Seeking a Berkeley/Oakland ObGyn

Parent Q&A

Looking for a obgyn (non Sutter Health ) Jul 26, 2020 (5 responses below)
Obgyn Recs or Where to deliver with Cigna? Oct 18, 2019 (3 responses below)
Looking for OB/Midwife recommendation in Oakland/Berkeley Jul 23, 2017 (4 responses below)
  • Looking for a obgyn (non Sutter Health )

    (5 replies)


    We moved to Piedmont recently, and I am looking for an obgyn. I was looking at Sutter Health, but it makes me nervous, that the ob you build a relationship with during your pregnancy most likely will not be the one you deliver with. Therefore I am looking at any other doctors (board certified) that are affliated with Alta Bates, but have a smaller practice. I have Premera insurance. Any recommendations? 



    Have you considered a midwife? If your pregnancy is not high-risk, certified nurse midwives can have as much expertise with prenatal care and delivery as many OBs, and tend to have lower rates of unplanned medical intervention during birth. I recommend Golden Oak Midwives in Oakland; they work exclusively with Alta Bates.

    I was very happy with dr Lilia Lizano!

    I recently delivered at Alta Bates with Dr Lilia Lizano at Women’s Group for Health and she did all my prenatal care along the way. She makes a point to attend the deliveries of her patients (unless she’s out of town).

     I found her to be kind and knowledgeable and I definitely trusted her care during the actual delivery. The only critical thing I have to say is that I felt like her style of bedside manner didn’t quite match what I was seeking in terms of emotional support and helping me understand my options for delivery. As a first time mom I had lots of questions and ended up doing a lot of work to educate myself. In hindsight, if I supplemented my care with a doula and I think I would have gotten the best of both worlds— the emotional support that I was seeking and the great care that Dr Lizano gave backed by decades of experience. 

    Best of luck finding your care provider! 

  • Obgyn Recs or Where to deliver with Cigna?

    (3 replies)

    Hi all!

    We are moving next month to Rockridge from DC and are pregnant with our third baby. 

    Could anyone recommend a great obgyn and/or a favorite hospital to deliver? We have Cigna healthcare.



    I also have Cigna and recently moved back from dc midway through a high-risk pregnancy. I really liked Attia Kadri, and Arzou Ahsan (who ended up delivering) was very skilled and level-headed under pressure — saved at least one of our twins’ lives. Both are at Sutter and deliver at Alta bates.


    Congrats! I had all my babies at UCSF. Not sure if you want to drive to the city or will be working in the city, but I found it totally worth it, especially because I was a high risk pregnancy (type 1 diabetes) with all 3 of my kids. UCSF is the best but if you want to stay closer to rockridge, I’ll let other parents chime in! :) Good luck!

    Hi Cristina,

    I just had my first baby in August, and I had an amazing experience (I also have Cigna insurance). The OBGYNs at the Sutter Campus on Milvia St. in Berkeley are incredible. I’ve personally seen Dr Thomas and Dr Kondrashov. I trust them completely and think they are respectful, knowledgeable, and include the patient in all decision making. They deliver at Alta Bates hospital also in Berkeley (on the border of Berkeley and Rockridge). The labor and delivery nurses there went above and beyond to give me all of my options, supported me 100% in my labor plan, and made the whole experience very comfortable and smooth. I always felt like I was understood and in control. I would recommend delivering there to everyone.

    Let me know if you have questions!

    Sara Bourne

  • I'm 22 weeks pregnant and a recent transplant from Boston.  We had originally planned to live in San Francisco and I had set up my OB care for UCSF in Mission Bay, but my husband and I are now in contract to buy a home in Upper Rockridge.  I'd prefer to deliver in Oakland/Berkeley to avoid risk of traffic jams on the way to the hospital.  I'd love a recommendation on a good OB or midwife.  I'm planning to do a medicated birth and want someone knowledgeable, warm, easy to get in touch with, and who runs on time at appointments!  It's been a straightforward pregnancy so far.  Any recommendations would be appreciated!  :-) 

    You want to see Gwen and Ellie at Golden Oak Midwifes ( They are amazing. They deliver at Alta Bates. So open, caring and knowledgable. I never had to wait more than 5 minutes for an appointment. You'll have appointments with both of them as they share all their patients. 

    Lindy Johnson! She is amazing, the most knowledgeable, patient, superwoman of a midwife. Shes delivered probably thousands of   babies, has seen it all and doesn't get fazed by anything. I had a slightly complicated birth but she was completely calm and in control of the situation, I wasn't even aware anything was amiss till baby was safely out.

    You'd be delivering at Alta Bates and her office is across the street. She's a bit old school in that she doesn't email/text but she's very responsive by phone. I had an amazing birth experience and I can not recommend her highly enough. I've heard the other midwives in her practice are good too.

    My OBGYN is Dr Pavithra Venkat who I can't speak highly enough of - she's warm and personable but also methodical and spends a good amount of time answering your questions. She shares call with a bunch of other highly competent drs, and my baby ended up getting delivered by Dr. Poddatoori who is also amazing. I think the only person I didn't end up gelling with is funnily enough the male dr on staff, everyone else is fantastic. You'd deliver at Alta Bates Berkeley if you go with them.