What to Expect When You're Expecting: KK Hospital Private Patient
For seven months now I've been really frustrated with the lack of information available on what I can expect as a private patient at KK Women's and Children's Hospital for my OBGYN visits. I'm lucky enough to have three friends who have had babies within the last year, two of whom were also KK patients but sometimes I just want to google and not be a nuisance to my friends who have babies. And while I know that each pregnancy is different, this is generally what you can expect when you're a private patient at KK Hospital based on my experience.
THE 411: KK Hospital Private Patient
OBGYN: Dr Manisha Mathur. I would 100% recommend her. She's calm, honest and is a straight-shooter. She tells me what I need to know, and she understands. She replies to my frantic emails within the hour.
Costs: $138.03 at the first consultation, and $100.58 thereafter, but with routine pee test, it usually comes up to $110. This does not include your medication.
Pros: They are truly the best in the business. I have a preexisting condition that has seen me visit the hospital more times than an otherwise healthy patient, but KK Hospital has provided me with care and top notch specialists that I've needed, and when they can't, I've been referred to other hospitals.
Cons: Even though I'm a private patient, I don't always see Dr Manisha at the Private Suites, and most times I have to rough it out at the normal clinics, which are more than a bit run down, even though their medical facilities are top notch. Wait times can be excruciating, especially if a patient before you has to be admitted or the doctor has to scoot off to deliver a baby. Nurses at the normal clinics tend to do things quick, just like they're herding cows (I mean, KK was Kandang Kerbau formerly, which means buffalo cage?) because they have so many people to go through.
In my experience, it's best to get an appointment first thing in the AM, or just after lunch to get through things quickly!
WHY DID I CHOOSE KKH?
I actually never considered any other hospital — Parkway East, even though it was closer to me, felt more out of the way, and I didn't know anybody who had given birth there. Trina recommended me Dr Manisha Mathur and the day after I peed on a stick, I called the hospital, only to find that she had an opening in two months.
THE FIRST APPOINTMENT
Even though my first appointment with Dr Manisha was in two months, I went in when I was about five weeks pregnant. They saw a sac, but no fetal heartbeat yet, and all my vitals were taken, including height and weight, my blood pressure, I had to pee on a stick, and all these routine tests would be done repeatedly at every visit.
WHEN YOU DO SEE YOUR OBGYN
Provided there are no complications with your pregnancy, your OBGYN will see you once every four weeks. The first time I saw Dr Manisha, which was the second month of my pregnancy, there was fetal activity and we were also asked if we wanted to do a Down Syndrome screening. This is completely voluntary, and there are two options, the first a First Trimester Screening ($370.22), which combines an ultrasound scan, a maternal blood test and the pregnant woman’s age to assess her risk of having a pregnancy affected by Down Syndrome. This is conducted between Week 11 - Week 13+6days.
The second option is the Harmony Test ($800++), which is a far more expensive procedure and recommended if the mother is older. It requires shipping vials of blood to the US for testing, and because it goes right down to the nitty gritty, it's also how people find out the baby's sex very early on.
We did the former, because while we wanted to know the odds of Down Syndrome, we didn't really mind if our first baby was a boy or a girl.
At 20 Weeks
You'll continue seeing your OBGYN every 4 weeks. You'll have a detailled scan at 20W, which is when they'll let you know the sex of the baby, if they haven't already. This is also when you'll get to see all the little parts of him in detail — super duper exciting!
At 28 Weeks
Here's the fun part (not). Your OBGYN will get you to do a Oral Glucose Tolerance Test. You have to fast without anything to eat or drink the night prior, and drink a sweet liquid. Your blood will be drawn multiple times over the course of the test, which takes several hours to determine how your body processes sugar. It is a stress test, but don't stress if you fail (like I did).
I had to do this early on, at 12W because of my very fun family history and you'll be sent to ODAC for a full day of counselling and blood tests, which will cost you over $300 (which can be claimed using Medisave). You will report early in the morning with a blood glucose monitor (which you can rent from the hospital if you don't have one, or didn't purchase one) and spend the day at ODAC. They'll feed you, have you prick your own finger and measure your blood sugar throughout the day. If your blood sugar continues to be high, you'll be prescribed insulin.
In my case, I was told to go on a restricted diet, i.e.: no more Nutella.
At 28W, I also went through a detailled scan, which told me how heavy Brownie is for the first time. Which was pretty insane!
Update: I had preeclampsia and delivered my son through an emergency c-section at 36 weeks. He was, thankfully, declared a full-term baby after initial checks and we're happy and healthy five months on!