Baby conceived during maid's home leave

Posed photo of a pregnant woman.
Posed photo of a pregnant woman. PHOTO: ST FILE

Some domestic helpers get pregnant not while in Singapore, but while on holiday back home.

That was the case for Ms Arik, 38. In September this year, a month after she returned from a month-long holiday in Indonesia, she began complaining to her employer, Mr Luke Wong, of abdominal pains. It was only after visiting a doctor, going for a scan and being admitted to KK Women's and Children's Hospital that they found out she was pregnant.

She was about eight weeks pregnant and the timing made it clear that the baby was conceived with her husband, whom she had married four years earlier.

Instead of sending her home immediately, Mr Wong and his wife let her stay on in their house to rest.

"She was worried about the baby but we assured her that we would make sure everything is okay before she goes back," said Mr Wong, a 58-year-old marine officer with one son. He said: "The conditions in her kampung may not be so good. If anything goes wrong how would she go to a hospital?"

He appealed to the Ministry of Manpower to extend her stay and she was able to return home in the middle of October.

The Wongs keep in touch with the first-time mother-to-be, who hopes to return to work for them after having been with them for about 10 years.

"I like Singapore because my employers trust me like family," Ms Arik told The Straits Times through WhatsApp. "I must work hard to get money to look after my baby."

Said Mr Wong: "We're excited to find out the gender of the baby."

Joanna Seow

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2015, with the headline 'Baby conceived during maid's home leave'. Print Edition | Subscribe