Finding an ObGyn while Pregnant

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  • hello BPN!  I am new to this network because we JUST found out we (myself, husband, five year old, and two year old) will be moving to the Bay area because of my husband's job.  I am currently 32 weeks pregnant but by the time we get there in early June I will be 34 weeks, in need of a doctor, housing, and sanity :)  We are currently living in North Carolina and so this is a huuuuge move for us in many ways.  I was hoping to get some advice. 

    We are trying to figure out where the best place for us to live will be.  My husband's job will be in downtown Oakland and because I will be on my own most of the day with 3 kids (one starting kindergarten in the fall-- any advice on schools would be helpful as well) I am hoping for the easiest transition.  I don't want to live too far away because I would like to keep his commute to a minimum but I also want to be comfortable.  We've looked at Alameda, Berkeley/Albany area, and Walnut Creek as options.  Any other places I should look at?  My son will be starting kindergarten so a really good school is high priority.  I am worried though with what I've researched in that enrollment might be full for a good school a house we would buy/rent would be zoned to... Also, I would love a yard to be able to send my two outside without having to take a newborn every time they need outside time... but not sure if I can get that in the city so that's why we're looking at Walnut Creek but worried about the commute and some of the schools don't seem as good?  

    Maybe I am just desperate at this point for some guidance.  Feeling overwhelmed, worried, anxious, excited, and just feeling a little lost!! I'm sorry if I sound super scatterbrained.  Just the state of things currently!  Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much in advance!! 

    I'm not sure how much useful advice I can offer, but just wanted to say I moved from NC (Greensboro) to North Berkeley (Albany border) two summers ago with a 4- and 2-year-old. It's not an easy transition by any means, but no move with little kids is. We've found this corner of the Bay to be very family-friendly, and the commute to Oakland is not bad at all. We have a yard and lots of kid neighbors. And the schools here are great. I'm not sure what you mean about full enrollment in areas where you're zoned to--it's my understanding that the public schools have to serve all kids who are in their city. You might not get your first choice, since the lottery has already happened, but you'll get into one of the schools in your zone. And they're all good. 

    Look at San Leandro's Broadmoor Neighborhood. Roosevelt Elementary is pretty highly rated. 

    Here's a list of cities that you might like with good schools and are easily commutable to Oakland:  Piedmont, Alameda, Moraga, Orinda, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek.  Piedmont and Alameda are drivable, and the other cities would commute via BART.  Each of the communities are different, so it gives you a range of prices and "feel".  Good luck!


    Great start for your relocation process, this Network is great!

    Sounds like a big project that you want to solve too quickly. 

    I think the first thing you should do, is find a place to stay temporarily, like a Airbnb. I know you want to "nest" but it is better to take your time and not to rush a decision. Also that can give you a better way to get to know an area...

    You also need people to help you navigate the area, maybe you have family, friends. In the past, I had help people, that did not know me, to look for rental homes ( no charge) or help family and friends ( of course clients as well) navigating the area, looking for venues, giving referrals,etc.  I just like helping people, like solving problems. I know the area well since I'm a Realtor, and I'm a Mom ( although the kids are young adults now). I have flexible time and I like to be a promoter for the Bay Area

    If you feel stuck and need a hand, call me. I'm out and about, you can text, email, whatever you need.

    I can help you find the answers .

    Good luck!

    This is a lot to do with two bigger kids and a little one on the way!  As a mama of three that did the move with just 2 at the time, I just want to say that while it's a tough transition getting to know a whole new area while being pregnant and then with a newborn, you'll make it through.  :-)

    My midwife was at Alta Bates in Berkeley, Lindy Johnson.  She's super experienced and a good fit for many, though I also liked Ellie Griffinger and Gwen Haynes.  If you need great hospital based birth providers, all three of those ladies are solid.

    I also really found an excellent community through Then Comes Baby, a pregnancy and new parent community center in Oakland.  I took an excellent prenatal yoga class with Torrey and since it was a series I got to know several women and really connected well.  Then, I did the 2nd/ 3rd Time Moms Group with Sabrina and it was very well ran, the teacher was a true pro and really actually helped me out a lot since I was struggling to figure out how to manage three and still stay sane.  And, my baby had some breastfeeding issues and she helped me tremendously, seeing things that some others didn't.   I met two women in that group who I now meet up with and our husband's are also meeting up for beers and poker!  That community connection was so important for us.

    We settled into a neighborhood called Montclair, which is up in the hills and helped me a bit since I am actually not a big fan of large cities and I like the little "Village" they have.  My middle child is at Smiles Preschool in Montclair (in the hills) and we love it.  The oldest is at Thornhill, though Montclair elementary was a great option, too.  

    Best wishes as you get used to the area!  I hope this helps a little!

    For work in downtown Oakland, you can live anywhere near a Bart station. Try looking at San Leandro and El Cerrito too. The schools "rate" sort of average, but that is because they are diverse, not because they are bad. You can find a doctor by just checking your insurance vs. your zip code, so don't worry too much about that. Housing may be had to find remotely, you may need to stay in some type of corporate apartments until you can find a home. Good luck!

    That does sound stressful! We recently moved to Bay Farm Island, which is in Alameda, we love living here, the schools here are great, and there are a lot of town homes on BayFarm island so I imagine that it wouldn't be too difficult to find one to rent initially while you get settled, many of them have small yards, and there are also a lot of parks nearby. I only have a baby, but know a couple who moved here from NYC last October and were able to still enroll their daughter in Bay Farm Elementary, which has great ratings, so it may be worth it to check out this part of Alameda! Also, the commute to downtown Oakland isn't bad either, it takes me about twenty to twenty-five minutes. Best of luck! 

    Maybe consider El Cerrito? I'm not sure what your budget is, but El Cerrito is just adjacent to Albany and there are some larger houses that aren't quiiiiiite as expensive. I would consider somewhere near the BART train, as it might make for an easier to commute to downtown Oakland than driving. Good luck!

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Moving to the East Bay when 8 months pregnant

Nov 2010

Hi there. We are a couple who will be expecting our first baby in late April. There is a possibility we will be moving from S.F. to the East Bay sometime near the 8th month of my pregnancy and we're worried about switching doctors. We've established a fairly strong trust with our current OBGYN but we'll be looking for an OBGYN in the Oakland / Berkeley. What we are wondering is if it will be really hard to find a doctor so late in my pregnancy. So far there have been no problems with my pregnancy and everything has been pretty smooth. We are insured under a HMO plan which typically assigns a primary doctor who will then refer an OB. Is this an unrealistic transition? Has anyone changed doctors this late in their pregnancy and if so what was your experience like? And of course, any OB recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Hello - I would suggest you look for / find a new OB now. The appointments are just once per month-ish early on, so it's not so many extra trips across the Bay now. I had to change from Kaiser to Blue Shield at 7 mo pregnant, and it was tough. I had to call a number of ob offices to find someone who would take me. Then I tried to meet as many of the doctors in the practice as possible (visits every week at the end made that easier).

As for recommending a doctor, it is all about what you are looking for. Do you want the UCSF residency top school analytical, knows all the studies & study results in her head type of doctor? or the more holistic comfort kind of midwife/doctor? also, there are many practices where you get who's on call, as opposed to your own doctor for the labor & delivery. There are pros and cons to that. We had a great experience at Alta Bates - the nurses during labor are almost more important for your during labor comfort & experience. been there

Hi! I did the same thing this year in May. We live in Berkeley, and I switched to an OBGYN in Oakland when I was 36w pregnant. The whole thing was an insurance issue, we had a new insurance and it caused us lots of trouble. Eventually I understood that as HMO, I had to get another OBGYN, if I did not want to pay 30%. So from my PCP I got a name of a doctor within network, closest one was in Oakland. The first time I called them they asked me to get all my files and fax them over, then they would decide if the doctor will accept me. I was so tired of all this insurance struggle, but I went to my old OBGYN office to get copies, did not fax them to the new doctor but called for an appointment - this time they surprisingly did not ask me for the reason of the appointment. When I got there, they saw of course that I was pregnant and they got a bit nervous. The doctor wanted to talk to me before accepting me as a patient. He took a look at my papers and since everything looked good, he said ok, because where else I would go this late, he said. Though he emphasized that I now had to follow exactly his prescriptions (well, I did. I did the 3h glucose test, but I refused an extra ultrasound at week 38 - felt that unnecessary). So don't worry too much, the change of OBGYN is possible. Take care of yourself and good luck! kel
You only got a few answers, so I thought I'd offer another perspective: maybe you don't need to change your OB at all? I live in Walnut Creek, but work in SF, had all my appointments in SF, and my son was born in SF. My husband wasn't really excited about that - he worried I'd be giving birth on the Bay Bridge, I think - but it was basically a non-issue. We went to the hospital in the middle of the night, and the only downside was that my husband couldn't hop home quickly for anything we forgot. Good luck, whatever you choose.