Maid in Singapore gives birth to a baby girl after complaining of stomach ache


After working at her employer’s house for five months, a maid was sent to the hospital after complaining of having a stomach ache. At the hospital, she gave birth to a full-term baby girl.

According to Zaobao, the maid had undergone a routine medical check-up, but because she is a bit bah-bah (plump) and often dressed in loose clothes, her employer did not realise she was pregnant. Hence, when her employer and family members learned of this, they were totally shocked.

The employer told Zaobao in an interview that her maid Renny Anggraeni (37 years old), was from Indonesia. She used to work in a household in Yishun for three months. She later went back to her maid agency for a month and only came to work at her house on 31 October.

Her employer estimated that the maid came to Singapore in June last year.

In December, she received a notice from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to arrange for the maid to go for a body check-up, which is a medical screening done every six months. However, due to her busy schedule, the employer told her maid to go to a clinic in Simei for the screening herself on 19 December. Her results showed that everything was normal, and the maid could continue to work.

On 22 March 2023, the maid who had been working in her home for five months suddenly felt unwell and complained that she got stomach ache.

Maid gave birth to a baby girl

The employer initially thought it was just a small matter and asked the maid to apply medicated oil and rest. However, the situation did not improve, so she called the ambulance and sent the maid to the hospital.

The next day, the maid called to say that she gave birth to a baby girl in the hospital.

Her employer jitao stunned like vegetable when she received the news. She and her family totally did not notice that the maid was pregnant for several months. “Her figure is relatively plump, and her clothes are usually loose, and she does not appear to be pregnant at all,” she told the reporter.

Therefore, the employer suspected that the maid had been hiding her pregnancy from the very beginning. She had given birth in Indonesia before coming to Singapore, so it is impossible that she did not notice the changes in her body.

Later when the maid was discharged from the hospital, she returned to her employer’s house for one night because the agency refused to take her back in.

When she was questioned, she admitted that her period had not come, and said “sorry” to her employer. She told her employer that the child belonged to her husband in Indonesia, which also means that the maid was pregnant when she came to Singapore but hid the fact that she was pregnant.

Thinking back now, the employer suspected that the maid could have done something during her medical examinations, otherwise bo ko leng (impossible) cannot test that she was pregnant one. She said: “I regret trusting the maid too much and asked her to go for the health screening herself. If I had accompanied her and supervised her, I could have discovered it.”

Urine test did not show maid was pregnant

When the reporter enquired the clinic about it, the doctor told the reporter that the maid had indeed gone for a urine test, and the test results did not show that she was pregnant.

But as for why the maid gave birth three months later, the doctor said he was not clear, and it was the first time they encountered such a thing.

According to the employer, the maid was later sent to the Indonesian embassy by the maid agency. Both the maid and the baby girl later flew back to Indonesia on 8 April.

The reporter also asked the maid agency about this matter. But the maid agency only revealed that the MOM had closed the case, and they refused to make any response.

The employer added that because the maid hid her pregnancy and was admitted to the hospital to give birth, she had to pay more than $2,000 in medical expenses on her behalf. She said that she was a “victim” of this incident, and she believed that the maid agency should also bear the medical expenses.

In response to inquiries from Lianhe Zaobao, MOM said that the authorities had received the report and had contacted the employer and maid agency to provide relevant information so that they can look into the matter.

About 170 maids get pregnant every year

According to the MOM, between 2019 and 2021, an average of 170 maids are detected to be pregnant each year.

MOM also added that when maids first arrive in Singapore, they had to participate in the “Settling-In Programme”, which allowed them to educate them on safety precautions and living in Singapore. The topics covered in this programme include adapting to working and living in Singapore, conditions of employment, working safely, and relationship and stress management.

Maids are also required to notify their employers as soon as they know they are pregnant. If pregnant maids need counselling, they can seek help from the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST) and the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE).

In response to the matter of paying medical expenses for maids, Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Defence Zaqy Mohamad said in Parliament in 2021 that employers are responsible for their Migrant Domestic Workers’ (MDW) medical bills in Singapore, including medical bills incurred due to illnesses and accidents that are not work-related.

Employers who face financial difficulties in paying for their MDWs’ medical bills can also approach medical social workers at the hospitals for assistance and the authorities will step in and do their best to help employers cope with such financial difficulties.

Employers should communicate with their maids regularly

When interviewed by email, a lawyer Joyce Khoo from Quahe Woo & Palmer LLC suggested that the employer can clearly state in the contract that if the maid becomes pregnant during the working period, the employer does not have to bear the relevant expenses to protect their own interests.

She also urges employers to communicate with their maids regularly and observe whether there is any abnormality in them and remind maids to abide by the employment regulations. It is important that the maids know that once they are pregnant, they will have to face serious consequences such as the cancellation of their permits, which affects their livelihoods.

Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME) also said that it is illegal for maids to become pregnant while working, and some maids will resort to dangerous methods to terminate the pregnancy or abortion, or they may also choose to hide it from their employers.

The spokesperson also added that should any of them require help, they can provide sheltered accommodation where possible, as well as medical, counselling, and emotional support. They will also liaise with the relevant authorities to ensure smooth access to visas for their children until they are deported back to their country.

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