ObGyn for a VBAC

Parent Q&A

Experienced OB/GYN for VBAC in Fremont area Sep 26, 2017 (3 responses below)
Looking for VBAC-supportive OBGYN Jan 31, 2017 (4 responses below)
  • Experienced OB/GYN for VBAC in Fremont area

    (3 replies)

    I had my first child via c-section in January 2015 and am very determined to try for a VBAC next time around. I am trying to get pregnant soon but I don't want to wait until then to get information on providers in my area that will support a VBAC patient. I want to have the chance to meet with them and ask questions, etc. before I make a decision. I live in Fremont and so far all the recommendations in archives point to either Kaiser (Oakland & WC) or Alta Bates in Berkeley. Both these facilities are almost 30 miles away from my place. So, I would really appreciate any recommendations for providers (obs or midwives) anywhere in/closer to the Fremont area. I have always been on PPO, so I am hesitant in switching entire family to Kaiser. 

    This is something that is VERY important to me, so I am very grateful for any help. Thanks so much Divya

    The vast majority of Bay Area providers support VBACs. This is not the case everywhere in this country but in the Bay Area it's hard to find someone who will not support you. Over 70% of women who attempt VBACs will be successful and they are quite safe (barring a few specific). I don't have a specific recommendation for you but just want to reassure you that any large OB/Gyn group or hospital system in the area should have providers willing to support you so I'd start there and give the group a call and ask about the VBAC policy. Usually all providers will be on the same page regarding this. 

    Thank you for reply, Lauren. I am looking for specific OB/GYN recommendation, who has experience in VBAC and good reputation. I have heard a lot of OB/GYN will say they are open to this idea initially and then closer to the due date, they will move their opinion towards csection. 

    Hi Divya,

    I had a successful VBAC last year with Dr Detata in Lucile Packard, Palo Alto.

    Hope this helps!

  • Looking for VBAC-supportive OBGYN

    (4 replies)


    I'm looking for a VBAC-supportive OBGYN in the East Bay.  I had an emergency C-section for my first due to fetal distress.  Based on some research, I've found recommendations for Kurt Wharton and Richard Rudd.  Any thoughts on those two, or other recommendations?  I'm in Berkeley, so the closer the better.  Also, should I be worried about Alta Bates closing in the next 3 years, or is that a longer-term thing?  Many of the VBAC-supportive OBGYN recs that I found deliver out of Alta Bates.  I have a PPO (not Kaiser).


    I'd avoid Dr. Rudd. Not good bedside manner.

    Example: I've had a couple of miscarriages, and at an early visit for the pregnancy that resulted in my younger son, (I was ~10 weeks pregnant) he spent a long time talking about all the great new tests that could be used with a miscarriage to figure out why you had the miscarriage. He talked about this for probably 8 of the 10 minutes I was there. I kept trying to change the subject and then finally had to bluntly say, "I don't want to talk about miscarriages anymore, because I am not going to have one this time and this discussion is making me uncomfortable."

    All of the other doctors I've seen in his group are good, though. Easy Bay OBGYN. Most are open to whatever you want to do - VBAC, repeat C-section, etc. 

    Hi there! I'm an L&D nurse at Alta Bates, so I can offer you quite a bit of insight on this subject. Any provider that you choose to deliver you at Alta Bates should be supportive of a VBAC (unless there are special circumstances at play). Alta Bates is VERY supportive of VBACS and our rate of women having VBACS is really high. I would highly recommend most of the Dr's at Sutter Foundation (where Dr. Rudd works). I would steer you towards the following Dr's over Dr. Rudd:





    Whoever you choose, you will have most or all of your appointments with that doc, but the doc that actually delivers your baby will be whoever is on call at the hospital that day. It may or may not be your doc. And while there are some docs that I like more than others,  I would be ok with any of them being at my delivery.  Have you thought about having a midwife? I just had a baby 2 months ago and could not recommend my midwife enough. Her and her partner do all their deliveries at Alta Bates and would be excellent at supporting you have a VBAC. Here is their website: http://www.gomidwives.com/

    Gwen is my midwife, but her partner Ellie is also AMAZING!

    Anyways, I could go on and on. Feel free to reach out if you want any more info. I hope this was a helpful start!

    I LOVE Meg Jewell, MD (was Meg Mihok until recently). Very VBAC supportive - very supportive in general. Kind and calm. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


VBAC East Bay Doctor and Hospital

May 2008

I had an emergency c-section after being induced with my first child and am strongly considering a VBAC for my second child. I am looking for a supportive doctor or midwife preferably in the San Ramon/Pleasanton area but will also take recommendations for other places in the East Bay. Any sort of advice will be appreciated! Lesley

I had a VBAC after an emergency C with my first child. My OB actually very strongly encouraged it, and I was against it, mostly out of fear of the unknown and fears of tearing at my scar site, etc ... Dr. Christine Riley in WC was my OB, and she was pretty convinced that I should do it. I did, and was I ever THRILLED with how easy the recovery was! She was great -- answered all of my questions and very self assured that all would be fine. I highly recommend her 185%! SHe is personable, knowledgeable and very skilled at what she does. Good luck! trish

If you are wiling to consider a homebirth, Mason Cornelius, LM CPM is a great choice in San Ramon / Pleasanton area. I had a wonderful VBAC with her in January of 2008. She lives in Dublin. She came to my home for thorough, unhurried prenatal visits, and did labwork at home as well. She provided outstanding support to me during my labor and birth (I chose waterbirth.) Multiple postpartum visits ensured breastfeeding success. I highly recommend her. Her website is www.novamidwifery.com Rasa

OB/GYN for VBAC in East Bay area

Oct 2006

I have checked the archives for this and there is only one recent recommendation, the rest are older and I am not sure how up to date. I had my first son via c-section in January 2006 and am very determined to try for a VBAC next time around. I would like to get pregnant next year but I don't want to wait until then to get information on providers in my area that will support a VBAC patient. I want to have the chance to meet with them and ask questions, etc. before I make a decision. My OB does not perform them nor are they allowed at the hospital where I delivered. So, I would really appreciate any recommendations for providers (obs or midwives) anywhere in the East Bay or Berkeley. This is something that is VERY important to me, so I am very grateful for any help. Thanks so much Maria

I had a great VBAC experience with Dr Richard Rudd of East Bay OB/GYN in January of 2005. I gave birth at Alta Bates and was induced due to high blood pressure two weeks before my due date, had an epidural, and still had a VBAC. I had seen the other (female) doctors in the practice and discussed the VBAC issue with them without much reassurance. When I saw Dr Rudd at 7 months I felt he discussed the options with me much more openly than the others and for some reason, even though I had not wanted a male doctor, I decided to stick with him for the rest of the pregnancy and fortunately when I needed to be induced I was able to schedule a day that he was there. Good luck, and I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have. Laura

I recommend Hsiu-li Cheng (pronounced Sho-lee). She's a nurse practitioner midwife, trained at Stanford and in England, and she has an amazing wealth of experience and knowledge. She is very warm and real, and very committed to VBAC. I was determined to have a VBAC and she was very encouraging. At the end of my pregnancy I consulted with some other folks just as a back-up in case Hsiu-li was tied up in an emergency that was happening, and none of them were at all encouraging about the VBAC. During the labor she was great, and she involved my husband, and she knew lots of ways to get my baby out quicker. And, my child was born posterior, with her head bent to the side - no easy thing - and it was almost painless. (Specifically, she doesn't just wait for the baby to come out, she sticks her hand in and moves the baby around. It's uncomfortable, but it was very helpful and necessary. We would have been waiting around for a long time without her manual interventions.) I know that the painless part is unusual, especially for a posterior delivery, but anyone who has delivered with Hsiu-li becomes a fan. She works out of Summit, so you'd deliver there. anon

Check out East Bay Fertility OB/GYN Medical Group on Regent St. in Berkeley. 510-843-7722.

I had a VBAC for my 2nd child with no problems after a horrendous 1st labor and c-section. I simply TOLD my doctors that I was having a VBAC, but if anything were to go wrong I wouldn't resist medical advice/common sense.

I thought the Drs were very supportive and impressed with my research... You are more likely to have a successful VBAC with a doula present. They asked who my doula was, and I told them it was Treesa Mclean, they were very pleased with my choice. Treesa works well with the Drs at Alta Bates and she has a good reputation there. Also, I found the labor and delivery nurses at Alta Bates VERY supportive of my VBAC decision.

Just b/c you had a difficult 1st delivery doesn't mean the 2nd one won't be easy. My 2nd came so fast I could barely get to the hospital which was a few blocks from my house. It was a text book L & D (the contractions, the water breaking, pushing for 30-45 min. and boom a baby!). So fast I couldn't even get any pain meds, which turned out okay (but God did it hurt) Go for the VBAC!

Alta Bates allows VBACs. I had a VBAC delivery there in May. My OB is Amy Huibonhoa and, in my case, she was supportive. amg

For my second baby, I had to switch OBs twice to find someone who was supportive of my desire for a VBAC. I wound up going to Dr. Richard Rudd (841-5510) who was very supportive of my desire for a VBAC (though not all the other doctors in the practive were). I wound up with a C-section the second time too because he was worried about cord prolapse, but because he had been so supportive of my desire for a VBAC I trusted him when he said it was imperative that I get a C-section immediately. We had our baby at Alta Bates

It's great that you're already thinking ahead to your next delivery, but the VBAC policy will most likely evolve over time. Not only does your OB have to be supportive, but everyone who might be covering her call schedule has to be on board for VBACs. My OB, Dr. Jill Foley, was totally supportive of my VBAC choice in January (and she was great in general), but her office joined forces with another practice for call coverage. Not everyone in the larger group seemed as flexible as she, and you never know who will show up for your delivery. Good luck! A Successful VBAC-er

I am seeking recommendations for a competent, responsive, supportive OB who will perform a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). I prefer the Alameda and Oakland area, however am open to hearing about any referrals in the East Bay. My OB no longer performs VBACs due to insurance hikes, and I need to find a new doctor quickly, as I am due in January and would like to establish a relationship with the doctor who will deliver my baby. Thanks, in advance, for your help! cre

Hi. I had a successful VBAC in November 2005 with Dr. Katarina Lanner-Cusin, who practices in Berkeley on Telegraph. Her entire practice is great and they were very supportive of my decision to try for a VBAC. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Ann

Female ObGyn for VBAC

June 2006

Hi, I would like to know if there is anyone out there who knows of a good doctor or midwife who will help me try for a vbac? I have had two previous c-sections. The first was due to a failure to progress, the baby was in a posterior position. I read later that there are positions that the mother can get into to help work this out. The second was due to a doctor who was very against the idea of a vbac. She did not tell me that she was against it until I was 8 months along, by then it was too late to switch doctors. Then she later claimed that I would not have been able to push anyway because I have a small pelvis. I am not pregnant yet, but we will be trying for a third child at the end of the year and I would like to try one more time for a vaginal birth. Because of my religion I need to have a female doctor and I would really like to have a midwife present as well. If there is anyone who knows of a good doctor/midwife or has experience with a vbac I would love to know. Thanks zm

Try Mary Davenport, MD. anon

Congratulations on pursuing a VBAC. I recently had a VBAC with a midwifery practice at St. Luke's -- Homestyle Midwifery . (click to read review)

OBYGN supportive of VBAC in SF?

April 2006

Hello, I would like to do VBAC the second time around, I am not yet pregnant again, but am trying to do my research ahead of time so that I won't have to worry about it when I am. Anyone know of a good OBGYN that is supportive of VBAC? I prefer CPMC because I had a good experience with them last time. I also liked the OB I had last time, and will be gauging how supportive she is of VBAC at my annual pap, which is next year..I'm just trying to prepare myself in case she isn't. I already know I'm a good candidate for VBAC so it's more a matter of how the particular Ob feels about it for their own reasons..Thanks so much!

Congratulations on pursuing a VBAC. I recently had a VBAC with a midwifery practice at St. Luke's -- Homestyle Midwifery . (click to read review)

VBAC with Dr. Huibonhoa

Dec 2005

I am a patient of Dr. Huibonhoa's who is considering attempting a VBAC with my second child. I would like to hear from others who have her as their OBGyn and had a VBAC about their experiences, positive or negative. There's nothing about this particular issue in the archives. Thanks.

VBAC - my advice is go for it! I had a brutal labor with my first child (38 hours in labor, 3 hours pushing then a c- section). With my second child I was determined to have a VBAC b/c I didn't want the slow recovery the C-section gave me. First I got a doula (Treesa McLean 510-581-1013) which ups your chances of having a successful VBAC, then I made sure that my doctors (East Bay OB/GYN) were positive about it. My VBAC went really well. Your body knows what to do the second time around. So much easier than the first, and faster too! My VBAC went really well, and I did it with out the drugs(wasn't planning on that, but it happened)! Lastly, I was always prepared to err on the side of safety. If for any reason during my labor my doctors thought I couldn't do a VBAC then I was ready to cave in. It helps to be flexible during labor. Happy VBACer

I am so happy to answer your posting about Dr. Huibonhoa. I had a really positive experience with her. She was the doctor on call for the birth of my second baby. She gave me the confidence and support I needed all the way through my labor and we ended up delivering naturally! I like her so much that if we decide to have another baby I will switch to her. Please feel free to email me if you want specifics about my experience. I really can't say enough about her. She was very professional yet personable and supportive. Best of luck with your VBAC!

Pro-VBAC Ob in Berkeley or Marin

May 2004

I just found out I'm pregnant, and I need a new ob/gyn. I'm currently in the East Bay but may be moving to Marin county this summer. I would like to find a very pro-VBAC ob/gyn in both the Berkeley and San Rafael areas. I don't want to go through another delivery with my previous doctor and I really don't want another c-section! Please help! Jennifer

Recommendations received:

  • Berkeley-Orinda Women's Health (Berkeley & Orinda)
  • Women's Medical Associates Greenbrea, Novato

    Other advice:
    I was just at my OB asking about this a couple weeks ago. My ob can't do these anymore (he's based out of Pleasanton, and ValleyCare is -- to put it mildly -- hideously conservative, and he can't get anyone to back him up). He told me he's referring people to a group that admits to Alta Bates. I want to say it's East Bay Perinatal but I'm not sure that's exactly right. His understanding is that you can still do VBAC at Alta Bates but that's it in the East Bay (I will forego my rant here about our reproductive rights being mashed by the insurance conglomerates, because I expect I'd be preaching to the choir....) Sara

    Experienced VBAC doctor

    May 2003

    I am recently pregnant with baby #2 and would like to try a VBAC for my next delivery. I am looking for a doctor (or practice group) that is very experienced and supportive of VBACs. My first baby was a scheduled c-section based on large size (9.5 lbs) and I feel a bit as though my dr.- who I otherwise liked very much - was not supportive of my desire to try for a vaginal birth. SO...I'm looking for a Dr. who is safe, of course, but also into VBACs. Thanks for you help. Berkeley Mom

    Recommendations received:

  • Arzou Ahsan East Bay OB/GYN Medical Group
  • Hsui-Li Cheng midwife