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OB-Gyn Shares How To Save On Costs With An Elective C-Section
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  • Even before they get pregnant, couples are advised to prepare for the cost of giving birth because it can get expensive. This is especially crucial during the pandemic, when higher childbirth fees are expected, along with new additional expenses like COVID-19 tests, screenings, attending healthcare workers’ personal protective equipment, and face masks, and more.

    Most women, especially first-time moms, will be aiming for a normal spontaneous delivery or vaginal birth, not only because it’s safer, but also because it’s less expensive than a cesarean section (C-section), which is a major surgical operation. But if you’re opting for an elective C-section, is it possible to actually save on costs?

    When a pregnant woman is a candidate for an elective C-section

     “There are two types (of cesarean section). You can either undergo an elective cesarean section or an emergency cesarean section. ‘Yung elective, it means planado, naka-schedule kang ma-CS. ‘Yung emergency, hindi ka sana i-c-CS. Ang initial birth plan is for you to go into natural labor and vaginal delivery,” explains Dr. Maynila Domingo, an obstetrician-gynecologist who specializes in maternal fetal medicine at Manila Medical Center, during the third episode of SmartParenting.com.ph’s How Po? titled “The New Normal In Pregnancy And Childbirth.”

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    According to Dr. Domingo, there are three reasons why a first-time mom is asked to consider an elective C-section.

    1. Baby is not positioned correctly in the womb.

     “Ibig sabihin, hindi nauuna ang ulo (cephalic). This means the baby is either on a breech position — “Una ang pwet or paa.” Or transverse position — “Nakapahalang si baby, so hindi siya makakababa sa pwerta,” says Dr. Domingo.

    2. If baby’s placenta partially or totally covers the mother’s cervix.

    This is also called placenta previa. “Ang ibig sabihin nun, nakaharang ‘yung inunan sa daraanan ng bata. Mas nauuna ‘yung inunan bago ‘yung ulo (ng baby),” Dr. Domingo explains. “So anong implication nun? Kapag nag-labor ka, bumuka ‘yung kwelyo ng matres, kung inunan ang nauuna dun, duduguin ang pasyente.”

    She adds, “Kapag dinugo ka ng sobrang lakas, mawawalan ng oxygen ‘yung baby. Delikado for the baby and at the same time, delikado para sa nanay. So, hindi sila pwedeng mag-labor.”

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    3. You have fetal macrosomia.

    “Macrosomia means sobrang laki ng bata,” says Dr. Domingo. “As doctors, we estimate the weight of the baby while inside [the womb]. We do that, clinically, kinapa-kapa ‘yung tiyan ninyo or by ultrasound. Kapag nakita doon na ang estimate natin, mahigit sa 4 kilos or 4.5 kilos, baka ididiscuss sayo ng OB mo na baka kailangan natin mag-schedule ng elective cesarean kasi kahit mag-labor ka, ang ending, hindi siya lalabas. Or worse, lalabas ‘yung ulo, maiipit ‘yung balikat or ‘yung the rest of the body.”

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    How can you save on elective C-section?

    If you are recommended for an elective C-section, Dr. Domingo says that it may be cheaper cost-wise. “Why? Because you don’t have to stay in the labor room kasi scheduled na siya. So nabawas ‘yung labor room stay. Pagka-nag-ta-trial tayo ng labor tapos eventually, ma-emergency CS, pwedeng mas mataas ‘yung cost,” she says.

    So, can you opt for an elective C-section instead of a normal spontaneous delivery? Dr. Domingo says that she gets asked this especially by first-time moms who are afraid to give birth. She reminds that a cesarean section, whether elective or emergency, is still a major operation.

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    “We only do a cesarean section kung kailangan talaga. That’s why it’s very important for the patients to communicate with their doctor, kasi kapag tinanong ka ng history mo, ‘Bakit ka nga ba na-CS dati?’ [Your reply], ‘Ewan ko, ‘di ko alam.’ Dapat alam natin why — it’s your right to ask [your doctor],” she says.

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    If you're pregnant and have questions on pregnancy and childbirth during the pandemic, you can watch the third episode of our How Po? live webinars below:

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