If shorter waiting times, luxurious amenities and value-added services are what you’re looking for, consider going the private route

Expecting a new baby is an exciting time in one’s life, and we know you can’t wait to hold your little bundle of joy! Whilst there are many things to look forward to when baby arrives, the planning beforehand may get a little stressful. 

One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is which hospital to deliver at, and whether to take the private or public route. With COVID-19 still present in Singapore, you’ll want to ensure you and your baby are safe from the virus during antenatal appointments and hospital admission upon your due date. 

The good news is that all hospitals in Singapore − whether private or public − are subjected to strict screening and preventive policies, including safe distancing measures. Nevertheless, most mums will still want to seek peace of mind when it comes to pregnancy and delivery. A private hospital does accord you shorter waiting times as well as less crowds, which can lower the chance of virus exposure and transmission. 

Besides this, there are numerous other advantages to choose a private hospital for giving birth in Singapore. We explore them below. 

#1 Costs are not as high as you think

One of the most important factors affecting your hospital choice is likely the costs involved. There’s no denying that private hospitals are more expensive − check out the Ministry of Health’s website for delivery fee benchmarks and comparisons between different hospitals

However, the costs of a private delivery isn’t as high as one might assume. Under the MediSave Maternity Package, parents-to-be can utilise their MediSave savings for pre-delivery and delivery medical expenses and daily fees at the hospital.

You can withdraw up to $550 per day for the first two days of admission and $400 per day from the third day onwards. You can also claim up to $900 for pre-delivery medical expenses and $750 to $2150 for delivery (depending on the delivery procedure). This amounts to savings in the thousands, making private hospital costs much less intimidating. 

Some private hospitals also offer exclusive membership programmes with more perks. One such hospital is Thomson Medical Centre. Its First and Subsequent Born Incentive Membership Programme entitles parents to member rates on ultrasound scans, childbirth education classes and pregnancy classes. Members also enjoy privileges during their hospital stay and follow-up visits at Thomson Paediatric clinics around Singapore. 

#2 Shorter waiting times

Administration and waiting times tend to be much shorter at private hospitals. No one enjoys long waits before gynae appointments. When you opt for a private hospital, you can use your time for other purposeful activities, for instance, bonding with your hubby, catching up on that work deadline or even taking a much needed afternoon nap. 

Private hospitals have also cut down on paperwork and streamlined the admission process for deliveries too. At Thomson Medical Centre, mums can pre-register online for a hassle-free admission. 

#3 Choose your own gynecologist 

Another draw factor for going the private route is being able to select your own gynae. If you opt for subsidised maternity care in a public hospital, you’ll usually see a different doctor each time. Having all of your antenatal visits with the same doctor allows you to build a good relationship with them, making it more comfortable to ask any questions. They’ll also be up to speed on your condition since your last visit, so there’s no need to explain things a second time.

Many parents-to-be also feel more at ease researching and choosing their own gynae. There are many reputable and experienced gynaes at private hospitals, giving you plenty of choice.

#4 Luxurious amenities 

Pregnancy and delivery can be exhausting on your body, so many mums will appreciate the comfort of having a wide range of amenities at their disposal. Of course, this starts with the birthing experience itself. You can expect state-of-the-art delivery suites staffed by experienced nurses and midwives. 

Given how having a baby is such a personal experience, you can choose to have your own hospital room. All private hospitals feature air-conditioned private room accommodation, where your partner can stay overnight. Most private room amenities include an ensuite bathroom, couch, mini fridge, baby care facilities, comfy chair for breastfeeding, complimentary Wi-Fi and television.

Some of the more luxurious maternity suites are even designed to resemble hotel rooms. These usually feature a separate living area and complimentary accommodation and meals for your spouse. 

#5 Pre- and post-natal services

Another perk of private maternity care is the extensive range of pre- and post-natal services. For example, at Thomson Medical Centre, Thomson ParentCraft services are designed to support you in your journey to becoming a new mum. These include antenatal classes where ParentCraft specialists will teach you practical skills such as bathing and breastfeeding your baby. Mothers also receive personalised breastfeeding support from lactation consultants in the comfort of their rooms after birth,

Post-delivery, Thomson Medical Centre also offers tasty and nutritious confinement meals. Mums can look forward to the hospital’s signature fish and papaya soup, filled with vitamins and minerals known to improve lactation. There is also longan and red dates tea, which helps reduce fatigue and restore hormonal balance. 

The support continues after you take your newborn home. Nurses and lactation consultants will call to check in on you after your discharge to ensure you’re coping well. This is especially helpful if you’re a first-time parent.

Photos: iStock

In case you missed these reads...

How much breastmilk should baby drink? [Infographic]

BUYER’S GUIDE: Best baby laundry detergents in Singapore

Pregnancy lingo for clueless dads-to-be