BABY CENTRE

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Guide to help you make a decision.

Type of Facility

Pros

Cons

Public Hospital: State funded

  • Would normally have the medical facility and expertise to handle emergency medical cases (if you are in the high risk category).
  • Doctors are well trained and experienced.
  • No charge for labour and birth care.
  • Midwives visit your home after discharge from hospital.
  • Hospital arranges all tests, scans at no cost.

Additional services offered: Postnatal education, pregnancy exercise classes, and interpreters.

  • Most likely be in shared room for postnatal stay.
  • Longer waiting time for appointments as the number of patients can be quite high.
  • You might be assigned to doctors that you are not familiar with.
  • In some hospitals (university hospitals), student doctors or nurses will be present during childbirth.
  • Shorter postnatal stay.

Private Hospital: Patient-funded

  • More comfortable environment and more private.
  • More likely to have a private room for postnatal stay.
  • Doctors are well trained and experienced.
  • You will be dealing with an obstetrician (specialist Doctor trained in childbirth) that is assigned to your case – own personal doctor that you are familiar with.
  • Longer postnatal stay.
  • All antenatal visits are in the doctor’s rooms.
  • Shorter waiting periods to see doctor.
  • Additional services offered: Postnatal education, pregnancy exercise classes, lactation services.
  • Some hospitals offer postnatal home visits after discharge.
  • Hospital may not be fully equipped to handle emergency cases – do a background check first.
  • Hospitals vary in their Special Care Nursery Facilities for unwell or premature babies.
  • High cost.

Maternity Clinics /Birthing Centres (Home-like environment)

  • For uncomplicated pregnancies.
  • Smaller and cosier environment.
  • Emphasis is on minimal medical intervention and natural pain management.
  • More freedom to move around to reduce stress and pain during labour.
  • Most are attached to hospitals so medical care is available if need to be transferred out of the birth centre.
  • More personalised postnatal care due to familiar faces.
  • Less equipped and not prepared for medical emergency situation.
  • You need to know – how and where they will transfer you in case of emergency.

Notes:

  1. Ask around – Word-of-mouth is a GOOD way to gauge the performance of a hospital.
  2. Do research – Search through the Internet, magazines, brochures, articles or even make site visits to find out more about the facilities, equipment and postnatal services and other services that the hospital/medical centre has.
  3. Try to choose a hospital/medical centre that is close to your house. Convenient for visitation during pregnancy, fast and easy access when rushing for delivery and is convenient for post delivery care and medical treatment.


Making a Birth Plan & Delivery Options

A birth plan is a guide for both you and your caregivers during the labour process. It is very important that you discuss your birth plan with your health professional prior to the birth. It enables better management and engagement during childbirth according to your preference and expectations. Some of the things that you could list down in a birth plan are:

Type of Delivery Option

Delivery Position

Vaginal Delivery

Normal Vaginal Birth

  • Recommended for healthy mother and baby.
  • Mother lying on their back with feet up or lying by her side in a C-Position (more comfortable).

Sitting Down Position

  • Recommended for healthy mother and baby.
  • A restful position that conserves energy and maintains body-wide relaxation. Gravity will also aid the delivery process.
  • NOT many hospitals have this facility.

Freestyle Labour

  • Recommended for healthy mother and baby.
  • On hands and knees position that enables mother to move their pelvic in a rocking motion.
  • Great for delivering a large baby.
  • NOT all doctors practise this method of delivery.

Water birth
Some birth centre facilities offer water births.

Caesarean (C-Section)

C-Section

  • Childbirth through surgery.
  • Recommended for delivery with complications.
  • Relatively safe but still carry risks.

Other options that you should consider in your birth plan would include:

No.

Options

Notes

1.

Pain Relief

You can ask for pain relief drugs if need be. Consult with your doctor first.

2.

Induced Labour

Will be administered on special cases with complications or if the delivery has not begun after your due date. Your doctor will advise you accordingly as to how long after your due date induction will need to take place.

3.

Aromatherapy

A natural pain relief method through scented aromatherapy. Not many hospitals allow this practise. Consult health practitioner prior to using.

4.

Shaving

Used to be common practise believed to reduce the possibility of infection. However, it is not routinely practised any more unless you are required to do have a C-Section).

5.

Enemas

Not recommended as there is no evidence that it is necessary.

7.

Episiotomy

A surgical enlargement of the vagina opening during labour (a cut between the vagina and anus). Meant to reduce risk of pelvic tissue tear and ease childbirth. The use of an episiotomy is not routine and based on judgement of midwives/doctors at the time of the birth.

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