Kaiser Oakland L&D vs Walnut Creek L&D during Covid-19
What were your experiences like at Kaiser Oakland or Kaiser Walnut Creek for L&D?
How did you decide between the two? They are both equal distances from our home, but I am curious about the differences (pros/cons)! Thank you!
Feb 17, 2021
New responses are no longer being accepted.
I delivered my son at 35 weeks at Oakland Kaiser on an extremely busy delivery day in 2019 and got great care. I have also had a somewhat complicated second pregnancy that has brought me into L&D in Oakland several times over the last few months. The staff and doctors are great--very caring, knowledgeable, attentive. The resident who delivered my son is still there and remembered us--she's wonderful. I don't have experience with WC but I can say that Oakland is doing a great job, from my perspective.
We had our daughter at WC in early Dec. Given we are pretty equidistant between both Oakland and WC hospitals, we opted for WC based on recommendations (although we often got the question why didn't we go to Oakland).
We hands down had a wonderful experience. The nurses and midwifes were AMAZING. We recently moved from NYC and didn't know what to expect from Kaiser. But it met and exceeded all expectations. In fact, WC Kaiser is the only Northern California Kaiser hospital with a labor tub (in room #7, which we ended up getting). So if opting for a non medicated labor, you will definitely want to select WC.
In terms of COVID precautions, they only allowed one person to be present as a birthing partner. My wife wanted a doula but opted to have me instead :). I believe, though, they are now allowing both. Otherwise you had to wear a mask during the whole labor process (although we were able to take off when it was just us in the room).
My wife delivered at KP Walnut Creek in October. It was overall a very positive experience. We decided to go there because it's nominally closer to our home and my wife works in Walnut Creek, so it was easier to go there for her antenatal care. One birth partner was allowed. Both the mother and partner are expected to wear masks when staff are in the room, though when it came time for my wife to push, they did not require that she wear a mask. I was able to leave the room to run to car, home, etc., so there was no issue re: going in and not being able to leave if you needed to check in pets, grab some fresh clothes, etc.
KP Walnut Creek has more midwives involved, KP Oakland has residents. Neither was important to us (we had a midwife for all of her antenatal care; the deliver was facilitated by both a midwife and OB given some minor complications during delivery). The nurses in L&D were phenomenal. We did not love the lactation consultants in the hospital, but had better experience with them post-discharge in the newborn care center.
Happy to answer more specific questions if you have any.
I'm actually curious to hear responses from other families, too. I had my first birth at Kaiser Oakland in Sept of 2018 and it was a planned cesarean for a breech baby so I can't speak to much about the support during the delivery process, but my experience was a good one. I'm due in May with my second child and trying to decide between Walnut Creek and Oakland myself. I have *heard* that Walnut Creek has a birthing tub and Oakland does not, but that there is only one and it is on a first come first serve basis, and that they may or may not be using it at all during Covid. I also had one doula mention she prefers the L&D teams at Walnut Creek over Oakland because Walnut Creek uses primarily midwives and "Kaiser Oakland also has residents which some folks find challenging since there are more doctors coming in and out and some additional inconsistency in care." I don't have any firsthand experience with Walnut Creek, but thought I'd share what I've heard. Hope this helps!