SSS Maternity Benefit for Separated (from Employers) Members

During the early stages of my pregnancy, I thought of leaving my work in a BPO company to focus on my pregnancy but I was hindered by a misconception that I can only avail of the SSS Maternity benefit when I'm employed. However, upon reading some forums, I learned that every pregnant member, whether employed or not, is entitled to avail of the maternity benefit. So after careful consideration, I handed my resignation letter to the company's HR officer and a month after, I bade good bye to the company after almost nine years of love-hate relationship.

Separated members shouldn't have hard time processing their SSS Maternity benefit if the HR officer is well-informed regarding this matter or if their is enough information available online. In my case, the HR officer from my former company haven't experienced a case similar to mine and the SSS employee in-charge of receiving the documents is not clear with his instructions regarding the requirements, so it took me a little longer to finish processing. But I wouldn't rant about that since the purpose of this post is to share information to other members whose situation is similar to mine.

So here are the requirements/documents separated SSS members need to submit in order to be granted the SSS Maternity benefit:

Hello from the Other Side!

It's been a while since my last post and you probably know why - motherhood! If I've said this before, let me say this again, "It's the most exhausting activity I've ever took." It entails lots of sleepless nights, changing of soiled diapers, feedings, carrying a 13-pound baby and a lot more motherly duties. When you become a mother, you start doing some things you haven't done before and stop doing (at least temporarily) some things you used to do before.

No, I am not saying goodbye to this blog. This is too precious for me to abandon. This post is simply meant to let you know that I'm still alive but is too busy to write relevant articles to be posted. I cannot even work on my tasks for three straight hours. I have to squeeze in breastfeeding or changing soiled diaper in between. Truly a big chunk of my time is spent on motherhood - especially that I did not hire a helper for my son. It is indeed a 24/7 job, no rest days or vacation leaves. But I am not complaining. Seeing my son smile each time he sees me is more than enough to pay off my effort. And I am thankful for the opportunity to earn while at home to be the primary person to care for my son.

Here's hoping I can find a way to update this blog regularly (even if not as often as before) but if if not, I'm sure you will understand that I am having a time of my life with my 2-month old. 

Review: Disney Manual Breast Pump

Having been exposed to breastfeeding moms (co-workers) even before getting married, I have learned about the benefits of breast milk and how amazing a woman's body can be for being able to nourish her child with what s/he needs. From then on, I already made the decision to breastfeed my own child when the time comes. So when I learned about my pregnancy, breastfeeding is one of the topics I often read. I even attended a breastfeeding seminar initiated by breastfeeding advocates here in Iloilo. I also read about breast milk expression, breast pumps and other related topics.

I have been thinking of buying an electric breast pump but since I wasn't sure if I will be able to produce milk in the first place, I decided to go for manual pump first since it isn't as costly. A few weeks before giving birth, I bought this Disney Manual Breast pump at SM City Iloilo.

My breast milk came four days post partum. And since my baby wasn't with me during the first week of his life (left at the hospital due to infection), my breast pump came in handy. During the first session, I was able to express very small amount of breast milk, just a few drops in fact. Imagine, yielding only just a few drops of breast milk after pumping for around 10 minutes?! It was indeed frustrating! I almost give up but then, knowing the importance of colostrum to a baby encouraged me to continue.

My Labor Story

It's been a little over a month since I gave birth and obviously, I got my hands full with everything motherhood related thus explains the scarcity of my posts. But to celebrate our little duck's first month, I am sharing to you my labor story.

It all started on the 25th of April, I was 39 weeks and 4 days (based on my first ultrasound) back then. I went in for my regular prenatal check up. As per my OB, I was only 1cm dilated (been 1cm dilated since my last week's check up). My OB advised that I be admitted on the same day for I'm already overdue based on my last ultrasound (EDD is April 18). Besides, she won't be around on the next few days so she wanted that I give birth before she leave. I know I could have resisted and instead wait for labor to come naturally but since I already wanted to give birth and I never wanted other doctos to handle me, I agreed.

After my check up, I went home and got ready. We left the house at around 5 PM and arrived at the hospital past six in the evening. We could have arrived earlier if it weren't for traffic congestion caused by road repairs.

At the emergency room, I gave the ER personnel the letter with instruction from my OB. I was attended to by the ER nurse and I couldn't recall the number of times I was asked the same set of questions such as the first day of my last menstrual period (LMP), allergy triggers, past pregnancies/miscarriages, etc. I think every resident OB and interns asked every patient the same questions. I wonder why this is so. I think they could have shared the info to each other so that they never have to ask the patient the same questions again and again.

After changing into my hospital gown, blood extraction for my labs and monitoring of fetal heart rate, I was wheeled into the OB ward. The OB ward of IDH is air-condiioned with one sink and CR that can accommodate six patients at a time. When we got there, there were just two other patients so there are spare beds for our "bantays" to sleep in.

At around 10PM, I was wheeled into the labor room for the non-stress test. After the test, IV fluid infused with oxytocin (for induction) was attached to me. Despite the oxytocin, I felt nothing. Still no sign of labor whatsoever. FHR and vital signs were monitored regularly.

Quote of the Month: May

Yes, this is so true. I may have “mothered” some of my nephews but bearing my own child is a different thing entirely. With my son, I get to experience the highs and lows of pregnancy - the joys of hearing my son's heartbeat for the first time, the kicks and movements especially during the last trimester, the anticipation, the labor pain (ended up having C-Section), the sadness and fear when told he is to be left at the hospital for a few more days and the overwhelming happiness of finally taking him home after a few days of limited interaction. The experience is one for the books and my heart is filled with gratitude for this opportunity.