More mental health support for mothers 


The government aims to make more maternal and child health resources available to the public as early as possible, according to Second Minister for Health Masagos Zulkifli in Parliament. These include guidelines and bite sized information about prenatal health. 

The government is also introducing more accessible programmes such as community antenatal education programmes at Choa Chu Kang and at Family Nexus sites, he added. 

Those at risk or needing extra help receive additional assistance. KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and National University Hospital screen all pregnant women for mental health conditions. Those who require support receive follow-up care. 

KKH provides antenatal mental health screening, materials on mental health during obstetrics visits and follow ups with women at risk of postpartum depression.  

NUH runs a Promoting Parental Emotional Health to Enhance Child Learning programme which identifies patients to ensure timely follow up and care.  

NUH has also extended their women’s emotional health service programme to women receiving care at the hospital up to six years after the children are born, up from the follow up period of one year previously, to ensure mothers receive adequate support.  

The programmes at KKH and NUH have benefitted over 2200 women.  

Mr Masagos was giving a progress update on the various initiatives presented in the Child and Maternal Health & Well-being Taskforce report to Parliament.

On tackling childhood obesity, Mr Masagos said that multiple agencies across the Health, Education and Social domains have been working together to address this issue. The Ministry issued guidelines for feeding and eating in infants and young children. In February 2024, HPB began collaborating with preschools and mainstream schools to provide healthy meals for students. Preschools and schools now set aside time for physical activities and raise awareness of the need to remain physically active.

On managing children’s screen use, he said that the Ministry of Health issued screen use guidance for children in March 2023. The advisory is available as resources on the Parent Hub website. Some polyclinics have also incorporated screen use assessments and education as part of child health visits, he added. The four Family Nexus pilot sites are actively advising parents on children’s screen use habits.

Mr Masagos stressed the need to raise awareness on the importance of anchoring healthy behaviour as early in life as possible. 

“I encourage everyone to share the report and resources such as Parent Hub more widely to families during programmes and healthcare appointments in their schools and government platforms, so that more families can benefit, and we can better help the next generation grow well.”