We’ve come to the last installment of 10 hospital maternity tours in Singapore! One of these is my choice. It’s also the only maternity hospital here to offer mums-to-be the option of a water birth.
Can you tell which one it is? If none of these two hospitals catch your fancy, check the other eight out. You’re sure to find one that will suit you (and the bub) best. The links are at the end of this article. Here’s wishing you a blissful pregnancy, birth, and motherhood!
339 Thomson Road, Singapore 307677. Tel: 6250 2222
Bit of trivia: I was born in Thomson Medical Centre. Since the last time I stepped foot in here (not literally, of course) was a quarter of a century ago, I was excited to be back with the anticipation of possibly giving birth here myself. And since I couldn’t have remembered how the hospital stay was as a newborn, it was a unique experience visiting and learning more about the hospital I was delivered at through fresh eyes.
Thomson Medical Centre is a compact medical facility nested along Thomson Road which offers its patients a cosy and comfortable environment. Wooden furnishings and clever lighting are used to create a warm, homely ambience throughout the hospital.
A benefit to being compact is that patients don’t need to walk through long corridors just to get from one place to another, something I experience with the bigger hospitals. Enter the hospital through the main lobby and you’ll already find the Patient Business Centre, the ParentCraft Centre, the gift shop, the pharmacy and Delifrance. This might just be psychological, but should I be admitted into the hospital about to pop i.e. in late labour, it would give me great peace of mind to know that I’ll reach the delivery ward in no time at all.
TMC has 12 delivery rooms and six operating theaters for C-section births. While it doesn’t offer water births, two of its delivery rooms come with a hydrotherapy tub for water immersion, a pre-birth procedure where the mom stays in water throughout her contractions and only gets out of the water tub for the birth itself. Water immersion helps in pain relief and is a natural alternative to medical means such as epidurals.
Should you be considering TMC for your baby’s birth, you’d be pleased to know that despite appearances, the hospital’s maternity rooms are generously sized. In fact, its standard 1-BD room seems to be sized around that of a suite in other hospitals!
Each ward has individual temperature control and if you do not wish to be disturbed, you can even opt for a “Privacy Please” door tag that the hotel, sorry I mean hospital, provides.
There are three floors of labour and maternity wards, Levels 3, 5 and 6, and each level’s maternity ward has a nursery attached to it. A lot of hospitals do this, i.e. attaching a nursery to each maternity ward (especially if the wards span different hospital floors), and I find it a wonderful idea because this way, Mummy and Baby won’t be too far apart and it’s easier for the nursing staff to manage as well.
TMC encourages rooming-in, so after Baby is tagged, he or she will be wheeled in with Mummy to bond. Overnight rooming-in of Baby is also allowed as long as it’s not too tiring on Mum. And if you wonder if the same applies to shared wards, yes the hospital is flexible as long as your roommate doesn’t mind.
For the ultimate pampering experience, you could also opt to stay in one of the hospital’s suites. Do note that suites are not covered under maternity packages and will be billed ala carte. Here’s a quick look:
Patients enjoy concessionary parking with the number of coupons issued based on bed type. Two coupons are issued to patients staying in 4-bedded rooms, and three coupons are issued to patients staying in Premier Single, Single or 2bedded rooms.
Food options include Delifrance and the staff cafeteria which is open from 9.30am to 5pm. You can also take a bus to Novena Square nearby, or walk across the road to enjoy local food at the Balestier and Whampoa areas.
Cost of tour: Free
Cost of 1-BD normal delivery 2-day stay: $3,036.66 (excludes doctor’s fee)
5 Lower Kent Ridge Rd, Singapore 119074. Tel: 6779 5555
As this hospital provides the only option for water birth in Singapore, NUH is my choice!
Each of its 12 delivery rooms is alternately equipped with water birth facilities in its ensuite bathrooms, and its deluxe delivery suite even comes with a built-in water tub. Exercise balls are also available on hand should Mummy require them for relaxation and pain relief. I like that the hospital has made the bathrooms spacious, because there will be a sizable medical team inside during the water birth: the doctor, the midwives and your doula, if you choose to have one.
While some other hospitals allow doulas in the delivery room as long as you pre-registration yours (most of them) and some do not allow doulas at all (Mt Elizabeth (Orchard), NUH not only allows doulas, the hospital also offers its own alternative: Emma Care nurses.
Short for Enhanced Midwifery Maternity Care, Emma Care nurses provide a unique holistic approach to childbirth and labour. Not limited to the two or three days of hospital stay, Emma Care nurses accompany you on your journey during pregnancy and post delivery as well. That includes prenatal and postnatal clinic appointments, coaching your hubby to provide the support you need as a new mom, and provides nursing care and support during labour.
So your Emma Care nurse is more like, I would say, a friend who also happens to be a trained nurse and midwife. Having somebody who understands your birth preferences and has the medical knowledge to back your decisions in the delivery room means a lot in terms of reassurance and emotional support. I like it!
For many mums (and dads), cost is not so much a concern as privacy and the option to lodge are, and that’s why 1-BD rooms are often in high demand. NUH has 18 1-BD rooms and (if you like numbers how does this sound) you have an 80 to 85% chance of getting a 1-BD room if you’ve requested for it in your preregistration. Of course, it’s not a promise and there’s no guarantee, so please do not fume at the nurses if you don’t get one.
Each 1-BD room comes with a sofa bed, a TV set, a desk, and a couch for one person. Lodging is $37.45 (without meals) or $64.20 (with 3 meals) per day, relatively affordable compared to private hospital charges.
Parking shouldn’t be a problem with 330 lots in Carpark D and 390 lots at the Medical Centre. The maximum rate is $18 for a full day of parking, and if you are rushed to the hospital in mid-labour, the Dad-to-be can leave the car with the valet ($6 per entry).
There are plenty of amenities for visitors, including a good selection of food places (Mr Bean, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Kopitiam), Duyi bookstore with a florist counter, and 7-Eleven.
Cost of tour: Free
Cost of 1-BD normal delivery 2-day stay: $3,110.50 to $4,608.50 (includes doctor’s fee)
See the rest of the hospital maternity tours here:
Do note that these accounts are based on our writer’s personal experiences when she went on the maternity tours. Please get in touch with the hospital if you require further details and more information about its maternity services or if you’d like to attend the maternity tours.
All costs and facts are accurate as of October 2015. GST and service charges not included.