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How often to see a gynae

So, you’ve tested positive. Congratulations! The next step is to make an appointment with an obstetrician (the most accurate term for pregnancies, though most obstetricians are also trained gynaecologists, or ob-gyns). In Singapore, however, the short term “gynae” is most often used for ob-gyns. [To understand differences between the terms, pls see professional sites].

Please only make your gynae appointment to be at least 6 weeks from the first day of your last period, otherwise there may be chances you will not be able to see your baby’s heartbeat on the first ultrasound scan.

In Singapore, you will find that most gynaes will ask you to see them once every 4 weeks for the first 28-32 weeks every 2 weeks for the last 6-8 weeks. Some even offer “packages” where you pay upfront for all the upcoming visits, which would amount to around 12 visits during the whole pregnancy. This is largely due to our kiasu and kiasi culture. As an unsubsidized patient all the visits would easily cost $2400-4000. In some other countries such as the UK, most pregnant women only see their gynaes 2-3 times before the actual delivery.

I would say that if you are relatively young with no health issues and the pregnancy is not a complicated one or with any high risk (eg. no spotting, no family history of pre-eclampsia, etc), you may opt to see the gynae a lot less often. I did this with both my second and third pregnancies and saved a lot of money! Given a choice, I would prefer to only see my gynae for the first time at the 18-22weeks (“20week”) detailed scan, but most, if not all, hospitals would not book a detailed scan for you unless ordered by a doctor, which mean you need to see a doctor before you hit the 20week mark. As such, these are the essential dates to see the gynae:

Visit NumberWhenPurpose
1Anytime between 6-13 weeks
  • Dating (ie. Find out the expected delivery date “EDD”)
  • Blood tests which all gynaes will require
  • If you want to, the test for down syndrome (can only be done between weeks 11-13 “12week”)
  • Booking of date for 20-week detailed scan
2

Anytime between 18-22 weeks
(“20week”)

  • Detailed fetal anomaly scan to check if all the physical developments of the baby look normal
3Anytime between 28-32 weeks
  • Oral glucose tolerance test to see if you have or have risk of developing gestational diabetes
4Anytime between 32-36 weeks
  • Establish placenta position and swab test for group B streptococcus

 

With these essential visits only, I only spent ~$1000 on gynae visits as a private patient before delivery. Think I am the only crazy/gung-ho mum to only make 4 trips to the gynae before delivery? Pls see this sharing by this pregnant doctor.

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