1. Water Birth
Lying in warm water gives the patient relaxation and may possible reduce the patient’s need for analgesia.
There are perceived benefits of water birth (immersion in water during birth), and these include less painful contractions, less need for pain relief, shorter labor, less intervention, with little adverse effects posed to the patient herself.
- Risks of water birth
Potential complications to the baby born under water include respiratory problems, fresh water drowning, cord rupture with bleeding, waterborne infections. Underwater fetal monitoring using Doppler is important to assess fetal status.
Most birthing units should have provisions made for water birth. However, as there is lack of clinical data to suggest its benefit and safety, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital currently does not provide such services. Enquire with your obstetrician on his/her practices. Your doctor should discuss with the patient antenatally the use of water birth in labor. Birthing units providing such services should ensure that their midwives and staff are apt in their water birthing skills and are able to handle complications.
- Suitability for water birth
Generally, only low risk category patients should consider water birth.
- Cost of water birth in Singapore
The price varies and ranges from $200 – $500 at Thomson medical centre / Mt Alvernia Hospital.
Hypnobirth means self-hypnosis, engaging breathing, relaxation and visualization techniques to help the parturient cope with labor pains.
Any birthing women may practice hypnobirth as a form of pain control.
There are several resources online which provide technique training to patients. These include www.parentlink.org. Fees generally start from $500 onwards.
3. Doula-assisted birth
A doula is basically a birth coach or women who serves. She will stay with the
parturient during labor, providing continuous emotional support. There are potential perceived benefits – decrease chance of operative delivery, less likely to use medication, slightly shorter labor, increase your chance of spontaneous labor, increase your chance of having a satisfying birth experience.
Any women due for birth may employ doula-assisted birth.
Interview a few doulas and see if they are supportive of your specific birth requests. Check the credentials of the doulas.
Resources online include: www.parentlink.org
Doulas can be expensive, and their services ranges from $1000 – $3000.
4. Home Birth
Home birth means a trained doctor, midwife or doula delivers the baby at the women’s home.
Very few women in Singapore go through home birth by choice. This may be due to maternal policies impacting on the availability of home birth.
Women with low risk pregnancies may consider home birth, although it is not widely advocate locally. There are very few private practitioners who offer home birth as an alternative birth method.
There are risks involved with home birth. These include maternal risks such as obstetric haemorrhage, and neonatal risks.
Fees are variable.
This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine
By Dr Ben Choey
Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
A gynaecologic surgeon who has been committed to women’s health for more than 10 years, Dr Choey obtained his Master of Medicine (O&G) and became a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (United Kingdom) in 2007. He was also appointed Clinical Tutor in Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
SBCC Women’s Clinic (Clementi)
Blk 443 Clementi Ave 3 #01-53 Singapore 120443
Tel: 6774 1654
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