Congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy.
With all the excitement and anticipation, we hope you have taken the time to ensure that you are financially ready for the baby’s arrival.
On average, the cost of giving birth in the Philippines ranges from ₱25,000 to ₱60,000 for normal delivery in a hospital. That doesn’t include your prenatal checkups and expenses in the hospital should you opt for an epidural and episiotomy.
Taking proactive steps to prepare before the baby comes out will alleviate financial stress. It’s even better to take action even if your baby is just a few weeks old.
Here are five essential money saving tips to consider before the baby arrives.
- File your SSS maternity benefit and get up to ₱70,000
- Consult with your HR department on the company’s maternity benefits
- Compute the initial expenses on labor, delivery, and newborn checklist
- Review your health insurance and HMO coverage
- Consider a normal delivery
1. File your SSS maternity benefit and get up to ₱70,000
As a working mom-to-be in the Philippines, you are entitled to maternity benefits from the Social Security System (SSS).
If you are a member and have contributed three monthly contributions within the 12 months before the semester of your delivery, you can receive maternity benefits of up to ₱70,000. Qualified solo moms are entitled to receive up to ₱80,000.
The amount of maternity benefit you will receive depends on the Average Daily Salary Credit (ADSC). This benefit covers the prenatal, delivery, and postpartum expenses incurred.
Be sure to file for your SSS maternity benefit beforehand, as the payment can take several weeks to process.
For more information, watch this video from SSS.
2. Consult with your HR department on the company’s maternity benefits
In addition to the SSS maternity benefit, many companies offer their maternity benefits beyond the statutory minimums that the Philippine law mandates. Check with your HR department to find out what benefits are available.
Some companies provide:
- Extended maternity leave
- Flexible working hours
- Cash aid or financial assistance for the delivery
Knowing your options can help you maximize your benefits and better plan for the expenses that may come your way.
3. Compute the initial expenses on labor, delivery, and newborn checklist
The cost of giving birth in the Philippines varies depending on the hospital and the delivery method.
A normal delivery can cost between ₱25,000 to ₱30,000, and it’s even cheaper in a birth center or lying-in clinic. Meanwhile, a Caesarean section can cost ₱60,000 up to ₱100,000 or more.
On top of the delivery costs, it’s essential to consider the initial expenses for the baby’s needs, such as diapers, clothes, baby gear, and medical checkups. These are just estimates of the expenses as they vary according to your lifestyle, income, and preference for brands.
- Diapers — ₱1,000 per month
- Clothes — ₱2,000 for a few sets of clothes
- Baby gear — ₱5,000 includes a carrier, bottle or breastfeeding accessories, etc
- Formula milk — ₱3,000, depending on the brand
4. Review your health insurance and HMO coverage
Let’s talk about insurance. Check what is actually covered in your health insurance plan.
Do you have maternity coverage?
Does it cover complications during pregnancy or childbirth?
Knowing what is and is not included in your policy is essential to manage your expectations when the hospital bill comes.
Rarely you’ll find health insurance that offers maternity coverage. But according to our research, Pacific Cross Blue Royale insurance includes an all-inclusive maternity benefit worth up to $5,000 if you pay the second-tier annual premium. This includes prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care.
Next, switch your focus to your Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Look for an HMO with a vast network of OB-GYNs, preferably those who accept HMO cards during prenatal checkups.
This is important, especially if you’re expecting a child, as it will assure you that you’ll get the best prenatal care possible.
Prenatal checkups cost ₱500, while other OB-GYNs with more experience and established names charge ₱1,000 or more. Imagine how much you will save if, on average, you visit the doctor twice a month for the next eight months. You’ll save ₱8,000 if the doctor charges ₱500 per appointment.
Lastly, let’s talk about PhilHealth, the government-owned health insurance corporation. If you’re legally married but not a PhilHealth member, you are qualified to be registered as your husband’s dependent.
PhilHealth provides maternity care packages (MCP) that cover essential health services for women during antenatal, labor, normal delivery, and immediate postpartum periods.
Here’s a list of the packages:
- For accredited hospitals, the coverage is ₱6,500
- For accredited birthing centers, maternity clinics, and lying-in clinics, the coverage is ₱8,000 for normal delivery
- For mothers who give birth via cesarean section, PhilHealth covers a total fixed amount of P19,000, which is divided into two parts
At the end of the day, it’s always better to be prepared than to be sorry. So, make sure you review your health insurance and HMO coverage and have access to the right healthcare providers.
5. Consider a normal delivery
While many factors can affect the delivery method, attempting a normal delivery can help you save money on delivery expenses, which can be quite high, especially in private hospitals.
If you aim for a higher chance of having a normal or natural birth, attend birthing classes to educate yourself on the labor and birthing experience.
OB-GYNs who advocate normal delivery often swear by the Spinning Babies approach — which requires you to diligently follow specific exercises to trigger optimal positions for the baby to come out naturally and spontaneously. It’s totally free to watch the videos and read the guides.
Of course, the most important thing is to prioritize your and your baby’s health and safety.
The arrival of a new baby brings much joy and excitement. But make sure you’re financially ready for all the expenses that come with it.
With these five tips, you’ll be on your way to welcoming your little one with confidence and peace of mind.
After all, bringing a child into this world can be expensive, but careful planning can help you avoid the dreaded bills.
Do you have any tips worth sharing? Leave the comments below for our soon-to-be moms.