Childbirth at Kaiser San Leandro

Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Would love experiences and recommendations on childbirth at Kaiser San Leandro.  How was your experience, do you have any specific physician recommendations, particularly for c-section or high risk pregnancy?  We are considering Kaiser San Leandro facility (which is closer) vs Walnut Creek facility.  Thanks much!

    I gave birth at Kaiser San Leandro because Kaiser Oakland was full when I went into labor. I don't remember the physicians involved because I had an emergency c-section that was very rushed. That said, I felt like the care was great and made a possibly stressful situation go smoothly. When we checked in they only had 2 other active labors going on at the time, so when they were concerned about my child's heartbeat, there wasn't any wait for the team to rush in and assess the condition of me and my kid. 

    The aftercare was also really great. The ward was empty so it was pretty quiet. The nurses came by regularly to check on how I and my kid were doing and were great about answering questions. I was happy to go home, but I felt like my time there was as nice as it could have been. I also think Kaiser San Leandro is a good facility that is under the radar because people don't really think about it. 

    I Didnt have a c-section or was I high risk, but I had a great experience with my delivery at SL kaiser. I was 8 months pregnant when we moved up from LA area. I didn't have a designated OB doc since I was almost due, so I saw midwives mostly. The day of delivery was  great. I didnt have a midwife on my first kiddo, but had one this time around and I loved her! I was skeptical at first but choosing to have a midwife deliver my baby was the best thing I decided on. She was available for me the whole time, unlike my first experience...I had to wait for the doc to come in while I was crowning! Overall the nurses were great! Anesthesia was good (epidural)!  Rumors had it that you had to share a room but I had my own the whole stay. If you are high risk, then you still have the option of having a midwife but theyll need a doc to deliver your babe. Good luck!! You should take the tour. 

    I didn't give birth at San Leandro but I gave birth in Oakland Kaiser. I had a high risk pregnancy and went for a scheduled C-section. Dr. Minikel my obgyn at Kaiser Oakland was awesome! She managed my care diligently every step of the way. Even when she was on vacation (outside the country) on the day of my scheduled C-section she even called the surgeon to check and make sure everything went as planned. The doctor who did my c-section was Dr. Delearue (not sure if I spelled her name correctly) and my c-section was also high risk and I was very happy with these doctors.

    I've delivered at both Kaiser San Leandro ('13) and Kaiser Walnut Creek ('17). They were both VBACs with midwives and they were both great, especially compared to my c-section delivery at Alta Bates ('11). Both Kaiser facilities were top notch in their care - pretty comparable in my experience. I was high risk both times due to previous c-section, gestational diabetes, and polyhydramnios. I felt like I could advocate for myself, and also get straightforward feedback and care. The only thing to consider about Walnut Creek is the driving distance and the possibility of getting there while in active labor (happened to me!). Luckily I went into labor late at night, but traffic can be brutal at rush hour. I'd recommend you do the tours at both hospitals, but if you're closer to San Leandro, you'll be in good hands there.

  • Has anyone delivered at Kaiser San Leandro?  What was your experience like?  I wanted a home birth, but since Kaiser is almost free to me, I am trying to find the best option there, maybe with a doula instead.  Not interested in Kaiser Oakland because I work there and know too many people to be comfortable.  Thanks!

    Yep, earlier this year and it was great. Recommend working with a midwife. No pressure about using pain medication (though I did end up happily using it). They really did look at my birth plan and worked together as a team with my partner and me.

Prenatal care for me was fine at Oakland because I had an older doctor that I trusted. When it came to labor & delivery, I wasn't happy with a prenatal experience at Oakland with a resident, and that was the impetus for our entire family transferring care to San Leandro permanently, starting with switching to an OB at San Leandro and delivering there too. Oakland is a teaching hospital, San Leandro is not. I've been pretty happy with San Leandro.

That said, San Leandro has clinics and the hospital all in one connected building, and if you were trying to limit exposure, perhaps Oakland would be better. 

I had my first baby in early June, and I was facing the same decision about where to deliver (I had already been receiving all my prenatal care at KP oakland and was just making a decision about where to do the actual delivery. I was super happy with my prenatal care in Oakland. I can’t speak to the prenatal experience at SL.) I ended up choosing to deliver at SL primarily because it was closer to my house (8min vs 15min without traffic) and parking was easier. I think I would have been very happy at either place though. I have friends who delivered at Oakland the same week, and they also had very good experiences. The covid protocols at both places are very similar. I’ll offer some other things you might consider:

SL has a larger proportion of deliveries done by midwives (50% ish at SL vs 25% at oak). At Oakland, some of your care will be delivered by medical residents, whereas San Leandro doesn’t have a medical residency program (at least not in labor and delivery). Before I gave birth, people told me that having the residents there would mean more people in the room (especially during delivery), but honestly there were so many people in the room at SL, too, and I really couldn’t have cared less in that moment. Other than parking and proximity, those seem to really the main differences between the two (at least from my perspective). Kaiser facilities are pretty similar in most respects; I think your experience will be more impacted by who ends up being your nurse and the other people on your care team (unfortunately, you can’t control those things; but I had a good experience overall, and so did my friends who delivered at Oakland). 
Also, just as a disclaimer, I work at the KP regional offices but am not affiliated with either hospital, so I don’t have a bias between them.  

Best of luck and congratulations!

I did all of my prenatal care through Kaiser Oakland and had a good experience with Dr. Dawkins. I delivered at Kaiser San Leandro and had a very bad experience despite the facilities being super new and nice. If I could go back, I would probably deliver at Oakland as well. 

I did all my prenatal care at Kaiser Oakland (through the centering program), and it was great. When it came time to deliver, I had to be induced and I couldn't get an appointment at Oakland and had to go to San Leandro. I was a little disappointed BUT to be honest it was fantastic. San Leandro is brand new, super clean, the staff was fantastic, plenty of FREE parking (Oakland you have to circle up to the top of the parking structure every time, and wait at the end to pay to park). Highly recommend. 

I'd go back to SL in a heartbeat. Good luck with your first baby. Our's is now 1 and is been a wild, fun ride! Enjoy your pregnancy too


I am a Midwife at Kaiser San Leandro. Congratulations on your first pregnancy! It's true that at Kp Oakland the Midwives supervise residents, in their role as teachers of normal birth. The Medical model is predominant over the Midwifery model there. 
At both the San Leandro and Walnut Creek practices the Midwifery teams offer 24/7 labor and delivery care and provide Midwifery Management in a collaborative and patient centered approach.  Our 18 midwives work alongside the OBs who support us and step in when invited/needed. Otherwise they trust us to care for our patients which we do with a high level of respect and integrity for the birthing family.
we have no residents. Everyone is fully trained. We occasionally have Midwifery or medical students and you may decline their involvement.

everyone who is low risk will be offered and may choose to have either a Midwife or Ob-Gyn care for them.

 Midwives also offer prenatal care either in office or through Centering Pregnancy which is wonderful. I recommend Sara Flores, Kate Harris, Qui Tang and Doris Untalan, CNMs.

At San Leandro we also offer a class called "Meet the Midwives" the first Saturday of the month 12:30-1:30 to welcome and introduce you to our Midwifery team. You can register via the health education department.

I hope  that your enjoy a healthy and pregnancy and empowering birth.

best wishes,

a KP SLN Midwife