Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Giving birth in the Philippines: Finding a Hospital in San Pedro Laguna

As you may remember from an earlier post my Fiancée’s pregnancy was a possible impediment to the granting of a visa and in addition we had some delays in getting a passport application accepted.
The upshot being that it was looking more and more likely that “we” would be having a baby in the Philippines.  Even if the visa were granted prior to the birth….as each day passed we drew closer to the point where flying would no longer be a possibility and if the visa were granted  once my Fiancée was no longer able to travel and then subsequently gave birth the baby would not be included on the visa. According to the DIAC (immigration department) this would mean a whole new visa application for the baby….
So, we needed to find a good (read as well staffed, well equipped, safe, full service hospital) near my fiancée’s family home in San Pedro.  It proved to be a little tougher than I expected….
While there are lots of good (some very good) hospitals in Metro Manila the standard seems to slip a little (or a lot) once you get out to Laguna. My first choice “Asian Hospital”, was rejected by my partner because she felt that “only rich people go there” and she would be “too shy” to go there.
We searched the web for an alternative and while we were able to find lists of hospitals there was precious little additional information available. Very few (read as almost none) of the hospitals had websites and not too many people had posted their experiences.  Basically there was no way to establish a “short list” of potential medical facilities.
In the end “we” (meaning my partner, as I was now back in Australia) simply visited each of the hospitals listed until we found one that ticked all the boxes.
Our choice? Divine Mercy Hospital… The staff were friendly and proficient, private rooms were comfortable and reasonably priced, the standard of care was good and my Fiancée felt comfortable there.
Having made the selection it was now just a case of waiting for the big day….my partner attended regular scheduled check-ups with her new OB/GYN to monitor her health and that of our unborn child and everything progressed as expected.
There were a few scares along the way….there was some suspicion that my partner had developed gestational diabetes but all the test came back in the green, so no problem there. However as the due date approached our OB/GYN became concerned about the size of the baby…it was looking a little on the large size. The key concern was my partner’s ability to successfully deliver by natural child birth a “big” baby.
The birth actually came as a bit of a surprise. The night before my Fiancée was due to go in for a final ultrasound her “waters” broke and she was raced of to hospital by ambulance.  She sent me a text to let me know, but thanks to some slow message delivery the text actually arrived after I’d already spoken with her (having called to say “hi”).
In the end after many hours of labour the delivery ended up being performed as C-section. Everything went well and there were no complications…we now had a beautiful baby boy!
The only downside was that all I could do was peer at him on Skype…from 6000 kilometres away. 
So, if you’re having a baby in San Pedro Laguna my recommendation is as above, Divine Mercy. Your experience may differ but ours was positive.
What’s your experience of childbirth in the RP? Feel free to leave a comment down below….
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1 comment:

  1. Wow - fun and games for all! I'm clearly going to have to go back to catch up on the history and current status.

    Can't comment on having a baby in the FP, but I can comment on cultural differences with the medical profession.

    Our two girls got a virus a while back and my husband sought medical care. I asked what was wrong with them and of course over there the doctors tell you nothing. This was stressful for me, coming frm a culture where doctors (are supposed) to tell you everything!