or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Alta Bates vs. UCSF

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello there,

Can you local mamas help me out?


I have the option to deliver at Alta Bates (which I have done before) and I live closer to. With this option my insurance covers an OB practice.



I can go to UCSF and deliver with a midwife. The only one my insurance covers for miles.



post #2 of 15

I've never toured or birthed at alta bates, but have friends who have. I toured UCSF as a backup for my birth center birth and also have friends who birthed there. I just doubt the experience is all that much better at UCSF to make it worth driving over the bridge, especially in traffic. I had a friend who really considered it bc she enjoyed her UCSF birth. But she chose alta bates and was perfectly happy with her choice. Alta Bates is used to lots of women wanting natural births. And though I never birthed at alta bates, I did have an outpatient surgery done there. I was very impressed with how I was treated by everyone. 



post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Cindy,

that's about what I hear too. I guess I will just stick with the OB's. The thought of getting into the city in the am, if need be, gives me a bit of anxiety, since I had a fast labor last time.


Best wishes!

post #4 of 15

Oh yeah, if you had a fast labor, I def wouldn't risk it! I had an under 8 hr labor w/my daughter and I'm afraid #2 will be like 2-3 hours. You couldn't pay me to sign up for the bridge! Right now I'm trying to decide between homebirth and kaiser, for money reasons. If I do kaiser, I'd prefer walnut creek over oakland bc of their midwives - but I'm even afraid to go through the tunnel if I'm really in labor. I figure, if it's going to be fast, I probably wouldn't be at the hospital long anyway and maybe it won't matter so much if there are midwives or not. Also, my good friend is a nurse midwife at kaiser walnut creek, used to be a L&D nurse at UCSF and did her midwifery training at UCSF. Hospital midwives are very medically minded - not the same as homebirth midwives. They still push interventions, etc. I've had discussions with her about this. 


There is a midwife that delivers at alta bates. Her name is Hsiu-Li Cheng. My friend used her and loved her! Not sure if your insurance will cover her or not?



post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Cindy. Yes, I wish my insurance would cover Hsiu-Li, but it won't. Ugh. I actually wished we would have switched to Kaiser so I could go to Walnut Creek for delivery. I have a few friends who delivered there and have nothing but good things to say. One lives in Berkeley, and made her way to WC...although quite different from us she had a 20+ hour labor.


My last was at AB. It wasn't a horrible experience. But it wasn't great either. Oh well, here's hoping for blessed and easy deliveries for us both! Are you expecting or trying? Either way, best of luck to you!

post #6 of 15

I am 7.5 weeks pregnant. :-) I was really dead set on a homebirth when I got pregnant last yr. Found my midwife - then lost the baby (I had the D&C at alta bates). We recently switched to Kaiser. After spending 15k on trying to get pregnant, the idea of a birth paid for 100% by kaiser is appealing! But I just don't know if i can willingly sign up for a hospital birth after having such an amazing water birth at a birth center last time. My husband has a bigger problem with hospital birth than me. So I'm not sure what we'll choose. I've decided to put the decision off until after the first trimester. I guess the nice thing about kaiser being covered 100% is that if we do a homebirth and pay out of pocket then end up transferring, we won't owe an extra few thousand to the hospital on top of the midwife fee.


I'm sorry the midwife wasn't covered. If you are in Berkeley, I am guessing you are with the same OB practice I used to be with - there really only seems to be one. I was sort of indifferent about them until I had my miscarriage. I felt they handled it so well that it made me like them more. 


I'm sorry your last birth wasn't all that great and experience. It's so frustrating that we can't choose homebirth or birth center and have it covered! My old insurance actually did pay for my birth center 100%! I was SO lucky!



post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

How are you doing Cindy? Are you feeling good?

Where was your birth center last time?

I am pretty bummed sage femme closed, as that was my backup plan!


I am still with the crummy mega practice, and while I like the one doc I have been seeing, I want more of a connection with the person who will be at the delivery.


Ok, just checking in!

post #8 of 15

Hi. I'm doing well, thanks for asking! 10.5 weeks so far. :-) I actually had my daughter at Sage Femme. It was an awesome experience. I knew I wouldn't feel comfortable crossing the bridge to go back there for a 2nd labor - especially after it moved to south san francisco. I am still shocked that it is closed. That is such a huge loss for the entire bay area community! I have heard a new birth center is going to open in Berkeley! No idea when - i think they are still raising funds. So not likely that soon. Did you know there is a birth center in Oakland? I don't know much about it. The midwives there also do homebirths. And also, the midwife from Sage Femme, Judi Tinkelenberg, is now living in the east bay and doing homebirths. I can't recall if you are against homebirth? I bet your insurance would at least pay something. And she offers a sliding scale. 


We still haven't decided what we're going to do. I started care at my kaiser OB last week. As far as OBs go, I do actually really like her. But I know there is 0 chance she would actually deliver my baby! At kaiser, you just get whoever is at the hospital when you go in. If we decide to go the homebirth route, I'm not sure who we will use. We had chosen a lovely lady named Judy Luce before I had my miscarriage. But now that Judi T. is doing homebirths, I would consider sticking with her. Both have like 30+ years experience as midwives. 


How are you doing? How far along are you?



post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yay! There you are! Congrats on the 10.5 mark!

Yes, I did know about the birth center in Oakland, but have never "heard" much about it. 

I am so desperate. I called Santa Rosa's Birth Center. As a one time resident of Sonoma County, I think their birth center is awesome, however DH isn't exactly on board for the drive. Ha, can't imagine why.


Interesting you mentioned Judi, as someone else just told me about her as well.

Sad sad sage femme has closed. I did speak with the folks about the birth center (called Pacifica) coming to Berk. They won't be open until October so maybe just in time for you!!!!


I am 18 weeks this thursday.


I would like a homebirth, but we run into financial problems there. It really is unfortunate our insurance will cover hospital birth, with all its interventions, but only some of a homebirth.


So, that's the predicament.

Glad you have at least had a good experience with your Kaiser OB so far. When we had Kaiser (up North) I had nothing bad to say about them, and they really helped me with my miscarriage.


Thinking of you!



post #10 of 15

Ha - your DH is probably imagining delivering the baby in the car on the way to sonoma! I'm really curious to know how much Judi charges for homebirth. 3 yrs ago, I paid only around 3k for the birth center - and I paid in full (with a small discount for paying early). I know she let others who couldn't afford it pay less! My insurance was amazing back then though and they reimbursed us 100% (actually they reimbursed us more than we paid!). Judi said she'd never seen that happen before. I gave that insurance up when I quit my job after I had my daughter though. Do you know if your hospital birth is covered 100%? I know that often people still end up paying 1000 or more out of pocket. That was the scary thing about wanting to do a homebirth or birth center birth when I had PPO insurance - thinking about paying the midwife and then possibly owing a hospital on top. At least with kaiser it's covered 100%. So if we do a homebirth and transfer, we woulnd't have to pay double. But on the other hand, if you have simple births, the likelihood of transfer is small - so maybe you wouldn't even be paying much more for a homebirth than you would in the hospital?


Will you be finding out what you're having soon? :-)



post #11 of 15

I know I'm late, but congrats Cindy and dovemama!


edit: it looks like that birth center in Oakland is open. I know it was closed for a little while - I wasn't able to get ahold of anyone in August, when I was looking for midwives.

Edited by maryamrose - 3/22/12 at 1:32pm
post #12 of 15

Alta Bates has CNM's but it sounds like your insurance won't cover that.  As a doula, I had a client who was going to deliver at UCSF but her labor was going so fast she ended up going to Alta Bates.  It went so quickly there was no time to offer any interventions.  We took a tour of UCSF and it has a couple of unique qualities if you think you can make it across the bridge.  They have an amazing view, and they offer nitrous oxide for pain relief.  Also called gas and air.  Very, very few hospitals offer this.  It is fast-acting and leaves your body quickly.  Just my 2 cents.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the tips!


Planning a homebirth now, so for now I don't have to worry about if I will make it over the bridge fingersx.gif

post #14 of 15

I would say that if you want an unmedicated birth at Alta Bates, the best thing to do is to only get there when you are ready to push, because unless you are lucky the nursing staff will be trying to get you to take pain meds. Oh, and congrats on the home birth decision!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks mamas!!!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: California, Nevada