Updated: Feb 26, 2019
Pregnancy is an exciting and fulfilling journey, but it can also be an expensive one, especially in Singapore. Here are some quick tips on how to save money at different stages of your pregnancy journey.
Obstetrician and hospital
One of the first major decisions you need to make is the selection of your obstetrician and hospital: subsidized vs private. Going via the subsidized route at public hospitals will obviously be much cheaper. We list down the differences below, based on our own experiences for our 2 children:
The total expenses above do not include additional expenses e.g. due to pregnancy/delivery complications and high dependency ward/NICU stay for baby. If there is a need for these additional expenses, the cost difference between subsidized and private will be even greater.
Nevertheless, if you decide to go with a private doctor, many private doctors only offer their antenatal maternity packages starting from 12 – 16 weeks in the pregnancy. Before that, you can go to a public hospital as a subsidized patient for your early antenatal visits and screenings such as the OSCAR scan. For example, an OSCAR scan at a public hospital will cost around $175, compared to around $310 at a private hospital.
<The above is just a brief summary of subsidized vs private. Look out for our upcoming article where we will be going more in depth into the subsidized vs private comparison>
Product samples are a good way of testing the suitability of a product/brand before buying. Many obstetricians, especially the private ones, have product samples provided by brand sponsors, for items such as diapers, baby wipes and even nutritional supplements like fish oil and multi vitamins. Getting such samples will help prevent you from spending $$ on unsuitable products/brands. Do remember to ask from your doctor.
Antenatal nutritional supplements such as vitamins, iron and fish oil can cost quite a bit, especially if you are getting them from a private doctor. Alternatively, you can get them from retail pharmacies such as Guardian and Watsons, especially during sales periods. For example, a fish oil pill can cost around $1 from a private clinic, as compared to around $0.50 per pill during sales periods at the retail pharmacies. Do check with your doctor before consuming any supplements.
Pregnancy talks and seminars
Pregnancy talks and seminars feature qualified practitioners and doctors speaking and providing free advice on a range of pregnancy topics, from antenatal nutrition, labour pain relief and delivery methods to post-delivery baby care and breastfeeding. An added bonus is the goodie bags from these talks and seminars, with a wide range of product samples and vouchers. These free talks and seminars will provide you with the necessary fundamental knowledge on pregnancy, delivery and baby care, and this means that those specialized antenatal classes provided by the hospitals and private class providers, ranging from $200 - $900, are not always necessary.
Maternity clothes may also not necessarily be an essential for your pregnancy. You can wear loose clothes/dresses or use a belly band. If you have difficulty wearing your normal bra, you can try bra extenders which are available for less than $2. Even for pants/jeans/shorts, you can also use a rubber band or hair band, and loop it like the picture below (but you will need to pair this with a long shirt)
Big ticket items
As you near the big day, there is a need to prepare the big ticket items such as baby cot and stroller. These can range from $100+ to more than $1000, and it may not always be necessary to go for the high-end brands. It is not uncommon to hear of parents who hardly use their baby cot and stroller for one reason or another; we ourselves hardly use the baby cot for our 2 children over 3 years, as it is much easier and more practical to co-sleep with them on the adult bed after breastfeeding (safety precautions for co-sleeping apply), rather than constantly transferring them to and from the baby cot. Similarly, when going out, your kid may refuse to stay in the stroller, and you will end up having to arm-carry or baby carrier him/her. Alternatively, if you do not mind preloved items, you can get these from friends or relatives, or on platforms such as Carousell, Facebook and the forums.
If you manage to get enough product samples e.g. diapers, baby wipes to cover all your baby needs before your child is born, congrats! But most of us don’t. So do prepare these baby items early rather than only buying them when needed. Often, last minute purchases cost much more than buying online or during certain retail sales. You can check out loviya to compare prices and find the best deals across different platforms for a range of baby products such as diapers, baby wipes, detergents, and bath/skincare products.
Check out our next post on how to save money during your baby’s newborn stage.
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