Monday, April 5, 2010

Part 1: A tour of St. Luke's Global City's maternity unit

Today was check-up day! Saw my OBG Dr. Rebecca Singson at the St. Luke's Global City. She said my baby was big (yikes!) but that I was losing weight (yikes!). I don't know how that happened but she's not so worried although Vince is now nagging me to eat, eat, eat!

Anyway, everyone I know wants to give birth at St. Luke's but, like me, they're intimidated by the rumors of how expensive it is there. Well, folks, the rumors are true. It's pricey! I asked Dr. Singson how much I should prepare and she said that the highest cost—that includes the best room and doctors—is this: P90,000 for normal delivery and P190,000 to P220,000 for cesarean delivery.

"My goodness! My budget was less than that!" I gasped.

"Well, then let's do a normal delivery," she replied. "I don't see why you shouldn't have a normal delivery when your pregnancy is going so well. Nice pa pag normal kasi you really feel the process and you can breastfeed the baby immediately."

She also added that that's the highest cost possible. We can still lower that by asking for the least expensive room, asking the doctors (OBG, pediatrician and anesthesiologist, if needed) for discounts, and not staying too long, which is possible if the delivery is perfect. Some women go home the same day, for example.

Well, I wanted to know what the cheap room looked like, because at The Medical City, I got a deluxe room and it was tiny with an uncomfortable bed, a minuscule TV and no WiFi!!! So Vince and I went to the lobby and asked for a tour. We were granted our request quite gladly and we waited at the Lobby Cafe, which is now managed by Bizu so the refreshments are no longer free. Sadness!

A few minutes later, a lovely girl named Marielle went up to us and said she'll be our personal tour guide of the hospital's facilities. This is what we saw...

The maternity reception has a sitting area for daddies and relatives, filled with comfy couches, artwork and a huge flatscreen TV. Sorry, forgot to take pics of that! But here's a photo of the labor area:

The labor area is a series of rooms where mommies can be parked while they wait for the contractions to speed up. No one was giving birth so the rooms were all closed. We did get to see the inside of the room and it's pretty cool. Daddies can wait with mommies, too, on a comfy La-Z-Boy.

And here's the delivery room. More correctly, the Lamaze room. That bed is really comfy, even though it's a contraption that moves up and down to accommodate the screaming mother's many movements. Oh wait, if she took Lamaze classes, then she wouldn't be screaming, right?

We didn't look at the operating rooms anymore since it was a sterile area and we'd have to change into scrubs. Since we didn't want to, we just took the nurse's word for it that the operating rooms were fabulous.

We also saw the place where the babies are kept for a few hours. There's no nursery at St. Luke's, by the way. All babies room in with their mommies!!! As soon as mommy has recovered a bit from the labor or woken up from the anesthesia, she and baby are whisked to their own private room. The head nurse—she's named Snow—said that they firmly believe that mommies and babies and daddies are better off spending time together than for baby to be in a roomful of babies behind glass. Ya, nurseries always reminded me of the zoo. Anyway, Snow also said that they encourage breastfeeding so mommy has to feed her baby--so no formula or sugar water in this hospital!

Next post will be the rooms!

19 comments:

  1. grabe nakakahimatay ang presyo :)) pero worth it naman yan, basta safe delivery and syempre that the hospital people will treat you and your baby well :)
    i'm so inggit, ang ganda naman jan :)

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  2. Ya,medyo nanghina nga ako when I heard the price haha. Pero okay lang--we have 4 more months to make ipon!!!

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  3. I am seriously considering Manila Doctors Hospitalin Manila . It's old but the rooms and bathrooms are huge and super clean. They charge 60k for natural and 90k for caesarian and that's with a big deluxe room.

    Of course my mom turned up her nose and said that was hip in the 60's but now it's St. Lukes that is in! Even makati med is passe daw. KAINIS!

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  4. I gave birth at St. Luke's E Rod and the cost for normal delivery is almost the same as what you quoted here :) At least at Global the rooms and facilities are all brand new :) The La-Z-Boy would've been perfect for my husband!

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  5. Good that all babies room in with their mommies in that hospital. That was my mistake when I gave birth in Cardinal last October. I had to drag my arse to the nursery everytime I had to breastfeed on-demand. Considering I was still recovering from my C-section which made it twice as hard. St. Lukes seem to have fantastic facilities!

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  6. ang mahal!! but look at the facilities you get with that price tag! i say it's worth it! if only i had that money when i gave birth to my 3 boys, i'd go for it!

    i gave birth by the way at lourdes hospital here in sta mesa. run by nuns so that was a plus for me. didn't stay long though since i had 3 normal deliveries. i was up and about after 3 hours from the recovery room and breastfeeding (attempting really) soon after. hehe

    and just to share, we just shelled out 30k (less philhealth na) for each. hehe.

    go for a normal delivery! you'll recover faster and more time to bond with jelly bean.

    btw, do you have a name already?:) i miss seeing you here in the office. :)

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  7. Kinny, haha, your mom is hilarious! Oy, di naman namin pinili yung St. Luke's dahil nakiki-sosyal kami, ha? It's just that my OB of almost 12 years practices there so we just followed her. It's just too bad that she's now super expensive! See you soon!

    Neva, the La-Z-Boy also sold it! My hubby was happy--almost every room had a La-Z-Boy. I know it's so shallow but this doesn't happen every day! Might as well take the plunge!

    Lootwagon, I know! The nurses also explained that to me, that they wanted maximum bonding time between the parents and baby. So sweet. That's what sold the hospital to me, actually. They also think about the daddy--he gets to be with mom and baby every step of the way!

    Haze, sinabi mo! Kaya ipon, ipon, ipon!!! Vince was born in Lourdes but yikes, ang layo naman sa amin. St. Luke's is just 15 minutes away, 10 pag walang traffic. Ya, and I really want normal delivery! It's Vince who's pushing for CS (he doesn't want me to suffer daw. Awww!) No, no name yet. So hard to name a person you haven't met!

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  8. Wow, mahal na, Frances! When I gave birth 10, 8 and 5 years ago at Makati Med, we spent around 100k to 120k. I had c-sections and went home after 3 days.

    Hey, if the baby is rooming in with you, does that mean we can't visit anymore? Do you get a private nurse to come in or will Vince take care of the baby while you rest? Hhmmmm?

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  9. Haha, same here! Hubby and I were shocked to find out the estimated bill for a normal delivery. Our Lamaze room request kicked it up a little bit. I was so happy to find out that hospitals like TMC and St. Luke's have rooming in policies. TMC's is even "once you get your baby, there's no returning to the nursery na!" I also love my pedia who is a major breastfeeding advocate who respects my wishes about vitamins and vaccinations and will put my baby in with me within 4-6 hours and even while I'm in recovery. Buti ka pa you have 4 months to make ipon! We have 2 weeks! Aaaaah!!!!

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  10. ang gandddaaa!! i wish i gave birth here, then i wouldn't feel as isolated and alone having labor pains alone (hubby was not allowed inside the labor room). The isolation and fear (and of course, the pain) made me weepy during labor. If ever I'll give birth again in a couple of years, I'll choose this hospital.

    thanks for sharing this :-)

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  11. Lizelle, yes, ang mahal! Nalula kami. Pero kaya naman =) As for visiting, as far as I know, even with the baby in the room, pwede ang visitors (pero pwede bang magpa-blowdry and makeup muna ako? Ahahaha!). There's a private nurse with the package so Vince need not panic =)

    Eli, buti nga you asked for a Lamaze room--kahit mas mahal. Kasi if normal/CS, di pwede si hubby with you. We asked when we were still in TMC.

    Dr.S, ya, even if my hubby really would prefer to NOT be there, I insist!!!

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  12. nice but pricey. I gave birth 2 years ago at Cardinal Santos. Spent around less than 60k 4D3N at a deluxe room, doctors' fees for me, doctors' fees for the baby and circumcision for my son . When I gave birth, the OB ward was under construction that's why there was no nursery. I didn't opt to have the baby roomed-in because i have a nasty cold. GO GO GO for normal delivery! it signals the body to produce milk than a CS. you'll feel the pain yes, but in ND you'll recover sooner than CS.

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  13. Urbanmudra, ya, it's mahal ack! But my OB practices there and she's been my doctor for more than a decade so... no choice really. Yep, sana nga ND! Pray for me please--na sana normal lahat para di ako ma-CS. Ayoko talaga sa surgery... and sa cost!

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  14. Prices have really gone up since I had kids years ago (my sons are now 17 and 15). I had a toprate OB (one of the best in the country,he happened to be my uncle so all the doctors' fees were gratis) but gave birth at a not quite so luxurious hospital (where he was/is hospital president/director). I had complications so my kids were born via CS. I spent P3500 for the first delivery, and P7000 for the second. I kid my sons that I got them cheap, hehe.

    But, yes, what Dr. Singson quoted are standard costs for delivery in SLMC and comparable hospitals. YOu can fiddle with the cost a bit by changing accommodations, etc. I would not, however, recommend cutting the length of post- delivery hospital stay (normally 2 days for normal vaginal deliveries, and three to four for CS). You need the time to recover and rest.

    I like your new blog a lot. I will link you up. :-)

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  15. Prices have really gone up since I had kids years ago (my sons are now 17 and 15). I had a toprate OB (one of the best in the country,he happened to be my uncle so all the doctors' fees were gratis) but gave birth at a not quite so luxurious hospital (where he was/is hospital president/director). I had complications so my kids were born via CS. I spent P3500 for the first delivery, and P7000 for the second. I kid my sons that I got them cheap, hehe.

    But, yes, what Dr. Singson quoted are standard costs for delivery in SLMC and comparable hospitals. YOu can fiddle with the cost a bit by changing accommodations, etc. I would not, however, recommend cutting the length of post- delivery hospital stay (normally 2 days for normal vaginal deliveries, and three to four for CS). You need the time to recover and rest.

    I like your new blog a lot. I will link you up. :-)

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  16. Hi! I'm new to your blog.

    I gave birth last June '09 at AHMC (Asian Hospital) and we spent about 200k! But that's with me and the baby staying a week (I had complications - preeclampsia and had to undergo emergency CS while my baby had UTI so had to stay 1wk in the hospital for medication). Hubby was with me the whole time in the operating room (with matching video cam pa!). And the service is impeccable!

    My son was hospitalized 2 weeks ago due to hernia and he had his surgery at AHMC. We spent more than 100k for everything (he only stayed 2 days ha!). I think it's pricey but I'm very happy with them kasi.

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  17. it does sound expensive by philippine standards! i live in tokyo and gave birth naturally 5 years ago at the equivalent of st. lukes here and i paid 400,000 pesos after insurance reimbursed me a portion of the total cost. but this is tokyo so it was expected, i would have thought it would be less expensive in manila, even in a top-rate hospital!

    kudos though to them for encouraging breastfeeding! my daughter was breastfed for 3 years(!) with additional formula from the 6th month onwards. it was worth it because my husband got mumps a few days after she was born and i was freaking out that she would get it too but she didn't because the pediatrician said she got my mumps antibodies (from my childhood vaccination) via my breastmilk so that alone made it all worthwhile. it was tough at first but if you want to breastfeed, try it for at least a week because that's how long it takes to really get into it. she wasn't and still is not a sickly child, has never been a picky eater (they say that the different flavors in breastmilk from the varied diet of the mom helps them get used to all kinds of tastes as opposed to formula which tastes the same all the time.) she is also a very fast learner and has excellent grades so i would like to think that breastfeeding helped her with all that. (by the way, i did not practice total attachment parenting - i didn't babywear, i did let her cry it out initially to get her to settle herself but i did breastfeed which i really recommend for the baby and for yourself - you lose weight much, much faster as breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day. at the end of the day though, i think you just have to look into all styles of parenting and cherry-pick from each style what works for you and your baby.)

    it would be nice though if they did have a nursery - because you will be super tired and it would be nice to have the option of having your baby just brought to you for feedings to allow you to rest and when you are stronger, have the baby roomed in with you. this is what i did and was really grateful for it - i don't think it affects bonding so much. my daughter and i have have bonded so well despite her staying in the nursery for the first few days.

    i also don't recommend cutting your stay short - better safe than sorry. it would probably be ok for latter pregnancies but for a first one, it's best to have a doctor right there. not to scare you but i had complications on the third day (after being totally ok after the delivery and on the second day) that it was touch and go for me so i'm glad i stayed the required 5 days.

    good luck and may you have a healthy baby!

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  18. Hello! Was reading your blog and I am liking it :) It helps me to decide where to give birth.

    I have a question, do you still have the contact number of the person who gave you the hospital tour(birthing center). Right now I just rely with internet as my husband and I are off the country but we plan to go there end of this month. So I am scouting an OB,and definitely go for St Luke's Global.

    I want to see the facilities at SLGMC. I am 24 weeks tomorrow :) and like you when you were at this stage, haven't bought anything for my kiddo yet but received few gifts from friends. No point of buying yet as we are leaving Florida. I prefer to give birth in PI than here.

    Hope you could advise your OB and the contact person for tour. Appreciate it!

    Regards,

    Cel

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  19. Celda, congratulations! As for your question, you can just go to the customer service counter and request for a tour =)

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This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!