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Our Journey with Thomson Medical: from Belly to Baby Ally

During June 2020, we discovered an amazing piece of news: I’m pregnant! We were a jumble of emotions; we felt ecstatic, nervous, and hopeful all at the same time. With a new amazing chapter ahead of us, we had to make sure that we were ready to take everything on. 

The first thing we looked into was our options on maternity hospitals, and we pondered whether we would opt for a public or private facility. Indeed, a public hospital is an affordable option between the two; however, we wanted to choose an OBGYN that would accompany me throughout our journey, and this was only possible at private facilities. 

After careful deliberation, Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) became our top pick, a renowned hospital that has been operating for over 40 years. We’ve heard a lot of good reviews from fellow mummies, trusted friends of ours who experienced the services of Thomson Medical. Furthermore, this is the only private hospital in Singapore with water birthing facilities. So, if you’re interested in water birthing, you may want to check them out too!

With the years of experience that the staff, doctors, and nurses have in this facility, it was no surprise that everyone was really thorough and meticulous, always making sure that every aspect of pregnancy was covered. Furthermore, we were able to have our OBGYN of choice, Dr. Paul Tseng — an extremely experienced OBGYN at Thomson as my attending obstetrician, which made us feel very reassured.

thomson medical exterior
Thomson Medical Centre – the hospital’s iconic façade along Thomson Road

Less cost for the best care with the Maternity Savings Programme

Going into this journey with a private hospital made us think that we had to spend the maximum for the best care. However, being able to cut down costs while getting the best services that Thomson could offer was the cherry on the cake! Being smart with your money is something that we always advocate for. After finalizing that we’ll be trusting Thomson Medical and Dr. Tseng with this new chapter of our life, we signed up for their Maternity Savings Programme. This programme includes both First Born Incentive (FBI) and Subsequent Born Incentive (SBI), which helped us cut down cost on various services.

With this programme, we were given savings on various services, such as our baby’s 20-week assessment ultrasound scan, follow-up visit fees with certain doctors, and childbirth education classes. The reduced cost was really helpful for us since we were able to allot these funds to other essentials. Another much-appreciated savings is the one for the Cryoviva package, which cuts down fees for cord blood banking. What’s great is that TMC also invites members who availed this programme to numerous pregnancy seminars, which is a great help for new mummies like me. Also, it was really nice that a 10% savings on food was included in the perks of this programme, which we used at Delifrance at Thomson Medical whenever we needed to refill our tummies after my appointments with Dr. Tseng.

For only $118, you get these aforementioned privileges during the 2-year membership, which is also inclusive of 12 months free insurance coverage for both baby and mummy by Aviva Ltd, a welcome gift, and a complimentary Thomson Celebrating Life membership

Physical & mental preparation for my baby’s delivery with the Childbirth Education Course

mj maternity shoot

Of course, as a new mum, I had some jitters and worries about giving birth. Childbirth is not a walk in the park — it’s painful and laborious. Just thinking about the possible complications that may arise had me very nervous and slightly scared. Hence, I was really thankful that TMC has a Childbirth Education Course, which tackles preparation, labour, post-delivery care/recovery, infant care, pain relief, and many more. This 1-on-1 private class helped ease many of my worries and soothe my anxieties about childbirth. There are two main course types: a one-day intensive course and a weekly course that runs for 4 weeks. In light of current Covid-19 restrictions, it would be best to check with the hospital what course is currently available

Fonnie Lo, the Head Lactation Consultant of Thomson Medical Parentcraft, was the one who was with us during this 4-hour class. A very experienced educator, she provided us with an informative and engaging class. She knew how to explain everything in a brief & concise yet friendly manner, which helped us absorb the information better and made us feel comfortable to ask whatever questions we have. We learned about physical preparation, breathing exercises that we can do during labour, some stretching exercises that help get the baby into the optimal position for delivery, pain relief for pre-and post-labour, hands-on baby care, breastfeeding, and many more. She also taught us how to destress for the mental preparation for childbirth, which I appreciated as a new mummy. 

What we loved about the whole course was that it made us even more aware of the possible experiences and challenges that we may face during the entire journey of parenthood, all while presenting us the solutions and remedies that we can do to face these challenges. We even went home with a free bag of goodies for me and my baby! 

Pampered birthing, from delivery up to confinement:

Delivery day

mj delivery day
The day of delivery at the delivery ward

In the month of February, all our bags were packed and ready to go for the most awaited day of our life: delivery day. We went to Thomson Medical Centre after midnight to get admitted, and the nurses immediately took great care of us, sorting our things and directing us to the observation ward where they monitored my contractions. My hubby registered us at the front desk, which was very straightforward and quick, so he was back to my side immediately afterwards. Then, we were brought to the delivery ward when the time intervals between contractions were shorter, signalling that it’s time to give birth to my baby.

Back into the delivery ward: The contractions were getting really painful even at 4-5cm dilated. Despite the pain that I was in, I felt reassured and safe as the nurses took really good care of me. They comforted me with soothing words and helped me time my breathing so that I can manage the pain. At 10am, I got my epidural via the anesthesiologist, and it really helped ease the pain. The whole process was quick (albeit a tad bit scary) because the doctor was really good and did a flawless administration.

baby ally
Baby Alicia

After 45 minutes of pushing, our baby girl Alicia came out safe and sound, weighing a healthy 3.555 kg! I was wiped, but seeing her and hearing her voice for the first time made everything worth it. I was overwhelmed with emotions as I held her in my arms. It was such a beautiful moment and I love looking back at it. What even made the memory even more precious is that I felt extremely cared for under Thomson’s care. There were no complications and everyone was very encouraging yet professional. Definitely going back for my second baby!

First few days of Baby Ally’s life

thomson medical hospital room
The Whitley Suite where we comfortably spent our nights in

For the next two nights, we stayed at the Whitley Suite, a very spacious and comfortable premier suite. It was stocked up with everything that we need, and there was even a sofa bed where hubby can comfortably sleep on. There was also a wide desk that he could use if ever he needed to do some things for work (though he hardly had time to). We loved that they have such an extensive confinement menu, with all meals served with premium Kinmemai Japanese rice. It is a healthy gourmet rice that undergoes a rice polishing process that is said to preserve the essential nutrients. They also have a recipe featuring the locally farmed Kühlbarra wild ocean Barramundi fish

thomson medical confinment food

TMC is famous for their signature fish and papaya soup, which is a very nutritious meal given to mummies; it aids in the production of breastmilk, especially when consumed before breastfeeding. I have to say that it was very delicious! It was not bland or soggy like the usual hospital food. We also loved the longan and red date tea provided throughout our stay. To ensure that mummies have a smoother recovery, TMC provides healthier meal options that are both nutritious and delicious. They also serve exclusive premium Kinmemai Better White and Better Brown Japanese rice, which have fewer calories and more dietary fibre than conventional rice. Overall, there are a lot of yummy and very nutritious meals for recovering mums!

We also had complimentary wifi that was very much appreciated for getting in touch with loved ones. What’s also great is that we had car park coupons either complimentary or paying a flat fee of $3 (depending on room type). This was really useful as parking can get very expensive here in Singapore (as we all dread and know), especially since we stayed for more than 48 hours in the hospital. Thomson Medical even had daily newspapers available, and they had a beverage corner (also depending on room type) for hubby’s daily fix of caffeine! There were cappuccino, latte, tea, juices, and other delicious beverages for us to enjoy.

What’s great about TMC is that you can request for your baby to be with you throughout your stay, or, as you get tired, you can request for her to be taken care of at the nursery while you rest. Nurse Shi Jing, the veteran nurse who took really good care of me deserves a special thank you. She was very attentive and was really good with baby Ally. Anytime I had trouble, she was quick to reassure me all throughout our stay. There was also a lactation consultant that visited me at the ward, which I was grateful for. It was really helpful for me because I’m a new mum, and having an experienced lactation consultant makes it easier for me to breastfeed my baby girl successfully.

TMC also provided a mummy’s essential bag featuring a unique theme every year, which had numerous useful items like diapers, wipes, cleansing set, infant skin care, food-grade liquid cleanser, and many more. The eco-friendly diapers from Offspring included in the bag was the perfect diaper for my baby because of its high quality and soft feel – highly recommending this brand!

thomson medical last day
Amazing dinner with Hubby and Baby Ally on the last night of our stay

Of course, one of the most memorable moments during our stay at Thomson Medical was the candlelight dinner (depending on room type) they prepared for us with baby Ally during our last night. We felt very pampered and were very happy, eating gourmet nutritious meals as we enjoyed our time together with our first baby. It was like a celebration and date night all rolled up into a very joyous & romantic moment. That dinner with my hubby and baby Ally was such a recharging and relaxing experience.

Attentive care that extends even after confinement

Thomson Medical goes all-out on their maternity care, which is something we’re extremely grateful for. Even after you’ve left the hospital, TMC continues to provide service and products that will make postnatal recovery and taking care of your newborn baby easier. These post-delivery care includes the Confinement Herbal Care and Confinement Food Home Delivery. The combination of a well-balanced food and effective herbs help new mothers to recuperate better and regain vitality.

thomson herbal care
Confinement Herbal Care guide on Chinese Medicine

After I delivered my baby, a practitioner came to my ward to check my pulse and find out more about my body’s condition, and these information were used to determine what herbal medicine should I be prescribed. Having a whole set of herbal care tailored for the patient helps improve the recuperation process significantly. With careful discussion with the medical practitioner and a thorough guide handbook given to me to take home, I was able to follow the herbal care to a tee!

thomson hospital herbal care
TMC Confinement Herbs curated for me

The whole recuperation or confinement period lasts for 28-40 days. The confinement herbs are classified into 3 major stages, with each medication having different healing objectives per stage. First, during the Uterus Recovery Stage (3-7 days post-delivery), the goal of the herbs is to assist the clearance of remaining blood and tissue from the uterus. Moreover, the herbs help with uterus contraction and lochia discharge. 

The next set of herbs are for the Digestive Wellness and Breastfeeding Stage, which is 8-14 days post-delivery. The healing objectives of the herbs taken during these days are prevention of “wind-dampness” that worsens pain and water retention by warming the body up, and to improve the body’s digestive function to help bring back the mother’s metabolism and absorb nutrients better during digestion. This is crucial for the production of a steady supply of nutritious breast milk for the baby!

The last stage is the Vitality Booster herb care, which is taken 15-28 days post-delivery. At this stage, overall wellness is focused via intake of herbs that improve joint and muscle strength, nourish and replenish the blood, and regain overall virility

I really love how the herbal care was beautifully packed and the guidebook was very straightforward. All I had to do was pour the sachet into a mug of hot water and drink it daily. There were also Flow capsules included in the set that help boost milk production! I barely had to intake the Flow capsules since my milk production was very good at the start of feeding Baby Ally. However, a month passed by and my milk production dropped a bit from 300+ ml to 210-250 ml. And so, I started taking the capsules again and they were effective: my milk production went back to the 300+ ml range afterwards.

Overall, I really appreciate and recommend the Confinement Herbal Care to all mums out there. It’s extremely helpful because it saves you a lot of time and effort; you won’t have to go out of your way to go to traditional Chinese medicine shops like Hockhua or Eu Yan Sang to buy herbs. Some of my friends went to various shops and had to buy more than $600 worth of herbs, which is surprisingly higher than the amount charged by Thomson Medical. So, not only will it save you time, it will also lessen the cost for post-natal care.

thomson medical Confinement Food Home Delivery

Another great service from TMC is their Confinement Food Home Delivery. It consists of meat, vegetable, double-boiled soup, rice, and red dates, partnered with a longan tea. The meals came in airtight thermal containers and arrived right before meal time, so I always ate nutritious meals on time, which is important for recuperating and breastfeeding mothers. The meals were always warm and well-cooked! The fish and papaya soup, as always, was delicious! Furthermore, the braised pig trotters with black vinegar and herbal chicken were also wonderful and became my new favourites. Portions of each meal were big, and I had to share with my hubby to finish everything, which is an added bonus (more food, more savings)! 

We love how convenient this whole service was. We were able to take off loads of chores from our shoulders so we could focus on taking care of our newborn baby. We didn’t have to plan and cook for our meals and the food containers didn’t need any washing — it might seem minimal, but these actually lessened our workload a lot. It’s really amazing that I still felt pampered by TMC even though I’m already at home.

The bottomline: Thomson Medical Centre’s maternity care is top-notch

I really enjoyed and appreciated everything that’s included in the Maternity Care of TMC. My pregnancy journey didn’t have any mishaps, and we were taken care of very well at every step of the way. I’m very thankful to have dedicated doctors, nurses, and practitioners tending to baby Ally and I. After experiencing all these, I’m positive that I will go to TMC for my second baby in the future!

Check out Thomson Medical Centre’s Maternity Care >
thomson medical logoThomson Medical Centre (Hospital)
339 Thomson Road Singapore 307677
(65) 6250 2222 |  9-THOMSON (9-8466766)
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