OB rec at Sutter East Bay?

I am early on in pregnancy, and Sutter East Bay Medical seems to be my best choice for OB care with regards to insurance and location. There are a lot of OBs in this practice to choose from. Has anybody seen an OB at Sutter Health that they found to be particularly caring, focused, easy-going, capable, etc? Thanks!

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RE: OB rec at Sutter East Bay? ()

Sutter East Bay is a great choice. Especially Dr Kier van Remoortere who was my OB and who I can’t say enough good things about. She is evidence-based, calm, caring, super smart, and takes plenty of time to explain things and make sure you understand.  Note that unless your birth is a scheduled c-section you won’t necessarily be with your primary doctor for delivery since it will depend on when you go into labor. Though - if you’ve been at the practice for a good part of your pregnancy then you will rotate through various other MDs so that you will have met with most of them when it comes time to deliver. The two Sutter doctors on shift for my delivery were both ones that I had seen during prenatal appointments.

RE: OB rec at Sutter East Bay? ()

I really enjoyed Dr Cindy Zhang. She was warm, no-nonsense, evidence-based. The chance of whoever you see during your pregnancy actually being there to deliver is rare so I'd also recommend meeting a few people throughout your pregnancy. The OB who was there for my successful VBAC was someone I had never met before but it was still a great experience (the nurses, your partner/support system really matter more at that point anyway). 

RE: OB rec at Sutter East Bay? ()

I’ve been working with Dr. Kondrashov for the past year. She was my OB during and throughout my pregnancy and has been amazing. She’s extremely supportive and very thorough. While she takes all concerns and potential issues seriously, she does not make quick or drastic changes/responses/etc unless absolutely necessary. We’re so grateful to have found her. I also previously worked with Dr Ahsan who was very thorough and straight forward. Two other doctors we saw while I was pregnant who I also liked were Dr. V(can’t remember full last name) and Dr. Padatorri. 

RE: OB rec at Sutter East Bay? ()

Dr. Pavithra Venkat hands-down :) She was my primary OB for my second pregnancy (baby born this past August) and I always found her very thoughtful, willing to listen, and calm. She's also a little more conservative with interventions than some of the other doctors in the practice; I was borderline gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy (elevated H1AC in my initial bloodwork) and another team member sent me to the Sweet Success program and I ended up on insulin and with an unwanted induction and horrible long labor; when we sat down with Dr. Venkat for our first visit w/pregnancy #2, the first thing we said was 'we don't want to do that again.' And she listened! And when I had elevated H1AC again she had me do the GD drink test at 14 weeks and, when I passed it, said 'ok, I guess we don't have to worry about that anymore!' :)

I've also seen numerous other doctors in the practice, because as others have noted your primary care doctor will probably not be the one who delivers your baby so it might be worth at least seeing the faces of the others if you care about such things (though I can tell you, when I was in labor I didn't care WHO was there or if I'd ever met them before ;)). But having played 'doctor bingo' the first time around and ending up being blindsided by some policy issues that no one had informed us of until literally 2 days before our due date, I'd heartily recommend sticking w/the same primary care OB throughout your pregnancy. And if that's the route you want to take, I can't recommend Dr. Venkat highly enough.

RE: OB rec at Sutter East Bay? ()

I had a great experience at Sutter, and at Alta Bates. I moved to the Bay Area (from NYC) at the end of my second trimester, and so the doctor I picked at Sutter—Dr. Madhavan—suggested not rotating through the other doctors in the practice, since there was no way I would get to see them all. (She also made it seem like this was an option any old patient could choose if they didn’t particularly want to rotate. I had rotated through doctors at my practice in NYC before the move, and in some ways I preferred the continuity of seeing just one doctor in Berkeley—since pregnancy is such a unique and continuous experience, with distinct issues that don’t necessarily align with those arising in the L&D experience. And since you can’t really plan for which doctor you’ll get during L&D anyway, it doesn’t seem particularly useful to me to meet each doc in the practice one or maybe two times, since that doesn’t tell you much about what kind of delivering doctor they’ll be.) In any event, she was great—friendly, easy to talk to, down to earth, and generally mitigating of my neuroses about pregnancy and L&D without condescending to or patronizing me.

Because of a scheduling issue, I also once saw Dr. Van Remoortere, who also seemed great. 

And for L&D, I initially had Dr. Nseyo (also seemed great), and ended with Dr. Kadri, who performed what was to me a heroic delivery amid somewhat scary conditions, narrowly avoiding a C-section and directing the scene in a truly impressive way. (The result was great, too!) For that reason she will forever loom as a kind of superhuman in my mind. 

Tl;dr, all my experiences with Sutter docs were great!

RE: OB rec at Sutter East Bay? ()

I liked Drs. Foley, Madhavan, Poddatoori and Zhang at the Sutter Milvia office. I saw almost all of the doctors from the practice during my pregnancy (although looking at the list now, there are several new ones I didn't see!). They were all good, but those four were my favorites. I ended up delivering with Dr. Schleuning, who I had never met because she was based in a different office at the time. I can't say I felt our personalities meshed that well, but I'm not sure my personality would have meshed with anyone at that point - I needed a c-section due to fetal distress so it wasn't a great scene! She and her team did a great job with the c-section, though, and I recovered really quickly.

RE: OB rec at Sutter East Bay? ()

The practice in general is very strong.  And, at the end of the day, it probably is about your personality fit, which is hard to gauge from comments.  I just delivered my second baby, and it is true that you will get whoever is on duty.  My primary OBGYN for both children was Dr. Ahsan.  She is wonderful!!  She has fantastic bedside manor!  And, is super smart.  I had some complications in my first pregnancy, which made me super anxious with my second pregnancy.  She couldn't have been more understanding, and worked with me to figure out a solution for the second birth.  All the nurses and staff really like her, and comment about how calm and easy she is to work with.  Honestly, I wish Dr. Ahsan could be my dr. for everything.

RE: OB rec at Sutter East Bay? ()

I had a VBAC with Dr. Kier van Remoortere. She always took the time to answer my questions with clear and evidence-based answers - she even printed out papers for me and introduced me to Cochrane review studies. She was coincidentally the doctor on call when I delivered as well, and she calmly and clearly helped me through the decision of using a vacuum to finish off delivery. She was also a great labor coach, though unfortunately she was only in the room for the last ~hour of pushing. I always say if she had been there for the first 3 hours of pushing as well, I might not have needed the vacuum! As others have said, you may not luck out like I did in having your primary doctor at the delivery, but I met/talked with 3 or 4 of the OBs at the practice through my pregnancy and liked most of them. I do have one friend who had a bad experience with Dr Zhang, and I also did not feel that she was as attentive to my needs/requests as the other OBs, but I know that others have loved her, so it really depends on your personality and what you're looking for.

RE: OB rec at Sutter East Bay? ()

Drs. Cindy Zhang and Vineela Poddatoori are both extremely caring, easy-going and capable.

Cindy Zhang has delivered two babies for me. Each time she came to the hospital when she was not on duty to be there for the birth (partly due to the complicated nature of the first birth). While giving clear and useful information, she has always respected and supported our wishes.

The first birth was a difficult situation due to our baby having a serious chromosomal issue, and we were amazed at how beautifully Dr. Zhang held the space for us and made the event a sacred one that we will always remember.

The second time we wanted as close to a home birth as we could have in the hospital (i.e., no medications or interventions). She honored our request fully, working seamlessly with our doula and support team to deliver a healthy baby boy. He got stuck on the way out due to shoulder dystocia. Dr. Zhang magically went in with one of her hands and maneuvered him out without causing any tearing. 

Dr. Poddatori was on call when I first arrived at the hospital for the second birth, and thanks to her expertise and double-checking a particular piece of information we avoided having an unnecessary induction and possibly C-section (that another doctor was recommending).

I highly recommend either of these two, and as others have said there are other strong OBs in their practice.