Farewell Dr Noor, Hello Dr Choong!

Bub says:

“Yep, this is me at Week 33. The left photo shows my abdomen and heart while the right represents my handsome face. Still can’t figure it out? Tilt your head slightly to your right and you’ll see both my mesmerizing eyes and button nose. Yes, that’s right!

I weigh 2.1kg now, up 600 grams from two weeks ago. Doctor said I’m lying upside down in mommy’s womb, curled up with my body facing mommy’s left. Since it’s getting really squeezy in here, I don’t really have a choice, do I?

What’s different this time is the location and the man who navigated the scanning tool on mommy’s belly. Meet Dr Choong Kuo Hsiang from Pantai Bangsar Hospital, the fatherly gynae who will be welcoming me into the world. Yep, after two weeks of contemplation, mommy and daddy finally made the courageous decision to ‘try out’ another healthcare provider who will agree to their desired birth plan. A doctor who will see eye to eye with mommy’s wish to deliver me in a sitting position as upright as possible; someone who encourages labour to be as natural as it can be. Sadly, not many gynaes in Malaysia are supportive of these methods.

Over the weekend, my parents checked out Kelana Jaya Medical Centre’s delivery ward and rooms. They were really impressed with the friendly and informative nurse who brought them around. The delivery and room rates are affordable too – only RM2k – RM3k for natural birth and RM4k to RM5k for C-sec. Unfortunately, the hospital practises the old-school way of labour, specifically in this order – give oxytocin to speed up labour, break the waterbag if that doesn’t work, perform episiotomy to ease baby’s exit, prescribe pethidine if pain is unbearable and so on. All these are mentioned and conducted as if they’re part and parcel of a labour, which put me off because bringing a life into the world should be a gradual and treasured process, not a zip-zap procedure.

When mommy voiced out her birth plan to Dr Choong, he smiled and whipped out photos taken from yesteryears. One particular photo, dated in 1995, shows a woman giving birth squatting with the support of her husband behind, and Dr Choong kneeling down and assisting beside. He mentioned that he has been practicing various birthing positions since ages ago and was surprised that younger doctors these days aren’t game for it. When he further said, “What’s the rush of speeding up labour? It should be as natural as possible”, mommy and daddy recognised the ‘click’ instantly. Another added advantage is apparently, Dr Choong’s wife – Christine (same lady from Mamalink’s ante-natal class) – who also works as a lactation consultant in the hospital, does her rounds to guide his patients on breastfeeding.

He even stamped and signed Mommy’s birthplan:

His consultation and scanning fees cost triple of Dr Noor’s, but well, daddy figured that we have saved enough from visits to Dr Noor previously. So, we shall see Dr Choong again in two weeks’ time! Mommy is relieved.

P/S: Mommy was so afraid Dr Choong would refuse to accept her as a patient due to her late pregnancy, that she wanted to appear as problem-free as possible and contemplated adding tap water into her urine, just in case there are sugars in it again. She didn’t of course. Fortunately, the urine test came out just fine.” *wink wink*

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16 thoughts on “Farewell Dr Noor, Hello Dr Choong!

  1. I am so happy for you! Seriously if you can see the wide smile on my face and the teary eyes again 🙂

    All that’s left now is pray for a safe delivery for both our tiger cubs. I can’t wait for us to meet one day and let our babies rumble in the jungle 🙂

    1. joeyllhow

      Thanks to your encouragement too. Yes, our tiger cubs + May Yee’s should meet up one day….bring our furkids along too :))

  2. Joanne

    Hi there Joey 🙂
    I came upon your blog whilst googling abt Dr.Choong as he was recommended by a friend for pro-natural birth. Coincidentally, i’m also a friend of Jac’s! so the familiarity of you face just came up immediately! Small small world it is! 😀
    Anyways, i’m 31 weeks along and am contemplating about changing my OB Dr.Wong Chin Yuan from Sunway after he mocked me about my request for not wanting any epidural. He also said a few other things which really turned me off and the biggest shocker for me was probably the fact that he won’t wait past 3 days after my EDD to induce.
    I’m happy to see the approval chop on your birth plan and this has brought me much relieve in believing that having a natural birth with a doc’s support is possible in msia! 🙂

    1. joeyllhow

      Hi Joanne, thanks for visiting and dropping a comment. Dr Choong is indeed one of the very few ob-gynaes in Malaysia that believes in all-natural gentle birthing. Besides that, he’s also a very experienced, friendly and caring doctor.

      A friend of mine wanted to switch gynae recently too due to the same reason you’re facing with your gynae. I recommended her to Dr Choong. Unfortunately, he has stopped accepting late pregnancy patients and only takes in those who are six months and below into their pregnancy. That’s what my friend told me after visiting him. You may want to give his clinic a call and double check with his nurses. Best of luck and hope you’ll have a fast, gentle and smooth delivery!

  3. Joanne

    i thought dr.wong chin yuan was a ‘simple’ and the supportive sort of doc but i guess my benefit of the doubt didn’t quite happen, turns out he’s just not another medical guy waiting to slay me open or drug my baby outta me to save his time.
    abt dr.choong, thats not good news for me at all! but i will definitely push my luck for it, if all else fails, i might just opt for a home birth! XD thanks for sharing again… btw, congrats on ur beautiful boy~ all’s worth it for these little people 🙂

  4. Bear

    Hello, just wanted to share…I used to see another gynae and my friends highly recommended Dr Choong Kuo Hsiang.

    At first he seemed like a quiet doctor, but after seeing him for the past 6 months now, my admiration for him grows and grows each time.

    He is a really patient and caring doctor, very positive, and not one to suggest all kinds of procedures and tests for the sake of making money, which shows his true character.

    His consultation charges are a little on the high side, but I realised its because we are paying for his experience.. he has about 30 years experience, and is the only doctor in KL who can perform waterbirth and one of the few experienced enough to deliver breech babies naturally. Anyhow, we save in the long run as he doesnt recommend unnecessary tests and procedures if its not necessary or if it may be potentially harmful to baby or mum.

    Definitely not a C-sec fan, this fatherly figure will encourage his patients to go for as natural birth as possible even though this means he has be very patient and wait around for the mum to deliver. Other doctors will scare the patients into thinking C-sec is better for safety of baby etc, but we really wonder if its more for the convenience of the doctor, plus the more medication, inducement, and surgery the doctor recommends, the more money he makes! Bear in mind, any inducement or medication can affect the future breastfeeding pattern of the child, making it a lot more difficult to care for the child after he/ she is born.

    Another great point is, we do not have to wait very long to see Dr Choong during our appointments and he is willing to spend more time with each patient if we have lots of questions for him. Dr Choong is really a gem of a doctor, God bless him!

  5. Bernadette Good

    My son was delivered by Dr. Choong 16 years ago and I remember him being such a support through the whole pregnancy. Do you know if he is still practising at Pantai as we are going to KL in 2 weeks.

    1. joeyllhow

      Thanks for dropping a note in my blog, Bernadette. I’m sure Dr Choong would be glad to reunite with a long-lost patient of his 🙂 Yes, he still runs a clinic in Pantai KL (Bangsar) now. In fact, I’m seeing him for my second pregnancy. Do remember to make an appointment before you go. His clinic contact details are:

      Tel.: +6 03 2283 1411 / +6 03 2296 0496
      Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm
      Address: Suite B511, 5th floor, Block B, Pantai Medical Centre, 8 Jalan Bukit Pantai, 59100 Kuala Lumpur.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Bernadette Good

        Thank you so much for your speedy reply. You are in good hands. He is so warm and caring and instilled so much confidence in me. I will contact the clinic tomorrow.

  6. Fawn

    Hi. I just found out I am pregnant with my 4 child. My last pregnancy was twins and the doctor had to do a c-section. Do you know if Dr. Choong is willing to let me try for a natural birth this time around? I don’t want to go back to my last doctor because I know he is pro- C-sections.

    I’m glad I happened upon your blog!!!!

    1. joeyllhow

      Hi Fawn, congrats on your 4th baby! And apologies for the delayed reply; I was overseas for the entire of last week. As far as I’m concerned, I understand that Dr Choong is supportive and experienced in VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-sec). I know moms who have had successful VBACs under him. In fact, one of my friends who is currently pregnant with her 2nd baby and had a C-sec previously is currently seeing him. You will need to speak to him directly to see how you both can achieve a gentle birth together. Do call his clinic to make an appointment; Dr Choong is known to be friendly and extremely supportive of birth plans. Hope this helps!

  7. Seems like there are quite good reviews on Dr Choong. I had my boy at PMC as well but under the late Dr Jeremy Chuah. I shall consider Dr Choong in future if indeed I am blessed with a 2nd child. Wish me luck!

    1. Yes I have heard great things about the late Dr Jeremy Chuah. Many of Dr Chuah’s patients went to Dr Choong after that 🙂

      All the best. Lots of baby dust to you! 😀

    1. Hi Kelly, apologies for the extremely late reply. I haven’t been able to blog lately. Charges for normal, straight-forward birth with Dr Choong (no epidural, painkiller, no episiotomy etc.) is around RM4,500 in a single-bedded room. I believe that Dr Choong is retiring some time this year. Please double check.

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