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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Thinking of birthing a baby in Malaysia?

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Kimberly is the founder and Editor in Chief at Passports Beyond Borders (PBB). She is an award-winning entrepreneur with a wide range of experience in the Travel Industry. She is a very passionate family woman who enjoys the thrill of living in multiple countries as an expatriate. Connect with Kim on Facebook & Instagram @Kimberlyndehfombang

Carrying and birthing a baby is no joke but there’s some relief if you have family and friends around as a support system. It becomes more complex when you live in a foreign country as an expat. With often little or no help, the high cost of bringing in a family member overseas and the excruciatingly painful paperwork in some cases.

I am from Nigeria and my husband is from Sierra Leone. We’ve been in Malaysia for 3 years. We moved here in November 2015 but before moving here permanently, we often visited Malaysia because my husband worked here. We have 4 kids and all 4 were born in different countries.

The first one was born in Nigeria, the second was born in Thailand, the third was born in Vietnam, and the 4th who happens to be the princess of the house was born here in Malaysia.

Did you take any prenatal classes? If No was it because they were not available or accessible or you just didn’t want to?

No, I didn’t take any prenatal classes because I was not aware anything like that existed. No one ever mentioned it to me. If I had known about it I sure would have gone through it because I guess it’s extremely important for first-time moms.

Did you have a Vaginal birth or C-section? If yes, why?

Yes, I had a C-section. My Malaysian-born baby was a C-section due to my pregnancy history. The first one was natural, but with the second, the amniotic fluid had dried out, and I wasn’t contracting nor was I dilating. So a C-section was inevitable. With the second, the doctor told me I didn’t stand a chance since I hadn’t reached the 2year wait time for a c-section. With my last child, I waited to conceive after 2 years, I even managed my weight properly so as to stand a chance for natural but I still ended up with a c-section.

How would you assess the quality of care?

For me it’s good. It’s very safe here to have a baby here in Malaysia.

Were you referred a hospital or what criteria did you use in choosing the hospital you delivered in?

I contacted some local friends who helped me out. I was looking for quality, affordability, and proximity and I got all I was looking for thankfully.

Tell me about your doctor and your pregnancy experience?

One interesting thing about the hospital I chose here in Malaysia is that they let you try out several doctors and you only get to settle with the one you are most comfortable with. After my first meeting with the very first doctor, I knew straight away that he was the one. No more searching for me. He was very good, so friendly, caring, and Godly and he made me feel like I was the only patient and that I mattered.

What’s the average cost of birthing a baby in Malaysia?

According to the brochure given to me,
  • normal delivery will cost RM6000-8000 (approx $1,400 – $2000)
  • C-section RM9,000-12,000 ($2000 – $2,800)

But government hospitals are way cheaper than the above figures. Just if you have the right budget.

Did you have insurance coverage?

No, everything was paid out of pocket.

Now we were told that, if it becomes an emergency, we will have to pay an extra fee amounting to RM14,000.

So was yours an emergency?

Yes, it was. My EDD (Expected Date of Delivery) was 01/12/2016. On 3/11/17, my husband and I went to check out the specialist hospital which my doctor recommended would be cheaper. I liked what I saw on arrival. Although It was small, it was also very clean and the staffs were friendly. I also noticed on the hospital adverts screen that the cost of delivery through CS was RM6000. So we thought it wise to register since we had just 4 more weeks to go.

On 9/11/2016 Wednesday Morning at about 6 am, while we were preparing the kids for school, I was sitting at the dining table feeding the kids breakfast, and suddenly I felt this rush of water under me. Something I’d never experienced with  3 previous pregnancies.
My eldest son noticed and asked me, “mummy what’s that”? I told him that by the time they got back from school, our new baby will be here. My husband hurriedly dropped the kids at school and rushed me to the hospital, I mean the ‘specialist’ hospital.
 I felt a bit weighed down at the thought of another unfamiliar doctor delivering my baby. My husband knew that I really wanted to deliver in the first hospital but due to financial constraints, we had to stick to our budget. I trusted God more and voìla our daughter came. It was termed an Emergency delivery. So the RM6000 we saw on the screen escalated to RM8000. By the time we left the hospital, we ended up paying up to RM9000.

After Birth

Does the vaccination calendar differ from Nigeria?

Wow, I gave birth to my first son 14years ago so I really do not remember. But I will say it’s possible that it could differ.

What is the paperwork like for a foreigner who delivers in Malaysia?

At the hospital, you are given a 60-day temporal birth certificate. Then you get other forms you need to fill and most importantly the antenatal booklet, which you take to the JPN (National registration department) in Malaysia where birth certificates are registered. You must apply within 60days of the birth date. Failure to do so becomes a complicated issue.

Do kids born here have Malaysian nationality?

No, they do not. Except one of the parents is Malaysian.

Were you part of any post-natal support group in the absence of your family?

Thank God for my supportive husband.

In addition, my local church friends were supportive. Always there when I needed them thankfully.

Is it advisable to have a baby here in Malaysia or travel back to your home country?

If I have to compare the medical care to when I gave birth to my son in Nigeria 14years ago, then I would say it’s better to give birth here if you are a resident. I’m not sure about the state of things now in Nigeria but I think giving birth here would be worth it.

What advice would you give to anyone who plans to have a baby in Malaysia?

    1. Know your budget and if possible, see if you can deposit ahead of time. Or better still, get insurance.
    2. If you’re asked to pay a certain amount, find out what it covers and what it does not cover, so you don’t end up gathering extra charges you do not plan for.
    3. And don’t forget to find out if they have a kitchen lol.
The hospital I delivered, did not offer any meals. In fact, I remember asking for food from one of the nurses when it was time for me to eat and she told me, “we do not have a kitchen here” (hahaha) it sounds funny to me now. But wasn’t funny that day. But I thank God for good church friends/family that cooked and brought meals for me.

Have you recently had a baby in Malaysia and want to share your story with us? Send us an email here or send us an email to info@passportsbeyondborders.com

Some Comments from the original post

Abdoul says: Yeah, the government hospitals are way cheaper, of course, there is a rate for foreigners, even in terms of education and many services, which is different from Malaysian citizen rate, for example, C-section, RM2000 (481.581USD) for the foreigners. But, these hospitals have health facilities for easy childbirth

Reply: You’re right. The government hospitals are way cheaper, and the price rate differs for locals and foreigners.
I received a price list from the government hospital I went to and I saw that they have different prices for foreigners and locals.
If I remember very well, even among the locals, they have prices for first-class citizens, seriously, I do not understand what that means.?” first-class citizen “ their price is very low. They don’t pay as much as others.

Abdoul: Yeah Chidinma, the Malaysian government has a support policy for the senior citizen, such as the elderly and the disabled in Malaysia, have always discount, privileges and allowances, for instance, education and transport, health, etc what I really appreciated.

Have you had a baby in Malaysia and would like to share your experience with us? Send us an email here.

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