By Nalika Unantenne | This article was first published by the Asianparent on 5 September 2015.
From the time you detect early symptoms of pregnancy, right up to your baby's birth, the pregnancy journey is a beautiful nine months full of unforgettable moments.
Like the day you first discovered the tiny, precious life within you. Or the first time you see your little baby turning somersaults in your womb. Or when you feel the baby's movements for the first time. Or when you see your stomach rippling with slow tumbles as the baby grows bigger.
Undoubtedly, you're on a rollercoaster of emotions during your pregnancy. These feelings most certainly include excitement, as well as stress. In fact, the moment you find out you are pregnant, you are hurtled into the world of impending motherhood that is made up of equal parts anxiety and love for your child.
It's true that mums-to-be just can't help worrying about their developing baby's wellbeing.
So while you celebrate each kick, hiccup, and tummy roll, you also worry about your little one. Is he okay? Why hasn't he moved for some time? Will he be okay after he is born? What if the scans missed something?
Usually, worries are unnecessary; most babies are likely to be fine. But sometimes, a mum-to-be's anxieties can be justified especially when pregnancy complications or congenital illnesses are diagnosed during routine check-ups and scans.
There are also unforeseen birth complications and/or infant conditions that a mum-to-be won't know about until she goes into labour and gives birth.
Pregnancy and birth complications
It's devastating and difficult to comprehend, but unfortunately, pregnancy and birth complications do happen.
According to SingHealth, around 2% of births have structural birth defects. These are complications related to a problem with body parts and structure, e.g., missing limbs, cleft palate.
Around 60% of such abnormalities can be picked up during an ultrasound scan around the fifth month of pregnancy. But, sometimes, minor (and even major) issues slip through undetected.
Stillbirth is another heartbreaking issue some mums have to deal with. Though infrequent, stillbirth can unfortunately occur without warning.
SingHealth's hospital statistics show that in approximately 50% of stillbirths and intrauterine deaths, a cause cannot be found despite extensive investigation.
It's not just the baby who can be unexpectedly affected by complications during pregnancy and at birth - the mum can be affected too.
An example of such complications is postpartum haemorrhage, or excessive bleeding after birth. According to medical experts, most of this bleeding happens within 24 hours of birth. Sometimes, it can happen after the mum is discharged from hospital.
Usually, doctors are able to manage postpartum haemorrhage with drugs, or other procedures. But sometimes, they are required to surgically remove the uterus. This condition is known as postpartum haemorrhage requiring hysterectomy.
Being prepared for peace of mind
Pregnancy and birth complications are unpleasant, if not taboo, topics to consider. Nevertheless, it's advisable for mums-to-be and their partners to be prepared for such unexpected twists during the pregnancy and birth journey.
One of the biggest factors to consider is cost. Treating many of these conditions can be terribly expensive. Yet effective treatment can not only save lives, but they also markedly improve the outcome of certain congenital birth conditions, such as a cleft palate or cleft lip.
Needless to say, the knowledge that you are protected financially in a worst-case scenario related to pregnancy and birth can bring much needed emotional and psychological stability and relief.
A head start to lifelong protection
MaxMaternity Care (MMC) offered by OCBC Bank protects both you and your child from as early as 13 weeks into your pregnancy.
1. Care for Mum
2. Care for Baby
MMC also protects your child against 18 congenital illnesses upon birth. These conditions include Down 's syndrome, Spina Bifida, cleft palate/cleft lip, and congenital deafness.
Lending a helping hand beyond your pregnancy
Besides helping you deal with hospital costs for your pregnancy and covering your child against 18 congenital illnesses, MaxMaternity Care plan also gives new parents a further helping hand.
When you sign up for OCBC's MaxMaternity Care plan, you will receive a double bonus of $216.
For full terms and conditions, please refer to ocbc.com/maxmaternitycare
Child Development Account savings are matched dollar-for-dollar up to the cap for Government matching contributions visit:www.babybonus.gov.sgfor details.
MaxMaternity Care, Supreme Health and Total Health are provided by The Great Eastern Life Assurance Company Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Eastern Holdings Limited and a member of the OCBC Group.
These plans are not bank deposits and OCBC Bank does not guarantee or have any obligations in connection with them. This material is for general information only. It is not a contract of insurance. It does not constitute an offer to buy an insurance product or service.
It is also not intended to provide any insurance or financial advice. The specific terms and conditions of the plan are set out in the policy documents. A person interested in the insurance policies should read the product summary and benefit illustration (available from OCBC Bank) before deciding whether to buy the product.
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All information presented is subject to change without notice. OCBC Bank shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising directly or indirectly howsoever in connection with or as a result of any person acting on any information provided herein.
It is usually detrimental to replace an existing accident and health plan with a new one. A penalty may be imposed for early plan termination and the new plan may cost more or have less benefits at the same cost.
Policy Owners Protection Scheme: These plans are protected under the Policy Owners Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC websites (www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg ).
Deposit Insurance Scheme: Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors and monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the Supplementary Retirement Scheme are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law. Foreign currency deposits, dual currency investments, structured deposits and other investment products are not insured.