Dr Fong Yang’s Thoughts on an Straits Times Article on Woman braving weekend congestion at Woodlands Checkpoint to give birth in JB


My thoughts on this incident:

1) This is one tough lady, and VERY VERY lucky.  This is her first pregnancy, which is why she managed to hold off the delivery from 7am when the waterbag broke, till her delivery at 4pm in JB  If this was the second or subsequent pregnancy, things could have been very different!

2) She could have gone into established labour much faster, and could have delivered much sooner than 4pm. This is because, in general, subsequent labours tend to be faster and shorter. This is why we still hear of the occasional delivery in the car or a cab or at home (even in Singapore).

3) The progressive loss of water from the amniotic bag (water bag) , combined with contractions, could have led to compressions of the umbilical cord. In serious cases, this could have compromised blood supply to the baby, with potentially serious or fatal consequences.

4) I would advocate going back to your desired city/ hometown for delivery at/just before term (ie: before 37 weeks of pregnancy), as the risk of labour becomes much higher from 37 weeks onwards. Going back a few days before your EDD is playing with fire (or in this case with your baby’s health).

5) I wonder if the ICA staff advised her to go to a Singapore hospital instead of taking chances with the causeway jam? Would it have been possible to arrange an ambulance for her to get to the JB hospital, instead of allowing her to take public transport ?  Are there protocols to work with the Malaysian immigration counterparts to expedite clearance for such medical emergencies, assuming this lady insisted on going to JB?

6) On a lighter note, if the lady delivered in the bus while on the causeway, what would the country of birth stated on the birth certificate?

Anyway, huge congratulations to this lady…. and her very lucky baby!




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