Here's how and where to have an alternative water birth right here in Singapore...
Looking back a few generations, all babies were birthed at home. Today, the majority of women head to the hospital to give birth where medical staff, drugs and intervention are readily available, should they be required. This has resulted in low maternal and infant death rates during birth in many countries, including Singapore. But a lot of women prefer the idea of a water birth or home birth. If you’re interested in either of these options, this is what you need to know in order to go through with them in Singapore.
The first baby to be born in water in Singapore was little baby Nature, delivered at National University Hospital in 2006 by Dr Chong Yap Seng. Since Nature’s arrival, Singapore has seen a surge of interest by expectant parents for the opportunity to undergo labour in peaceful and familiar surroundings, as opposed to hospital delivery rooms, stirrups and epidurals.
Home birth in Singapore is legal and there are a number of Obstetricians who will support a mother in the lead up to a home birth, but it is no common. Singapore does not have registered midwives available to attend home-births. However, there are doula services (labour supporters), that you can engage for a fee, who are available for support. They’re also pretty helpful in guiding apprehensive male labour supporters (husbands) through labour.
If you are considering a home-birth, it is very important to be aware of the risks involved, and discuss with your OBGYN a course of action should things become difficult and medical help is required. Health professionals in Singapore offer these general recommendations regarding home births:
-You’ve already given birth to another child vaginally
-You feel comfortable and have had a happy, healthy pregnancy
-You have someone qualified to attend to you and support you during labour and delivery
-Your baby is breech
-Complications of any kind are expected
-You’re having twins or multiples
-You’ve already had a caesarean section
Home births and water births in Singapore
If you are keen on a natural experience but wish to be within easy reach of medical assistance, there are many hospitals in Singapore that offer birthing suites where a water birth can be achieved: National University Hospital, Raffles Hospital, Thomson Medical Centre, Mt Alvernia Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital. Water-births can provide: comfort, reduction in anxiety, buoyancy and relaxation.
For further information on alternative birthing plans in Singapore, contact Parentlink. They have information and advice on hiring doulas, inflatable water-birthing tubs and guidance for a home birth.