Singapore Expats Forum

finding a good obgyn/midwife

Discuss the various Pediatrician, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist options here.
lia_27
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finding a good obgyn/midwife

Postby lia_27 » Sat, 03 Jan 2009 10:39 pm

Hi Everyone,

My name is Lia and I just found out that I am 5 weeks pregnant! I'm very excited! :D

I've been in Singapore for about a year and a half and have gone to a gynae once for a standard checkup about a year ago. She was fine, no complaints. However, she was at Raffles Hospital. My husband and I have just moved to the Tanglin area and we think we should take advantage of our close proximity to Glen Eagles. I also want a doctor or midwife who shares my interest in natural birthing.

I'm still in the states (where I'm from) for the Christmas holiday and I return to Sing on Thursday the 8th. I'm hoping to make an appointment to see a doctor or midwife around the time that I get back. The thing is, I really don't know where to start! My questions are:

1. How do I "shop around" for a doctor?
2. Does anyone know a good doctor at G.E. who may share my interest?
3. And must I be in a hurry to go to the doctor's? When do women generally go after they discover they are pregnant?

Thanks in advance for any help!
Happy New Year,
Lia

cbavasi
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Postby cbavasi » Sun, 04 Jan 2009 1:05 am

congratulations!
you will find a lot of support and great advice in this forum and seems a lot of women are expecting babies this year :)
i had my daughter at glen eagles with dr. brenda low (www.drbrendalow.com) and can't speak highly enough of my experience with her throughout my pregnancy.
i'm not sure what is considered "standard" - but you would typically go see your obgyn when you are about 7-8 weeks to see that the sac is positioned correctly and see the heartbeat (though this varies on the timing), have some blood tests and just go over general health. the nice thing about giving birth in asia is you can rock up at any time and see your doctor and get a scan if you'd like - rather than having to wait for certain weeks or referrals.
best of luck!

lia_27
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Postby lia_27 » Sun, 04 Jan 2009 2:39 pm

Hi cbavasi,

Thanks for the advice and the congrats. I'll definitely check out Dr. Brenda Low.

Thanks again,
Lia

mules
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Postby mules » Mon, 05 Jan 2009 1:45 pm

i can recommend dr paul tseng for support of a natural birthing experience. he practices at thomson medical though. i had a baby last year wth him as my OB. for your first visit i think anytime after 8 -10 weeks is usually worthwhile so you can get a heartbeat.

good luck!

mothbhai
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Postby mothbhai » Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:28 am

I can recommend Dr Lai Fon Min. He's at Camden Medical, right in the heart of Tanglin. He's a brilliant doctor, very pro-natural birth, highly regarded in medical circle for his skills, very up to date, spends good amount of time, and most importantly for me - very accessible on email and phone. I recently gave birth with him and would highly recommend him. U can reach his clinic at Tel : 6333 6181

lia_27
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Postby lia_27 » Fri, 09 Jan 2009 7:11 am

Hi Mules and Mothbhai,

Thanks for your suggestions!

I appreciate the feedback. It all seems so overwhelming at first. I'm trying to take it one day at a time. :)

Cheers,
Lia

playfulmom
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Doctors

Postby playfulmom » Mon, 11 May 2009 7:04 pm

Hi Lia,

I know this reply is way late but just thought I'd chime in. I have been to both Dr. Brenda Low and Dr. Paul Tseng.

Dr. Brenda spends more time with each patient and does more hand-holding. However, she likes to give lots of ultrasounds and take the more conservative route (i.e. not as natural as I would like). Her conservative style is very normal for Singapore but in other Western countries some of the activities she engages in would be deemed medically unnecessary i.e. nice to haves.

Dr. Paul Tseng is fast and factual. He leaves many choices with you e.g. do you want to have ultrasounds, if so how often? He is also pro-natural with the birth and encourages eating healthy (rather than taking a million different types of multi-vitamins!)

batgirl_cdn
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Postby batgirl_cdn » Mon, 11 May 2009 11:52 pm

mothbhai wrote:I can recommend Dr Lai Fon Min. He's at Camden Medical, right in the heart of Tanglin. He's a brilliant doctor, very pro-natural birth, highly regarded in medical circle for his skills, very up to date, spends good amount of time, and most importantly for me - very accessible on email and phone. I recently gave birth with him and would highly recommend him. U can reach his clinic at Tel : 6333 6181


I'd like to recommend him, but if you are aiming for a natural unmedicated birth he will charge almost 60% more than other docs do for a normal vaginal birth (whether it was medicated or not). I have discussed with him the reasons for charging so much more when women have a natural unmedicated uncomplicated birth and unfortunately his answers were unsatisfactory and illogical in my view.

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Re: Doctors

Postby cbavasi » Tue, 12 May 2009 11:36 am

playfulmom wrote:Dr. Brenda spends more time with each patient and does more hand-holding. However, she likes to give lots of ultrasounds and take the more conservative route (i.e. not as natural as I would like). Her conservative style is very normal for Singapore but in other Western countries some of the activities she engages in would be deemed medically unnecessary i.e. nice to haves.
)


I have to disagree with this after having my child with Brenda Low. I had a natural (almost too natural looking back :o ) with Brenda - she was fantastic - walked me through the final stage much better than my midwives with my first - in fact, that was one of the things I remember the most - she really guided me through my breathes and my pushing. Throughout my pregnancy she was willing to go whatever route I wanted and never once mentioned having a cesarean or setting a pre-planned date. I have 4 friends who delivered with Brenda - 2 natural, 2 c-sections and all very happy. It's her bedside manner that did it for me - I really felt like she identified with my concerns and was empathetic.

playfulmom
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Making an informed medical decision

Postby playfulmom » Fri, 15 May 2009 11:36 am

I am glad we are having this discussion because, for the purposes of full disclosure, this is an issue close to my heart. For the last 1.5 years, I have been working throughout Asia with governments, employers and insurance companies to try to create more transparency in medical decision making.

The basic idea is that doctors should only carry our procedures that are medically necessary and appropriate.
I am trying to import many of the techniques from the US such as creating clinical guidelines (e.g. under what conditions does it make sense to induce a pregnant women?).

In terms of Ob/Gyns in Singapore, my general sense is that they are too conservative. They also like to perform a controlled and predicatable labor. So, as a pregnant mother, if you progress in a predictable manner- no worries and LUCKY you! However, the minute you do something that is a little bit worrisome or are taking longer than they'd like, then most doctors are quick to prescribe pills, induce, start a C-sec etc.

So, 2 pieces of advice
1) Research the data! When there is a big medical decision to be made, if you have some leeway tell your doctor "I'd like to think about this". Then go and research on the internet. Use sites from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia so that you can get as much data as possible. Use this info to ask your doctor lots of questions until you feel comfortable with the decision.
2) Shop around and get recommendations.
When choosing a doctor, feel free to interview a few before you pick one and switch if needed. For OB/Gyns I found talking to doulas about doctors very helpful since they have worked with many and can make a better comparison. They are a much better reference than a couple of random people on the internet (although that's always a good start :D )

Sorry about the long post, but wanted to provide some food for thought...

playfulmom
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Assessing doctor

Postby playfulmom » Fri, 15 May 2009 12:07 pm

Ah! To return to the original discussion...everyone's experience is different.
I chose Brenda Low after going to see 2 other doctors because she had a good bedside manner. Also, she was open to listening to my birth plan.

However, once I got close to my due date I developed a small complication. She quickly hurried me down a very medicated and non-natural route. She completely disregarded the parts of my birth plan that could have been incorporated.

After the birth of my baby I had time to do the medical reserach on the topic, and speak with other medical professionals, and it is clear that what she did was not medically necessary.

I was very dissapointed by the "Jekyll and Hyde" experience I had with her. At least my insurance covers everything 100% so I did not have to pick up the tab for all the wasteful things she did. But I do regret the increased anxiety she caused me, the unnecessary things done to my body and that she cheated me a of a more natural experience.

Again, this is just my story...

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Postby batgirl_cdn » Fri, 15 May 2009 1:00 pm

playful mom, it is sad to hear your story and sad that it is all too common an experience! You give great advice, and I second it.

Doulas can provide some useful insight into how many different docs are practicing, and it can help people make decisions about the doc they choose based on the kind of birth they want. Still, it is frustrating that in the end you may be surprised at what the doc says and what they actually do at your birth. I think that being well educated about birth and being firm you can have a better chance of weeding out the undesirable docs in initial consultations.

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Re: Assessing doctor

Postby cbavasi » Fri, 15 May 2009 1:32 pm

playfulmom wrote:Ah! To return to the original discussion...everyone's experience is different.
I chose Brenda Low after going to see 2 other doctors because she had a good bedside manner. Also, she was open to listening to my birth plan.

However, once I got close to my due date I developed a small complication. She quickly hurried me down a very medicated and non-natural route. She completely disregarded the parts of my birth plan that could have been incorporated.

After the birth of my baby I had time to do the medical reserach on the topic, and speak with other medical professionals, and it is clear that what she did was not medically necessary.

I was very dissapointed by the "Jekyll and Hyde" experience I had with her. At least my insurance covers everything 100% so I did not have to pick up the tab for all the wasteful things she did. But I do regret the increased anxiety she caused me, the unnecessary things done to my body and that she cheated me a of a more natural experience.

Again, this is just my story...


It is unfortunate you had this experience - but to say that she "cheated you of a more natural experience" is a bit unfair. Were the other medical professionals privy to your situation as you were going through it? If you've been working so hard the past 1.5 years to try and "create more transparency in medical decision making" - then why would you not consult other practitioners during this time if you were caused such anxiety?

In my own situation I had already given birth to a son prematurely, had lost another baby in a late stage miscarriage and was bleeding throughout my pregnancy with my daughter. Brenda never suggested a c-section or any other intervention so I'm surprised in your situation she acted so rash.

playfulmom
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C'mon, where is the respect?

Postby playfulmom » Fri, 15 May 2009 3:37 pm

CBavasi, let me stress that we should not judge each other's stories. That's great that you and your friends had a good experience, but mine was terrible. There is just no changing that.

Especially when we are down to those last minute crucial decisions, you need a doctor you can trust. There is no time to research and get a second opinion--- you just hope to God your doctor is acting in your best interest and giving you ALL the facts and options.

So, I stand by what I said- wish I had been given the opportunity to try naturally right until the end. On balance, there are certainly doctors in Singapore who are much more conservative than Brenda Low. So, I am not holding a grudge but there is no way I could, in good conscience, recommend her to anyone.

Batgirl, thank you for your support. I think we moms need to help each other out as much as possible.

cbavasi
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Passing Judgement

Postby cbavasi » Fri, 15 May 2009 3:53 pm

As I mentioned previously - I am sorry for your experience - but you are right we shouldn't judge each others stories... As one of the most monumental experiences you could ever have I'm sure it was horrible not to have the birth plan you set out to have and in hindsight you would have made other decisions. But the most important thing is (I'm assuming) you had a successful delivery and healthy baby. In the end this is the most important thing.
I do think it is important to stress again that was your experience with Brenda.


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