standard delivery will result in a bill of up to S$7,000 in a public hospital and S$12,000 in a private hospital. Of course, this will change depending on the delivery and after-care, as well as the prices as stated by the hospital.
- Immunization is compulsory in Singapore and this is also quite expensive, with expats being required to pay up to S$1000 for the complete set of vaccinations.
- It is traditional in Asia to stay in confinement for up to a month to promote recovery after the birth, and for this reason, many expat families decide to pay for a nanny to help during this time. This is not at all mandatory, and many do not align with this tradition, but it has become more popular with expat mothers particularly if they need someone to take care of the other children and to assist with running the household. Prices range between S$2000-4000.
As you can see, having a baby in Singapore is not the cheapest of options. The above list does not take into account what you can expect to pay if there are complications, and does not include the equipment needed for a new baby. However, the standard of medical care is extremely high and you can rest assured that you are in the safest of hands, whether you decide to give birth in a public or a private hospital.