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Re: I live in Richmond - which Kaiser for delivery?
Have you thought about Kaiser SF? I know it means going over the bridge, but it is about the same distance from WC from where you are and I LOVE my doctors there. I've had a surgery there already and will be delivering my son there in November. SF does not have midwives but is super-progressive and has a low c-section rate and is doula-friendly. Kaiser Oakland is my emergency hospital and we did the tour there and thought ''wow, I hope there's not an emergency.'' They are very nice and clearly competent, but the rooms are dark and TINY and it just isn't as modern as either WC or SF. The problem I've heard with WC is that EVERYONE wants to deliver there so you can get diverted to Oakland pretty easily. SF doesn't divert very often, so says my OB. Also, while Kaiser Oakland has a Level 3 NICU, the level 4 is in San Francisco at UCSF, so close to that hospital. Also - MOST of the postpartum rooms in Oakland are shared. They do try to keep you in a private setting but it's not guaranteed like at SF. Hope this helps! Lara
Re: Childbirth at Kaiser - where to deliver?
I gave birth June 2005 at San Francisco Kaiser and am planning to go back there with our next in the future. I originally was going to go to Walnut Creek so I could have a midwife but because of pre-term labor (and receiving care in San Rafael) they sent me to SF because it was closer. The staff is caring and supportive. I actually got to go home and carry my son an additional month (very lucky) and decided to go back there for the birth. Again, my experience was similar and the staff in labor and postpartum were wonderful, answered all my constant questions (first baby) and found a nice bed for my husband to sleep on too. If you have any specific questions I'd be happy to talk to you. kim
I had a very positive prenatal, birth, and post-delivery experience at Kaiser San Francisco. I was/am very satisfied with my OB/GYN, Kim Kroener, who is a nurse practitioner. She's very knowledgeable, accessible, and caring. Kaiser-SF, and probably all the other Kaisers too, offer a series of prenatal courses and I took just about everyone of them, including classes on labor and delivery, breastfeeding, new baby care, and, of course, the Lamaze class. All except the Lamaze class are free to Kaiser members.
My labor/birth experience was very positive too. At the time, Kaiser was conducting a doula study and I was lucky enough to be assigned a doula, who was extremely helpful during transition. And the nurses were absolutely WONDERFUL. The labor and delivery room was large, had a shower (a HUGE plus), and comfortable. The one downside to Kaiser is that your OB, even if you have a MD, is NOT likely to be the one to deliver your baby -- it's whoever is on call/duty at the time, and in SF's case this person is usually a resident. That's not something that bothered me, but I could see how it would bother others.
My post-delivery experience was less positive -- I shared a room with a mother whose baby cried all the time, and then there's the constant sleep interruption -- someone checking your temperature or checking your baby (who stays with you the whole time) -- and so I felt I got very little rest while I was there and was chomping at the bit to go home after 24 hours. Kaiser does send a nurse to your home about 2 days after the birth to check you and your baby -- and the nurse who saw us was also quite wonderful.
The deal with delivering at Alta Bates is, I believe, only for Kaiser-Oakland patients, but you should check on this. Elizabeth
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