[Parentsgroup-list] Referrals for HUHS OB/GYN physician

Tamar Gonen Brown tamar.brown at post.harvard.edu
Tue Aug 7 14:33:53 EDT 2007

Hi Harmony,
I've had some experience with all three of the doctors you mentioned. Dr.
Guzelian was my primary doctor throughout my pregnancy, and I really like
her. She definitely has good bedside manner, was willing to answer any
questions I had, and was generally relaxed and reassuring about the whole
pregnancy. I should say, though, that I wound up seeing Fran (her last name
escapes me), the nurse practitioner, almost as often as I saw Dr. Guzelian,
just because of scheduling issues--I couldn't always come in on the few days
a week that Dr. Guzelian was available. In the end I wound up seeing most of
the doctors in the practice, including Dr. Girard, who I also liked but
didn't get to know as well. Fwiw, I didn't think she was quite as warm as
Dr. Guzelian.
I can't comment on Dr. Guzelian's comfort with a long labor, though, because
in the end it was Dr. Haines who was on call the day I went into labor, and
who wound up delivering my son. I'd never met her before that day and was a
bit dismayed at winding up with a doctor who was brand new to me, but I did
like her and feel that she had a good bedside manner. Initially, she was
also quite patient about the fact that my labor was moving slowly--my water
didn't break until right before I delivered, and she was fine with that, and
willing to just let me keep laboring as long as neither I nor the baby were
in distress--she didn't want the nurse to intervene and break my water, and
I was (sort of) glad she didn't feel the need to rush things.  Later,
though, after my water had broken,  she told us that the baby hadn't
dropped, that I was probably going to have to push for a very long time (she
estimated 3 hours!) and might need a c-section in the end. Then, after I'd
been pushing for awhile, she said that the baby still hadn't dropped enough
and that she was going to get the vacuum extractor ready, just in case. I
have no way of knowing whether she was just telling it straight or
overreacting, but in the end I was able to deliver without a c-section or
the vacuum, after about an hour and half of pushing. Afterwards, she and I
joked that the desire to avoid the interventions she'd proposed had
obviously been motivating for me--she said she couldn't believe how quickly
the labor turned around. I wound up being really glad that I had
resisted--she certainly never got to the point where she was pressuring me
to do one thing or the other, but I do think she might have skipped straight
to them if I'd immediately agreed. So I wouldn't say that she was in any way
committed to avoiding interventions, but she was respectful of the fact that
I didn't want them.  Overall, I was very happy with my delivery experience,
and I would probably do it again with either Dr. Haines or Dr. Guzelian.
Just know that the doctor you see for regular OB visits will very likely not
be the doctor who delivers your baby, so it is worth getting to know as many
of the doctors in the practice as you can.
Good luck!

On 8/7/07, Chi-Kuo Hu <ckhu at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> We had a very positive experience on Dr.Guzelian.  Although my wife
> eventually had a C-section, it was our own decision after a long labor
> process.  Dr. Guzelian had not pushed us for making any move.  Hope it
> helps.
> Chi-Kuo
> -----Original Message-----
> From: parentsgroup-list-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> [mailto:parentsgroup-list-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of
> orourke at fas.harvard.edu
> Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 12:48 PM
> To: Parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> Subject: [Parentsgroup-list] Referrals for HUHS OB/GYN physician
> Dear all,
> My husband and I wanted to get feedback from this list on Harvard UHS's
> physicians.  I would prefer a female doctor, and I believe the three on
> staff
> are Karen Girard, Gail Guzelian, and Lalita Haines.  The factors we are
> most
> concerned about are whether the physician has a good bed-side manner and
> if
> she
> is comfortable in dealing with difficult, long labor (rather than
> immediately
> pushing for a cesarean).
> Any feedback--positive or negative--would be extremely appreciated.
> Many thanks in advance for your help!
> Best wishes,
> Harmony
> (Apologies in advance if this conversation has come up before.  I've been
> on
> the
> list for a while but couldn't find a thread on this particular topic.)
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