How Much Does It Cost To Give Birth In Singapore?
Parenthood is surely one of the most nerve-wracking yet inspiring and fulfilling experiences that one can have. The journey towards receiving a precious bundle of joy is often fraught with its fair share of uncertainties.
In Singapore, one of the earliest uncertainties is the financial costs of ensuring a smooth pregnancy and delivery of the baby.
Thankfully, the low birth-rate in Singapore means that the government has been rather generous with its financial aid for parents. Nevertheless, here are the usual expenses that you should expect from baby bump to delivery and beyond. Costs can vary greatly depending on whether you choose a government or private hospital.
Cost prenatal ultrasounds and consultations
A visit to the gynaecologist comes with a consultation fee that ranges from S$80 in public hospitals to around S$200 for a private gynaecologist. In addition to the consultation fees, you’re likely to be doing between two to four ultrasounds during your pregnancy, which cost between S$100 and S$200 each.
After the first trimester, many private clinics and hospitals will offer a prenatal package, which includes consultations, ultrasounds, and some of them include supplements as well as additional scans or tests. National University Hospital (NUH), a public hospital, offers a prenatal package that costs S$850, while private gynaecologists can charge over S$1,500 for a package.
In addition to ultrasounds, some parents may wish to do additional tests, which may or may not be included in your prenatal package. For example, there is the first-trimester combined screening test that tells you the odds of the baby having Down syndrome. Tests can cost around S$200-S$400 each, but are optional.
Here are the estimated costs:
|Public hospital (Standard pre-natal package)||S$850|
|Private hospital (Standard pre-natal package)||S$1,500|
|Additional test (Optional)||S$200-S$400|
Singaporean Citizens and PRs can make use of Medisave for pre-delivery expenses at both private and public institutions with a withdrawal limit of S$900. Pre-delivery care in KKH, a public hospital, includes consultations and scans costs about S$900, which means that it’s possible to pay very little out-of-pocket for prenatal care.
|Estimated cost||Amount after Medisave deduction|
|Public hospital (Standard pre-natal package)||S$850||S$0|
|Private hospital (Standard pre-natal package)||S$1,500||S$600|
Cost of delivery
Hospitals in Singapore offer a maternity package, which usually refers to your stay in the hospital and doesn’t include the cost of the doctor’s delivery fee. When it comes to delivery, fees vary a great deal as it depends on a number of factors, including:
- The delivery procedure. You may choose a normal vaginal delivery or Caesarian, or even other methods, such as water birth.
- The length of stay in the hospital. This will also depend on how your delivery process goes. For example, you may ultimately require a Caesarian procedure, which usually means additional time spent in the hospital.
- The type of ward. There are shared wards and single-bedded wards, and some hospitals offer luxurious suites with additional features like in-room entertainment or even lodging for the new father.
A normal two- to three-day delivery with a stay in the four-bed ward in NUH will set you back about S$1,000, or about S$3,600 in a single bed ward.
The total bill for delivery if you were to choose a one-bed ward in a private hospital like KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital can you set you back between S$5,220 and S$8,390 depending on the method of delivery.
Be sure to discuss with the doctor about the potential additional costs that you may incur and to be sure of what’s included in the package. For example, epidural consumables or water birth facility fees come separately.
If you opt for a one-bed ward, here are the estimated costs:
|Estimated cost for vaginal birth (2 days)||Estimated cost for Caesarean delivery (3 days)|
* Public hospital rates based on package rates offered to Singaporeans by NUH, Singapore.
** Private hospital rates are based on estimated charges offered by the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
The out-of-pocket costs for delivery can be very much reduced if you use Medisave. With Medisave, you can withdraw up to S$450 per day for a hospital stay, and between S$750 to S$2,150 for the delivery procedure.
|Medisave Maternity Package (MMP)||Withdrawal limit|
|Daily hospital charges||S$450 per day|
For example, the total amount claimable for a two-day vaginal delivery is:
(S$450 X 2 days) + S$750= $1,650
For a three-day caesarian delivery, the total amount claimable is:
(S$450 X 3 days)+ S$2,150= S$3,500
Confinement is traditional Singaporean Chinese postnatal care that helps the mother focus on nurturing her body back to health. This involves having a confinement nanny helping to take care of the baby and the household chores, and even making delicious postnatal foods that are packed with nutrients. This costs between S$2,000 to S$3,000 for the month.
In addition to confinement, there will be other essentials to spend on, such as milk bottles, sterilisers, baby cots, strollers, and diapers. As with most things in Singapore, there are premium and basic brands for you to choose from. Check out the prices of common items from popular retailers such as Mothercare.
Here are the estimated costs for some of the essentials that you need post-delivery:
|Baby crib and mattress||S$596|
|3 packs newborn diapers||S$40|
|Total estimated cost||S$4,354|
Before you hyperventilate over the astronomical costs of having a baby in Singapore, not to mention what feels like a lifetime of care and educational costs, don’t forget about the Baby Bonus. For the first and second child, parents can receive S$8,000 in cash bonus, and for the third and subsequent child, parents receive S$10,000.
The cash gift will be disbursed in stages:
Parents will receive the enhanced cash gift in 5 instalments, over 18 months.
|Time||Amount of cash gift disbursed|
|First and Second Birth||Third and Subsequent Birth|
|Within 3 weeks after joining the scheme||S$3,000||S$4,000|
|When the child turns 6 months old||S$1,500||S$2,000|
|When the child turns 12 months old||S$1,500||S$1,500|
|Baby Bonus Plus When the child turns 15 months old||S$1,000||S$1,000|
|Baby Bonus Plus When the child turns 18 months old||S$1,000||S$1,000|
Source: Baby Bonus Scheme
To take advantage of this scheme, you can submit the online form for your child to join the Scheme as early as two months before their estimated delivery date.
Having a child is certainly no easy affair. Based on the estimated costs listed above, it would take nearly S$26,000 without Medisave and Baby Bonus. However, if you are a Singaporean and you are eligible for all these financial aids, you can save more than 50% of the cost by just paying about S$11,000 in this scenario.
|Amount payable||After Medisave & Baby Bonus deductions|
|Prenatal package at private hospital||S$850.00||S$0.00|
|Prenatal package at public hospital||S$1,500.00||S$600.00|
|Vaginal birth at public hospital||S$1,972.01||S$322.01|
|Caesarian birth at public hospital||S$3,523.51||S$23.51|
|Vaginal birth at private hospital||S$5,220.00||S$3,570.00|
|Caesarian birth at private hospital||S$8,390.00||S$4,890.00|
|Post-delivery (First month)||S$4,354.00||S$1,354.00|
|Total estimated cost||S$25,809.52||S$10,759.52|
However, the above is just estimated cost. Every parent may prioritise different areas to spend on. One family may cut the expenses on prenatal, delivery and postnatal so they can save more for their child’s future.
Regardless of how you plan your finances to welcome your new bundle of joy, the fact is, having a child requires extensive financial planning to ensure that your family’s finances won’t be badly affected. If you are not careful with your financial planning, it could lead to a financial disaster for the entire family.
If you are planning to expand your family, or is already expecting, check out how much it cost to send your child to a childcare centre in Singapore.