Before you see a gynae these are things you must do first.
Check your estimated date of delivery (EDD)!
For popular gynaes, you'd need to book early so start the moment you know you're pregnant.
From week 7 onwards only, baby's heartbeat can be heard so that is usually the first gynae visit.
This guide is to offer you 8 powerful tips on how to choose the right gynaecologist for yourself.
1) Recommendations from family and friends
I personally suggest to start by getting recommendations from family and friends who have had a first hand experience on this.
It is just opinions you trust the most should make you feel more reassured and inclined to keep that doctor in your good books.
Find out why they chose that specific doctor. Maybe they've had a massive amount of experience and are very reputable in the industry. Maybe the doctor attended to special requests made throughout the journey and is generally pleasant.
The problem is when think you are pregnant already, it's kind-of awkward to start asking.
Hence, maybe the better way is to start asking when you are "trying" already. It's always better to start collecting information early.
2) Distance to your house or office
In your first trimester, you may be unwell. It's not wise to travel across the island for every visit.
Hence, google clinics near your house or office, then narrow it down from there to a few gynae.
Gynae appointments are also quite regular.
In first trimester, it's roughly every month. When closer to due date, it's almost every 2 weeks.
Save yourself the hassle of travelling so far, especially when you become heavier.
3) General reviews of the gynae from forums!
Gather opinions and evaluate what works best for you:
A strong start will be to look up google reviews.
Local parenting forums such as SingaporeMotherhood and Kiasu parents are a quick source. We hope to build a forum here at TheAstuteParent to help you further with it.
Figure out what works best for you and maybe even compile a list, then slowly filter them out one by one.
If you like details, find someone who is mentioned well for that aspect. On the other hand, if you prefer fast appointments, find someone who doesn't over-elaborate.
4) Do you feel you are high risk pregnancy?
Your medical history and your age can affect the risk of your pregnancy.
Hence, if you have for example diabetes or high blood pressure or previous miscarriages, this portion is more crucial. A private gynae may even advise to transfer you to KKH in view of costs and possible emergency risk.
Consider KKH which has multidisciplinary team care of not just gynaecologists but also neonatologists as well. There would always be a specialist on standby 24/7 for each discipline.
“I switched to KKH because I felt it offered the most specialised facilities and resources for complicated pregnancies in singapore.” – Winnie Puah, 32-year-old real estate sales director with triplets.
IVF pregnancies may be higher risk also. If you are in the situation, consult your fertility specialist who may already have suggestions in mind for you
If you feel you are low risk pregnancy, then you may consider any gynae who specialises in your preferred birthing method.
5) Gynae's expertise and experience!
Some gynae's have built a reputation for being proficient at caesarian section (c-section).
If you want to do elective c-section, this might be a consideration.
If you want to do natural delivery, check the gynae's reputation and attitude towards it. It gives you an idea of their general approach towards caring for you.
For example, let’s say you are pretty adamant on having a water birth, your doctor should be someone supportive of that.
“I switched gynaes because one was more supportive of natural birth than the other. My new doctor was comfortable about taking a step back, and allowed me to give birth at my own pace as long as we were both safe.” – Nicole Tan, 27 year-old who delivered via water birth.
You may have an ideal birth experience in mind, however instances such as having a larger or breech baby might digress from the original plan. In these cases, some doctors may recommend a C-section.
6) Are you comfortable with your gynae?
From your first visit, you can assess how well you ‘click’ with your gynae.
You’ll need to be able to establish good rapport and consult someone you are comfortable with. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask ‘too many’ questions or embarrassing ones.
Schedule an appointment for a Q & A session. Assess how they are when responding to your queries and concerns.
If they rub you the wrong way, move on to the next one on your list and repeat your ‘assessment’ again. Listen to your instincts, you and your baby’s well-being should be the utmost priority.
Remember, it’s never too late to switch your doctor, well, unless you’ve already delivered your baby.
In addition, are you comfortable with your gynae's schedule?
Are they able to answer your queries immediately? Is there a 24 hr hotline you can call in case of emergencies?
What happens if he/she is out of town when you’re nearing your due date?
These are important questions to think through before making your decision.
7) Choosing which hospital to deliver!
Does this hospital offer the delivery service that you want? What maternity packages and privileges do they offer?
Does it offer sub-specialised patient care catered to my needs (for those with medical conditions)?
Will a hospital in close proximity be safer for me (for high risk pregnancies)?
For example, water births are becoming increasingly popular, but not all hospitals offer this service. You’ll be limited to NUH, Mount Alvernia Hospital, Raffles Hospital or Thompson Medical.
Where is your gynae affiliated to?
Does your gynae deliver at your preferred hospital? Some doctors are located at a specific hospital or only have partnerships with certain ones
If the hospital is important for you, you should ask your gynae where they can deliver to avoid any additional fees.
These are important questions to ponder for your eventual delivery. In addition, these are 2 other useful comments
Dr Tony Tan says that “Expecting mums can expect shorter waiting time at Raffles Hospital because its consultation clinics, diagnostic rooms and delivery wards are all located at the same building. They also have the option to head down to 1 of the 5 satellite clinics at a more convenient location.”
Genevieve Goh, was determined to deliver at Mount Alvernia Hospital because she is Catholic and liked the environment. “So, when I had to choose a gynae, I naturally looked at the clinics located at that particular hospital,”.
8) Overall costs!
Below is a summary of the cost incurred at Mount Elizabeth Novena.
Natural birth was at $12,808 for the mum who kindly shared her personal numbers.
You can also check on this post that we've done before that suggest on average, Mount Alvenia and Thomson Medical have lower charges below.
Caesarean Section in private hospitals, where's the cheapest?
As you can see, delivery cost is not cheap.
Gynaecologist fees can vary quite drastically in Singapore. If this plays a significant role in your decision, you can consider going to a subsidised clinic at KKH or NUH instead of a private practice.
A single gynae visit at a private clinic can range from $80 to $300 for consult and scans performed.
You may contact a few clinics to enquire about their consultation, supplement, medication etc. fees. This will help you get a better estimate of how much your potential gynaecologist will charge.
Coupled with the fact that this will become a monthly occasion, the total cost will accumulate and can put a strain on your bank account.
Choosing a gynae can be complicated.
Hopefully the suggestions above helps you. Do share this with fellow new mummies!
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