Typically, you can start “shopping” for your preferred hospital and gynae once the euphoria of being pregnant has settled (or if realisation finally slapped you across the face :)).
Suggested first appointment will be week 7 onwards of your pregnancy. Unless you have a complicated medical history, it’s not necessary to rush to a gynae cos most “promo” packages only starts after week 20, visiting too early will only eat into your moolahs…
Which hospital should I choose?
That really depends on your needs and preference. Most common and economical choice would be the public KK Hospital. For private hospitals, the next competitive pricing after KK is Thomson Medical Centre (as of 2011). Do note if any complication occurs, there’s a chance you’ll be sent back to KK hospital even though you chose a private hospital, as the core facilities are all there.
Which gynae should I choose?
Again, this will depend on what you deemed important. Some people wants the “best” gynae, typically those with long history of experience. My hospital is at TMC, and one of the most sought after gynae is Dr WK Tan. You will come across her name in almost every mummy forum in SG. Two of my friends’ first child were delivered by her and they were all praises… esp for one of them, who experienced high blood pressure during her late pregnancy weeks and had to be induced cos the baby had stopped growing in the womb. However, Dr Tan’s rates are higher and my girlfriend usually had to wait for 1 to 2 hours juz for consultation.
I chose TMC bcos I prefer a female gynae who is pro-natural delivery. The ones recommended online and from friends is Dr WK Tan, Dr Yvonne Chan and Dr Sim Lee Ngoh. Incidentally, all from TMC. In the end, I went for Dr Sim. My review on Dr Sim here.
How much am I expecting to pay?
According to friend’s experiences and my own, you will need to pay around $1200 onwards after govt rebates if opting for a private hospital (2-bedder). Most gynaes will introduce a “promo” package for their consultation services from week 20 onwards til your labour around 39-40 weeks. Dr Sim’s package charges was $700. For average bill size comparison, you can look at the MOH’s site here.
How frequently do I need to see the doc?
If you start visiting the gynae after 7 weeks, they will usually schedule you for a return check-up once a month until 36 weeks onwards, where they will see you once fortnightly, depending on your health conditions.
What happens during the first visit?
Make an appointment, bring your IC, and drink lotsa water on the day itself. Bcos you will be required to do a urine test almost every visit. Typically, a blood test is taken for the first visit on rubella, and an optional test for Down’s syndrome called OSCAR. My first consultation costs around $240, including consultation, ultrasound, urine test, blood test and pre-natal vitamins.
You will only choose your choice of hospital accomodation (one-bedder to four-bedder) 20 weeks onwards and a downpayment is required in your last trimester (week 34 onwards).
Remember to keep your receipts for govt rebates!