Some parents like to choose when their Baby makes his or her entrance into the world. But all mums-to-be like to choose WHERE Baby will make his grand entrance. After all, you may not be able to decide on the time (especially if you’re having a normal delivery), but you certainly can decide on the place.
With that in mind, we got our preggie writer to go on the hospital maternity tours at all 10 maternity hospitals in Singapore, and give you the scoop on what each is like, so you don’t have to do the walking. We’ve shown you these five so far: Gleneagles Hospital, KKH Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Mt Alvernia Hospital, Mt Elizabeth (Orchard), and Mt Elizabeth (Novena) Hospitals. Here are three more: Parkway East Hospital, Raffles Hospital, and the Singapore General Hospital (with the final two hospitals to come in the next installment!).
321 Joo Chiat Place Singapore 427990. Tel: 6377 3737
Spacious with a cool, coastal vibe, Parkway East Hospital is a 91-bed general acute care hospital located in the east.
Accessibility is fine. There is a bus stop in front of the hospital. Shuttle bus services to several MRT stations in the east are also provided. Since I live in the west, Parkway East wouldn’t be convenient for me but it is a good choice for mothers-to-be staying in the East.
The hospital has five delivery suites and 30 maternity beds: five single-bedded classic rooms, eight two-bedded rooms, two four-bedded rooms, and one deluxe suite.
The maternity wards enjoy generous natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, which also provide a view of plants outside. I like this, as greenery and natural light aid post-delivery recovery and improve mood, making this a nice environment for both mom and baby to bond in.
One thing I really like is that the hospital allows the baby to room in with Mom at night, not just for single-bedded rooms but for shared rooms as well, on one condition: make sure you check with your roommate(s) that having Baby in the room won’t disturb them.
A two-bedded room is equipped with a TV, mini wardrobe, lockable safe and one chair for your companion or guest. Free wifi is available so you can surf the Internet and upload all those pictures of Baby during your stay. But do remember to rest as well!
The hospital bistro consisting of My Toast, Delifrance and D’lite is open from 8am to 8pm.
Patients get complimentary parking for each day’s stay. For visitors, parking is at $2.50 per hour and $20 for whole-day parking, with valet parking available at $6.
Cost of tour: Free
Cost of 1-BD normal delivery 2-day stay: $3,136 (excludes doctor’s fee)
585 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188770. Tel: 6311 1111
You do not need to register for the maternity tour at Raffles Hospital. Just turn up at the Business Office five minutes before the designated time slots, and a tour coordinator will attend to you.
It wasn’t a long wait before the friendly nurse-cum-coordinator arrived to bring us around the maternity floor. While we didn’t manage to view any of the six labour rooms, we visited a few different maternity room types, ranging from four-bedded rooms to the suites.
They were all very well-maintained, but somehow, they don’t feel as lush or cosy as the other hospitals’ because the decor uses less wood furnishings! Then again, it’s the amenities and services that matter, isn’t it?
For the single rooms, lodging is available at $65 a day without meals, but meals for your lodger can be ordered from the hospital menu. Baby is also allowed to room in with you overnight. In shared rooms however, Baby will have to return to the nursery at bedtime to give you and your roommates much-needed rest.
What I find unique is the traditional chinese medicine (TCM) clinic in the hospital (Level 2). The TCM doctors deal with a wide variety of health issues, including fertility, gynecology and orthopaedics, reflecting a symbiotic relationship between Western and Eastern medicine.
In terms of accessibility, Raffles Hospital is a quick walk from Bugis MRT station. The four-storey carpark makes parking a breeze. While some hospitals offer complimentary parking or discounted parking coupons for their patients, Raffles Hospital’s parking is charged separately. Rates are $15 for whole-day parking. That may seem like a staggering amount (it is located in town, after all), but is reasonable if you’re staying overnight.
Eating places here include Subway, Starbucks, and The Coffee Shop. You can also stroll over to Bugis, which is just a stone’s throw away!
Cost of tour: Free
Cost of 1-BD normal delivery 2-day stay: $2,588 (excludes doctor’s fee) + $1,000 for the newborn 2-night stay package.
Outram Rd, Singapore 169608. Tel: 6222 3322
You have to be a patient at SGH or have signed up for their antenatal class, to join the hospital’s maternity tour. That’s because the limited number of maternity beds in SGH means that the wards are often occupied and not available for viewing.
That’s unfortunate, because the whole purpose of joining the tour is so that new mums like me can get a better idea of what SGH offers before selecting it. Thankfully, you have an inside look right here!
Getting to the hospital is easy via MRT, but it’s a trek through the healthcare cluster where organisations such as National Cancer Centre are, before you get to the maternity ward. I believe I walked about 10 minutes from the station to get to my destination. The best way (for a pregnant woman about to give birth) to get here is certainly by taxi or car, especially if you’re lugging your birth delivery bag with you!
The maternity wards and delivery rooms are located at Block 5. As a general hospital, SGH offers holistic healthcare with the convenience of the different healthcare departments close by. One of the hospital’s areas of expertise is high-risk pregnancies. In fact, 40 per cent of the maternity patients at SGH belong to the high-risk category!
As I was informed by the medical team who accompanied me on the tour, patients experiencing difficult pregnancies or those who may have complicated childbirths are often transferred to SGH for critical medical attention as some of the best specialist doctors are at SGH.
Gynaes often refer mums with high-risk pregnancies to SGH. With that in mind, SGH would be a good form of insurance for mums who are more prone to pregnancy complications such as eclampsia and placenta accrete (a serious condition where the placenta becomes attached to the uterine wall).
The SGH delivery room is very spacious. I was pleasantly surprised, until I realised why: there’s no en-suite washroom. So if you take that into account, I would say the delivery room is about the same size as that in other hospitals. Apparatus is kept to a minimum, making the room clutter-free and easy for the medical staff to move about during delivery.
What I like most about SGH is the interaction with the nurses. Many of the nurses here have decades of experience. Not only do they have a wealth of knowledge, they are also very warm and friendly – like wise aunts. You know you are in good hands when these nurses know your gynaecologists (yes, plural because I have seen three) from back when they were just student doctors!
Breastfeeding can be challenging for first-time moms. There’s no need to fret though – you can seek guidance from the lactation consultants in a private consultation room at the Baby and Child Clinic (Level 1).
This lift is used to transport emergency patients from the Baby & Child Clinic to Level 2 where the delivery rooms and operating theatres are. It can only accommodate two to three people. Very interesting!
Cost of tour: Free
Cost of 1-BD normal delivery 2-day stay: from $4,218 (includes doctor’s fee)
That’s it for the moment! Have you come closer to making a decision on where you’d like Baby to make his or her entrance into the world? No? Don’t worry, we’ll have the final two maternity hospital tours coming up soon. Check the SingaporeMotherhood homepage or our Facebook page for updates!
In the meantime, see the rest of the hospital maternity tours here:
Do note that these accounts are based on our writer’s personal experiences when she went on the maternity tours. Please get in touch with the hospital if you require further details and more information about its maternity services or if you’d like to attend the maternity tours.
All costs and facts are accurate as of October 2015. GST and service charges not included.