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Pregnancy in phnom penh

Hi,

could you please share advice and tips about pregnancy in phnom penh?

Who are the best gynecologists for pregnancy follow-ups?

Which hospitals or clinics would you recommend to give birth in phnom penh?

Thanks a lot in advance for your advice !

Christine

this is a great topic , was wondering abt the same thing the other day, that related to some new info i came across related naturalization  where it said that the  children born in Cambodia from foreigners or unknown parents are considered to acquire the cambodian nationality in 3 yrs ...well i find that to be interesting enough

Thanks for this tips Aaliyah01!;)

Harmonie.

Hey Christine.
I recommend you Ratnatak Hospital. Quiet expensive but the care is there. It's the best hospital I've seen so far in Phnom Pehn.

where is it N like.. what do they offer ?... n how much does it cost .. ?.

:top:

This will be very long....I'm not sure if anyone still checks in on this forum but I just recently found out I'm pregnant and want to share my experiences in hoping some people may find the information useful.

I learned about my pregnancy about 2 weeks ago with a home pregnancy test, it was a Tuesday (I was probably 4/5 weeks along at that time) based on what I've read online, I don't need to schedule my first prenatal exam for another 2/3 weeks (8th week of my pregnancy), but on the Saturday that followed, I broke out into a full body rash.  Since testing positive, I have been doing my research regarding doctors and hospitals in Phnom Penh and I decided that my best option is the National Maternal and Child Health Center (aka Japanese Hospital) and my 2nd choice is Calmette. 

We went to the ER of NMCHC and I spoke with a doctor--she asked me a few questions about my pregnancy and the rash--after that I was sent on my way, no advice, no diagnosis, no tests, nothing.  I have to say I didn't get the comfort and peace of mind that I was looking for from the doctor.  And since it was a Saturday, the doctor's offices were closed and they encouraged me to go back on Monday.  I have to note that the ER looked depressing but I have no basis of comparison (except for the ERs in my country); I heard it's worse in other hospitals here in PP but that is just my personal opinion and not my opinion of how good their doctors are because I didn't see any of their doctors apart from that one in the ER. 

After that, my husband said we should seek 2nd opinion so we went to Calmette.  The consultation offices are open on Saturdays so that's a relief (so I didn't see their ER).  I saw the OB-GYN and my meeting with her was more reassuring.  She asked me several questions about my pregnancy in general and also my rash.  She said without fever then there's nothing to worry about yet. I must add that my rashes were not itchy and I have a headache that won't go away, but she said it's ok.  To end, she started me on folic acid.  I went home more relieved. 

Sunday came around and my rashes were still the same but in the afternoon they started to get itchy and I was having a difficult time swallowing.  I read somewhere that I shouldn't just put anything on my skin without asking my doctor.  My husband and I went to Calmette but missed my doctor, she just went home.  So we decided to go to the clinic we frequent for minor ailments: LYSREYVYNA CLINIC near Russian Market.  Our doctor (and the owner), Dr. Ly wasn't in on that day but we still went with the decision to see one of the junior doctors.  The doctor who saw me asked some questions and gave me something for the swelling and itching.  She also dropped a big bomb on me, she said we can't rule our German Measles even without fever-- now that got my attention and got me worried!  But I went on my way home with the anti-itch/swelling medication and just tried to stay positive but the Measles thing really got to me and I started watching out for signs and symptoms.

By Monday, my glands/throat were sore and by Tuesday the rashes haven't subsided.  So on Wednesday morning I went back to Lysreyvyna but this time I saw Dr. Ly.  Dr. Ly operates like clockwork, she's very efficient and knowledgeable and knows just what to do and HOW TO EXPLAIN EVERYTHING CLEARLY without sugar-coating it with a "that's ok, everything's ok" (which alarms me more when I hear from doctors, I want to know how it's ok, details included!).  She immediately got me tested for Dengue, Chikungunya and Rubella (German Measles) and got me standard blood tests.  I've seen three doctors and I wonder how not one of them initiated any kind of test.  She also started me on DHA and Pregnancy Support (prenatal vitamins) on top of my folic acid.  She promised to get the tests done asap and asked me to return at 3pm.  Imagine my anxiety for 4 hours...but 3pm came around and she was there to see me.  She gave me the good news that I was negative of the three but my hemoglobin was low (and the quality is poor) so she doubled my prenatal vitamin intake and added vit c+zinc and asked me to return the next week to see if my hemoglobin level has improved.  But before leaving, I think she must have noticed I've been crying my eyes out, she said she will give me an ultrasound scan for my peace of mind.  Wow!  She is something!  Dr. Ly is the best...So I got to see my little bean for the first time (it's still a little sac at this point but I was happy to see it's intra-uterine, so ectopic pregnancy is ruled out)....my story is not yet done...to be continued.

So to continue my story...

Even before my Aug 14 (Wednesday) schedule to have my 2nd FBC test came around, I had another medical situation that necessitated another visit to the doctor.  My spotting was becoming more frequent (before it was about 1-2 drops in 2 days) and when I peed this morning there was more blood (like that of a day 2 period pee).  So I discussed my options with my husband and we decided to see the OB-GYN at Embassy Medical Center who checked me in June for an infection.  The whole time I thought my light spotting was caused by a cervical cyst and this doctor knows this bit about my medical history and I just wanted to know what machines they have that might be better than those in other clinics. 

When we got there, the doctor was in and saw us immediately; after a few questions, she told me she'll do an ultrasound which I expected but I was also hoping she would check my cervix too but she didn't and I didn't bother to ask.  So I went in for the ultrasound scan and they were waiting for a heartbeat but didn't hear any, everything and everyone was so grim.  Afterwards, everything was a blur and the only words I heard were: no heartbeat, threatened abortion (what is that!?), let's do another scan next week but if still no hearbeat we will clean up (what? terminate it you mean??).  And I think in the doctor's misguided attempt to comfort me she said, 'don't worry you try again next month'.  But I don't want a new baby!  I want to keep this baby and try everything there is to keep it!  The doctors didn't give me clean and thorough explanations, neither did they offer options, suggestions or pieces of advice (bedrest, activites, etc.) but just instructed me to go back next week for another scan.  What will I do in between, CRY?!? After the consultation, I just felt they were not trying to do everything in their power to save the baby, but I might be wrong and I might be operating on emotions as I say this.

So we left and my husband said, let's get a 2nd opinion (this whole routine is getting costly I tell you...) and he asked me which doctor I wanted to see.  I said I've been reading about this Russian doctor, I think she's called Dr. Anna and maybe we could see her.  I went to her website and there on top of the services offered, "high risk pregnancy care".  My sister and my mother's (when she had me) pregnancies were both high risk and I was wondering how these things are never brought up here so it was a relief to know that there is a doctor here in Phnom Penh who knows how to handle that because I am starting to think that mine might be one.  So I gave the doctor a call, but it's already 1pm so she can't accommodate me anymore but said I can come tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.   So I set an appointment with her.  But I think I can't wait until then so I gave Lysreyvyna a call to ask if Dr. Ly was in, the receptionist said she was but he wasn't sure if she can still accept patients, he said he will call me back.  I told him I'm a returning patient and that I'm bleeding.  He called me very soon after and told me to come right away.

After 5 minutes we were at Dr. Ly's office to see her, we told her about what happened the past 2-3 days (spotting gradually increasing until the bleeding this morning).  She was very quick and thorough about everything, she checked my ultrasound from the other doctor (Embassy) but said she wants to do another one again and she will do blood tests (HCG and progesterone levels) and she will give me a progesterone shot.  She told me what to expect (including worst case scenario--if HCG level is low it could mean the fetus has stopped developing and she wants to see the stem in the ultrasound) and she explained the concept of 'threatened abortion' (apparently if one shows certain symptoms, in my case bleeding and no heartbeat, it will be called threatened abortion and it can still be NOT inevitable or inevitable).  She even went to the bathroom with me to check the amount of blood.  I must add that all the other medical practitioners there were very comforting towards me (the nurse, the ultrasound technician, the junior doctors--there were 2 i think).  So the ultrasound was done, she said there's no heartbeat indeed but we can wait another week or 2 but the shape of the sac is still good (round, not flattened or misshapened) so we will just wait for the results of the blood test that will be released in 3-4 hours.  At the point, all I can do is just pray.  I was tired from all the crying so I fell asleep when I got home, apparently she called just 2 hours after to give the results but I missed it.  My husband eventually called at 6pm like she instructed and she gave us the good news that my HCG level is on track for a 6-8 week pregnancy.  What a relief!!! But she said my progesterone level is low so will will continue with the shots so I have to come back tomorrow.  My baby is still not yet out of danger but I can't worry all the time, it's counterproductive and bad for the baby.  My sister told me something her doctor said:  do the best you can as an expectant mother (be mindful of your diet, health, activities) but to let go of the things you don't have any control of.  For now, I am praying for a strong heartbeat from my little bean.  My husband and I talk to it all the time, we tell him/her to hold on and be strong.  It's just so difficult to be pregnant in a country where you don't know any doctors or you're unsure of the healthcare services, but I have to say Dr. Ly gives me the comfort that I need now as an expectant mother and I think I will always go to her from now on for my prenatal care.  Everything she does gives me peace of mind. 

Below are my ratings for all the clinics I have visited in the past week:   

1 - Lysreyvyna Clinic: 4.75 (The best for me! Keeps me well-informed, gives me peace of mind and assures my comfort when I'm at their clinic--all assistants are very helpful and accommodating too.  This would have been a 5 but some of their machines are a bit old, but they work well nevertheless.)/Consultation: $10, Follow-up: $5 (It's usually $20-30 but our company has a contract with them.)

2 - Embassy Medical Clinic:  3.5 (Machines are almost as good as the ones back home but I didn't appreciate the lack of options and suggestions from doctors and the inconsistent pricing scheme.)/Consultation: $20, Follow-up: $15 (I had a discussion with the receptionist and cashier during my last visit in June because on my first visit I was told the consultation fee was $20 but all succeeding visits will only be $10, on my next visit they charged me $30 and I complained about it until they relented and agreed to just charge me $15, still not $10.  This incident soured my perception of the center a bit which is why it wasn't one of my options when I had a rash.  Today, I was charged $15 because I made sure I discussed with the receptionist at the entrace to avoid the same incident we had in the past.)

My ratings for the clinics/hospitals below are based on ONE visit only:

3 - Calmette: 4 (I would have gone back but the doctor I saw was not in on Sunday so I ended up going to Dr. Ly.  If I ever decide to give birth here, I would still consider Calmette.)/Consultation:  $10

4 - National Maternal and Child Health Center:  3 (Understand that I was only there for maybe 10 minutes and this rating is based on the state of the ER and the lack of information I got from the ER doctor.)/Consultation: FREE

This whole clinic-hopping is exhausting and expensive but it is allowing me to sift through all the doctors and know for sure whom I should stick to.  I'm also happy somebody (who has two children) recommended Dr. Ly to us because if I just based it on forums or online presence, I wouldn't even consider her clinic because there isn't much information or feedback about her or her clinic.  I'm making it my goal to tell more people about her because she's the best I've seen so far. 

Tomorrow, I will go and see the Russian pregnancy specialist whose ads I've been seeing everywhere and I will definitely post my experience here afterwards.

Hi Torange,

I've just read re your experience,  you brave thing, oh my!   But I do hope you and baby are well??  Maybe your too busy, I'll keep you in my prayers.  Though it would be good to know how you are.  And also to know if you have any other good analysis on the pregnancy health care in PP.  Your findings are very good and informative.   

My husband and I are planning to move to PP for mission reasons and are going to be checking out the health care especially for first pregnancys or high risk pregnancys..

Hi,
This was really helpful.
I am in my 5th week of pregnancy and want to go for an examination.
I live in Ratanakiri Banlung now, but I'm looking for some good doctors and hospitals in Phnom Penh if someone could recommend?
Before my pregnancy I started to take folic acid, and now I think I have to take some prenatal vitamins, but I hope the doctor would prescribe this.
I would appreciate any suggestion.
Thanks in advance

Hello majci,
as I am in the same state you have been writing that post, I just wanted to ask what experiences you had with doctors and hospitals in Phnom Penh.
Would be great to hear from you!

Thanks a lot!  :)

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