Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ask Ashley - Question #1

Well, I am happy to say the response for advice was great! I guess it's a true testament to the fact that we all have problems. ; ) I'm still tinkering with a name for my new advice feature (you are welcome to make a suggestion) but Rey insists that it cannot be called "Ask Ashley" due to some Nickelodeon sketch from his younger years that annoys him to this day. Apparently it starred Amanda Bynes...

Anyway, our first question is for Naples locals from a Naples local:


I have a question on your top recommended OB/GYN and pediatrician in Naples. Also, I know that you are a stay at home mom, lucky!, but do you have any recommendations on day care? I don't want anything full time, maybe three days a week for a few hours a day.

Take care!
- Nicole




You have hit upon one of my favorite topics--local doctors! Throughout my three pregnancies, I have been a patient of nine, count 'em NINE OB/GYNs. Four of them retired during or after the time I was a patient, two of those started practicing again but currently don't deliver babies, and two of the nine in particular I will never, ever, ever see again inasmuch as I'd deliver my baby alone in a rice patty before going to them for medical care.

On top of my personal experience with the doctors, I also make a point to solicit opinions from the Labor and Delivery nurses at the Birth Place. They work with these men and women and get to know them well, and you'll do well by seeing the doctors that a lot of them go to themselves.

My favorite of all nine that I've seen is, hands down, Dr. Blane Mitchell Crandall, not to be confused with Dr. Blane Milton Crandall who is his father. Unfortunately, for reasons that I understand but am still very saddened by, he has gone into concierge practice. (For those of you who live in the real world a.k.a. not Naples, concierge medicine is where patients pay a retainer, usually in the thousands of dollars, for the privilege of being a patient in the doctor's practice. Then, you are billed medical fees on top of that. Most do no accept insurance, but you are of course able to submit your fees to your insurance company who will probably pay you their out-of-network amount which probably doesn't amount to much.) Anyway, he is seriously, hands down, without a doubt unequivocally the best OB/GYN in town. In my not-so-humble opinion.

For me, my second choice would be his father who is still in regular practice. He is a good doctor, but also my personal reasoning for this is because he does VBACs, and I am very strongly adamant about supporting doctors who support women's choices in childbirth. FYI-He does not accept Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance.

Another stellar option is Dr. Foley. He is personable and very one-on-one with his patients (Read: he has no partners so you're not passed around from doctor to doctor like you're a number instead of a living, breathing human being.) I think it's important for your doctor to see you as a person first and a patient second. Again, bringing my personal opinions into this, I don't go to him solely because he doesn't do VBACs, and I can't in good conscience give my money to a doctor who doesn't. If that doesn't bother you (and I'm sure it doesn't bother most), Dr. Foley is a great choice. I have met him and really like him a lot.

Pediatricians: Dr. Wilson, hands down. First an foremost, he's a great doctor, which is obviously the most important factor. His office has a very small town feel, almost like you're getting concierge service but without the hefty price. His office staff is phenomenal, and it doesn't matter how good of a doctor you are, if your office staff sucks it will drag you down. Everytime I call with a sick child, I get an appointment within hours. The time Mason got bonked in the head with a toy and had a goose egg the size of Pluto (is Pluto still a planet? I think it got downgraded), they told me to come right in and he was seen within minutes. He has Saturday morning hours, from 9am to noon. This is fabulous because babies don't hold off to get sick during the week when it's more convenient. AND he does what no other pediatrician in town does--puts his cell phone number on his office voice mail (of course expecting responsible use of it!), takes emergency calls in the middle of the night, and tells you to never, ever go to the ER. His two nurses know me by name and remember everything about all three of my kids. I read on your blog that you had to wait an eternity for your current pediatrician--I have never ever, even when I was being squeezed in with a sick child, waited longer that 30 minutes. My wait time is usually around 5-10 minutes. He only accepts patients once a year or so, and only for a couple of weeks. It just so happens that I was there three weeks ago and he said he was taking new patients for a while, so if you're interested call ASAP. If you can't get in with him, he's recently hired a partner, Dr. Najm, and she is also pretty stellar. Most of my friends who don't take their kids to Dr. Wilson take them to Dr. Najm.

On to day care... I know your son is not quite one year old. It's hard to find part-time for kids under two years old. But the Village School at North Naples United Methodist has a great program for infants. They do have part time programs--either Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday. There might be a waiting list so call as soon as you can for a tour. After he turns two I would recommend Vanderbilt Presbyterian, of course. ; ) Second only to how much you like and feel comfortable with a child care center is location. Location, location, location! You do not want to spend your precious child free time driving to and fro. So stick close to home.

Another option would be to find a friend who stays home with her child. Don't be afraid to solicit people and offer to pay them for part-time care. A lot of people would love to make a little extra money by doing this. It could be a win-win for both of you. And for those of you out there considering taking on a charge for a little extra money, if you can find someone who's close in age to your child it's really not much more work. Helpful, in fact, since they start to entertain each other! Don't be afraid to think outside the box.

I hope that helps!


Keep the questions coming! Email steppedonalego[at]gmail dot com if you've got a question!


Nicole S said...

Wow!!! Thanks for all the info!! Soooo appreciated!! And, um, can I call you instead of 411 in the future? :-)

Ashley said...

Happy to help! And yes, feel free to ask me anything and hopefully I might know the answer. : )