California Central Coast OB/GYN Gives Birth During COVID
Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing about an interview with a California Central Coast OB/GYN
who gave birth during COVID in partnership with Central Coast Women’s Health OB-GYN.
Anyone who has ever been pregnant knows how amazing it can be, as well as how emotionally and physically challenging it can be. When I was pregnant with my boys, I took my vitamins everyday, had routine check-ups with my OB-GYN, and gave birth in a clean and safe hospital each time. Being pregnant today is much different than it was when I was pregnant with my kids. I can’t imagine the fear or anxiety women feel today who are pregnant during the global Pandemic. I recently had the opportunity to interview Christina Pyo, MD and learn about her, as well as her experience of delivering a baby during COVD-19.
ABOUT CHRISTINA PYO, MD
Dr. Christina Pyo was born in San Jose and moved around a lot with her family until they settled in Paso Robles, California. She lived there with her family from first grade through her high school graduation. Christina attended UC Davis and Medical School at Michigan State University. She then completed her Residency at the White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Christina and her husband relocated to Paso Robles, California, where they are both physicians. She is an OBGYN with FCPP (First California Physician Partners) Women’s Health.
WHAT INSPIRED HER TO BECOME A DOCTOR?
I’m always curious about what inspires individuals to choose the careers they have? It’s not surprising that I asked Dr. Pyo what inspired her to become a doctor. Initially in college, she wasn’t really sure what to do. She started doing different internships, like a medical mission to Mexico at the beginning of college, and fell in love with the idea of being able to connect with and help people. This really inspired her to go to Medical School and then go back again and take care of people who had zero access to health care. Doing these medical missions played a huge role in her decision to become a doctor. She completed medical missions in Mexico and then in Peru and again in Mexico.
HER EXPERIENCE DELIVERING DURING COVID-19
Dr. Christina Pyo gave birth to a baby boy on May 6th and had a two year old girl at home. She shared that being pregnant in February and March was a really scary time for her because the effect on pregnancy from COVID-19 was unknown. While wearing protective gear that kept her covered gave her some comfort at the time, seeing so many patients was quite stressful for her. In terms of delivery, she found it to be pretty comfortable. She felt like the hospital and staff kept everyone safe. She liked being able to have her husband there with her and that everyone had masks and everything was very clean. Unfortunately, her baby boy went to the NICU for 9 days and staff changing shifts twice a day proved to be stressful for her. She said that everyone in terms of the hospital staff were really great. She delivered at Sierra Vista, who has a Level 3 NICU. She said that if you are going to need NICU for your baby, that is a great place to deliver your baby. At Sierra Vista, they can take care of all gestational ages.
HOW HER DELIVERY DURING COVID-19 CHANGED HER AS A DOCTOR?
Dr. Pyo shared that she felt like before she had kids, she was a very thorough and compassionate physician. However, after having kids, it changes you. She described it as opening a different door of empathy and compassion towards her patients. She described feeling like she can relate with her patients on a different level because of what she’s experienced herself with pregnancy and delivery during COVID-19. Having to have a C-section and spinal herself, she feels like she can relate to women on a whole other level. She knows how real it is to feel tired during the third trimester – it’s real and something you don’t learn in Medical School! She also mentioned that you don’t learn about breastfeeding in Medical School either and now that she has done it herself, she can offer more understanding and empathy to her patients.
Dr. Pyo also mentioned that women are turning a lot to tele-health and social media, and that when going through pregnancy during COVID-19, they especially need a lot of support. She expressed that she is trying to be a resource where she can show women that she is a source of legitimate information and that she is relatable. In an effort to help educate and support women, she has started a professional Instagram account where she shares information, as well as personal experiences. She shared one Instagram post where she talked about what she packed in her hospital bag. She shared another Instagram post where she talks about breastfeeding during COVID-19. I highly encourage you to check her out and follow her on Instagram.
HOW HAS HER LIFE CHANGED BECOMING A MOTHER?
Dr. Pyo said, “Being a new mom is a whole new world of things.” She described it by saying that as her babies/children get older, she feels like she loves them more and more every day. It’s a love you don’t know until you have your children. It makes you think about things differently every day. For example, what is she eating? Is she cooking enough? What is the future of our world going to look like?
ADVICE FOR OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO WORK IN THE MEDICAL FIELD
When I asked Dr. Pyo what advice she had for other women wanting to work in the medical field, she emphatically said, “Persistence is key. Don’t give up! If you don’t succeed, try again.” She wanted women to know that it would be a rough road with long hours, so be sure to find something you are passionate about and want to get out of bed for everyday. If you do, then go for it! She has found that being a doctor is super rewarding and fulfilling. She gets to see women from the time of adolescence through menopause and gets to go through these major milestones with her patients.
I really enjoyed speaking with Dr. Christina Pyo and then sharing it here on Redhead Mom. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and if you live on the California Central Coast, she is available as an OB-GYN in San Luis Obispo. A big thanks to Dr. Christina Pyo for taking the time to chat with me. It was great meeting her and learning more about her and her experiences.
What did you enjoy about the interview?