How to Choose a Gynecologist...

~ Posted on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 8:09 AM ~

Yes, people. I'll be posting more often about pregnancy stuff on my blog since I'm currently expecting our 3rd child and there are a couple of friends in my network who are expecting their first child as well, I thought it'd be good to share my thoughts and experiences in this.

OK, today's topic, FACTORS IN SELECTING YOUR GYNAE...

Ultrasound by Максим Кукушкин

I have previously posted a question on my Facebook page asking my blog followers to share their opinions and experiences. Below are some of the responses received:

  • "as long as comfortable with the dr.. not special preferences.." ~ Carmen Ng
  • "Male. They dun get too emotional and panicky." ~ Goh Siew Choo
  • "I chose a male because he was straight to the point and didn't sugar coat anything. He was also very direct in his answers to all my questions." ~ Tania Heyblom
  • "I find that female is more understanding, and was more respectful on my decision for natural birth." ~ Krystal Soong
  • "I had a female gynae with the birth of my 2nd baby and she was really rough with the internals and was kinda like "suck it up princess" and then I changed to a male gynae afterwards and I really did notice a big change." ~ Candice Rich

Some people (like me) prefer male gynae while some prefer female while some mentioned as long as they feel comfortable with the gynae, they don't mind the gender of their gynae.

Some shared horror / uncomfortable experiences with gynae from opposite gender.

For me, personally I have gone for 6 gynaes, 2 females, the rest males.

1. Female Chinese gynae: Upon ultrasound on my tummy, said that my baby was too small for his size and suggested I take hormone pills to help baby grow faster. I had side effects whenever I take the hormone pills orally and after a few days, hubby and I decided to consult another gynae for his opinion.

2. Male Indian gynae: Recommended by hubby's colleagues, this gynae was attached to Sime Darby Medical Center but had his own maternity clinic. Told him what happened with previous gynae and the reason why we're seeking another opinion. He did ultrasound vaginally (more accurate compared to scan over tummy) and discovered our baby size is normal as we need to consider my irregular period cycle. He also said that it is not necessary for me to take the hormone pills but if I do continue them, I should take them vaginally because if I take them orally, by the time it passed through my digestive system, there's only about 25% left to be absorbed by baby. He also taught us about stopping our over the counter multivitamins and just continuing our folic acid and Obimin (which has sufficient multivitamins for pregnant mums) We stopped seeing gynae number 1 and continued with this gynae right up until I was in my 7th month pregnancy and I switched to Putrajaya hospital after considering the services, feedback from friends and the affordable charges in the hospital.

3. Male Malay gynae: This is the gynae we see throughout our 1st pregnancy from 7th month until I delivered Benjamin in March 2009. He was gentle, soft spoken, does not rush through our appointments, explained things thoroughly and we were very satisfied with his service and skills.

4. Male Chinese gynae: About a year after giving birth to Benjamin, I found out my gynae number 3 left the hospital to head the O&G department in another state. So when I got pregnant with Alyson, I had to look for another gynae for temporary basis until I could gather more feedback on which gynae I should go for in Putrajaya Hospital. To be honest, I am a very big fan of Putrajaya Hospital so I definitely will want to go back to this hospital. Anyway, our 4th gynae is attached with Sime Darby Medical Center and I see him for 2 months only, each time waiting for 1 hour plus for my turn and paying RM200+ for each visit. I am not very happy with this gynae as he flat out told me to wean off Benjamin when I told him I was still nursing him during my 2nd pregnancy.

5. Male Malay gynae: After researching online and also asking the nurses in Putrajaya Hospital, I decided to go with this doctor and am very happy I chose him. He is similar like my 3rd gynae, gentle, soft spoken, does not rush through our appointments, explained things thoroughly and you feel very comfortable with him. Unfortunately, he did not deliver Alyson as he was still on his leave and his replacement doctor delivered my girl in September 2011. I had a pleasant experience with the female doctor although it was the first (and only) time I meet the doctor.

6. Female Malay gynae: On several ocassions, I had to go for this gynae when my 5th gynae is caught up with his patients (emergency C-section right before my check-ups) and everytime I see this gynae, she hurried through our check-ups, saying everything is normal, anymore questions. I personally do not like being rushed as I need time to digest through and think through what I wanted to ask the gynae but when she does that, it just turned me off.

Now, how to determine which gynae to go for?

  • Decide whether you want to go for male or female gynae, do you feel comfortable with which gender more?
  • You can also ask around your network of friends, relatives, colleagues and get their recommendations and reasons why they go for the particular gynae.
  • You may also need to consider whether the gynae is attached to any hospital (preferably nearby) or has his/her own clinic. I would also consider whether they are pro-breastfeeding and/or pro-natural birth.
  • If possible, try to find out how many patients go with the gynae, other things to find out such as whether the gynae conducts episiotomies, experiences with high risk pregnancies, the waiting time (for me, I rather wait if the gynae is good), hospital/clinic conditions etc.

I hope the above covers as much as I can possibly think of for now. Feel free to share your feedback if you have anything else to add!

Number 3 Is On the Way!

~ Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 8:32 AM ~

Sorry not announcing earlier despite home test did almost 1 month ago, only managed to do my check-up with gynae yesterday. Baby #3 is 10 weeks today, due probably late September this year.

Baby Number 3

So, it's back to feeling morning sickness all again (thank God all my pregnancies morning sickness are mild and bearable) and this time, I'm very tired and more nauseous than ever. Hope to bounce back to my usual active self soon. As for kiddos' updates, Alyson is still nursing at the moment (she's 1.5 years old) and Ben wanted a baby girl again, so we'll see...

More updates on pregnancy as we move along... :)

Initial Preparations When You Found Out You Are Expecting...

~ Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 7:27 AM ~

I saw an FB status by a primary school friend saying his wife is expecting and shared with him some of the tips and experiences I had during my 2 kiddos time and thought I might as well blog this down. So here you go, my advice and tips on what to prepare when you are expecting:

* Stop taking your over the counter multivitamins (if you have been taking them prior to pregnancy)

(** Image credit: Various Pills by Vera Kratochvil)

Why? For example, too much vitamin A can be toxic and can damage the developing foetus if you're pregnant. And over the counter multivitamins contains vitamin A that is too high for pregnant ladies. This is what we've been told by our 2nd gynae when I was pregnant with Benjamin back in 2008. IMHO, just taking folic acid and obimin is sufficient already.

Also, please do not consume pregnancy milk. If you have to gain weight, you can take normal UHT milk moderately but please refrain from consuming commercial pregnancy milk which claims to boost/provide healthy progress/development for your baby or yourself. There is very high sugar content in those milk and an acquaintance of ours took these milk and gained too much weight and having pregnancy diabetes now, on top of high blood pressure. So please do not take these milk!


* Seek another gynae's opinion if you do not feel comfortable with their consultation

The reason why I mentioned this is not for you to gynae-hop. You see, back when we first found out I was pregnant with Ben, we went to this hospital for check-up and was told that Ben is a bit too small size for my estimated pregnancy duration. I was given some hormone pills to take orally and because of that, I had side effects everytime I took those pills. I will feel nauseous and my head will be spinning around for some time.

About 1 week into taking the pills, we went for another gynae and was told that the hormone pill is not necessary. I had vaginal ultrasound scan and we found out Ben's size is normal due to my irregular period cycle, I cannot expect Ben to be the size based on my last period date. The scan via vaginal gave a better accuracy results as we can see Ben clearly instead of ultrascan on the tummy.

As for the hormone pill, our 2nd gynae told us it is better to take it vaginally as the effects will be better absorbed by foetus due to the distance and to be honest, if the pill is taken orally, it gets digested, went through stomach and everything, by the time it reached foetus, only about 25% of the effects are left to be absorbed... which is a waste. I stopped taking the hormone pills after that and yes, we stopped seeing the 1st gynae in that hospital too.


* Try to stick to the same gynae where you will be delivering your child

For the sake of keeping track of your pregnancy progress and updates, do try to stick to the same gynae where you will be delivering your child. This is so that you developed a relationship with the gynae and they can monitor and (hopefully!) remembers your pregnancy progress. Of course this might not be easy if you are checking up at public hospital where the doctors go on rosters everytime.


* Decide (if you have not already done so) whether to go for natural birth or C-sect

I am all for natural birth if you asked me. To be able to feel the pain of labors and the moment when your baby shot out of your ehem vagina... that's always an unforgetable memories. No matter how painful the contractions were, I always remembered the feelings when my babies shot out of my body. Of course, that said, there are cases where pregnant mums are not able to give birth naturally due to baby or mum's health conditions, but if everything is fine and dandy, do try to go for natural birth!


* Decide (if you have not already done so) whether to breastfeed or not

Nursing Ben at 21 months old...

Again, I am all for breastfeeding if you asked me. If I am not pro breastfeeding, I would not have breastfed my 1st child past 1 year, 2 years, throughout my 2nd pregnancy, 3 years, tandem nursed both kiddos and finally he weaned himself at 45 months old while my 2nd child is continuing on breastfeeding at 1.5 years old now. Go Google around and find out what's in your breastmilk and why people do this and why formula milk can never ever fight and substitute the contents in breastmilk no matter how hard formula companies tried to research and replicate it.

 

These are some of the initial preparations that I advised you to do ASAP (of course more along the way as you progressed on with your pregnancy). Feel free to share your tips!