How Much Does It Cost To Give Birth In Malaysia?
News flash: Having a baby is expensive. It is the most costly health event that young couples will likely experience when they start to build a family.
The cost of baby delivery typically comprises of:
- services of the obstetrician/gynaecologist and paediatrician
- anaesthesiologist and epidural (if used)
- cost of staying in the hospital and board (depending on the type of room)
- nursery fees, laboratory fees, or any medications or medical supplies required.
The iMoney team spoke to Malaysian mothers about their childbirth experiences and the hospital bills that greeted them after they’ve delivered their babies. You might be shocked by just how much it could cost to give birth in Malaysia.
1) Iris Heng, 27, Beautician
Like many Malaysians, first-time mother Iris Heng and her husband decided to do away with the long queues and waiting time at government hospitals, and opted for services at a private healthcare facility.
Of course, the greater convenience also comes at a higher cost. Heng and her husband had to save up ahead of her delivery at a private facility in Setapak, the couple had no qualms about paying more to ensure a safe and smooth labour.
“Obstetrician services itself cost about RM4,000. Other costs included my stay and nursery services for my baby. It was pricey, but it was my first child and everything went well, so it was all worth it,” said Heng.
2) Hoo Huy Sean, 35, Departmental Head
For Hoo Huy Sean, the proximity of the hospital to her home played a huge role in her choice of birth location. The other consideration was the cost.
For the delivery of her second child, Hoo opted for a government-owned facility in her neighbourhood for its easy accessibility and affordability. Services at private healthcare facilities could easily cost up to 10 times more.
As we all know, traffic congestion is part and parcel of city life, so be sure to go to a hospital that is closest to your home as you certainly do not want to be stuck in insane rush hour traffic during labour!
3) Sumitra Naidu, 31, Freelancer
Delivery charges can vary across different healthcare facilities, so it pays to do your research prior to selecting one that will best fit your budget. Also, be prepared to fork out more if you wish to engage a doctor who is well-known in his/her area of expertise.
Sumitra forked out about RM17,000 for a caesarean section at a private specialist hospital. But the first-time mother did not mind paying more as she felt that the cost was justified.
“My friends who have delivered in other private healthcare facilities paid about RM8,000 for caesarean. Mine was more expensive as I engaged a doctor who is very well-recognised (in his field) and he specialises in anomalies in babies in the early detection phase.
“He has also been my gynaecologist for a long time and I am comfortable with him. So when all is said and done, I have to vouch for my doctor as I had a positive experience,” said Sumitra.
4) Shireen Zaharudin, 38, Corporate Advisor
The first few days with their newborn baby can be a very emotional time for new parents. For this reason, many private healthcare facilities offer private rooms that try to simulate a soothing home-like environment, which can be very comforting for new mothers.
Like many parents, Shireen Zaharudin and her husband did not mind forking out that extra bit for a more personalised post-birth experience. Shireen, who delivered her third child earlier this month, had had a three-day stay at a private suite in a specialist hospital in Damansara.
For Shireen and her husband, the additional cost has been worth it as the quality of service and dedicated care ensured the physical and mental well-being of both mother and child.
In this time and day, when childbirth is safer than it’s ever been, our ideas of a successful childbirth experience is no longer just about physical health, but on psychological health as well.
Considerations for a positive childbirth experience will vary from parent-to-parent. It is important to select a healthcare facility – be it public or private – that will be able to meet your post-birth needs and demands to ensure the good health of both mother and child.
Labour and post-birth care could leave a more lasting impression than you think. If a woman begins her life as a mother feeling low in confidence and unsure about how she feels about herself and her child, she would not be able to give herself to the bonding process as she would have if she embarked on motherhood feeling empowered and in control.
Give a new mother an invigorating experience, and you give her confidence to start on the hardest job in the world – and that’s the best possible start you can give her baby too.