Alta Bates Summit or John Muir Medical for Labor & Delivery?

Due to the failed negotiation between Cigna and Dignity Health, I now have to look for a new hospital as my twins will not be covered (even though I will be). Debating between Alta Bates in Berkeley and John Muir in Walnut Creek. Looking for some recommendations and recent experience. Especially those who twins that have delivered at either/both. Thank you! 

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I had a singleton at Alta Bates in October and had a great experience. I was working with their midwives for my care but it ended up being a long and complicated delivery, including vacuum and emergency c-section, so I worked with the OBs on staff as well. The care was excellent. With a longer hospital stay than anticipated, the nurses were fantastic and full of helpful tips and advice for first-time parents. Considering how challenging the birth was, I couldn’t have been happier with my experience. 

I gave birth at Alta bates in November (not twins though!). I had a long labor so went through 4 shifts of L&D nurses and I can say they were all great. I was really impressed. I eventually opted for an epidural and the anesthesiologist did a great job too. The post labor facilities weren’t super nice and I found the nursing and other support to be more variable there. We didn’t have any complications so I have no experience with the NICU or surgery aspects. 

I don't have twins, but I did deliver my first at Alta Bates (in 2012) and my 2nd at John Muir (2019).  I had positive experiences with both hospitals and staff.  The facilities in both are also wonderful with John Muir having more updated facilities and more options for family members (like bigger waiting areas, better cafeteria & Heather Farms is close by if you want to bring little ones there to pass the time).  Both hospital staff respected my birth plans & that I wanted to save the placenta to make placenta pills, they were both very supportive and attentive while I was there & it was important for both hospitals that the mother and baby bonded right away and breastfeeding was established. 

One difference was (and I don't know if this is a hospital or insurance thing) I did have a follow up home visit with an Alta Bates nurse after I gave birth and I don't remember scheduling the visit when I was at the hospital.  I think it was part of the "package".  It was actually really nice that the nurse came to my home to check up on me and I didn't have to plan a trip out of the house.  I don't know if JM offers that service, but I definitely recommend you have that home visit!

I highly recommend you take the hospital tour before deciding.  Also consider the distance of the hospitals to your home.  Alta Bates was a 10-min drive from my home when I lived in Oakland and JM was a 15-min drive from my current home.  When you're in labor, you want to get to the hospital as quickly as possible!

Good luck and congrats!

I don’t have twins, but the labor and delivery experience at Alta Bates was fantastic. The postpartum treatment was inconsistent at best, but during my labor I felt extremely supported and encouraged. I would definitely return.

I delivered at Alta Bates 18 months ago. It was great. Barring one bad baby class teacher who was militant about her methods, the people were friendly, the experience positive, the facilities clean and most important - the nurses were stellar. We had a fantastic nurse who was just wonderful with my daughter. 

We ended up in the one large room post delivery which was also great. Shower was a little old, but at that point I could care less. 

The triage nurses were also wonderful when I needed to stay past the 30 minute window for a whole host of reasons. 

definitely would say you’d be taken care of here. I’m sad Alta Bates will be no longer soon...