Review (baby): Paediatricians

**Disclaimer**
This post is written based solely on our experiences with the said paediatricians. At no point were we paid to write about them.

Getting a good paediatrician is equally as important as getting a good gynaecologist for a first time parent. As first time parents, we are only equip with information but no experience so we are easily swayed by what professionals tells us.

In the span of D’s first three months, we’ve visited four paediatricians; three in Selangor and one in Taiping. We went for our first appointment with D’s first paediatrician, Dr Chye Joon Kin from Sunway Medical Centre. He was the available paed when D was born so we thought we’d see him one last time before switching paeds.

You can tell that Dr Chye is experienced. I guess the thing with first time parents is that they’ve never really seen paeds at work so when they expertly turn a newborn all over so easily, we are simply at awe.

He did asked me if I was planning to breastfeed or feed D formula milk to which I replied that I will be breastfeeding. He nodded and said ok but that I needed to top up with formula milk if my milk isn’t in yet.

We went for her check up on day 4. We waited so long for our turn and when it was finally our turn, it was about time for D’s feed. We decided to just get on with the check up and then I’ll feed her right after.

What irked me most about this doctor was his response when he was checking her. Once he carried her, she cried. He said she was yellow and he wanted to take a blood sample to get her jaundice readings. As he pricked her with the needle, she screamed bloody murder, as I think any baby would. Upon the screaming, he said that we were dehydrating and starving our baby.

What? I kid you not, he said that. And then he said it again, “You have to top up with formula.”

I was pissed and so was the husband. Right after we were done, the nurse asked us if we would some formula milk to which we curtly said no.

Needless to say, it was the last we saw of Dr Chye but definitely not the last we heard from him. Two hours after our check up, he called to say we needed to admit D into the hospital because her jaundice reading was borderline high. So, as parents, we were naturally concerned. We told him we will call him back so we did some checking and calls before contacting him. When the husband finally called him, he asked the doctor if he could spare some time and ask some questions. The Dr replied and said, “Five minutes.” The husband asked all we wanted to ask, put down the phone and we never called him back ever again.

I thought paediatricians are supposed to be nice and gentle. I can understand them advising to feed formula milk but the attitude this Dr gave us was just too appalling.

Upon a recommendation of a friend, we booked an appointment with Dr Lim Suan Tin from Assunta the same day. Dr Lim is the complete opposite of Dr Chye. She was nice, gentle, very informative and patient. We told her everything and she took her time to check D. With so many years of experience, she took a look at D and gave an estimate of what the jaundice reading is and she hit the nail on the head.

She also advised us to give D phototherapy but suggested for us to do it at home instead because

  1. I am breastfeeding. It was easier for me to breastfeed anytime I wanted in the comforts of my own home.
  2. Cheaper because I didn’t have to book a room and have additional costs on top of the phototherapy charges.
  3. Everyone is comfortable.

Upon hearing that I am breastfeeding, she was immediately very supportive and said that we should opt to do the phototherapy at home which we did and was extremely grateful for that. More on home phototherapy in another post.

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We returned on Monday after having done the phototherapy for almost 72 hours. D looked better and Dr Lim confirmed it without having to take blood. The readings definitely dropped so we were happy and started making arrangements to go back to Taiping for the rest of my confinement.

After a day in Taiping, we thought D looked a little yellower than the day before and off we went to see Dr Puah Chang Hua, a paed in KPJ Taiping. My nephew has seen him before and my parents and sister were ok with him.

We, on the other hand, felt differently. First of all, he took FOREVER to get blood from D. Dr Chye, despite the attitude, was actually very good at what he does. Dr Chye managed to draw blood within seconds whereas Dr Puah took minutes to draw blood. D was crying and crying because the Dr was poking her and twisting the needle over and over again. When he couldn’t draw blood on one hand, he tried on the other and did the same thing and he still couldn’t draw blood! Finally, we went for the leg and thank God, managed to draw blood because at that point, I was already next to D consoling her because she was crying so much. I think it took 15 minutes for him to draw blood. I am not even kidding here. The he said that we needed to feed her water because her blood is too thick.

Her reading was high but did not need another session of phototheraphy so all we did was sun her in the morning as much as we could and her yellowness dropped in a few days. Thank goodness!

Back in KL, we decided to visit Dr Koe Swee Lee who runs her own clinic in OUG. More here.

What’s great with Dr Koe is that she’s a lactation consultant as well so I finally had the latching corrected and after that visit, D was feeding much better. Dr Koe is ok. She takes her time with each patient, very gentle towards the kids and encourages breastfeeding. There is not a single formula milk sachet in the clinic. This we know for a fact because a rep from a formula milk company came in wanting to talk about having formula milk sachets in the clinic and the nurse gently turned her away.

Among all the paeds we have visited, there is no surprise that we narrowed it to two; Dr Lim and Dr Koe. We are still sending D to Dr Koe because the clinic is nearer to our house. Both are gentle but both take a LONG time with each patient so be prepared to wait if you aren’t the first few. Both are breastfeeding friendly doctors so if you are new and breastfeeding, I highly recommend them.

Phew. This is a mighty long post. I had wanted to just do a comparison but thought it might be better to be a bit lengthy and go into details so you can understand our frustration with doctors that we had problems with.

As always, I’d encourage you to visit any doctors you have intentions to visit to see for yourself if you like the doctor. Please do not let anyone make that decision for you. All the best!

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4 Comments to “Review (baby): Paediatricians”

  1. 3 minutes, not 5… And this was in his call to me.. we didn’t bother calling him back!

  2. Wow! I wish to write a similar post about paeds too! :D
    My 7mo’s paed is also Dr Koe. Sometimes we go to Dr Wong Wei Yin at Columbia Asia Puchong.

  3. How is Dr Wong? We used to go to Columbia Asia Puchong to see our first gynae, Dr Ng before the miscarriage. What’s the price like?

  4. Personally I think Dr Wong is the standard paed who knows her stuff. She’s not overly friendly but she listens well to what you tell her about your little one. If you are very pro-breastfeeding, you might find it uncomfortable seeing tins of S26 in her consultation room. Pricing is private hospital standard. If I recall correctly, consultation fee is between RM90 – RM120.

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