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Natural Birth options in San Diego near La Jolla

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm currently finishing my First Trimester, and need to find an OB/GYN or midwife and a birthing center. These forums have been quite helpful so far, but I wasn't able to find much information on the hospitals located in La Jolla. As many expectant moms, I'd like to have a natural birth, but don't need to deliver in water, and would like the option of medical intervention just in case. I want a midwife, don't want a C-section, and don't want to feel pressured to get shot up.

So far, UCSD (in Hillcrest, and unfortunately not at UCSD campus in La Jolla) with an entire floor devoted to natural birthing seems to be the frontrunner. However, I haven't heard much about Scripps Memorial or Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla. If UCSD is clearly the best, the drive won't be an issue. However, if the La Jolla hospitals are comparable, I'd much rather avoid the potentially traffic-snarled trip to Hillcrest. Your thoughts and insights are much appreciated! Thanks!
post #2 of 14
Scripps Green does not have a maternity ward.

Scripps Memorial is the best place in town for a C-Section. There are a couple of fabulous doctors there, but I think you might be fighting the system to have a natural birth. There aren't midwives handling births there, I don't think. If you are set on Scripps Memorial (it's like a hotel), I highly recommend Laurie Greenberg.

You can have your midwife appointments at Perleman Clinic - at UCSD La Jolla, and then have the baby in Hillcrest. We live in the Shores, and my first two were born at UCSD Hillcrest (three and four at home). I have no complaints about the Birth Center. I think it would be a good balance of what you are looking for. There are lots of ways to get from here to Hillcrest, so I think that even if it were 5 pm on a weekday, you could get there in 20 minutes or so.

Feel free to PM if you have more questions.
post #3 of 14
I delivered at Scripps Memorial with a doula and a wonderful OB who was fully supportive of our birth plan. Now, it was an OB and not a midwife, but she was very laid back and let us decide how we wanted our birth to proceed. I was able to be in a shower for a couple of hours (at least it felt that way) and the staff there - what I saw of them, which was not much because of the presence of our doula - was encouraging in both laboring and birthing in various positions. It was a completely unmedicated, and fully supported birth. I didn't go in expecting I wouldn't be supported (our first birth in NJ was an uphill battle all the way!) and like I said, I got what ! thought I'd get, which was a whole lot of "me time" in our ridiculously large labor room. And Laurie Greenberg was my doctor and I cannot recommend her highly enough.

Our daughter never left my sight - ever, which was also new to me given our first birth experience. And honestly, I was very happy with the level of care there.

Good luck to you!
post #4 of 14
Dr Robert Biter - in Encinitas. He ABSOLUTELY ROCKS! Outstanding physician, unlimited energy, unwavering supporter of the rights and wishes of mothers and their families. He is just unbelievable. I had my VBAC with him, and my family is indebted to this amazing doctor forever for the way he took care of us. We were relocating to SF, but stayed on in San Diego only so that we could have the option of a natural birth with my second one.
Look him up. I will write more when I have a moment. Right now, gotta run and check on the kids....
post #5 of 14
Dr. Biter lost his priveleges at Scripps Encinitas (pushed out because he was so natural birth friendly, pissing off the establishment docs). He IS awesome and he's currently attending births as an unpaid doula with his clients who were left in the lurch (he helped them either set up births at other hospitals where he could attend or found them homebirth midwives, etc).

If I lived farther south, I'd do the appts closer and then go to Hillcrest-- it's supposed to be great! It sounds like you don't want a homebirth and UCSD is perfect b/c you just go to the different floor is something bad develops, but you can be in the floor with very supportive midwives Totally worth it. I've heard bad things about memorial-- there ARE good docs who work there, but plenty of bad ones and you know how it is, when the system is set up a certain way, you might get a pushy nurse, etc.

For me, way up in Encinitas, Hillcrest is just too far for me, esp second time around, so we're staying home-- but we're super close to the firestations/EMTs and a very quick drive to the hospital. There just are no great centers up here anymore, since Scripps Encintias went wayyy downhill the past year, apparently. But Biter's working on opening his own birth center right here! Someday there will be a great option.
post #6 of 14
What about Best Start?
post #7 of 14
All the women I know who have had babies at the UCSD birthing center have had excellent expereinces. I am ineligable to deliver there because I had a c-section, but I would if it were a choice. I've done quite a bit of research and found my best chances were going for an HBAC with the midwives from Birth Roots in Chula Vista. I'm in your neck of the woods and it's not close at all for me to go to appts there but it's so worth it for the chance to have a natural birth. In addition to attending homebirths, they have a birth center that is absolutely adorable and comfy like a home. If you decide to go that wasy, I definitely recommend Birth Roots! Good luck with your birth!
post #8 of 14
I personally had a very traumatic awful experience at the UCSD Birth Center. I changed OBs for my first birth from Scripps La Jolla to UCSD Birth Center Hillcrest. What they seemed to offer pleased us and we thought that we had made the best decision by transferring care there. But what followed was a complete nightmare.
We were shuffled between midwives everytime we went in for our prenatal check ups. The only person we saw consistently was the admin lady. The midwife in charge of my "case" was awful - rough with her hands, unsympathetic, confrontational when we requested anything, and disorganized. I used to pray that I wouldn't see her whenever we went in for our check ups.
The hospital itself was filthy.
My baby was breech, and the midwives freaked out insisting that I would now have to deal with the OBs since I could no longer consider a natural birth.
They would not give us any information on turning the baby.
Fortunately, the MDs who we were planning on avoiding came through and told us about moxibustion, etc.
We had to convince Dr Simpson to come out of retirement and attempt a vaginal breech.
They bullied us TWICE into signing in for a C section although vitals, everything was normal and I wasn't in labour (only because they had a slow day at the OR).
The student who came to administer my Epidural - we had insisted on attempting a vag delivery and Dr Simpson's orders were to get the Epi - hit a nerve and had to try THREE times before he got the needle into my spine, apologizing profusely everytime.
When they wheeled me into the OR, the students administering the general anaethesia (I turned out to be insensitive to epi) freaked out that they had to gen anaesthesia.
My recovery from the anaethesia was the worst I have ever been through (been through knee surgery twice).
The recovery room nurses were a-holes and left me lying on a gurney for 3.5 hours while I begged for my husband - the meds were not working and I was in excruciating pain. They discussed weekend plans and kept saying yeah, yeah, we are calling the doctor, and laughing.
And the very worst:
they fed my baby formula and kept her in the nursery for SEVEN HOURS before they brought her to me! My baby was absolutely normal, there were no complications with me. The reason I did not see her for seven hours was because they wheeled me into my room 6 hours after the surgery (they were waiting for a room to open up) and they futzed around for an hour before I freaked out yellling that they had to bring me the baby NOW!

As I write this my trauma feels so fresh all over again, and I hurt primarily for my little girl. The VBAC birth of my little girl with Dr Robert Biter and the supportive community up north has restored my sense of self, justice and wholeness.

I wish you the best of luck. UCSD Birth Center caused me and my family more pain and anguish than I care to recount.
post #9 of 14

I know that this is a post from September, but I just wanted to write my support for Best Start Birth Center in Hillcrest.  I had both of my babies there and all of the prenatal care and I drove across the border and all that entails to get it---and it was sooooo worth it.hearts.gif  I can't say enough good things about the midwives and all of the staff there.  In fact,  when it came to my last PP apt. I was really sad b/c I had enjoyed the nurturing, professional and kind support of the entire BDBC so much.  OK, I know I'm gushing!   Please pm me if you would like.


That said, we are hoping for a third baby this next year and I noticed that Birth Roots has come on to the scene and am interested b/c of their proximity to the border.  They have connections with Best Start and I almost feel disloyal considering it, sulkoff.gifbut it does look like a potential option for our family being a bit closer and possibly a little more affordable since we pay cash for our prenatal/birth.


Whatever you decide, I hope that all goes well and you really enjoy your pregnancy!!

post #10 of 14
Scripps La Jolla DOES have nurse midwives and they do VBAC. It is a new program with Scripps Clinic.Consider taliking with them to find out more info.
post #11 of 14



I tried writing PM, but the system tells me I dont have permission to!! Can you please get in touch with me? Appreciate it tons!!!

post #12 of 14
I had my first baby at the UCSDbirth center and had an excellent experience. To tpase(I know this is an old post, but this may be helpful if someone is searching for info) you can request not to have students involved in you care. You can request that a student never touch you. I'm pretty sure you can request to not even have students present at all.
Also, I saw a couple of different midwives during my prenatal care as well but saw it as a positive because you had a chance of any one the 12 midwives being the one to attend your birth. I really liked everyone I saw and appreciated that I was never rushed through an appointment.
I had a very long labor and saw 3 different MWs that day and found them all to be wonderful and their transition from one to the next was seamless, they were all so respectful of the experience that we were having.
I wholeheartedly recommend the UCSD Birth Center for anyone looking for natural childbirth but not home birth. (dd was born at home...which I wholeheartedly recommend as well!)
post #13 of 14

I just found out UCSD is building a new hospital in La Jolla with a birth center INSIDE the new building.  It opens in 2016.  I'm hoping one of my future babies can be born there!  

CHeck it: http://health.ucsd.edu/jacobs/hospitals/Pages/women-infants.aspx

post #14 of 14

I'm not sure how far they travel but we had a home birth in San Diego with Brooke Ray and Sunshine Crispeels. They are absolutely wonderful. I miss them not that we are expecting again and no longer live in the area. 

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