Where to have your baby
Where to have your baby
When you first find out you're expecting, the birth will seem a lifetime away. But it's worth thinking about where you'd like to have your baby, as there are pros and cons with each option, and your choice could affect the antenatal care you receive.
Step one is to see your GP or local Midwife (usually based at your GP surgery) . It pays to do a little research first. You should know that you have the right to give birth anywhere and can change your mind at any time.
Your GP/Midwife can refer you to the next stage, or you can contact your chosen option directly.
The basic choices are hospital, birth unit, or home delivery. For information on local hospitals and units and costs check the MOH Site.
Consultant-led hospital unit
What? You'll give birth in a hospital, under the care of a named obstetrician but will see a midwife for ante-natal appointments and the birth unless there are problems. Remember that different hospitals have different facilities and approaches to birth, so check out details like Caesarean rates, numbers of birthing pools and so on. You don't have to go the nearest hospital, but can chose one you prefer (NEAR YOU?) For example, some areas will offer team midwifery, where you get to know a small group of midwives, or (more rarely these days) "domino care", where the same midwife sees you antenatally, attends the birth, and brings you home afterwards.
Pros? In an emergency, a doctor is on site and can be with you instantly. If a Caesarean is needed, it'll be done swiftly. You'll also have access to all forms of pain relief, including an epidural.
Cons? You'll probably see different midwives throughout the pregnancy and during the birth so you may not be able to get to know anyone properly (some studies show mums are more relaxed and have easier births if they know the midwife who is attending them). The impersonal hospital environment can make some mums nervous – which can make labour harder and longer.
What? A midwife visits you at home for antenatal appointments and delivers your baby when you go into labour. Sometimes it can be difficult to convince your GP that a home birth is an option. If your GP isn't keen, contact the community midwives direct at you local hospital to see if they can help.
Pros? Statistics show a planned home birth to be as safe as a hospital birth if your pregnancy has no complications. You'll get 'continuity of care' – see the same midwife throughout the birth and preferably antenatally - which is known to lower the need for pain-relief and interventions like forceps. And of course, you'll be in a safe, familiar environment.
Cons? You won't be able to have an epidural, and if you need more high-tech care you'll be rushed to hospital mid-labour.
Box: going private?
Private hospitals are more expensive than the government run hospitals in Singapore. As similar to the previous link on the top of the page, you can check costs and compare at this MOH Site. Select the type of delivery you intend to have.