OB with great bedside manner who delivers at Alta Bates?

Hi, I'm looking for an OB. Preferably in Berkeley or Oakland or nearby who delivers at Alta Bates, but if you have someone who delivers in Oakland (non-kaiser) or at UCSF who is amazing for what I need, I'd be interested in their names too.

I have a history of medical trauma, (primarily my consent being disregarded), and have a disability around social communication and sometimes with verbal speech in stressful situations.

I'm looking for an OB with experience with gestational diabetes who prioritizes true informed consent, and will frame conversations in a way that prioritizes my agency as well as health. I need someone who will take the time to make sure I understand them and they understand me, even when I'm struggling with communication. Someone with experience with neurodivergent pregnant people is a plus.

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Not what you asked for, so please feel free to disregard, but I had a great experience with my CNMs Aimee Tom and Jasmine Swinson in 2019/2020. I really didn't like my OB so went looking elsewhere, too. I really didn't want a non-medically credentialed midwife, and both women are nurses with a long history of nursing practice. I really appreciated the length of my appointments, email communication, etc. When I developed complications they were great and said they had a lot of experience co-managing things like pre-e (like me), gestational diabetes, and others.

Most OBs in the area do not work on an "on-call" basis but rather in a group/rotational schedule so it's unlikely the OB you see through most of your pregnancy will be at the actual delivery. For that reason I would highly recommend a doula who can act as the person to help you frame these conversations with the OB who is at your delivery. In general though I found most OBs at Sutter (on Milvia) to be good with communication and the delivery nurses at Alta Bates to be great as well.

Dr Nseyo is amazing and she’s at Alta Bates. My kid was delivered by c section and I’m planning on using her, if we have another kid. Absolutely love her!

I also had medical trauma that made me nervous about the labor/birth experience. I found having a doula really helpful. (Or course this was pre-covid, so not sure what the doula situation is now.) I had to interview a few before I found the one that was I was most comfortable with. But she was a great support before, during, and after labor. 

You might consider getting a doula for delivery. With most ob practices, when you’re in labor/delivering you’ll see whoever is on call and this may not be the person in the practice you connect with best. A doula stays with you for your entire labor and is there entirely for you—to help you through a crazy/wonderful experience, with comfort measures, and can help make sure there are no miscommunications between you and the nurses and doctors. 

Fwiw, I delivered twice at Alta Bates using the ob/gyns at the 2500 Milvia office of Sutter and had great care both at the hospital and the practice. I mostly saw Dr. Cindy Zhang throughout my pregnancies (and even before) and she is fabulous. In fact, I loved all of the women doctors in that practice. (I saw one man for a check up once and cannot recommend him—forget his name unfortunately.). I also used a doula for both of my births, and it was the right call for me, especially with my first. Best of luck and congratulations!

If I were in your shoes I would reach out to the midwives who deliver at Alta Bates (looks like they may now be teamed up as Golden Oak Midwives). I wanted to go this route with my first because it gives you the chance to work closely with the person who will be at your birth, but still deliver in the hospital. I didn't get to work with them because of schedule issues, but I spoke with both and thought they seemed great.

Otherwise, I second the suggestion of a doula. For my second birth I worked with the Sutter group and thought they were great--all four doctors I met with were confidence-inspiring, supportive, and eager to support the birth experience I wanted. But it sounds like you might be looking for the extra support a doula could provide.

Pavithra Venkat supervised my second pregnancy, and I cannot recommend her more highly. Our first birth was ROUGH mainly because of gestational-diabetes-related interventions, including an induction that stretched out for days; when we started Pregnancy #2 and went for our first prenatal appointment w/Dr. Venkat, we told her our birth story and felt like she both listened and truly heard us. She is low-intervention, evidence-based, and very personable and kind. And I'd also second (third?) the other recommendations you're getting here to look into having a doula to help with delivery room support.

Dr Nseyo and most of her colleagues at east bay medical foundation. They were all amazing at Alta bates. Good luck!