$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: Our Baby Journey

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Our Baby Journey

Time flies, Baby Ong is about 5 months old already! We just did the week 20/fetal anomaly scan recently and we are glad that she's growing up healthily. Shall take some time off this long weekend to blog about our experiences so far.

Gynae Review
Raffles Hospital - Dr Shamini Nair
A few days after we knew about the pregnancy (week 5/6), CZM noticed some light bleeding/spotting and we panicked. We have not even research or decided on a gynae to visit and was simply googling for the nearest gynae. Called 2 of them but they were fully booked and eventually managed to book an appointment at Raffles Women's Centre.

After understanding what happened, Dr Shamini was very assuring, told us not to worry and explained the possible reasons for spotting. After which, she suggested doing 2 blood tests (2 days apart) to see if the hCG are doubling. You can read more about hCG levels here

We also did our first baby ultrasound then. Look at how small Baby Ong was! Anyway, the result of the blood test showed that the hCG levels did double and she concluded that the spotting was likely due to implantation bleeding. We really like the way she engaged/assured us and would have just continued to visit her but she does not do delivery anymore. CZM prefers a gynae that can see her from start to the end so we went on to look for other gynae.

1st Consultation + Ultrasound + Blood Test + Medicine/Supplement: $395.60
2nd Consultation + Blood Test: $156.20

Thomson Medical - Dr Benjamin Tham
Dr Tham was recommended by a colleague and he has plenty of good reviews/recommendations in the SingaporeMotherhood forum. We visited him a few weeks later at around week 7/8 so that we will be able to hear the baby's heartbeat and true enough we did!

There really isn't much to fault him on except that he didn't let us listen to the heartbeat for a little bit longer and his answer to our question didn't feel as assuring compared to Dr Shamini. For example, CZM experienced discomfort/pain at the stomach area one night and we asked him about it. His answer was somewhere along the line now no pain all good, that night pain not good. Eh?? He also told us that he's very liberal and the mummies visiting him can eat sashimi in moderation. Eh??? Definitely not when the whole world/internet says to avoid raw food/sashimi. Anyway, CZM didn't feel comfortable with him as the gynae and that is what matters.

1st Consultation + Ultrasound + Medicine/Supplement: $318.85

Mount Alvernia - Dr Goh Shen Li
Similarly, Dr Goh was recommended by another colleague and she has plenty of good reviews/recommendations too. We visited her one week after visiting Dr Tham. She let us listen to the heartbeat for a longer period of time and was more patient during the ultrasound process as well as explaining various things to us.

Most importantly, CZM felt more comfortable with her. The only bad thing is Dr Goh usually travels overseas during the first 2 weeks of December which is the EDD for Baby Ong. However, we are guessing/hoping that she would not be travelling anywhere this year.

1st Consultation + Ultrasound + Medicine/Supplement: $345.05
2nd Consultation + Ultrasound + Medicine/Supplement:$241.60
Antenatal Package (10 consultations, for 2nd trimester onwards): $1,500 (excluding GST)
Week 20/Fetal Anomaly Scan ($250 excluding GST) + Medicine/Supplement: $351.50

KKH - Public Patient with Random Gynae
This was CZM's idea as she wanted to save more money on the NIPT (Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing) test. Thomson Medical would have cost ~$1,300+ (excluding GST) while KKH subsidized rate would have cost $400+. At least that was what we thought or up to a year ago based on this forum thread...

KKH takes both private and public patients. The difference is private patients can consult the same gynae and pay the full rate while the public patients get random/different gynae for every visit at a subsidized rate. One will have to first visit the polyclinic to get a referral to KKH in order to qualify for the subsidized rate and that was what we did.

Polyclinic for referral: $13.20

To be honest, our experience with KKH was not too bad. People (including ourselves) generally think that public hospitals would have a much longer waiting time but surprisingly, our 3 visits were pretty acceptable/reasonable. 

Another pain point apart from no fixed gynae was that I was not allowed to enter the room when the nurse/staff was doing the ultrasound. Anyway, long story short, NIPT is no longer being subsidized by the government anymore and we ended up paying $750 for it. It is still cheaper but the savings are not as significant anymore. Having said that, the subsidized rate is really really very cheap/affordable.

1st Consultation + Ultrasound + Flu Vaccination: $109.29 (out of which $66.29 was for the flu vaccination which can be deducted from our Medisave. Hence, the out of pocket cost was just $43.)
NIPT Harmony Test (No more government subsidy): $750
3rd Consultation + Whooping Cough Vaccination: $92.14 (similarly, $84.14 was for the vaccination, paid using Medisave and the out of pocket cost was just $8)

Oscar vs NIPT
Both Oscar test/First Trimester Screening (FTS) and NIPT are used to screen/test for genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome. Oscar is a lot cheaper ($300+) but has a higher false-positive rate. Although the general advice is to first do the Oscar test and skip the NIPT if everything is fine in order to save some money but we feel that it is actually better to just skip Oscar and pay for the NIPT. The reason is we want to avoid the double whammy - scare from the Oscar result while waiting for the NIPT result (at least 2 weeks) + paying for both Oscar and NIPT.

We have also been shopping around (Shopee, Lazada, and Amazon) for baby items:
Bonbijou Luxos+ Stroller$439.00
Haenim 4G Classic UV Steriliser$400.00
Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier Cool Air Mesh$199.83
BabyLove Easy Go Baby Playpen$190.94
Space Design Baby Safety Play Yard Playpen Playground$119.00
Rainforest Jumperoo$79.90
BabyLove Foldable Bath Tub Stand$45.37

Total expenses till date: $6,327.52

Looking forward to Baby Ong arrival!

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  1. have you decided on which hospital for the delivery? single ward?

    1. Hi foolish chameleon,

      The hospital will be Mount Alvernia. We are still considering between single or 2-bedded. Any recommendation/advice?