Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by Parentology
Embarking on the journey of parenthood in Singapore can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s vital for parents-to-be to be financially prepared. As you contemplate starting or expanding your family, it’s essential to be aware of the potential expenses involved in welcoming a new life.
Several components contribute to the overall cost of pregnancy and childbirth in Singapore. This guide aims to shed light on these costs to help aspiring parents navigate their financial planning efficiently and reduce the financial pressures of this beautiful journey.
Understanding the Financial Landscape of Pregnancy in Singapore
When considering prenatal care, there’s a noticeable disparity between the expenses incurred in government hospitals versus those in private institutions.
As a soon-to-be parent, your financial checklist should encompass the following considerations:
Laying the Groundwork: Pre-pregnancy and Preconception Checkups
As you and your partner contemplate starting a family, understanding your bodies’ readiness is an integral first step.
Before jumping into the journey of parenthood, it’s wise to invest time in a pre-pregnancy checkup. This assessment helps prospective parents ensure that their bodies are in optimal condition to conceive and nurture a baby. Based on your physician’s recommendations, here are some tests that might be proposed to determine your readiness:
- Ultrasound Womb Scan: Helps pinpoint abnormalities that might hinder your chances of a successful pregnancy.
- Pelvic Examination: A procedure to detect possible sexually transmitted infections.
- Urine Test: Primarily used for identifying infections.
- Rh Test: Determines if you or your partner carry the Rhesus factor, significant for understanding blood compatibility with a potential child. Presence can necessitate further precautions.
- Pap Smear: Assesses the health status of your endocervical canal.
- Blood Test: A multi-purpose test; it screens for conditions like thalassemia that may impact your baby and might necessitate a transfusion. Additionally, it evaluates for Hepatitis, genetic disorders, rubella, and diabetes among others.
- Sperm Analysis (optional): For partners, it evaluates the sperm count and screens for other potential abnormalities.
- Review of Vaccination Records: Gives an overview of your immunity against specific conditions, such as Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, chickenpox, and rubella.
Delving Deeper: Key Aspects of Your Pre-pregnancy Assessment
When you attend your pre-pregnancy consultation, the doctor is not just focusing on the current moment but wants a broader picture of both partners’ health. Hence, they might inquire about:
- Existing health concerns, be it current ailments or family medical history.
- Any history of substance use, including alcohol, smoking, or other drugs, whether in the past or ongoing.
- Significant medical procedures or medications taken in recent months.
- The consistency and regularity of menstrual cycles.
In Singapore, the financial aspect of a pre-pregnancy checkup can vary. Prices range from as low as S$40 for a pap smear to as high as S$1,600 for prenatal genetic assessments. The final cost is determined by:
- Your preference between a government hospital, private hospital, or a specialized clinic.
- The specific tests you and your partner decide upon, as well as their quantity.
While optional, pre-pregnancy evaluations are highly recommended, especially for individuals with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hyperthyroidism, or diabetes. If you have such concerns or other pre-existing health conditions, this checkup provides an excellent foundation. Your doctor can offer tailored pregnancy planning advice right from the beginning of your journey. Furthermore, they’ll be equipped to anticipate and address any potential complications, ensuring both mother and baby’s safety and health. As you transition into the exciting phase of pregnancy, regular pre-natal checkups become an essential part of ensuring the well-being of both the mother and the developing fetus.
Understanding the Importance of the First Trimester (Conception to 12 weeks)
This initial stage is pivotal as the risk for potential complications, including miscarriages, is more pronounced. A positive home pregnancy test is a cause for celebration, but seeking a doctor’s confirmation is a wise next step. It’s advisable to build a relationship with a particular gynaecologist during this period. This professional will be intimately involved in monitoring the health of both you and your baby.
What to Budget For
For each doctor’s appointment, anticipate expenses up to S$147, exclusive of any recommended pregnancy supplements. If your pregnancy progresses smoothly, plan for a monthly gynaecologist visit.
Should you opt for a government hospital as a Singapore Citizen, be aware that you might not always see the same doctor during each check. The upside? Your visits are subsidised. As per data from Moneysmart, a subsidised consultation could cost between S$30 to S$56.
A Financial Tip for Prospective Parents
Singapore’s Marriage and Parenthood Schemes introduce the MediSave Maternity Package. This offers support for pre-delivery medical expenses, regardless of whether you choose a private or government institution.
How does it work? You’re allowed to utilize up to S$900 for related expenses, like ultrasounds and consultation charges. Simply present the pre-delivery medical receipts to the hospital where your child’s birth takes place. They’ll manage the process from there, submitting all necessary documentation to the CPF board, inclusive of delivery-related costs.
However, there’s a ceiling to this benefit. It’s based on the lesser amount between the actual bill or the established withdrawal threshold.
The MediSave Maternity Package also encompasses:
- An additional withdrawal limit for surgical procedures, which ranges between S$750 and S$2,000, contingent on the type of delivery.
- Coverage of up to S$550 for the initial two days of hospital admission. From the third day onward, this amount drops to S$400 per day.
Learn More Here:
The Midway Mark: Understanding the Second and Third Trimesters (13 to 40 weeks)
Congratulations on progressing to the middle and latter stages of your pregnancy! From week 13 onward, your journey becomes a blend of anticipation and careful health monitoring.
Regular Doctor Visits Continue
Maintaining those monthly check-ins with your gynaecologist remains crucial. However, as you approach the final stages, these visits might increase in frequency, potentially becoming bi-weekly.
Exploring Prenatal Packages
Given the duration and complexity of this phase, many parents-to-be find value in prenatal packages. These bundles offer a comprehensive suite of services that include routine ultrasounds, supplements, and specialized scans and tests.
Financially speaking, these packages come with a range. Based on data from Moneysmart:
- For a subsidised experience at a government hospital, you’d be looking at spending anywhere between S$400 to S$800.
- Opting for a more tailored experience at a private facility could set you back as much as S$2,000.
Commitment to Your Gynaecologist
Choosing a prenatal package often indicates a decision to continue with your current gynaecologist for the rest of your pregnancy. That said, if you’re contemplating a switch, now’s the opportune moment. Before committing financially and medically, ensure you’re comfortable and confident in your healthcare provider’s expertise and approach.
Guide to Fetal Abnormality Tests Singapore
Ensuring the well-being of the fetus is paramount during pregnancy. Singapore offers a plethora of tests that help in ascertaining fetal health. Here’s a breakdown of available tests, their purpose, and approximate costs:
1. OSCAR Test (One-stop Clinic for Assessment of Risk for Fetal Abnormalities)
- Purpose: Pinpoints fetal abnormalities, notably Down’s Syndrome. This comprehensive test combines a Nuchal Translucency (NT) scan for detecting genetic diseases and chromosome disorders, and a blood test. Further testing can include Chorionic Villus Sampling or Amniocentesis.
- Cost: S$300 – S$400.
- Procedure: Blood sample from the mother and an ultrasound scan.
- Results: Typically available in 2-3 days.
2. Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
- Purpose: Identifies gestational diabetes. This is vital as those diagnosed during pregnancy have a heightened risk of Type 2 Diabetes later.
- Cost: S$20-S$50.
- Procedure: Involves overnight fasting, followed by two blood tests; one post-fasting and another two hours post-consuming 75g of glucose.
3. Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests (NIPT: Harmony and Panorama Tests)
- Purpose: Primarily screens for Down Syndrome using a sample of the mother’s blood, which contains the baby’s DNA, yielding highly accurate results.
- Cost: Roughly S$1,200 (Harmony) and S$1,400 (Panorama).
- Procedure: Only a blood sample from the mother is required.
- Results: May take up to two weeks.
- Timeframes: Harmony post week 10, Panorama post week 9.
4. Detailed Fetal Anomaly Scan
- Purpose: Evaluates structural abnormalities in the fetus, including potential facial clefts, heart structural issues, and spine examination.
- Cost: About S$280.
- Procedure: A specialized fetal ultrasound.
- Timing: Conducted between weeks 18-21.
5. Dating Scan
- Purpose: Determines multiple factors: if there’s more than one fetus, checks the fetus’s bones and organs, and establishes the pregnancy stage and due date.
- Cost: Varies based on the practitioner.
- Timing: Performed between weeks 6-12.
6. 3D/4D Scans
- Purpose: Offers a vivid 3D view or a 4D video of the fetus inside the womb. Primarily for creating cherished memories than medical diagnostics.
- Cost: S$250-S$350.
- Procedure: An advanced ultrasound scan.
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Additional Pregnancy Tests in Singapore
During your pregnancy journey, healthcare professionals may recommend various tests to ensure both the mother’s and the baby’s well-being. Here’s an outline of additional tests you might undergo, their purpose, and the associated treatment:
- Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Test
- Purpose: This test checks for the GBS bacteria that could harm the baby during a vaginal delivery as it passes through the birth canal.
- Procedure & Treatment:
- A vaginal swab is typically conducted around the 35-week mark.
- If the mother tests positive for GBS, antibiotics are administered to counteract the bacteria and protect the baby during delivery.
- Cardiotocograph (CTG)
- Purpose: A CTG is primarily used during labour. It monitors the baby’s heartbeat and assesses the intensity and frequency of the mother’s contractions.
- Procedure & Treatment:
- This test can be performed in the third trimester of pregnancy to monitor the baby’s overall well-being.
- The CTG provides valuable information and helps the medical team make informed decisions during labour, especially if complications arise or if the baby shows signs of distress.
Reference: Mount Elizabeth Hospitals
Delivery Costs in Singapore
In Singapore, the cost of childbirth can vary significantly based on several factors. Here’s a breakdown of these costs based on the delivery method and the type of hospital you choose.
Factors Affecting Delivery Cost
- Procedure Type: The cost varies depending on whether the delivery is vaginal or via Caesarean section.
- Ward Type: Different ward types have different rates. Generally, unsubsidised wards (like Ward A) cost more than subsidised wards (like Ward B2).
- Length of Stay: The longer the hospital stay, the higher the bill.
Often, the choice of delivery method isn’t up to the mother. Medical reasons, like the baby’s position, can necessitate a Caesarean delivery. While vaginal deliveries tend to be cheaper, it’s essential to be prepared for either scenario.
Comparison of Delivery Costs in Public Hospitals
Here’s a comparison of delivery costs for vaginal births in three public hospitals in Singapore, based on data from the Ministry of Health:
|Public Hospital||Ward A (Unsubsidised)||Ward B2 (Subsidised)|
|KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH)||S$5,894||S$2,162|
|National University Hospital (NUH)||S$5,881||S$1,317|
|Singapore General Hospital (SGH)||S$6,153||S$2,119|
Note: These are estimated figures. The actual costs can vary based on individual circumstances and additional medical procedures or treatments required during the stay.
Source: Ministry of Health, Singapore
Read More Here:
Private Hospitals Delivery Fees in Singapore
Childbirth in private hospitals tends to be pricier than in public ones. Here’s a breakdown of delivery costs for vaginal births in various private hospitals:
|Private Hospital||1-bedded ward||2-bedded ward|
|Gleneagles Hospital (GEH)||S$12,503||S$9,897|
|Mount Alvernia Hospital (MAH)||S$10,439||S$8,315|
|Mount Elizabeth Hospital (MEH)||S$11,844||S$9,334|
|Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital (MNH)||S$11,703||Not available|
|Parkway East Hospital (PEH)||S$9,184||S$7,057|
|Raffles Hospital (RH)||S$8,816||Not available|
|Thomson Medical Centre (TMC)||S$10,177||S$8,354|
Room Costs for Government Hospitals (Vaginal Delivery):
At government hospitals, the ward type significantly impacts the cost. The type of ward you choose will determine the level of privacy, facilities, and care you receive during your stay. Here’s a breakdown of the room costs you might expect at Singapore General Hospital:
|Ward Type||Benefits||Cost per room (per day)|
|A||Single room with en-suite bathroom, automated bed, sleeper unit for companion, TV, phone, meal choice, toiletries||S$540|
|B1||4 beds, attached bathroom and toilet, semi-automated bed, TV, meal choice||S$268.92|
|B2||6 beds per room, semi-automated bed||S$57|
|C||8 beds per room||S$37|
Keep in mind that these are estimated figures and the actual costs might vary based on the specific hospital policies, any additional medical procedures or treatments required during the stay, and other miscellaneous costs. When planning for childbirth, it’s also good practice to account for unexpected expenses that might arise. Always ensure you understand all the charges, facilities, and services covered by the stated prices.
Cost Comparison of Caesarean Delivery: Government vs Private Hospitals
A Caesarean section, commonly referred to as a C-section, is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through incisions made in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. Since it’s a surgical procedure, it’s generally more expensive than a vaginal birth and requires a longer hospital stay for recovery.
Here’s a breakdown of the high-end costs for a Caesarean delivery in both government and private hospitals in Singapore:
|Hospital||Type||Ward Type||Number of Days||Cost (high)|
|KKH (Kandang Kerbau Hospital)||Government||A||3||S$10,269|
|NUH (National University Hospital)||Government||A||3||S$8,126|
|SGH (Singapore General Hospital)||Government||A||4||S$10,886|
|Thomson Medical Centre||Private||2-bedded||3||S$10,651|
|Parkway East Hospital||Private||2-bedded||3||S$12,100|
- Cost Disparity: As expected, there is a noticeable cost difference between government and private hospitals, with private hospitals generally charging higher rates.
- Duration of Stay: The number of days you’re expected to stay in the hospital can also impact the final bill. While most of the stays listed are around 3 days, some, like SGH, require 4 days.
- Choosing the Right Option: Ultimately, the choice between a government and private hospital will depend on your budget, insurance coverage, and personal preferences about care. It’s also important to consider the reputation and expertise of the medical team, the quality of facilities, and the level of post-operative care and support.
Maternity Insurance and Post-Pregnancy Care in Singapore
What is Maternity Insurance?
Pregnancy is an exciting yet challenging time for many expectant mothers, especially when thinking about potential medical complications or unforeseen costs. This is where maternity insurance comes into play. Maternity insurance is designed to provide coverage for both the mother and the newborn against potential complications during pregnancy, delivery, and the post-natal stage. Coverage may include prenatal complications, hospitalization benefits for the newborn, congenital illnesses, and even developmental issues.
Why Consider Maternity Insurance?
- Financial Security: Hospital stays and any complications can quickly rack up costs. Having insurance provides a safety net.
- Peace of Mind: Knowing that you and your newborn are covered reduces stress and allows mothers to focus on their health and the baby’s well-being.
- Comprehensive Coverage: Many maternity insurance plans cover a wide range of potential issues, ensuring thorough protection.
Maternity Insurance Features At a Glance
Based on Female, 30 years old, Non-Smoker
|Singlife with Aviva
|No. of Congenital Illness Covered||23||24||26||23||25|
|No. of Pregnancy Complications Covered||10||14||15||10||14|
|Option to Include & Transfer Early CI Coverage||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
Maternity Insurance Bundled Whole Life Plan Value At a Glance
Life Treasure (II)
AIA Guaranteed Protect Plus (IV)
|Sum Assured For Mother||$70,000 (x2)||$73,378 (x2)|
|Sum Assured for Child||$170,498 (x2)||$145,000 (x2)|
|Multiplier Term||To age 80
To age 75
|Premium Term||20 years||20 years|
|Cash Value at 4.25%
(on the 25th year – when child is 25 years old)
|Cash Value at 4.25%
(on the 35th year – when child is 35 years old)
Cash Value at 4.25%
(on the 45th year – when child is 45 years old)
|Premium Per Year||$3,006.96||$3,030.50|
|Total Premiums Paid||$60,139.20||$60,610.00|
In many Asian cultures, the postpartum period is crucial for a mother’s recovery. Confinement nannies provide invaluable support during this time, especially for first-time mothers.
- Knowledge and Experience: They can offer guidance on baby care, breastfeeding, and more.
- Assistance with Household Chores: This allows mothers to focus on recovery and bonding with the baby.
- Dietary Care: Confinement nannies often prepare nutritious meals tailored to aid postpartum recovery.
Post-natal massages are a holistic approach to assist in the postpartum recovery process.
- Relieves Aches and Pains: Pregnancy and childbirth put a strain on the body. A massage can help alleviate discomfort.
- Improves Blood Circulation: This aids in the healing process.
- Reduces Water Retention: Many women experience swelling post-delivery, and massages can help.
- Enhances Mental Well-being: The relaxation can significantly aid in combating postpartum depression and anxiety.
Preparing for a baby is both joyous and demanding. From securing maternity insurance to planning for post-birth care, each step is crucial. By understanding these aspects and budgeting appropriately, you can ensure both a smoother pregnancy journey and a comforting postpartum experience. Financial planning doesn’t stop here; as your child grows, ensuring you have the means to provide for their education, health, and overall well-being becomes paramount. Research thoroughly, plan wisely, and relish every moment of parenthood.
Embracing the journey of parenthood in Singapore requires thoughtful preparation, not only emotionally and physically but also financially. From the initial stages of pre-pregnancy assessments to prenatal care, costs can vary based on choices between government and private institutions. As you navigate this beautiful journey, ensuring that you’re well-informed and financially prepared will make the experience smoother and more joyous. Take the proactive step of discussing your financial plans with a seasoned expert.
Your child’s beginning should be filled with joy, not financial stress. Reach out to our financial advisor today and lay the foundation for a smooth journey into parenthood. Let us guide you through financial planning tailored to your unique needs. Contact us now for a consultation.