Maternity package rates at Bumrungrad (Bangkok) and St Luke’s hospital (Manila)

As of this writing, the exchange rate is 30 Baht=US $1. So a normal delivery package at Bumgrungrad is US $1,196, while a C-section birth is US $3100. I was quite impressed with my experience at Samitivej hospital for our first child's birth in 2011. I imagine the facilities in Bumrungrad, which is considered a higher-class (5star) facility, must be better. In comparison, when we had our daughter in March this year in St Luke's Hospital (Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Manila) the quote for a C-section delivery is PHP155,000-185,000 (US $3789-$4512) for 4-5 days' hospitalization including delivery, recovery and nursery room charges, medicines and supplies used in the delivery room, hospitalization expenses (private room) and professional … [Read more...]

Chlong tonle – the other side of the river is so far for some women in Cambodia

A woman died today after giving birth to a healthy baby boy. We came to the health facility and saw her just in time to see the life fade from her eyes after hemorrhaging in the ward where there were four midwives and an obstetrician on duty. Only one staff was attending to the patient at the time of death - a student midwife. The student claimed she told the staff, but they were busy with other patients. The staff corroborated this. The fact that there was no prioritization for the emergency case is testament to how dysfunctional the health sector still is, and how poor the capacity of health staff are that this is allowed to happen. There won't be a maternal audit, or changes to standard operating procedures, because this facility is not … [Read more...]

a nursing mom at work

Having a baby is a life changer, and thankfully our life outside the US has been good for us. The social culture in SE Asia and my profession are both supportive of young families. Staff and diners here don't cringe when we walk into a restaurant or food shop; instead they fight over who gets to hold the baby while we eat, and he's returned to us with the bill. Second, we're lucky that my employer is so supportive of new mothers. There's a nursery at the office so nursing moms to bring our babies to work. My colleagues help make sure that I can pump on the days I don't bring the baby by scheduling me into the meeting rooms. I have an unofficial flex time. And on travels I can bring the baby (and his nanny) with me. My current work has to … [Read more...]

Living in Phnom Penh, Having a baby in Bangkok

Photo by Keith A Kelly CHOOSING THE HOSPITAL We work and live in Phnom Penh, and wouldn't feel comfortable with the specialists / facilities here in case of complications during delivery. The nearest city with internationally accredited care is Bangkok, so there we went at 35 weeks 6 days gestation, the latest we’re allowed to board a Thai Airways flight (with a fit-to-fly certificate from the doc). Most of Bangkok's well-known private facilities have high quality patient-oriented care and great customer service. They have translators, can take care of extending  visas, take the baby's passport photo (this isn't easy so do get this done at the hospital!), get the birth certificate officially translated and documented at the Ministry of … [Read more...]

The gestational journey ends

Thank you, everyone, for sharing advice, for the visits, calls and gifts, and all the well wishes! We're still catching up with baby and sleep so for now, just a quick update :-)  Above is his first passport photo, taken by the hospital's photographer at about a day old. We flew to Bangkok at 35 weeks, since the airlines don't let you travel any later into the pregnancy than that as a precaution against having to deal with a woman in labor on board. Other mothers in Phnom Penh have driven either down to the border at Koh Kong (via a road that goes off the grid for a solid hour, as of 2010), or else up north through Poipet into Aranyaprathet, Thailand, and then bus/train it to Bangkok. But I just didn't think I could handle … [Read more...]