Types of Birthing Methods in TMC

Your birth experience matters to us and we understand the stress a mother goes through during pregnancy. We also recognise that each birth experience is unique and believe your experience should be your choice. That is why, at Thomson Medical Centre, we strive to provide a comfortable environment for a smooth delivery. You may ask for lavender-scented aromatherapy or music to reduce anxiety during childbirth. In addition, exercise balls are available for use to relieve your contraction pains.

We offer a range of birthing methods to cater to individual preferences. It is useful to consult your doctor about the different options.

Birthing Methods

Vaginal Delivery

Vaginal delivery is the most common type of childbirth. In a vaginal birth, the baby is born through the birth canal and it is usually associated with lower infection rates and a quicker recovery.

Typically, most women go into labour around 38 to 41 weeks of pregnancy. Unless there is a medical reason for a caesarean, doctors will usually recommend vaginal delivery as the birthing method.

If you have preferences for things like how to manage labour pain, our doctors are also experienced in customising a birth plan for you prior to admission so as to suit your specific needs.

Caesarean Section (C-Section)

A baby is delivered through a surgical incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus with caesarean section or C-section. This method of childbirth is usually scheduled in advance when traditional delivery may be dangerous, or when you are expecting multiples or a very large baby. In certain circumstances, emergency C-section may be ordered if the baby is not thriving on well.

C-sections are generally very safe, but requires a longer recovery time as compared to vaginal delivery.

Water Birth

Water birth is the process of giving birth in a tub of warm water. It provides an environment similar to the amniotic fluid sac and a sense of security for the baby, thereby easing the stress of birth.

The warm water used in water birth provides comfort to you when you are in labour, allowing your body to produce endorphins which serve as pain-inhibitors. As you relax physically, you are also able to focus on the birth process and her baby.

At present, Thomson Medical Centre is the only private hospital in Singapore which offers this option of childbirth. View our water birth facilities.

Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC)

VBAC is not suitable for everyone, especially for those who are obese, older than 35 years, have symptoms of pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) or is expecting a very large fetus. Your doctor will be able to advise accordingly if you decide to opt for this birthing method.

Assisted Delivery

1. Vacuum Extraction

A vacuum extraction is a procedure sometimes done during the course of vaginal delivery. During vacuum extraction, a doctor applies the vacuum (a plastic cup with a handle and a pump) to the baby's head to gently pull the baby out of the birth canal.

2. Forceps Delivery

A forceps delivery is another type of procedure which is applied during vaginal delivery in certain circumstances. With a forceps (an instrument resembling a large pair of spoons) applied to the baby’s head, a doctor helps to guide the baby out of the birth canal.

Pain Management
Giving birth can be a distressing experience for a woman, especially because of the physical pain involved. At Thomson Medical Centre, we offer various natural and medical pain management techniques.

1. Medical Pain Management Techniques


An epidural delivers continuous pain relief to the lower part of your body while allowing you to remain fully conscious for natural delivery.

During the process, the anaesthesiologist administers medication through a catheter – a very thin, flexible and hollow tube – into your lower back. Depending on your requirement during labour, the effect of epidural can be controlled by adjusting the type, amount and strength of the medication.

If you have certain medication conditions including an abnormally low blood pressure, a bleeding disorder or allergic reactions to local anaesthetics, you will not be advised to go through epidural.

Laughing Gas

Laughing Gas is referred to as Nitrous Oxide in labour. It is an inhaled analgesic, or a pain relief drug that you breathe in rather than take orally or inject intravenously. Nitrous Oxide works by increasing the happy hormones in your body while decreasing the stress hormones to reduce the sensation of pain and anxiety.

As Nitrous Oxide may make you feel drowsy or nauseous, it may not be suitable for all mothers. Consult your doctor in advance if you will like to opt for this method of pain relief.

2. Natural Pain Management Techniques


This is an education programme that teaches relaxation and breathing techniques for an easier birth. Through hypnobirthing, you will learn how to call upon your body’s own natural relaxant to experience birth in calmness and free of the tension that prevents the birthing muscles of your body from functioning effectively.

If you are interested, find out more about our hypnobirthing antenatal courses led by qualified practitioners.


Hydrotherapy is the use of water for physical or psychological benefits. At Thomson Medial Centre, our delivery suites are equipped with a soaking tub that allows you to experience buoyancy and freedom of movement as you labour in comfort.

Hydrotherapy may be used any time during labour but you will need to discuss with your doctor on the appropriateness of this pain management method prior to delivery.

TCM before Delivery

The premise of acupuncture is that a proper flow of Qi within the meridians (channels or pathways for the flow of Qi) is necessary to maintain health. Pain is caused by obstruction in the meridians and with acupuncture, hair-thin sterile needles are inserted into specific combinations of acu-points to correct and/or maintain a normal flow of Qi.

Our physicians will work with you to customise a health plan to alleviate and reduce the frequency of pain occurrence.