The Insider’s Guide to Having a C-section in Singapore
A caesarean section, or C-section, is a surgical procedure that delivers the baby through a horizontal incision in the mother’s belly and womb, when a vaginal delivery poses safety risks. It can be planned ahead of time for various reasons, such as the baby not being properly positioned in the lead-up to the due date, if you have a heart condition that makes the stress of labour a danger, or if there is a risk of you passing on an infection to the baby through the birth canal.
Things to Consider for a C-section
Should you decide to have a C-section, there are some things you need to consider ahead of time.
- Do you want an epidural? These are injections that will relieve the pain during birth, but can include some side effects like headache, drop in blood pressure and problems urinating. Discuss with your doctor the benefits and possible side effects beforehand.
- Have a birth plan with you. It is important to draw up a birth plan during your pregnancy, detailing your preferences in the lead-up to and during labour, how you want to handle the pain and preferences for assisted deliveries, including the scenario of a C-section
- Who do you want with you? Think ahead of time about who you want in the delivery room with you. If more than 1 person is allowed do you want your midwife and a doula in there? Have you discussed what the role of the dad will be? Think about who you want to hold the baby after birth as well.
- Plan for recovery post-C-section. You will be in bed for around 8 to 12 hours or even more after the procedure, and will likely spend another 2 to 3 days recovering in the hospital. Make sure you have assigned someone the task of bringing you what you need from home, be it food, clothes or personal documents.
C-section in Singapore
In Singapore, the number of C-section deliveries has risen in recent years, possibly due to more women choosing this option over delivery by the birth canal. Although a C-section is a safe procedure, it does carry a higher risk of bleeding and injuries compared to normal vaginal delivery.
C-sections are also more expensive, since they involve a gynaecologist fee and hospital stay of around 2 to 3 days for recovery after the surgery. Depending on the hospital, whether any complications arise and the severity of the complications, the total bill for birth by C-section in Singapore can rise to around S$9,400 for Ward A at public hospitals and $17,300 for a 1-bedded room at a private hospital for a recovery stay. Do check that your insurance covers planned C-sections without a medical reason.
Recovery after C-section
After the surgery, you will need to rest for up to a day; maybe longer. Your mobility will be limited and you might still encounter some pain. As you begin to walk around slowly, make sure you have a midwife or a doula with you for safety. You will need to start slowly with light meals to prevent you from vomiting.
Once you have left the hospital, avoid any strenuous activity for the first two weeks, including lifting and driving. This can be difficult for mums with older children; so you will need to put plans in place to assist you with this.
It is normal for Singaporean mums to go for traditional massage therapy to help drain the excess water retention before the C-section and to relax and get back into shape in the early stages of recovery after it.