St. Luke’s Global Maternity Packages 2019

Many women have been asking me about my birthing experience at St. Luke’s Global. Mainly, they want to know how much did it cost to give birth there, and was it worth the price? I did not want to write about this at first but then I remembered that when I was pregnant, I too browsed the internet to know more about St. Luke’s maternity packages. I remember going through every single blog I could find and being disappointed that the latest post was probably from 2017. So for info’s sake, I am putting this out here.

Before Giving Birth

St. Luke’s Global is no longer giving tours of the maternity floor. But you can go to the Admissions Department (located on the ground floor, main building) to see photos of the rooms and their corresponding prices. Best to do this before your 28th week, when an early birth is possible.

The third floor is where the OB-GYN Complex is located. Inside is the High-Risk Pregnancy Unit (HRPU) and the labor, delivery, and operating rooms. When you’re already experiencing contractions, go straight to the OB-GYN Complex and there’s a reception area where you will be asked to fill out forms. Then you’ll be led to the labor room where a nurse, and then a resident doctor, will assess you.

The labor room is not a private room. It’s like a ward with beds separated by accordion dividers. You share a common bathroom. Companions are not allowed and eating is strictly prohibited. It’s not a miserable place, but I was so uncomfortable here–I requested to turn up the a/c but the temperature here is shared and controlled so I had to bear the heat.

After about an hour or two of assessment, you have the option to request to be transferred to the HRPU which has private rooms and companions are allowed (finally!). You can labor here more comfortably, as each room has a TV and a Lazy-Boy for your husband/companion. The temperature is cooler, and eating is allowed! I think there are nine rooms here, but only three have their own bathrooms. The rate of this room is P5,777++ per day.

After Giving Birth: Rooms

After delivery, I spent a few hours in the recovery room at the OB-GYN Complex. I wasn’t alone, because the nurses gave Lucas to me after he was cleaned up. Here, we practiced latching and spent a few hours of alone time–just the two of us. That was so precious and I truly appreciated this moment (I opted not to be sedated after my C-section so I was groggy, but very awake).

And then, I was wheeled into the room on the maternity wing (8th floor) which my husband reserved while I was still in labor. We got the Deluxe Private room, which has an extra Lazy-Boy aside from the usual amenities. It also has a desk and a corner with chairs and cocktail table. This room is sooo spacious! It’s perfect if your husband/companion has work to do, or if you have more than one companion staying overnight.

St. Luke's Global Deluxe Private

Below is a list of rooms and latest rates:

St. Luke's Global Room Rates 2019

Because of my crazy complications, I had to be admitted several times while I was pregnant. So I’m happy to report that I’ve stayed in almost all room types (excluding the suites). Personally, the most sulit room to get is the Small Private. It’s not that expensive but has the same amenities and the comfort of privacy as the bigger private rooms. Note: there are only three small private rooms on the whole maternity floor and they’re usually occupied all the time.

But if you’re expecting a lot of excited visitors, best to get the Deluxe Private room. Because it has more seats and tables, guests can eat more comfortably. I really, really loved this room!

Notes:

  • St. Luke’s Global does not have a nursery. If the baby doesn’t have health issues, he/she will room-in with you after birth. Do consider that the baby will have a special crib; it’s small, but it will take up space as well.
  • Each private room has a daybed, small movable table, TV, DVD player, ref, cabinet, and bathroom with shower.
  • The Deluxe Private has an extra Lazy-Boy, work station (desk and chair), more chairs and a cocktail table in one corner, and a JBL speaker.
  • Each private room also comes with a welcome kit (a small pouch with toiletries), water pitcher, stainless utencils, and a pillow. You can bring all of these home–yes, even the pitcher.
  • I’ve stayed in the two-bed private room and there’s none of these amenities except for the pillow.
  • There’s a common pantry in the maternity wing. It has a sink where you can wash your dishes (they provide the dishwashing liquid, but please bring your own sponge!), hot & cold water refilling unit, and a microwave oven.
  • Other maternity giveaways include a really nice “I am a St. Luke’s Baby” baby bag, baby booklet for his/her future doctor’s appointments, and baby’s first set of clothes. They will also take a photo of your baby and give you a printed copy as a nice souvenir.

Estimated Cost and Maternity Packages

St. Luke’s Global offers a “Great Expectation” delivery package for both CS and natural birth. Doctors’ professional fees are included, but the price is only for their shared rooms (2-bed and 4-bed wards). If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, you are not qualified to avail this package.

Giving birth at St. Luke's Gloibal 2019

Because I did not qualify for the Great Expectation package, we asked for a cost estimate of a CS delivery so we could prepare financially. Here is what they quoted us. Note that the doctors’ fees are not included in the quote. Philhealth will be automatically deducted from the bill.

St. Luke's Global Maternity Package

We were happily surprised, upon discharge, that our exact hospital bill was way below the initial quote. Granted, we still had to pay the doctors’ fees–so our total bill was still quite steep.

Overall Experience

I loved my whole St. Luke’s Global experience. I always say this to my pregnant friends: I know I had a C-section, but for me it was a mindful and gentle birth! The nurses and resident doctors were all very kind and attentive, and I was informed of the process every step of the way. My husband was also allowed to be part of the birthing experience–he was with me from labor all the way until the actual operation! Yes, our bill was no joke. But our very pleasant experience was worth every peso.

The hospital itself is very clean, relaxing, and spacious. The rooms are thoroughly sanitized before they admit a patient–I know, because I’ve seen how they clean each room upon discharge. Twice a day, a maintenance staff comes in to ask if you want your room to be cleaned and leaves you with a new roll of toilet paper.

On Lucas’ second night, he was wailing non-stop because he was hungry and I wasn’t producing enough milk. The nurses were so kind that they took him even if the hospital didn’t have a nursery. They cared for him in their station so I could get some sleep. When they returned him to me the next morning, his dedicated nurse even taught me how to properly cup-feed and burp him (we bought breast milk from their milk bank–formula and bottles aren’t allowed in the hospital). A lactation nurse also came to my room to give me breastfeeding tips. That’s the kind of service we paid for.

Baby’s Birth Certificate

St. Luke’s Global submits the documents to the Civil Registrar in Taguig. It will be ready for claiming about a month after, which you will have to do so yourself. You are advised to call the hospital to get the reference number before going to the city hall.

Please note that the details and figures are all based on my own experience. If you’re planning to give birth there, please ask your OB and the hospital’s Admissions Department for a cost breakdown tailored for your case.

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My Post C-Section Essentials

It’s been exactly four months since I gave birth. Four months! Many moms in my shoes may have totally adjusted by now, but here I am–still in my jammies, my hair’s tied in a messy bun, my nails are chipped, and I am running on a three-hour sleep.

But the baby is fine. He’s more than fine! He’s healthy and happy, and strong, and bright. He’s smiling all the time (except when he’s hungry), and he’s starting to babble too! I look at him and I know that my new normal means his happiness precedes mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I may look tired and messy all the time and I still have to shed the excess baby weight–but I am taking good care of myself!

These days, I’m relying on these essentials to keep me up and running and feeling well inside and out:

Mamaway Binder

Image from https://www.mamaway.com/nano-bamboo-postnatal-recovery-support-belly-band

 

 

I super relied on my Mamaway Binder after giving birth. I got mine from Baby Company for I think P3,000+. It’s not cheap, but definitely worth it!

Because I gave birth via Cesarean, I wasn’t very mobile right after. This made it easier for me to sit up and eventually stand and then walk. I wore this for a whole month postpartum!

 

 

 

 

Essential Oils

I know I’ve had a truly difficult pregnancy, but all that is nothing compared to taking care of a newborn! Lucas is an easy baby and he hardly ever fusses but when he does, oh my! And the sleepless nights! I guess that’s why every mother feels so attached to their children, even when they become adults. “I birthed you! I took care of you!”

I’ve been oiling since before I got pregnant, and essential oils are definitely in my postpartum arsenal! I use mostly Plant Therapy oils which I order from the U.S. The ones in Healthy Options are good, too. I mainly use these oils topically and diffuse whenever the baby’s not in the room. I still haven’t read up on which oils are baby-safe!

Whenever I need a boost of energy to stay up, I rub a bit of the Energy blend on my wrists and pulse points. When I want to sleep, I use Relax. Muscle Aid is my most-used oil because I feel like an old person now–every part of my body seems to be aching! I put this on my ankles, shoulders, neck, and even wrists (that baby is heavy!).

Four months after my C-section, my external wound has completely healed already. But my tummy still feels a bit numb and some days I can feel a bit of discomfort inside. I rub the Balance blend over my cut whenever I feel uneasy. This and a bit of rest really works!

Barley

I have a new morning routine. I drink young barley grass juice every morning, the first thing I do after getting up. Barley is a powerhouse grass. Read up on it and you’ll see its amazing benefits. It’s packed with calcium, iron, folate, and lots of vitamins. It boosts one’s energy, increases immunity, controls blood sugar levels and cholesterol, and renews cells.

I’ve been drinking it daily for a month now and it’s truly a lifesaver. Even though I’m always sleep-deprived, I’m not a zombie throughout the day anymore unlike Lucas’ first two months. I know I’m tired, yes, but I’m more alert and energetic. It’s also protected me from viral colds and flu! I get my barley stock from I Am Worldwide. I believe in the product so much that I even signed up to be a distributor! Yes, I’m selling these–message me if you want to try it!

So there, my three post-CS essentials. What are yours? Need recos, mommas!

 

APAS FAQs: Tests, Meds, and Expenses

Ever since my blog post about my pregnancy was picked up by Smart Parenting, I’d been getting a lot of queries regarding my whole experience. Every week, I get PM’s from different women telling me about how they’ve been trying to conceive for years or how they’ve suffered recurrent miscarriages. They ask about my condition, how I found out, where I got tested, who my doctors are, and how much did I spend to sustain my pregnancy.

I know I’ve already written a lengthy and detailed post about APAS, but here I will consolidate all questions I’m being asked for the sake of those who want to know–those who are afraid that they may have the same condition; those who are daunted by the thought of spending a huge bulk of their savings just to get a shot at a successful pregnancy; and those who are clinging on to the hope of having a child.

As long as I can help, I will never stop sharing my story. So, here are 10 frequently asked questions* about my APAS journey:

1. What is APAS?

According to medicine.net: The Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APAS) is a disorder of the immune system that is characterized by excessive clotting of blood and/or certain complications of pregnancy(premature miscarriages, unexplained fetal death, or premature birth) and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (such as anti-cardiolipin or lupus anticoagulant antibodies) in the blood.

To put simply, my blood was too thick. And because a baby gets nutrients from his mother through the blood, if it’s too thick then the baby might not get enough nutrition to sustain it inside the womb.

It is interesting to note that APAS is just one of the five Reproductive-Immunological Disorder (RID) categories. Other women test positive in two or more categories.

2. Does it have symptoms? How did you know you had it?

The main symptom is difficulty conceiving and sustaining a pregnancy. After my second miscarriage in 2016, my OB brought up the term APAS but I shrugged it off because I truly did not want to try to conceive anymore. In July 2018, I was shocked to see two pink lines on a pregnancy test–and went straight to the lab to get tested for APAS.

According to some medical websites, there may be symptoms of APAS unrelated to pregnancy such as migraines and blood clots in the legs. But personally, I’ve never had any inkling I had it except for my recurrent miscarriages. 

3. Where did you get tested for it?

I had the test done in Hi-Precision. But for the other RID categories, I did it at St. Luke’s Global.

4. How much were the lab tests?

I paid around P5,000 for the APAS panel at Hi-Precision. The other test I had done was to check my Natural Killer Cells–and if I remember it correctly, it was around P9,000 at St. Luke’s.

5. Do I go straight to an immunologist, or shall I consult with my OB first?

I went to an OB first. She was the one who referred me to an immunologist.

6. Who are your doctors?

My OB-GYNE is Dr. Jocelyn Bambalan. She’s also a perinatologist (one who specializes in high-risk pregnancies) and sonologist so she conducts my ultrasounds as well. My immunologist is Dr. CJ Gloria. Both of them have clinics St. Luke’s Global.

7. What medicines did you have to take during your pregnancy?

Aside from the prenatal vitamins, these meds were prescribed to me to manage my APAS and sustain my pregnancy:

-aspirin, daily until 32nd week

-Heparin injection, daily until 35th week

-Prednisone (steroids) for a month during my first trimester

-two brands of probiotics everyday

-progesterone, both oral and vaginal suppository

-monthly intralipid infusion (done through IV)

8. If I have APAS, does that mean my pregnancy will be as complicated as yours?

I don’t think so. Personally, I know some women who have APAS and other RIDs and have had very smooth pregnancies. They even were able to travel while pregnant! 

Although my immunologist did comment at one point that the complications I had were a way of my body trying to reject the pregnancy due to my APAS. Still, I think that what happened to me was just purely coincidental.

9. If I am pregnant and have APAS, must I undergo a C-section?

Pregnant women with RIDs are automatically branded as having high-risk pregnancies. This goes into your medical chart so resident doctors and nurses know how best to deal with your case. But personally, my OB encouraged me to try for a vaginal birth even up to the last minute.

10. How much did your medicines and treatments cost?

Sorry, I forgot the exact amount of the medicines I took; but these were the ones that stood out, mainly because they were the most expensive ones!

-Heparin: a pre-filled heparin syringe cost around P470. The vials were much cheaper and they were less painful to inject, too! Tip: if you have a senior citizen in the family, ask your doctor to make the prescription under his name so you can avail of the discount.

-Probiotics: My doctor prescribed two brands. The one I got from Healthy Options, and the other is Culturelle. It is not being sold in the country but there are many resellers online. Beware though, and make sure what you’re buying is the real thing. I got mine from my immunologist’s clinic. It was around P1,000++ per box (good for one month).

-Intralipid Infusion: this is to help my baby grow in the womb. APAS babies tend to be smaller and have a very high chance of premature birth. This costs P15,000 per session at St. Luke’s Global.

*Please note that my answers are all based on MY own experience. As each pregnancy is different, your doctor may instruct you to do things differently.

If you have trouble getting pregnant or have had multiple miscarriages, I strongly encourage you to consult with a specialist. I always say this: having APAS may be difficult and expensive to manage, but it is better than being in the dark.

As they say, baby dust to all you moms-in-waiting! I am believing with you for your own rainbows. <3