Pregnant and moving to Singapore - help!

(18 Posts)
SeaSalt1 Sun 23-Sep-12 16:08:45

Hello there, I have just (a little unexpectedly) found out I am five weeks pregnant. We are very happy and feel so lucky, this is our first child and we are very conscious of how much trouble many couples have conceiving. The slight complication is that we are moving to Singapore on Friday with my work for six months.

I would be incredibly grateful for any pointers anyone could give me as to where to start with maternity care in Singapore when I arrive. I have insurance, so the cost is not an issue, I just feel completely lost moving to a new country with no contacts and very little idea of who to go to / what I will need to do over the next few weeks / months.

If anyone has any pointers at all that would be wonderful, and any ideas of how I could meet other mums-to-be would be fantastic too.

Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
jazal Sun 23-Sep-12 22:30:56

congratulations SeaSalt1!

the maternity care in singapore is fab. we went to a gynecologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. I will pm you the details as I am not sure if I am suppose to post it on here.


Merlion Mon 24-Sep-12 02:50:53

Congratulations Seasalt.

So does that mean you will be back home (UK?) to deliver? Normally in Singapore you have a monthly appointment with the gynae who would also deliver your baby. So that means a monthly scan - which is lovely compared to what I understand you normally get in the UK. They will also do checks at 12 weeks (nuchal, 3-in-1 etc) and abnormalities screening at 20 weeks plus of course any additional tests/checks if you require them.

Popular hospitals for expats seem to be Mt Elizabeth (I had my 2 dc there), Thomson & Gleneagles. TC Chang is very popular with expats and is based at Thomson and also Paul Tseng.

To meet other Mums then look at new mother's support group (the lady who runs this is on here I think). Also Mother & Child at Tanglin Mall is popular and runs ante-natal classes. Depending on where you are staying and what your interests are then they also run pre-natal yoga classes.

butterfliesinmytummy Mon 24-Sep-12 13:42:50

H seasalt and congrats!

I moved here pregnant with dd2 and had her at Thomson medical. My obstetrician was Paul Tseng and he was excellent. You will get first class antenatal care here but you do tend to miss out on the fluffy chats with midwives that I remember from being pregnant with dd1. It's pretty matter of fact, kind but detatched.

I co-run the new mothers support group, we run event for mums and mums to be. You might be interested in our mamma wellness group in particular.

IMO the antenatal care here is among the best in the world so you will be well taken care of.

SeaSalt1 Mon 24-Sep-12 19:27:23

Wow! Thank you all so much, that's hugely helpful information and you are so kind to have taken the time to post.

Jazil thanks for your gynecologist's contact details - very much appreciated!

Merlion, monthly scans sound great, it will be wonderful to see everything developing. Sorry to be ignorant but what are 'nuchal' and '3-in-1'? I'm a bit of a first timer so not sure of the terminology. If all goes according to plan I will return to the UK in April in time to deliver in late May. I suspect I won't want to leave Singapore, especially having found a gynecologist and met other mums-to-be, but I have to come back for work and will be re-inserted into the NHS (sadly my health insurance only covers maternity care abroad and not in the UK).

Butterflies, thank you for sending the info about your group, it sounds wonderful and I would love to get involved. Very reassuring also to hear the antenatal care in Singapore is so good.

Any other thoughts then do let me know, it's so good to hear others have had such positive experiences!

OP’s posts: |
jazal Tue 25-Sep-12 00:55:49

If it makes you feel any better, if your child is born in the UK, he/she can pass on his/her British citizenship to his/her children. If he/she is born in Singapore, although he/she can be British if you or daddy is, he/she will not be able to pass on his/her citizenship unless their child is born in the UK or mummy is a British not born overseas smile

Merlion Tue 25-Sep-12 05:50:16

Hi Seasalt nuchal translucency thickness is a measurement that is taken by ultrasound and depending on the result can be a marker for downsyndrome. This is usually done in conjunction with blood tests which look for other markers of downs plus certain other abnormalities. Your options will be well explained to you. I joined an ante-natal group on here which I found invaluable especially being so far away from home. We are still going 4+ years after although not on here anymore.

Oh one other thing if you don't want to know the sex of the baby you may need to remind your gynae (probably every time you go) as it is more usual here for people to find out!


soapnuts Fri 28-Sep-12 08:34:09

jazal - that is almost correct but you missed out an important word - "he/she will not be able to pass on his/her citizenship automatically unless their child is born in the UK or mummy is a British not born overseas"

I believe you can pass on the citizenship in certain circumstances it's just more complicated and not guaranteed. My sister and my son are both going to be in this position. Probably doesn't make a difference for most people but it can if e.g. they don't have any entitlement to another nationality.

(sorry for hijack - congrats op!)

jazal Fri 28-Sep-12 22:11:09

Yes, you're right soapnut. It's not an automatic right which means you will have to go through a process of proof sadsadsad good luck to your sis and son

tiredstressedbrocken Sat 29-Sep-12 10:13:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SeaSalt1 Sun 30-Sep-12 10:04:44

Thank you everyone! I arrived in Singapore yesterday and am still getting my bearings. This city seems amazing, I'm so happy I am here - I'm really hoping we'll be able to get into the community quickly so think we'll try to go to the Cathedral for a service this evening (could be a good place to meet people?). Any other tips please do let me know.

I don't know how I'm going to manage getting bigger and bigger in this heat! Any ideas would be gratefully received. Other questions on my mind are where I might buy maternity clothes (my bra is already feeling a little tight!), and what usual first steps are here on discovering you are pregnant. Should I get in touch with an obstetrician directly or are you normally referred by a GP? Is there such a thing as a midwife?

Apologies for all the questions, I haven't ever done this in the UK let alone abroad - thank you so much for the support, I am extremely grateful.

OP’s posts: |
SeaSalt1 Sun 30-Sep-12 13:35:53

Hmm... Cathedral service not a great success (though building very beautiful!), don't think we'll try that again! Any other thoughts let me know...

OP’s posts: |
kday Sun 30-Sep-12 16:27:06

Welcome! I arrived last year when 6/7 months pregnant. Make an appointment direct with your preferred obstetrician (do it quickly as the popular ones are busy but will let you know if they can or can't take any more patients for the month you're due to deliver). The obstetrician will also help you book into the hospital (usually the obs deliver in only one or two of the numerous hospitals here). IME, no need for a referral from a GP. There is no midwife-led care here (unlike in the UK). You can engage a private doula (a professional birth helper) if you like - although I'm not sure if all obstetricians tolerate that or not. If you have insurance, you may wish to check whether you have to use one of the insurer's panel obstetricians or panel hospitals - this will help narrow down the choice of doctors unless you want to self-fund.
To meet people, you might like to try New Mothers Support Group, Mother & Child at Tanglin Mall, Expat Living (the local magazine - it has get togethers for new arrivals, including specific ones for new/expectant mums). You might also like to try Aust and NZ Association, Amercian Women's Association - they are not only for the nationality specified and have some great groups and activities. You could also think about joining a club - British Club, Dutch Club etc - again, they're open to all but are a bit pricey (sometimes the cost is included in your expat package?). There is also a small group of Singapore mumsnetters who get together from time to time - let us know if you're keen!
Good luck!

LadyPenelope Sun 30-Sep-12 16:43:41

LOL re Cathedral service! We had unsuccessful experience when we went to a service there when we first arrived in SG many years ago! Try St George's - close to Tanglin Mall near Dempsey. We no longer live in SG but it was lovely friendly church. Both my children baptised there smile

kday Sun 30-Sep-12 17:37:38

Sorry - I just read your post again and realise you probably won't deliver your baby here! No need maybe for the hospital then! Good luck finding your obstetrician. Lots of good suggestions here.
Re: maternity clothes/bras. Takashimaya on Orchard Road (big department store) will fit you for a maternity bra (they are not cheap there though...). Not sure if Marks and Spencer stock maternity bras here - someone else may know? There is a shop called Motherswork in Tanglin Mall (as you enter from the taxi stand) which has lots of maternity wear (again not cheap). I didn't have much luck with local maternity wear - everything was too small. You could get things sent from the UK (although it would all be heading to autumn/winter wear by now, I guess) but I found that quite a lot of what I brought with me from the UK, even though it was UK "Summer" clothing, was just too thick and too hot for a Singapore pregnancy.
Firefly (an Australian brand) is just about to open its first shop here. That's not maternity but is loose-fitting, very light cotton resort wear and would probably see you through to almost the end if you bought up a size. They are having a clearance sale in a pop up shop in Tanglin Mall this week.
I have a few bits and pieces to give away if you don't mind hand me downs (and are about a UK 10)!

lanternfestival Mon 01-Oct-12 00:33:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lanternfestival Mon 01-Oct-12 00:38:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Merlion Mon 01-Oct-12 04:46:50

As you are going to be out here only a short amount of time you might also want to try Maternity Exchange at Marina Square shopping mall. You basically can hire pieces for a month or buy the pieces. They have dresses/shorts/jeans/tops etc. You can sign up for a package of number of pieces. I found this really helpful for workwear (skirts/trousers) that I didn't want to buy. Also it's helpful if you change sizes over your pregnancy.

Also ASOS do free international delivery and I think have quite a good maternity range if you did want to get anything sent here - might be cheaper!

M&S do stock maternity bras here.

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