Childbirth at Kaiser Hayward

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Birth at Kaiser Hayward vs. Oakland

June 2013

I'm due in September & we've just found out that we're moving to San Leandro from Oakland. I'd love to hear about people's birth experiences at Kaiser Hayward since it will be closer to us than Oakland (where I had my first child 6 years ago). At that time, I lived super close to the hospital & found even the short drive to be difficult, so though I've gotten all my care at Oakland and know the area well, I'm considering having the baby at Hayward based on distance alone. At Oakland Kaiser I had an incredible L & D experience, but terrible/traumatic after-care (which I won't go into here). I've never been to Kaiser Hayward though and the BPN reviews are out-dated, so I'd love to hear your experiences, including the pros & cons if you know both. Thanks! moving mama

I recently read a post on here extolling the virtues of the Hayward Kaiser. It may not have made it into the archives yet, but I remember reading it and being surprised. I think the poster also mentioned that it was a new facility (?) and that it was wonderfully modern and updated. I would tour it. That's what we did before choosing Oakland. Good luck! (BTW, I'm sure you know this already, but after my experience I will remind you: don't labor at home for too long with this second delivery. I made that mistake and had to labor in the car (awful) and then couldn't find parking (terrible!) and then almost delivered in triage! No time for my blessed epidural. I was bummed. It happened even faster than I expected -and I knew I was to expect that, but it still caught me by surprise!) ~Mama

I also moved to San Leandro from Oakland and continued my prenatal visits at Kaiser Oakland. I was familiar with Kaiser Oakland (I've been going there since birth myself) and I was a little reluctant to go to Kaiser Hayward until I took the Kaiser Hayward tour before the birth of my daughter. I instantly felt more comfortable with the Kaiser Hayward facility compared to the Oakland maternity ward. I was a nervous new mom who wanted a drug free birth. Kaiser Hayward was amazing. They have wonderful, patient, caring staff and provide private recovery rooms for all delivery patients (in Oakland there is a small chance you will have to share a room). Kaiser Hayward exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend you take a tour of the facility and consider Hayward for your birth. You dont want to make that drive to Oakland while in labor. An added bonus--you and your family dont have to pay for parking at the Hayward facility. -Kaiser Hayward fan

April 2013

Re: Delivering baby at Kaiser Oakland or Walnut Creek

You've got to take a tour of Kaiser Hayward! I visited several Kaiser hospitals before the birth of my daughter and loved Kaiser Hayward. It is a smaller facility, everyone gets their own private room with a bathroom, and that staff are great. Like Walnut Creek, the majority of the births are attended by midwives at Kaiser Hayward but this was one of the reasons I chose Hayward. Honestly, you are with a nurse 95% of labor and with a doctor or midwife for the last 5% anyway--unless there are problems. My nurse in Hayward was amazing. I was a nervous first time mom who wanted a natural birth and the nurse and midwife helped me through the process. The rooms were great! I hope you can at least tour the facility to see if it is worth your commute (it was for us). I dont know why Walnut Creek gets all the hype. Kaiser Hayward fan.

2005 - 2009 Reviews

April 2006

Re: Childbirth at Kaiser - where to deliver?

I had a fabulous experience at Hayward last year. It was my intention to deliver at Oakland, but when I called to say we were on our way, they said they were full and diverting to Walnut Creek. Called them next and they were full too. They were diverting to Hayward - we didn't even know where that hospital was! In any case, the drive was rough - traffic on 238 was busy as usual. (It was a Friday afternoon.) But, once there, it was great - 25 minutes of pushing with the help of my doulas, husband, fabulous nurses and a wonderful, nurturing mid-wife and out popped baby #2! I don't know about the midwife hours. And, I would think San Rafael would be too far - at least for me. Labor in the car is no fun. All that said, If I were doing it again, I'd choose Oakland for proximity - hands down. -Not sure I helped answer your question.

2004 & Earlier

May 2001

Has anyone given birth at Kaiser Hayward? I am at the point of chosing health insurance and this is one option. ANY info appreciated. Thanks paula

I gave birth (and was born) at Kaiser Hayward and I had a good experience. Dr. Anker is my OB/GYN and he answers all my questions and is supportive of my decisions. Kaiser is very organized and has lots of educational material - newsletters at every appointment, a health education library (the videos were very helpful to me), and lots of classes (I took every one, which was a bit TOO much). The hospital facility is not fancy - no pretty wallpaper, private rooms, or hot tubs. But I liked the care. Dr. Anker told me that I was OK to check out, but I told him that I wanted one more day and he said no problem. (If you're into amenities, I hear that Kaiser Walnut Creek has a fancy birthing center and that and once you're a Kaiser member I believe you may choose your facility.) I found that the staff was very cautious - I called in that the baby wasn't moving as much and they told me to come right in. They did all sorts of tests/monitoring and ended up inducing because of low amniotic fluid. Midwives do the deliveries unless there is a complication. I am pregnant and I'm going to have baby #2 there as well. Good luck! Helena

Granted my experience is a few years old now, but I had a pretty great treatment delivering at Kaiser Hayward. I had a midwife, I met all three that delivered babies at the time and they were all very nice, respectful and knowledgeable women. There were midwives on duty 8am-8pm M-F, so the odds are pretty good of a midwife delivery if you are interested in that option. The high light for me was the great lactation nurses. I had almost every problem possible nursing and they worked with me every step of the way. I came in with firm ideas of what I did not want (IV,to be on the monitor constantly) and the nurses were fine with it, however, when my midwife came to see me in the morning, she suggested drinking juice and/or jello, etc to prevent dehydration. Essentially, the nurses seemed okay with me being not submissive and in charge of my options, but maybe weren't all that well informed about alternatives. When my midwife was in the room, though, she had such a calm way about her, it helped me to relax. Her name was Susan Snydall. Kaiser is about much more than deliveries though, I've been in Kaiser since I was six, and have become more and more critical. Often, you have to make things seem like worse than they are if you want to be seen for routine things within a few months - optometry, pap smear, etc. I've had to learn their system and even so, I've had some bad experiences. There are some really good doctors, some just so-so, but getting an urgent care appointment can be confusing, theres all this call center stuff to go through. If you can find good doctors though, Kaiser can certainly be worth the effort. bethw

Nov 1999

I gave birth at Kaiser Hayward 3 years ago, so maybe this is a little dated but I had a pretty wonderful experience. After I originally had a random OB(supposedly my doctor) tell me at 3 months I should only gain 15 lbs. during pregnancy (I was closer to being underweight than overweight at that time anyway!!) I switched to the midwife program there. My midwife, Susan Snydall was wonderful and actually ended up delivering my baby as well. Atleast then, the midwives were in the hospital from 8 am-8pm weekdays (there are 3) with doctors the rest of the time. When I was admitted at 3am the doctors and nurses put a lot of presure on me to get an IV, lie down, keep the monitor on, etc. But once the midwife got there in the morning she gave me juice and food and put me in the shower, encouraged me to move around. Anyone with a low risk pregnancy can transfer to the midwife program, this means you see a midwife for every appointment instead of alternating between the OB and nurse practic. but when you are in the hospital is still luck as to who you get really delivering the baby. It was annoying the difference between the narrow minded doctors and calm gentle midwives but that's kaiser for you I guess. It can be really wonderful but you have to find the right doctor or nurse. Also if you are in the midwife program you are much more likely to have your care provider deliver your baby because they are delivering babies much more than the regular doctors. Furthermore, the lactation nurses at Hayward are very wonderful resourceful women who have a million tricks in their sleeve. The benefit of delivering at a hospital is definately the lactation nurses. I think they also have a similar program in San Rafael which maybe closer.