We’re hoping to have another baby after this one, and I can’t even imagine how different of an experience it will be. Because being pregnant in Manila has many many advantages!
-Affordable Prenatal Care! A doctor’s appointment here, before my insurance even kicks in, costs me $60, and that includes an ultrasound. Oh, and that also includes going to one of the top hospitals and top doctors in the city. Not bad right?
-Ultrasounds! Every single appointment I have I get to see the baby. No measuring my belly to see how things are going, ultrasound right away for the measurements. Sure, they’re not necessary, but aside from getting another chance to see baby, the doctor measures all the body parts to make sure they’re growing ok, and also checks the other things that are important: Is the baby in the right position? Is there enough fluid around the baby? Is the placenta up high? Is the umbilical cord not wrapped around the baby? Is the cervix high and closed? And I get to take home a bunch of (let’s face it: creepy) pictures of the baby’s ultrasounds! Looks like baby girl is sporting some chubby cheeks…
-Affordable Prenatal Massages! I have talked about the great cheap massages I get here in Manila many many times before, and though it’s not easy to find a place that does prenatal massage, when you do find one, they’re affordable! My favorite is still QiWellness, where a 90 minute prenatal massage is a little over P1,000 (about $25), there’s also Neo Spa (P1,150 for 60 minutes – about $28), and the cheapest, though I haven’t tried it yet, is Spaholics, a home massage service (P500/hour). I have also heard of MomMassage, which is the most expensive specially for a home service at P1,200/hour, but they do lactation and post natal massages as well so I might try it after the baby is here (because postnatal massage at home would be convenient, no?).
-Chiropractor! Sadly, the price for chiropractor here is not much cheaper than the US (about $60/session), probably because they’re so hard to find. Luckily our (very very expensive) insurance covers a good chunk of that, so I have also been taking advantage to keep the back pain at a minimum (I got to N8). I can’t even imagine how my back would be like without the weekly massages and chiropractor appointments, considering in how much pain I was in Australia, when I had none of that.
-Household Help! Yep, another advantage of having a maid is that when things are all painful and uncomfortable, I don’t have to worry about laundry, cooking, cleaning… And though I washed the baby’s clothes myself (I’m excited, what can I say?), I’m really relieved I don’t have to do anything else. I guess a not very funny 1st World Problem is definitely “I’m pregnant, and have to clean the house on my own!”
-Cute Baby Clothes! If you go to the mall, you do pay a small fortune for anything baby, after all, it’s all imported. But go off to Greenhills and Divisoria and you can buy some adorable little outfits. Case in point, this whole bunch from Divisoria cost me a total of $50:
-Cute Baby Handicrafts! Today I went to the AWCP Bazaar, and among other things, I came home with these super cute fabric toys (yes, the bunny house is furnished, and the furniture is also fabric and removable):
-The MADS Group! MADS is an expat moms group, but they have a pregnancy/newborn group too, and it’s so much fun meeting other pregnant folks! I have only been a member for a few weeks, and already met some amazing women and made good friends from it!
There may even be more things I’m forgetting about (so if you’ve been pregnant here, please remind me of it!). Of course, there are many disadvantages as well – being stuck in daily traffic when you’re already uncomfortable, if you don’t have DPO you’re stuck buying all baby gear locally and that’s super expensive (things like strollers can be twice the price of the US!), the stuff you crave for might not be available, there’s no such thing as maternity clothes (the one time I asked, I was sent to the plus sized section of the store! WTF!) and many more. But when things get me down, I go off to my massage and I’m all good again…