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Thursday, March 10, 2022

Second Delivery at Thomson Medical Centre + Hospital Fees (Feb 2022)

And...we were pregnant again.

Before I move on, if you are reading this, most likely you are already pregnant and planning where to give birth to your little one, so here's the heartiest congratulations from me! Being the father of two children now, I can tell you that parenting is the hardest, longest, heart-wrenching, emotional and physical lesson that you will ever partake. But, but, but, it is also the noblest and reaps the best rewards.
Choosing Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) is pretty much a no-brainer for us, since myself and my first born, Olivia, are delivered here. Both by the same gynae, Dr. W. K. Tan. As compared to other private hospitals, TMC is considered pretty affordable. But as always, child delivery (not to even mention child bearing) is not cheap, so it is good to plan your finances beforehand.

If you have not, I would love to invite you to check out my experience on TMC in November 2018 for my firstborn. This post has since garnered more than 1 million views.

Delivery at Thomson Medical Centre + Hospital fees (Nov 2018)

Our gynae
Instead of Dr. W. K. Tan, we opted for another gynae, Dr. Benjamin Tham, this time round. No, no, it's not because Dr. Tan is not good, in fact, she's amazing. Dr. Benjamin was introduced to us by our friends, and thought why not? Yes, Benjamin is obviously a male, so make sure you (or your partner) is alright with it beforehand. To be honest, this didn't bothered us much. Throughout our consultations and even the delivery, Dr. Benjamin was amazing. He was humorous all the way and gave us really useful advice such as using an Epi-no to reduce vaginal tearing.
Eh? Epi-what?
Epi-no is no stranger in the market of childbirth. Developed by Starnberg Medical, this device is used mainly as a childbirth and pelvic floor training. The cost isn't cheap, approximately $250 after delivery from their main office in Sydney. But considering the reduced risk of vaginal tear and its recovery, this may be well worth it. Basically, you insert a balloon-like structure into your vagina, and pump, expanding it to make it stretchy and ready for the baby to go through - essentially reducing tearing.

Back to our delivery story
Our initial EDD was at 26 February, but the gynae and others have told us that the second one usually comes 1-2 weeks earlier. So as the date approached, my wife was pretty panicked as she was afraid that our baby boy was getting too big to opt for vaginal birth. As usual, we went to bed after our usual K-drama night approximately 1am.


03.00am - My wife woke me up saying that her water bag has broke. We were calm as we had everything prepared in a luggage bag. We were ready to go with the adrenaline kicked in despite being at 3am with merely two hours of sleep.

04.00am - Unlike our previous place at Beach Road, Punggol is a tad, no, very far from Thomson. We met a kind and humorous driver who shared his experience on the way to Thomson Medical Centre.

04.30am - Upon reaching Thomson Medical Centre, my wife checked into the observation ward. Due to the tight COVID measures, I have to take an ART every 24 hours since I will be accompanying her and staying over. My wife was put on observation, monitoring the child heartbeat etc. I headed up to have my ART taken (around $36/day), waited 15 minutes for the results. I proceeded to make part of the hospital bill before I head into the observation ward.
05.00am - We opted for cord blood collection with CordLife this time round, so they had to extract three tubes of blood out. Ouch. The drinks machine is a huge lifesaver, especially the Milo which may help give my wife the strength booster to push later on. Do you know that you can opt to keep your placenta? Haha.
06.00am - We got transferred to the delivery ward. Surprisingly, dilation was already around 3-4cm, as the dilation was minimal for our first one.

06.30am - With the dilation pains kicking in fast, this time we wasted no time in requesting the epidural.

07.00am - The anesthetist arrived and injected the epidural. By the way, the epidural takes a while to be in effect. Depending on how numb you want, please inform the nurse as they are able to adjust (some may want to feel a little, so it's easier to push).
08.00am - Breakfast arrived. It was the familiar fish porridge. Lydia was only able to take some mouthfuls of it, the rest being devoured by me. And now the waiting game begins.

11.00am - The nurses came by to check for dilation periodically. It was about 7cm, when the nurse asked if my wife is up to push a little. So she adjusted the bed and positioned my wife to a childbirth pose. With every contraction, the nurse guided her to push bit by bit.

11.30am - Our gynae, Dr. Benjamin Tham, arrived. Still armed with his humour, he said that he only trust himself to push out the baby, so slowly and bit by bit, baby Emmanuel emerged more and more.

12.00nn - The cries of Emmanuel filled the room. We thank God it wasn't as loud as his sister's. The nurses proceed to clean, weigh, and measure Emmanuel, while Dr. Benjamin was stitching a slight tear. It could have been a bigger tear if not for the Epi-no? Who knows. But it will heal in a few weeks.
01.00pm - We opted for some skin-to-skin, yes, even the father can do this with their newborn. Afterwhich we were checked into our single ward at level 3.
The start of our staycay
We opted for single this time round as there wasn't any promo as with 4 years back (free companion stay). The single and premier single ward is totally the same. The only difference is that the single ward is mixed with other wards (two or four bedders) within the same level, whereas premier single wards are exclusive to only single wards within the level (5th floor). 

The room has most necessities covered. I slept at the companion bed (aka sofa), but this time round, I had it covered with a bedsheet, and it's a real life saver. They have a nice selection of confinement food available for the mummy. For daddy, they only provide breakfast, so lunch and dinner you'll have to find your own means. For us, Lydia didn't have had the appetite, so we actually shared the meals. In any case, there's two 24-hour petrol kiosks just within 1-min walk, so you could get your cup noodles or bread.
And we meant staycay
As second-timer parents, we had the idea of making the hospital stay as enjoyable as possible. If you have read about our first time experience, we were really, really stressful.

This time round, we wanted to focus a lot of rest, healing, (and K-dramas). We threw away the notion of having the need to breastfeed our newborn every single time. Breastfeeding is recommended, but we knew that we didn't have enough breast milk so we got to top-up with powder. So we requested Emmanuel to be placed in the nursery most of the time and throughout the night (don't worry, you will have more than enough time once you are back home). Ultimately, you are the parent and the choice is yours.

Goodie Bag (2022)
According to my friends, this year's Thomson Medical Centre goodie bag is one of the best. It is titled "Safe Safe and Resilient Essentials". With the pandemic still around, it is not hard to see why.

It compromises of the following items:
- Reusable jute bag
- Essence of chicken
- Lactation Cookies (to be collected at TMC pharmacy)
- Neo Garden vouchers
- Biodegradable Liquid Cleanser
- Adult & Baby Wipes
- Breast Pads
- Baby Shower Foam
- Hand sanitiser holder & swim session
- Probiotics
- Sensory book
- Changing mat
- Insect Repellent Wipes
- Biodegradable Food Contact Wipes
- Nursing Bra (promo code when checking out at a specific site)
- Breast pads
- Discount voucher for electric breast pump
- Milk Bottle
- Breast milk refill cup
- Singlife Gift & Singlife’s MyJoyfulBundle insurance coverage
- Mittens

Thank you
Especially in this epidemic, medical staff and other frontline workers haven't got it easy. Being in a vulnerable environment and jobscope, we are grateful for these people who have served the mummies and daddies. We want to take the opportunity to thank Geetha and Bebe from the delivery room, as well as, Helen Law, Ariola Michelle, and Summer Cheng, from Level 3. You guys are beyond awesome and has made our stay a delightful one. These guys are like the support pillars, whenever we needed help and press the call button, we knew for sure that our problem would be solved.
Hospital bill
And the part you have been waiting for. Unlike the premier single ward with an express check-out option (pay later), you have to settle your outstanding fees in full before you check out of the hospital. Like what I state in the previous post, everything you use are chargeable - from the pads to even the syringes. Like always, if you're unsure, your best bet is to ask.

Below is an overview of our Thomson Medical Centre bills for:
- Vaginal delivery with epidural
- 3D2N in Single ward

The bill excludes prior to delivery day charges, such as gynae's deposit, additional ultrasound scans, diagnostic tests (i.e, OSCAR), medication and supplements. Fees for most categories are more or less as compared to our delivery in November 2018. This time round, we opted out of OSCAR and other deformity scans - since we are sure we are going to keep the baby no matter what. Unlike 2018, they have implemented a compulsory thalassemia screening for BOTH mother and father.

The total bill for this time round totals to around $12,000 (too). This does not include postnatal check ups.

Similar to my TMC post 4 years ago, I hope this post provides an overview of what you may expect during your whole delivery experience, as well as to give you a better idea on where to select for your childbirth. If there is any beneficial information you think I could add, or any enquiries, please do send it to I love hearing from you guys.

Till then. Stay strong, have faith in yourself. You can do it!