SingaporeMotherhood | Baby & Toddler

October 2015

Choosing your Gynae: The Quest for Dr Right

As everyone who has ever visited a doctor knows, it’s not always hunky-dory from the get-go. Bedside manner, expertise, personality, cost of fee – there are so many factors involved. And when it comes to choosing an obstetrician-gynaecologist (obgyn), the stakes go up by leaps and bounds. After all, this is the person who is going to get to know you intimately, perhaps even more than you know yourself.

Every woman has different wants and needs throughout her pregnancy journey, labour, delivery and beyond. What constitutes a good obgyn for one person may not be the best fit for another. So how should you go about finding the right one for YOU? Here are some things to consider.

Male or Female?

No, we’re not talking about the anticipation of discovering baby’s gender, but whether you’d be okay with a male obgyn, or more comfortable with a lady doctor. This is often the biggest deciding factor for many ladies.

Petrina Lau, a business owner in her late 30s, recalls the time when she was looking for her obgyn because she and her husband were planning to start a family but had difficulty conceiving.

She says, “Being a first-time patient for gynaecological needs, I chose a female doctor. It would have been kind of weird having another man look into places that I myself haven’t even seen. Also, I did not want any unpleasantness of doubting a male doctor on whether a particular procedure was a standard protocol, or getting all awkward and paranoid while in a state of undress before his nurses come in.”

She decided on an obgyn who was highly recommended by a friend. The rest, as they say, is history. Petrina is now the doting mother of two boys, aged six years, and eight months respectively.

On the flip side, 26-year-old sales and operations manager Jacqueline Wu, who is a mother of two girls aged six years, and five months, and a boy aged three years, says: “I chose a female gynae initially because I thought it would be less awkward. It wasn’t a good experience, so I tried another one for my second pregnancy. Both experiences were bad. Ironically, I felt manhandled. After a recommendation from a friend, I found my current gynae, who is male, and he made me feel very comfortable and assured.”

Ask Around

Obviously, a good reputation goes a long way. Sound out your friends and relatives, who may be able to point you in the right direction. Hearing their positive experiences can be reassuring. Also speak to your family doctor or your favourite GP (general practitioner), who will be able to offer a referral.

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Google can also be a friend. Find local parenting forums like SingaporeMotherhood where ladies have shared their horror stories (who to avoid) and happily-ever-after fairytales (worth a shot) for tips. You’ll also be able to ask questions and get them answered by those who’ve been there, done that.

Cai Suqi, 32-year-old marketing manager and mother of four-year-old Shayne and three-month-old Sarah, shares her game plan. “I chose my gynae by Googling obgyn clinics near to my office. Once I had a list, I could do my research and narrow it down. The most important thing for me was reputation. My gynae is very well-known among expectant mothers and he has many good reviews. I simply called his clinic to make an appointment with him. It was a great decision and to add to that, his staff is also very friendly.”

Are you Compatible?

Here in Singapore, you’re not likely to find a dodgy practice or doctors with fake certification. Still, you may want to check if he or she specialises in an area that is pertinent to you, especially if you have fertility problems or pre-existing medical conditions.

At the end of the day, remember that it’s fine to shop around before settling on Dr Right. Schedule an appointment for a chat and ask lots of questions. Get his or her opinion on issues like your medical history, alternative therapies, as well as your personal or religious choices.

As June, our editor at SingaporeMotherhood shares, “I went gynae-hopping before I got pregnant, just to see if I could ‘click’ with him or her and be comfortable with this person getting up close and personal with where the sun doesn’t shine.”

Listen to your instincts. If he or she makes you feel judged or uncomfortable in any way, move on to the next obgyn on your list. After all, it’s not just your health and well-being that’s concerned, but also your pregnancy, and your baby.


Suqi shares: “I think it’s important to find a gynae who is caring enough to listen to your questions and worries. Having a child (especially for a first-timer) can be an exciting yet worrisome experience. Any symptom can be misinterpreted as a bad sign (you know how all mommies-to-be are paranoid) and a gynae who is willing to take the time to listen and explain is definitely a plus! If you’re not comfortable with your gynae then find one who will make you feel at ease, because he or she will be the one taking care of you and your little one for almost 40 weeks!”

The Nitty-gritties

Depending on your personal situation, here are some other questions to think about.

• Can you afford a doctor in private practice or should you go to a subsidised clinic? Check if your maternity insurance policy covers your choice of obgyn. Still, some are willing to pay a bit more for peace of mind. Jacqueline reveals that “although (my gynae’s) rate is high, it’s worth it because I feel safe with him”.

• Is the clinic in a convenient location? This was a factor that Suqi used to narrow down her options. She chose one that was near to her office as that was the most convenient for her. “I could go to the gynae before work or during lunch time.”

• How accessible is your obgyn? Good doctors are always busy, but you want one who still takes the time to answer your questions. Also, what is the typical waiting time for routine appointments? Is he or she willing to take the occasional phone call query?

• Is your obgyn a sole practitioner or part of a larger practice? If your doctor is away, who covers for him or her? Does he or she attend to emergencies outside of regular hours?

• What services are offered? Do you have to go to a separate facility for certain procedures? As Petrina says, “My obgyn’s clinic at Thomson Medical Centre is a one-stop service centre for all gynecological and obstetrical needs.”

• Is your obgyn affiliated with your preferred choice of hospital? Where your baby will be delivered is an important consideration – what privileges do hospital maternity packages offer?

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Choosing your Gynae: The Quest for Dr Right