I always get questions from people about my birth experience at St. Luke's Bonifacio Global City, especially about the cost of giving birth there. There's no definite answer. Your expenses will depend on who and how many your doctors are, the procedure, how long you stayed at the hospital, the room you got, and so on and so forth.
If you want to know if it's expensive there, well, yes, it costs a bit higher than other hospitals but it's super worth it. You get a bigger room (a regular room in SLMC is the same size as a deluxe room in Medical City, for example), better service, unbelievably delicious food... Mommies-to-be, it's suuuuuper worth it!
But here are my tips on how to keep costs down:
1. If you're still single, get an OBG at SLMC anyway.
I never understood why people believe only married women should have an OBG. I started seeing my OBG, Dr. Rebecca Singson, when I was 21 years old. The minute people found out I had a doctor for down there, there were shocked questions: "Are you pregnant? Are you no longer a virgin? Do you have an STD?" Ridiculous! Girls, you should go to a gynecologist as soon as you turn 18 or become sexually active, whichever comes first.
Anyway, if you have a long doctor-patient relationship, chances are you can get discounts. Since my relationship with Dr. Singson has been going on longer than my relationship with Vince (Dr. Singson-14 years, Vince-13 years!), she gave me a substantial discount on her professional fee. Since she's the head of the OBG department at SLMC, she commands a high price, so you can bet the huge discount was oh so welcome!
2. Wait at home.
A lot of women are so scared of giving birth that at the first contraction, they immediately panic and go to the hospital. Don't. Your stay at the hospital is not free so if your contractions are few and far between, stay home. I made the costly mistake of rushing to the hospital when I had my bloody show (pregnant women, Google "bloody show"). Vince and I spent the entire day just watching TV at the hospital and counting the minutes between my mild contractions. Finally, I was advised to go home.
Bill for watching TV and counting minutes? P13,000. That was more painful than all my contractions combined!
3. Be strong and healthy.
A lot of women get fat and lazy when they're pregnant. Girls, pregnancy is not an excuse to eat everything you want and make everyone wait on you hand and foot. When you eat too much, you're endangering your life and your baby's because you're more likely to suffer from gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. A strong body recovers faster so instead of spending a week at the hospital recovering from childbirth, you can leave after 3 days. I know someone, a yoga instructor, who gave birth in the morning at Makati Medical and left in the afternoon. I kid you not. She didn't need to pay for a room at all!
When you lie down all day, your body becomes weak. You're going to need a strong heart, strong lungs, strong abdominals and strong pelvic muscles to push that baby out. So exercise. Do Pilates or yoga, or walk, walk, walk! And if you are sitting down, do Kegels! If you're strong and healthy, you can do the next step...
4. Try to deliver the baby the natural way.
Our bodies were built for childbearing so trust your body! Of course, there are many reasons why a CS procedure is necessary (your life is in danger or your baby is in distress, for example) but if you're having a healthy pregnancy, push that baby out. You'll recover faster, you'll be in less post-partum pain, your body will snap back into shape sooner, and it's waaaaaay cheaper! Don't be scared to do a normal delivery. Be scared of your hospital bill instead!
5. Get the cheapest room.
In SLMC, the cheapest room is still much better than the rooms of most other hospitals in the city. But why get the cheapest room? Well, this is just a theory but we think that the more exclusive your room is, the higher everything costs--your food will be better, for instance. Your view, your toilet paper, your soap, your sheets, your pillows, etc. I bet you'll have more attractive nurses, too. These things cost more, of course, and I'm sure that cost will reflect on your bill!
Again, this is just a theory so I welcome anyone from SLMC to assure me that this theory is false. Because if it is, I'd like to book a suite please!