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I'm 17 weeks into my twin pregnancy, which is so far normal. I have a Kaiser OB I like, but am wondering whether I should switch to a neonatologist or twin specialist for the remainder of my pregnancy. Any suggestions from others (especially if you had Kaiser.) Thanks! Sarah
Hello, Can anyone please recommend a good Kaiser OBGYN MD who is breastfeeding-friendly? Prefer one in the east bay such as Oakland or Richmond, but San Francisco is also o.k. Need it to be an MD, not a nurse practitioner. Thank you. Chiara
Hi, I just switched to Kaiser and I'm looking for recommendations regarding Kaiser gynecologists experienced with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-- either Oakland or Walnut Creek is fine. I checked the archives and didn't find anything specific to PCOS. Thanks! L. M.
I and consequently my child have kaiser. I had a wonderful experience with kasier oakland (which by the way uses alta bates medical center for deliveries). I had a high risk pregnancy and saw one of the two hi risk md's. I forgot their names, but one is definitely better than the other (if you are hi risk, contacat me and I will search for his name) The pre-natal and post birth experiences have been very good. We use richmond pediatrics which is known to have the best pediatric physicians. and so far (my daughter is almost 4) they have been great. good luck betty
My experience in general with Oakland Kaiser is that the care is great, but be prepared to be your own advocate. I miscarried a baby at 8 weeks before this one, and was "dropped through the cracks" in the system. They forgot to call me with my d&c appointment, made me wait well over a week for another, etc etc etc. It was a hellish experience and, had I any choice, I would have dropped Kaiser right there. However, they were great with this baby and I have no qualms about using them with my next pregnancy. The key is to get a nurse practitioner that you love, and stick with her. (you will see an NP for most appointments unless you are high risk). I think that my problems the first time around were because I was new to Kaiser and didn't have a doctor of my own yet. I can highly recommend Marsha Balian, Lenore Arnoux, Carolyn Monahan, and Elaine Stavely. They kept me informed about what was going on with me and the baby, even when there were potential problems, talked to me like an intelligent person, etc.
The downside to Kaiser, as opposed to a private practice, is that the doctor on call is the one who delivers your baby, and you will very likely not meet him or her beforehand. I did not find this to be a problem at all, by then I was beyond caring as long as the baby got OUT, but some people probably would mind. Good luck with your conception journey! Catherine
I'm pregnant, and was wondering if any one has any recent experience with pre-natal care/birthing at Kaiser? I'm sorta worried because I've heard quite a few negative comments about their care in general.
Someone told me that their Redwood City facility has a midwifery department, that you can be attended by midwifes, rather than some random OB who happens to be on duty that night. That sounds good, but rather a long drive from the East Bay. Does anyone know if any of the EB facilities have a similar setup? Finally, I'd also appreciate any recommendations for a pre-natal yoga class, massage therapist, and a good swimming pool. TIA for allowing me to pick your brains,
During my second pregancy and birth, however, I was MUCH more proactive. Know how the receptionist almost tries to book you with a new person for every visit? Well, I did my darnest to avoid that by finding a nurse practioner I liked, and then followed her schedule, no matter how wacky it got. Sure, this sometimes was an inconvience for me, but I really wanted the continuation of care. I got certain perks: although the OB/GYN dr would not give me her voice mail phone number, my NP did. It was not easy to find her, but well worth the effort, especially when another NP actually made me CRY from the things she said when my favorite NP was on vacation.
As for the second birth experience, the single most important thing I did was hire a doula. I paid $200 for her, but she was well worth every penny. I developed a professional birthing relationship with a person that would be with me in the delivery room. And, although she could not necessarily give me any medical advice per se, she certainly shared with me her experiences. She walked with me in my own neighborhood after my water broke, and also totally agreed I was in full fledged labor before we got to the hospital (avoiding the other birth scenario, where everyone wanted to 'kick start' my labor by putting me on pitocin. In fact, I skipped the really-too-busy triage at Alta Bates, and went right to a delivery room, they were so convinced!). She was my advocate to the dr and nurses when I was not willing to answer questions, and also not willing to let my husband concentrate on anything but ME. She also helped me get through transition by encouraging me to roar like a beast...it was so funny *I* even laughed, but I got through with a drug-free, empowering, non-intervention birth. And it was just the type of thinking and suggestion I needed!
In a way this is Kaiser: Be totally proactive, or they will take the easy road. Sure, if things are dangerous and life threatening, they are really there for you, but the 'regular' cases often get put by the side. At any rate, that has been my experience. Hope this helps you!
On the other hand, I've been mostly impressed with the individuals who cared for me (nurse-practioners, nurses, and doctors)--I've felt that they've all been professional, good at what they do, as well as kind. I did end up with a C-section in both cases (for different reasons), which I'm not positive would have been the case had I been with a midwife (though there's no way of telling for sure.)
I've known a number of women who switched to Kaiser in Walnut Creek when they became pregnant, because they have a better system--one where you see a nurse-midwife who is present at your birth. (I'm pretty sure this is the case.) On the other hand, at least one of these women had a pretty awful experience in the hospital in WC immediately after her C-section (she didn't have a partner with her, and the nursing staff basically ignored her--pretty depressing.)
I've also known one woman who had all her prenatal care at Kaiser Oakland and then (on her own, kind of "behind Kaiser's back") had her baby at home with a midwife.
Summary: For financial and logistical reasons, Kaiser Oakland was an ok choice for us. I can't say the whole experience was "magical" or "blissful" or anything like that (and I'm sometimes sad about that), but the bottom line is that I gave birth to two very healthy children, and that's what's most important to me!
We're hiring a doula to be with us at Alta Bates, through the changing shifts and overworked nursing staff. We've heard good things about the Kaiser/Alta Bates setup, but I share your discontent about not being able to see a nurse/midwife through prenatal care and delivery. It's so disconnected. As is, it seems, the advice nurse line. I average a 20 minute wait each time I call, which is unacceptable. Open enrollment time, we'll be looking closely at other options.
Meanwhile, I suggest 2 things: WRITE a letter to the head physician at Kaiser, detailing your discontent. The only way things are going to change there is if people complain and threaten to leave. I think there should be a patient advocacy committee or group, since as members we should have a say in the decisions affecting our coverage and care. I'm suggesting it in my own letter to them.
Second, the doula we've hired is actually a midwife, in SF, but she has East Bay clients too, and is available as a doula as well. She's wonderful. Her name is Jen Bauman, and she can be reached at 415/431-5006. Mary
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