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Family medicine doctor Jodi Parungao, MD, helps families grow


When it comes to welcoming a new baby, expecting parents want to choose the right healthcare provider to guide them on their journey. First-time mom Allison Jacobszoon always thought she would give birth with a midwife by her side, just like her mother did. It wasn’t until her doctor’s office referred her to Jodi Parungao, MD, that she considered an alternative option. At just five weeks pregnant, Allison and her partner Sebastian went in for their first appointment with Dr. Parungao, a family medicine physician who has specialized training in maternity care. They instantly knew she would be caring for their growing family. “I loved that Dr. Parungao didn’t just talk to me, but also involved Sebastian in mine and our baby’s care,” Allison shares.

Allison describes her pregnancy as wonderful and relatively free of complications besides the irritating swelling of the legs and feet which is to be expected late in pregnancy. However, even with a healthy pregnancy, expectant moms like Allison have many questions along the way. “As a mom myself, I know it’s nerve-wracking to be a first-time mom,” explains Dr. Parungao.“That’s why I give my cell phone number to my patients. They can text me anytime.” Allison texted Dr. Parungao many times throughout her pregnancy. “Instead of Googling questions, I could ask my doctor directly and she always got right back to me,” Allison notes. “I especially appreciated being able to text her when I was going into labor. Having that expertise and reassurance was so helpful.”

When Allison’s contractions were just five minutes apart, she texted Dr. Parungao updates until she was headed to the hospital. Once she arrived at the hospital, Allison was given the option to have a COVID test. “The test wasn’t that bad, I was distracted by the labor pain”, she jokes. After 18 hours of labor, Allison was able to hold her beautiful baby boy, John Maxwell (Max), a moment that will be cemented in time for her and Sebastian. Max was a healthy boy from the start, and once mom and baby got the hang of breastfeeding, he began to pack on the pounds.

While being pregnant and having a baby during a pandemic added an additional layer of questions and worry, Allison shares that she felt confident by the time she was ready for delivery. “I always felt safe in the hospital and I had all the reassurances that I needed from my doctor. There was so much we didn’t know, like how it might affect me and my baby. But they made us feel safe and cared for.”

Allison and Max have continued to see Dr. Parungao for their care. “Now that Max is here, it is so great to have the same doctor that cared for me during pregnancy also be able to care for him. When I was pregnant, I really didn’t see past the pregnancy, and at the end I realized she could see him for pediatric care as well. It’s really exciting that Dr. Parungao can care for him from in utero until he is an adult, who knows she might still be caring for him when he is 35! It’s important because she has been there from the beginning, she knows everything, she knows more than I do. And she gets our family dynamics, I don’t have to start over and tell her everything. It’s like having an old friend,” Allison says. While no one knows a baby quite like mom, the family care model allows doctors to really get to know the entire family and to have the privilege to care for multiple generations.

Allison and Sebastian are loving every minute of being Max’s parents. They would love to give him a sibling one day and they know just who they would go to for their maternity care: Dr. Parungao.

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