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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How much it costs to give birth at St. Luke's Global

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!

18 comments:

  1. I asked when I was confined at St. Lukes QC and they said that a doctor's PF is proportionate to the kind of room, too. Mas mahal pag sosyal. But SLMC is worth it, I'm sure :)

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  2. I definitely will give birth at St. Luke's the next time. :)

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  3. Hi Frances! Nice post! Your theory on #5 is correct, the more exclusive the room, the higher the cost. Everything follows the cost of your room including PF, cost of meds administered, etc. ultimo yung cotton na ginamit sayo mas mahal if you stayed in the more expensive room. :)

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  4. Book a suite. Haha. Parang vacation lang!

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  5. Hi Frances!
    I just gave birth last Jan 30 at SLMC Global city, well actually from my own experience after giving birth 2007 to my first born at SLMC QC I was able to save more this time. I decided to gave birth here because of the proximity we live here in AFPOVAI Taguig before we use to stay in the Camp Aguinaldo so QC is fine but the traffic and the parking oh no terrible.

    Anyway, SLMC Global is promoting the "We Care" hospitalization packages I think they also have it in QC. This includes delivery either normal or c-section as long as you have previous birth. I availed the NSD (Normal Spontaneous Delivery) Package all in the package are nice
    - Use of Labor room for 24 hrs
    - Delivery room Services ( Medical Supplies, equipment) Anesthesia service (Epidural)
    - Use of Recovery Room
    - Post Delivery medicines and Supplies
    - Medicines and medical supplies for the baby including vaccines (Vit K, BCG< Hepa B and eye ointment)
    - Ancillary services (New Born Screening and Hearing Test)
    - Professional Fee (OB, Anesthesiologist and Pedia)
    Ask your doctors if they are in the list of accredited doctors on the package. In my case my OB and Pedia (Dra Lorelyn Madamba and Dr Pocholo Madamba both from SLMC QC) requested for the special pass to be there during the time of my delivery.

    - Room and Board Accomodation for 2 days ( Nursery Kit, Admission Kit, Standard Nursing Services)
    But you will choose if you want 4 Bedroom Standard Room or 2 Bedroom Standard Room. Btw, new born are roomed in with mother.

    This is the downfall of the package you can't even upgrade for the room if you want to that I cannot understand.

    We'll in our case luckily I was the only one in the room (I choose the 2 Standard Room Type). According to my nurses during my stay usually if there are other free rooms they give you the privacy even if it is included in the package. Before we left another patient was checked in the other room good thing though.

    I missed the nicer room, the tv etc when I gave birth in QC 5 yrs ago but it's just 2 days and you'll be home. I realized in the end that the 20k savings will have a long way to go for the baby.

    Hope you find the info useful.

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    1. is it true that this is not available to first born babies?

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    2. Can you give us a quote on how much you paid for the package, and if this is available for first born babies.

      Will appreciate your response.

      Thanks in advance!

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    3. Anonymous, are you asking me or Mhine? Because I did not avail any packages that's why I think you're asking Mhine. And why do you ask if the "We Care" package is not offered to first pregnancies? Why shouldn't it be? Whether it's the first baby or the tenth, the hospital will gladly take your money!

      Now if you're asking ME how much we paid, it really is a case-to-case basis. For Vito in 2010, we paid 120K for a normal delivery, regular room. Very very reasonable, if you ask me. But with Inigo in 2012, same OB, pedia, procedure, room, it was only 80K. I don't know why. My other friends who delivered in SLMC Global also paid different rates. My OB is the chairman of the OB department, by the way, so she commands a high rate.

      So it's safe to assume that the rate for normal delivery is as low as 80K to as high as P120K. Again, it depends on who your doctors are, what room you get, how long you stay, what procedures were done on you and your baby, etc etc. I can't give an exact rate.

      As for the "We Care" packages, here, I researched na for you. Click on this link and call/email SLMC Global for more details: http://www.stluke.com.ph/home.php/sb/WeCare

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    4. Hi frances! Thanks for posting this up. I just wanted to know what kind of room you specifically stayed in just so I can see the price range? my doctor keeps saying ranges 80k-120k for normal, but I want to lean more towards 80k of course, and i think her PF will vary depending on the room I choose. THANKS!

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  6. it is actually true the higher the rate of the room, the higher the cost of everything, from PF to laboratory rates to medicines. It is because when you get a suite room, it is understandable that you can pay or you have the money so, they make ii higher and lower for those who can afford less. Same principle with water and electric bill, the more you consume the higher the rate.

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  7. I was looking for an OB and since you seemed to have such a good experience with Dr. Singson, I decided to go see her with my husband. At first she seemed ok, but even then, I felt that she was a little fake and had an air of superficiality about her. It was not until after my second visit with her that I realized that she definitely wasn't the OB for me. Not only did she keep pushing these ridiculously expensive "natural" vitamins on us (each visit) but she prescribed an antibiotic to me that did not agree with my body.

    Now I realize that my body's reaction wasn't her fault, but when I called her clinic to talk to Dr. Singson and ask what I should do, I was only allowed to speak to her secretary. I could clearly hear her telling her secretary what to say to me, which meant she was right there, refusing to talk to her patient (who clearly had quite a few questions) and who had experienced ill effects from a medicine she had prescribed!!

    This may not seem like the biggest deal, but it spoke volumes to me about what kind of person and doctor she is. There is no way I would want an OB like that taking care of me or my baby.

    I hope you don't take this the wrong way -- I'm not blaming you or anything, but I just wanted to share my bad experience with Dr. Singson in case others were considering seeing her. Perhaps she has other redeeming qualities as she's been your OB for so long, but I unfortunately, wasn't impressed with her.

    St. Luke's Global City is great though!

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  8. Hi Anonymous,

    No worries. I know you're not blaming me =)

    Yes, your experience with her is bad and I'm sorry that happened. My friend also tried her out but she didn't feel comfortable with Dr. Singson either (she also didn't like the insistence on natural vitamins thing). So she went and looked for another OBG, who she really loves now.

    Whenever people ask me about Dr. Singson, I always highly recommend her but I have a disclaimer--that she's really into natural supplements, that she will insist on a lifestyle change even, that she has a strong personality, that she has sooo many patients, that she's expensive, etc. Some of my friends and readers who went to her like her, and then some really don't.

    I guess I get along with her because I have a very strong personality myself and when she pushes something I don't agree with, I push back just as hard =)

    Her most redeeming quality, for me, is the fact that my endometriosis hasn't bothered me in 14 years. And my fertility is obviously flourishing even at my old age. So I can't argue with that =D

    I've always believed that looking for a doctor is like looking for true love. It's hard! You really have to keep searching for the perfect fit. I'm sorry it didn't work out with you and Dr. Singson. I do hope you find your perfect OBG! It's so important that we find the best doctor for us, especially an OBG. Good luck!

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  9. Thanks for your response -- I agree..it's so hard to find a good OB! :( Actually there a lot of great doctors, just not always easy to find one who has good bedside manners AND who is skilled as well. I may have found an OB I feel more comfortable with (also in St. Lukes) I think I'll be able to tell after the second or third visit. Hehe.

    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy! :)

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  10. What are definite items to pack in your hospital bag(for baby) and did they provide you with anything for baby while he's there.. Like diapers? Bcuz I know in the states they do. This will be my first baby and I'm delivering at St. Luke's GC :) my appt. isn't till Saturday and I'll be going to the mall today to pick up a few things :)

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    1. Congratulations on the baby! SLMC GC will provide you with a very basic kit. It's so basic, it's kinda sad. So it's better if you just pack your own bag. I got my list from here: http://manilamommy.com/2009/09/a-practical-hospital-bag-checklist/ =D

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    2. :) thank you. Very excited and nervous >.< Alright I'll check out the list. Thanks again for the reply!

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    3. Hi Frances! Your blog is really helpful! But I have a problem... I cant find this page: http://manilamommy.com/2009/09/a-practical-hospital-bag-checklist :(

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