Hear from expats who’ve been here, done that!
American expat Nikki Matthews gave birth to daughter, Alexandra, in 2016, and son, Mason, in 2018 at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.
“I was 6 months pregnant when we moved to Singapore, so on our look-see trip here, I toured four or five hospitals. I was a little nervous switching from the US to Singapore during the first pregnancy, but in my experience, the hospitals here are just as good if not better than what we have in the US, and I felt totally comfortable.”
Scottish expat Emma Butler gave birth to daughter, Ada, in 2018 at Gleneagles Hospital; her first child was born in the Netherlands.
“Having a dedicated obstetrician was great, as it’s not the norm in Europe. It really made a big difference during labour, because I already had a relationship with my doctor. After delivery, there were lactation consultants available daily. All of the nurses were trained by lactation consultants and were amazing help, 24 hours a day.”
German expat Jacqueline Nube gave birth to her son, Liam, in 2016 at Mount Alvernia Hospital.
“I chose to deliver at Mount Alvernia Hospital, as I had heard that it was a hospital that specialised in birthing and was more open to alternative birthing techniques. During my pregnancy, the heat in Singapore wasn’t any fun, but the wide choice of food available at pretty much all hours of the day made having cravings so much easier to bear for my husband, who most of the time was the one who had to get the food.”
Australian expat Kristy Walther gave birth to son, James, at National University Hospital in 2017.
“I opted to use the Emma Care service at NUH, where a midwife is available to you for all your prenatal and postnatal appointments, to help you prepare your birth plan and answer any questions you have throughout your pregnancy. Since this was my first baby, I thought this service was totally worth the extra expense, as it really prepared me and my husband well for the birth, and it was great having a familiar face in the room with me throughout my labour.”
British expat Lucy Bradbury delivered twins, Zoe and Alice, in 2017 at Raffles Hospital.
“The NICU was very calm – no beeping machines. Walking in there with the nurses was like having your Mum with you. The nursing staff made every effort to make you feel welcomed, loved and confident, and the midwives were as involved after the delivery as they were during the delivery.”
Filipina expat Myka Fluri gave birth to son, Cael, in 2018 at Mount Elizabeth Orchard; her first son was born in Manila.
“I had some worries before I gave birth here – I wondered if I should return to the Philippines, because there, the staff are Filipino and we won’t have any language problems. And I didn’t have my parents here for emotional support – they were around when I had my first child (in Manila). But, I really thought that the staff at Mount Elizabeth Orchard were more amazing than those in the Philippines. I rate them 10 out of 10. I could really feel that they cared.”
British expat Julie Phebey gave birth to son, Fred, at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital in 2016. Her first son was born in Dubai.
“When I had my first son in Dubai, they kept the baby in the room with you all the time, so I was worried about it being different in Singapore. I really thought I would not want my child taken away, but I actually really appreciated that they took him, so I could get some sleep!”
British expat Sarah Hayward gave birth to twins, Aidan and Dylan, in 2016 and son, Tristan in 2018 – all at Raffles Hospital.
“My doctor was wonderful. We had a tonne of questions, and he always had so much time for us. We never felt like we were being rushed out the door. He gave me the option to deliver my twins naturally, and he thought I’d deliver the first one fairly easily but the second one (Dylan) was breech, and he would need to try to turn him. But, at 33 weeks, my waters broke so they rushed me into the theatre for a Caesarean section. Aidan and Dylan spent nearly three weeks in intensive care (NICU). The NICU staff were great.”
Russian expat Anastasia Potter gave birth to son, Cameron, in 2016 and daughter, Emmaline, in 2018 at Thomson Medical Centre. She says:
“After the birth, I wanted to check if Emmaline’s breastfeeding latch was okay, so I contacted Mother and Child [a prenatal and postnatal education centre]. As a new mum I could not have found a better resource. I went to its Baby Café every week which is the drop-in service where midwives there answer your questions.”
Australian expat Karola Clark (the author of this story) gave birth to her son, Max, in 2016 at Thomson Medical Centre; her first child was born in Australia. She says:
“My obstetrician, and all the staff at Thomson Medical Centre, were supportive of my choice to give birth naturally using hypnobirthing methods. I was lucky that there were no complications and I was able to have a relatively relaxed, drug-free birth.”
Portuguese expat Patricia Almeida gave birth to son, Matthew, in 2016 at Thomson Medical Centre. She says:
“I liked having my appointments with my obstetrician quite regularly. I had to do the Panorama test – a non-invasive prenatal screening test (NIPT) that reveals your baby’s risk for genetic disorders – because the doctor suspected my baby might have one after the 12 week ultrasound. My obstetrician was amazing, explaining what was going on and addressing the issue. I believe choosing the right doctor makes all the difference.”
American expat Jillian Rothe gave birth to daughter, Evelyn, in 2015 at Gleneagles Hospital; her son, Braden, arrived so quickly he was delivered by his dad in the living room of their condo in 2016! She says:
“I chose to have a doula. Not having family here, it was important to have someone who knew birthing in Singapore. Different countries have different interventions and different medications, so the preparation with our doula helped me to understand the options here.”
By Karola Clark + Neena Mittal, From The Finder Kids Vol. 24, October 2018
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