5 things I like about Thomson Medical Centre

This is a much overdue post about my experience at Thomson Medical, where I delivered my second child, JJ, via scheduled c-section.

I had my first child at Mount Alvernia, but decided on Thomson for the second one. Main reason: I wanted to be closer to my gynae (based in Thomson) as I was trying for a VBAC.

After trying out both hospitals that are priced similarly, here is a summary of what I like and appreciate about Thomson Medical. (And in case you are wondering, I don’t own shares in the listed company :P)

1. Confinement soups – Thomson prides itself on being (one of?) the first maternity hospitals to offer a ‘soup for mums programme’, made from traditional Asian recipes double-boiled for extra oomph, and also supposed to help boost milk supply. True enough, the soups were yummy, and I have no complaints about the food overall.

2. Cosy rooms – Another plus was their newly refurbished rooms. The deluxe suites were designed to be resort-like, but we didn’t splurge on those as we figured we weren’t gonna host a party for our relatives and friends anyway. We were happy with our single room (some photos below). You can view their rooms here.

Here’s the proud second-time daddy.

thomson medical

 And little Vera meeting her baby brother for the first time!

thomson medical

3. Multicultural nurses – Okay, there’s been some negative reports about the high ratio of foreign-to-local nurses of late. But they can’t be all bad?? I mean, the quality of their care probably has less to do with their nationality than their own personality, character, and level of motivation/experience.

I met some nurses from the Phillippines and China, and they were pretty okay and helpful. Every hospital has their fair share of good and not-so-good nurses I guess, so I’m thankful that I met some good ones, though I did come across a handful who couldn’t be bothered. One nurse didn’t even do up my pad properly! And some of the juniors couldn’t really help with latching the baby when I needed help initially due to post-operation pains. 🙁

4. Quality control folks – Kudos to the hospital for actually dedicating some of their nurses (or perhaps a portion of their time) to go around checking each patient’s room for general cleanliness and asking questions e.g., have they changed your bedsheets? Do you need a pillowcase for your extra pillow, etc? I still didn’t get my extra pillowcase in the end, but knowing that the hospital is making some effort to pay attention to the details is simply reassuring. 😉

5. Baby care and breastfeeding class – Thomson offers a one-hour class everyday for new mums to learn how to bathe and breastfeed their newborns. Though I’m a second-timer, I still picked up some useful tips.

What I didn’t quite like:
The reception staff serving us during registration was rather grouchy; also when we checked out, we had to wait a long time before we got our bill. After waiting for what seemed like forever, the angry hubby went downstairs and found the bill sitting at the front desk.

Tsk tsk.

But oh well, hopefully that was just a one-off bad-day kinda incident. All in all, I still had a pretty good experience. 🙂

Contemplating delivery at Thomson Medical Centre

We went for the hospital tour at Thomson Medical last Sat. At 10:50am, 10 minutes before the start of the tour, the info desk was swarming with women with bellies of differing sizes, closely armed by their husbands. We were split into two groups as the crowd was too big.

The guide was professional, informative, and quite candid. Unfortunately, the rooms were currently full and it was just before check-out time at noon, so we were unable to view the standard single, double, and 4 bedder rooms. Instead, we were only shown one of the deluxe suites, which turned out to be a newly-refurbished, resort-style room with space to fit and entertain the entire family and extended clan. Something which most of us wouldn’t need, or so I assume.

We also viewed one of the delivery suites – the only one in the centre which was equipped with a hydrotherapy tub, essentially a large bath-tub, that can be used for an extra charge of $200 above the package rate, as a form of natural pain relief. We were told that the hospital does not practice water birth, so even if the tub is used, actual delivery still has to take place on the hospital bed. (Only NUH is licensed to perform full water births.)

This may not be a decision-making factor, but the delivery suite that we saw was about half the size of the one I had at Mount Alvernia for my first delivery. Assuming that was the largest one at Mount A, the average size of a delivery suite at Thomson might be about three-quarter of that at Mount A. Again, I wouldn’t infer by the smaller size, inferior quality of service and care or medical equipment. Mount A is an older hospital with the luxury of space, as it’s also situated further up Thomson Road and away from the central area.

In terms of price, Mount A and Thomson are quite on par, perhaps with Mount A costing a few hundred dollars more on average. Both seem to have good quality help and support for breastfeeding and other newborn-related care issues. (Although I suspect, if I really run into problems in that area, I would run back to sister Kang at Mount A. She really helped in resolving the breastfeeding issues I had with my first child.)

I feel a bit torn. While I would like to try something different, the unknown factor causes a bit of hesitation. I’m still leaning towards Thomson Medical at this point, so let’s wait and see.

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