Pediatricians who Support Alternative Choices
Berkeley Parents Network >
Health & Medical >
Pediatricians who Support Alternative Choices
We are looking for an alternative medical practitioner for our 10 month old daughter
to care for her overall health, as well as to seek counsel with in regard to two
current issues: a persistent rash in her neck folds and intermittent rash in her
private areas and a shift in her bowel movements, both in consistency and
We are looking for someone who will not push vaccinations, is knowledgeable in
non-western approaches too health and healing, and is a kind, patient, and accessible
I adore Dr. Amy Maidenberg at Sage Pediatrics http://sagepediatrics.com/ on
Piedmont in Oakland.
She's not only the perfect holistic Pediatrician for my 2 year old son, but she's
also the mom of a toddler, so I know she's going through the same issues herself
(vaccinations, etc) and can relate on a new-parent level.
Dr. Amy Maidenberg of Sage Pediatrics is AMAZING! She's knowledgeable, kind, and
holistic. She also does home visits for newborns, how great is that! Dr. Amy has
a lovely office on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland: http://sagepediatrics.com/
A holistic practitioner will help treat these conditions / symptoms as part of a
bigger picture, and I highly recommend Randall Neustaedter, OMD, LAc. I've loved
his books (The Holistic Baby Guide + Child Health Guide: Holistic Pediatrics for
Parents) and all of the specific advice he gives in his books, as well as how he
works with our son when we go in for office visits. He is in Redwood City, so I
would recommend mid-day appointments to avoid commute traffic. I really feel like
he treats our son as a whole being, not just the symptoms. His suggestions have
worked - supplements, Chinese herbal remedies we get from him when at his office,
as well as the suggestions that I've followed from his books (e.g. probiotics ,
homeopathic remedies, supplements, etc.). As a result, we've made it through our
son's first 21 months very holistically, with only one medication thus far (he
developed an ear infection that had lasted a few weeks, so we did an antibiotic for
that, but now I have more information about homeopathic remedies from Dr.
Neustaedter so would not do antibiotics again). I have also seen Dr. Neustaedter
myself, as he also treats adults.
Here's his information:
Dr. Randall Neustaedter is a primary health care provider who has practiced
homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and functional medicine for over 30
years, specializing in child health. He provides well-baby check-ups, acute care,
and consultation about chronic conditions. He also treats adults for chronic
conditions including immune system problems, allergies, headaches, digestive system
illness, and many other issues. HereÂ’s his web site: http://cure-guide.com
Hope this is helpful,
Can anyone recommend a pediatrician that is ok with delaying vaccinations up to 2
years? Ideally this pediatrician would also be ok if I decided not to get my child
certain vaccinations. Thanks, everyone! My head is still spinning from researching all this stuff.
Dr. Ann Parker in Alameda at Alameda Pediatrics
is flexible about vaccinations.
She has had many parents over the years with different views on vaccination.
She is a great pediatricion, also.
Katya Gerwein at Bayside Medical is fantastic. She's been
our 5 yr old son's pediatrician for several years and has
always worked with us to determine the best vaccination
course for our child.
Can anyone refer a Pediatrician/Family Practice Doctor in
the East Bay (Tri-Valley) Area who is good with kids and
open minded (will consider/try alternative healing methods;
not force vaccinations)? We have just moved to Livermore and
are looking to find someone who fits this description who is
within 30 min drive. Thanks.
Dr. Shannon McCune
is a wonderful family doctor on Telegraph
Ave. in south Berkeley. She is very open to alternative
medicine treatment and refers patients often. She is a very
open and sympathetic person. I think you would like her. She also
has very good reviews on yelp.com that you might
want to look at. She can be reached at (510) 204-8110.
I understand the frustration of finding such doctors. I am
an ''alternative health practitioner'' and have the same issue
with finding traditional doctors that are open minded.
Best of luck to you!
There is a lovely practice called Sage Pediatrics in Oakland. I
recommend Dr. Amy Maidenberg there. I was pleased by her gentle
approach and ability to listen and offer information in a way that
very much felt like she was supporting my choice as a parent.
Given that I have more alternative perspectives than my husband
and my mom when it comes to health, I was also really impressed at
how well Amy was able to respectfully communicate with all of us
in the same appointment. She also did a home visit, which felt so
right for a small baby. I also appreciate that Amy is the mother
of 2 little ones herself. If you'd like to contact her, the
number is (510-984-6169) and their website is
I'm having a baby any minute now and would like some local
(Oakland, Berkeley) recommendations on a pediatrician that
is more open to alternative medicine and is willing to break
with the traditional vaccine schedule. Thanks!
We go to Kiwi Pediatrics (652-1720) and are very happy with
them. They are pro-vaccine, as are we, but I don't feel
good about giving a baby a huge number of shots at once.
We space them out, getting 1-2 on the appointed day, then
coming in a couple weeks later for another 1-2, then a
couple weeks later for more,... until we're done with that
round. The doctor just told us which one(s) were the most
urgent to get in that batch and we got those first. Not
sure how much of an alternative schedule you want, but
certainly for our slightly modified schedule, we didn't get
hi. i'm not sure how alternative you are looking for -
spreading out most vaccines, or skipping many. if you are
referring to spreading out vaccines i can recommend Dr.
Meezan at The Pediatric Medical Group on Woolsey in
Berkeley. we have taken our 20 month old daughter to her
since birth. she always gives us her full time and
attention, handles our daughter well, we like the nurses,
she offers good advice, and has been open to us following
Dr. Sears alternative schedule of spreading out vaccines.
they also have separate healthy and sick kids waiting rooms,
which we like. we have never given our daughter more than
two shots at a time and we skipped the Hep B shot and the
Rotovirus, since she stays home with me. they do not support
anti-vaccination parenting, if that's what you were looking
for. and a few months ago they told us that all their new
patients had to get Varicella and MMR by age two. we are OK
with this. she got Varicella yesterday and will get an MMR a
month before she's 2. if you are OK with this too, then call
them. if not, then i hope you get the help you were looking
Check the archives, this was discussed a few months back.
Our pediatrician (Kiwi Pediatrics) were open for us to have
an alternate vaccine schedule and also to refuse vaccines.
We just had to sign a waiver form.
Though I do not like the office one bit because the wait is
sooooo long (like 45 mins-1 hour! No kidding), I do go to
Bayside Medical where Dr. Janet Perlman supports our
Alternative Vaccine Schedule (we use Dr. Sears). I have
heard that the other doctors in the practice are not at all
happy with an alternative schedule.
However, I have decided we will switch to Pediatric
Alternatives in Marin. They sound wonderful, well worth the
I would also be interested in learning if any of the
pediatricians in Berkeley Pediatrics Group support
alternative vaccine schedules. Their webpage says they will
not accept families who will not vaccinate, but I don't know
what their policy is about alternative schedules (their
policy is in pdf which I can't open for some reason).
- Dr. Sears fan
We are about to have our first child and don't have a
history of pediatric care in the bay area (we're both from
the east coast).
We are a very earth-based, holistically minded couple in
search of a pediatrician that is open to supporting a
non-traditional approach to pediatric care, i.e. the
schedule of vaccinations (whether or not we get them), etc.
We're in Oakland and are covered by BCBS PPO. Any
suggestions/recommendations would be welcome and appreciated.
My husband and I were also looking for the same when we
were looking for a Pediatrician for our first child when
she was born. We tried a few Pediatricians at Kaiser
before asking around and found out about
Dr. Naomi Bolden.
She is very kind and very open to the idea that we wanted
to do the vacinations on an alternative schedule. Our
experience with Kaiser that a lot better than I thought it
would be. In general I found the Kaiser staff to be
accepting of what we wanted our birthing experience to be.
We chose not to have the baby cleaned after birth because
we wanted to do that once we got home as a bonding
experience and they were okay with that.
Best of luck!
Looking for a pediatrician that is open to a modified vaccination
schedule that is near Benicia. I have read most of the posts about the
doctors in and around Berkeley. I was hoping there might be one closer
to East Vallejo/Benicia area.
Any info would be greatly appreciated.
When our favorite pediatrician moved away from Benicia, we were not able
to find a local doctor who would work with our modified immunization
requests. In fact, we were flat-out denied service. We ended up finding a
great pediatrician in Pinole. His name is Michael Linn and he is with
Bayside Pediatrics. Their ph# is 510-724-8300. He is the nicest guy and
respects the parents' viewpoints on immunizations.
I am in search of a Pediatrician who honors an ''alternative''
vaccine schedule. Anyone out there had any luck finding one???
Would really appreciate some help.
tired of being chastised for deviating
We've not had any issues or commentary as we've discussed,
delayed and deferred vaccines with Dr. Janet Perlman at
Medical on Telegraph in Berkeley.
Dr. Winokur at Kiwi Pediatrics has been quite tolerant of my
very alternative vaccination schedule.
We go to Kiwi Pediatrics in Albany (they have an office in
Berkeley) and we're on an alternate vaccine schedule. They
didn't argue too much w/ me when I proposed it on our first
visit. I just had to sign papers. And when I talked to the
pedi, it sounded like they've got many families they see who
don't get any vaccination. They do try to get you to get
vaccinated, but it's not to the level of badgering, so I've been
okay w/ it. Their new doctor though (I don't remember her name)
is a bit more forceful and I did not like her attitude so I just
make sure we don't see her during our visits.
The poster is asking for a flexible schedule, and has received that
information. But for the sake of the child, and because of
misinformation provided at times in response to this question, I would like to
provide some documented information as a physician and Berkeley
Pediatric vaccines are recommended because they prevent devastating
diseases, which are not entirely absent in the US today. A mother of
a 7 month old in Minnesota discovered this when her child died of
Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) meningitis in 2008, when she had
delayed vaccination because of concerns about possible adverse
effects. This case is reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report, January 30, 2009 / 58(03);58-60 which states ''...During 2008
in Minnesota, five children aged 5 months to 3 years were reported
with invasive Hib disease; one died. The patients resided in five
different counties in Minnesota and had no known relationship to each
other. Three patients had received no vaccinations because of parent
or guardian deferral or refusal....''
Overall, Hib disease has around a 5% fatality rate--and about a
quarter of survivors of meningitis have long term neurologic damage.
The Hib vaccine is over 95% effective, and very safe. I think it is
crucial for parents to have accurate information in making important
decisions for their children.
informed decision maker
Looking for a referral to a holistic pediatrician in the East Bay Area.
Hi there. I am an acupuncturist and herbalist in Emeryville
specializing with children & I get this question all the time.
Unfortunately, there are currently no western medical practitioners in
the east bay that actually practice holistic medicine. The closest
option we have in the east bay are Medical Doctors that
accept/support/tolerate parents' use of an alternative therapies for
There is a group in Mill Valley called Pediatric Alternatives- and
another group down in Bellemont that consist of MDs practicing holistic
medicine in their practice.
I am very interested in the Pediatric Alternatives practice in Mill
Valley, but don't want to travel that far for pediatrics care. Is
there any place near Berkeley that offers an integrative approach
to children's health care? From the Pediatric Alternatives website:
''Integrative Medicine [combines] western medicine with alternative
care, including herbal remedies and classical homeopathy.'' Their
doctors are both MD and NDs. Thanks!
I have been practicing pediatric acupuncture and naturopathy in Berkeley
for 25 years. During that time a number of MD pediatricians have come to
my attention as being more open to working with alternative approaches.
Sometimes they stay the course, sometimes they become more strict about
what they will allow their patients to do or not do (eg. vaccinations,
I cannot recommend particular physicians to the public but I can suggest
physician referrals to my own clients. I have to say, though, that their
numbers have decreased over the years.
I'm looking for a pediatrician who is attachment parenting-friendly
and who has a warm, generous, caring style. I am currently with
Bayside Pediatriacs and, while I like the doctors OK, I hope to
find an office that isn't so rushed with such impossibly long wait
times. I also have an image in my head of a deeply kind,
big-hearted pediatrician who remembers my son from visit to visit,
who is a brilliant physician, who takes the time to teach us about
our health, and who supports and even facilitates methods of
healing that aren't always about medication. Also, someone who
supports a delayed vaccine schedule and doesn't think that
elimination communication is weird. I would like to *love* our
pediatrician! We're in Berkeley. Thank you! Happy New Year!
- lookin' for a big heart
I have to recommend our pediatrician,
Dr. Wolffe Nadoolman in
Berkeley. His website is www.private-pediatrics.medem.com
Our kids absolutely love him. He knows them and practices what
he believes about taking time to make the children feel open and
secure. They look forward to seeing him. The level of care is
like something from a different generation.
That said, I have no idea what he knows about elimination
communication. I think he'd be ok with adjusting the vaccine
schedule, but I know he is firm on kids getting vaccinated. Go
and talk to him, and ask him.
I am looking for a pediatrician, and open to a health care
professional from a different discipline, for my 5 year old
daughter and my baby-on-the-way. We want someone who is open to
alternative modalities, and supportive of our following an
alternative vaccine schedule. Here's the catch: I need someone who
will bill my insurance.
Hi there. There are no medical doctors located in the east bay that I
currently know of that are holistically minded practitioners. There is a
great practice up in Mill Valley and another one down in Bellemont.
Unfortunately, the best that I have come
across in the east bay are MDs that are open to alternative care for
their patients, but are not actually practicing it.
we have been going to dr.janet pearlman at bayside medical on telegraph
in berkeley: (510) 843-4544. she is open to alternative vaccination
schedules and very receptive to alternative modalities such as
The pediatrician doesn't have to be PRO-homebirth, just
homebirth-FRIENDLY, but that wouldn't fit in the heading. :) We're
having a daughter in mid-January, hopefully at home, and we would
like to know if anyone has had experience with homebirth and any of
the female pediatricians at East Bay Pediatrics.
Our three-year-old son sees Dr. Richard Oken at East Bay Pediatrics,
and although we think he's a great doctor, he's old-school and
old-fashioned and (although we haven't yet asked him for his
opinion) probably not a fan of homebirth. (Also, he's male, and
we'd like a female doctor at the same practice for our daughter.)
Thanks for any advice you can share!
Dr. Gerwein and other doctors at Bayside Pediatrics
Ave. in Berkeley (just kitty corner from Whole Foods) is
homebirth-friendly. Dr. Gerwein is respectful of our choices,
inc. delaying vaccination or not having them. I believe they
will also do a home visit if you are close enough to their
office. One other place I'd try is Dr. Janet Himmelvo in Point
Richmond, of Point Richmond Family Practice. She does home
visits and I'm pretty sure is friendly to homebirthers. She and
her partner just had a baby a few months ago.
homebirth family with regular pediatrician
Hi, I'm looking for recommendations for good SF-based
pediatricians who support delayed/modified vaccination
I had a baby in SF last year, and man did I make a lot of phone
calls looking for an SF pediatrician who could meet my needs!
I started out on Yelp! and BPN and got some recommendations
from my midwives, but unfortunately I didn't save my notes from
all the phone calls. One office manager explained to me why
they do not allow parents to tinker with vaccination schedules
- she said that insurance companies note which doctors do not
vaccinate on the CDC schedule and ding them for it. More than
one office told me that if I were to bring my child there as a
patient, they would require me to sign a form saying I would
adhere to the CDC vaccination schedule. No thank you! The
only office I found that looked like it would work for me is
Noe Valley Pediatrics ((415) 641-1019), which was conveniently
a few blocks from my house... and they were not taking new
clients (I was due in late September '07).
Since it looked like I was going to have to drive 30 minutes
anyway to get to the CPMC end of town, I decided to go with
Bayside Medical Group in Berkeley. We see Dr. Jenna Seiff, and
have had a very good experience with her. We are splitting all
our vaccinations so we go twice as often for half the number of
shots. We also decided to skip Hep B until age 10, skip
rotovirus completely, and delay chicken pox until school age.
This has been absolutely no problemo with them.
There is a new pediatric clinic which opened just a few months
ago - it's medical professionals who have recently left St.
Luke's and it's on the corner of I think Church and 29th. I
perused their website and they sounded open to flexible
vaccination. I would have switched but they don't work as well
with my insurance situation. I'll keep my eyes open next time
I drive by and post again with the name of it if I can.
Continuation of earlier posting: the new SF pediatric clinic is
on the corner of 29th and Church and it is called GetzWell
Another SF Mama
Can anyone recommend a pediatrician in the Alta Bates medical group that
doesn't push vaccines? I'm having my first baby in June and would love to
find a natural leaning doctor for our new baby.
Hi, we are ''up to date'' with our vaccines, so I can't say from first-hand
experience that we would be totally supported if we had chosen not to. However, I
can recommend our Ped's practice: Kiwi Pediatrics (Dr. Kittams, Dr. Winokur, Dr.
Salzberg). They have been very willing to discuss my concerns about some of the
new vaccines and have been willing to let me hold off on one of them. I also
remember their names coming up in a similar post about 6 years ago when we were
also looking for a ped. Though, that is second-hand information.
We go to Dr. Janet Pearlman. We've only seen her a couple of times now,
but we were real straight forward about the fact that we do not
vaccinate, and so far she has been supportive. Before that we were
seeing Dr. Kittams and he had said that he would be supportive, but
every time we went he was telling us why we should vaccinate. Some of
his reasons were very far fetched, and it got old real fast.
My two sons age 5 & 3 are have had almost no vaccines. We see Dr. Janet
Perlman at Bayside Medical at 510-452-5231 in Berkeley near whole foods.
She also has an office in Oakland. She is wonderful and respectful. She
has never made us feel irresponsible for refusing vaccines. She is also
great about the use of antibiotics. My younger son has had frequent ear
infections and she has never pushed us to use antibiotics but has
instead kept a close watch on him. All of these infections have turned
out to be viral and have gone away within days. She is very kind to our
children and she seems to be up on the more recent studies regarding
pediatrics. She has raised a few kids herself and I find her to be very
real around issues of eating, sleep, potty training and behavoir. I
think there are some other docs in the office who support the delay or
refusal of vaccines.
You may want to check out Pediatric Alternatives in Mill Valley. We
absolutely love the practice and find the drive well worth it.
www.pediatricalternatives.com . They integrate the best of Eastern and
Western medicine and are very supportive of a parents choice to not
vaccinate or vaccinate selectively one at a time.
fan of pediatric alternatives!
If there is anyone who can help me finding a doctors practice that will take
vaccinated children, I would be really grateful. I have just moved here from
England 8 weeks ago and would like to find a sympathetic doctor, who won't
try to convince me to vaccinate. I have three young boys aged 6 1/2, 4 1/2
and 9 mths. Thanks.
Dr. Janet Perlman, Bayside Pediatrics. She's the greatest. No hassle
whatsoever about vaccines. Totally respects your choice. Homebirthed her
own kids. She totally honors that I am an acupuncturist mom and don't use
allopathic medicine except for certain kinds of cases. Smart, engaging,
very experienced. I can't recommend her highly enough. Be aware that not
every practitioner in the practice is like her, though. So it's worth the
wait to get in to see her.
Happy, holistic mom
As part of my research I would like to interview one or two Pediatricians that are NOT hot on
Vaccines. Any recommendations?
Dr Perlman on telegraph is very definitely ''not hot'' on vaccines.
Definitely check her out, we've had many pediatricians (3 kids)
and love her best.
I just want to say that Janet Perlman
of Bayside Medical Group (in Oakland 510.452.5231)
has a very pragmatic approach to vaccines and as a result most her patients (or their
parents) choose what she calls a ''boutique'' approach to vaccines--
setting their own timeline, choosing which ones are important to them at which stages, if
at all. She has helped me immensely in balancing my desire to protect my child with my
concerns about overburdening his immune system with too many vaccines. I also know people
under her care who have had no vaccines. In general she leaves the parenting up to the
parents--and doesn't pass judgement or have a specific agenda about how that should
happen. This means however, that you have to be willing to do your homework--bring in
your questions and concerns and advocate for your child and your parenting choices. She
won't tell you what to do--which I think can also be stressful for new parents--but
ultimately it is a gift and a rare one.
My husband and I just moved to the East Bay (albany, to be
exact) with a 2 1/2 month old baby and need to find a Dr. We
are not vaccinating our child and would like a Dr. who will not
give us a lot of problems for that. Thank you.
Janet Perlman, Bayside Medical Group (2)
Primary Pediatric Medical Group
I have searched high and low and have left several
pediatricians because they were disrespectful of my parenting
decisions. I have found the doctor of my dreams! Not only is
he not for vaccinations, he is a doctor of Chinese medicine,
homeopathy and accupuncture. He has several books out on
vaccinations and has a great web site www.cure-guide.com
His name is Randall Neustadter. He is in Redwood City butit is
worth the drive!
His number is 650-299-9170. Feel free to email me offline for
We are looking for a new pediatrician for our seven months old son who was
born at home and hasn't had any vaccinations yet. We would like a pediatrician
who won't freak out by this, and, preferably, is also open to alternative medicine.
Also, we would like the pediatrician's office to be reachable by public transport.
(This is one reason why I don't want to see Dr. Gill who is recommended by the website.)
David Kittams & Robin Winokur (5)
Janet Perlman, Bayside Medical Group
Limited Immunizations & Open to Homeopathy
We're looking for a pediatrician for our 16 month old. Previous postings that
I've seen here didn't address our very specific wishes. We'd like someone who
is fantastic with the child (and his lesbian parents...), and who is
or at least comfortable with various choices we're making, including limited
and flexibly-timed immunizations, use of alternative medicine (such as
homeopathy), family bed, and who doesn't keep us waiting in their office for
more than 15-20 minutes (we waited 1.5 hours last week for our doctor!). Kind
office and nursing staff are also important to us.
Thanks in advance.
Mary Jones, Berkeley
Robin Winokur, Berkeley
Jeff Gill, Orinda
I am looking for a pediatrician who is supportive/knowledgable about vegan/vegetarian
toddlers. Any advice? Or recommendations?
Jennifer Miller, UCSF Medical Center
Janet Perlman, Bayside Pediatrics
this page was last updated: Jun 30, 2013
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network