Pediatricians Who Support Alternative Choices

Questions & Responses:
Looking for a wonderful Pediatrician (3 responses)
Archived Responses: 

Delay/anti-vax-friendly pediatricians in East Bay

Oct 2013

I am looking for a pediatrician in the East Bay with Castro Valley as a center point (so hopefully not too much of a drive from there) who is accepting of delaying and refusing vaccines. I found some older posts, but wasn't sure if they were current enough that the doctors held the same policy. Also, many of the ones I found don't accept our insurance, so I was hoping for some more options. I did see Dr. Ann Parker suggested at Alameda Pediatrics and wondered if she is possibly the B. Anne Parker listed on their website and if she still supported alternative vaccine decisions. Any other recommendations who accept insurance (not a holistic or homeopathic doctor, unfortunately) are appreciated! Thanks! Elle

Dr. Ann Parker at Alameda Pediatrics is an excellent pediatrician who is openminded about vaccines. We have gone to her for years and have delayed most vaccines, split them up for doing them at separate times, and a few we have not done. She is very easy to talk to for parents and she relates very well to children and teenagers. anon

Holistic Pediatrician for our 10 month old

April 2013

We are looking for an alternative medical practitioner for our 10 month old daughter to care for her overall health, as well as to seek counsel with in regard to two current issues: a persistent rash in her neck folds and intermittent rash in her private areas and a shift in her bowel movements, both in consistency and frequency/effort. We are looking for someone who will not push vaccinations, is knowledgeable in non-western approaches too health and healing, and is a kind, patient, and accessible person. Thank you! rachel

I adore Dr. Amy Maidenberg at Sage Pediatrics on Piedmont in Oakland. She's not only the perfect holistic Pediatrician for my 2 year old son, but she's also the mom of a toddler, so I know she's going through the same issues herself (vaccinations, etc) and can relate on a new-parent level. Ashley

Dr. Amy Maidenberg of Sage Pediatrics is AMAZING! She's knowledgeable, kind, and holistic. She also does home visits for newborns, how great is that! Dr. Amy has a lovely office on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland: Best, Ellen

A holistic practitioner will help treat these conditions / symptoms as part of a bigger picture, and I highly recommend Randall Neustaedter, OMD, LAc. I've loved his books (The Holistic Baby Guide + Child Health Guide: Holistic Pediatrics for Parents) and all of the specific advice he gives in his books, as well as how he works with our son when we go in for office visits. He is in Redwood City, so I would recommend mid-day appointments to avoid commute traffic. I really feel like he treats our son as a whole being, not just the symptoms. His suggestions have worked - supplements, Chinese herbal remedies we get from him when at his office, as well as the suggestions that I've followed from his books (e.g. probiotics , homeopathic remedies, supplements, etc.). As a result, we've made it through our son's first 21 months very holistically, with only one medication thus far (he developed an ear infection that had lasted a few weeks, so we did an antibiotic for that, but now I have more information about homeopathic remedies from Dr. Neustaedter so would not do antibiotics again). I have also seen Dr. Neustaedter myself, as he also treats adults. Here's his information: Dr. Randall Neustaedter is a primary health care provider who has practiced homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and functional medicine for over 30 years, specializing in child health. He provides well-baby check-ups, acute care, and consultation about chronic conditions. He also treats adults for chronic conditions including immune system problems, allergies, headaches, digestive system illness, and many other issues. Here\xc3\x82\xe2\x80\x99s his web site: Hope this is helpful, Cheryl

Pediatricians ok with delayed vaccinations

March 2012

Hi Folks! Can anyone recommend a pediatrician that is ok with delaying vaccinations up to 2 years? Ideally this pediatrician would also be ok if I decided not to get my child certain vaccinations. Thanks, everyone! My head is still spinning from researching all this stuff. Victoria

Dr. Ann Parker in Alameda at Alameda Pediatrics is flexible about vaccinations. She has had many parents over the years with different views on vaccination. She is a great pediatricion, also. anon

Katya Gerwein at Bayside Medical is fantastic. She's been our 5 yr old son's pediatrician for several years and has always worked with us to determine the best vaccination course for our child. Melissa

Pediatrican or Family Doctor open to Alt Healing

Jan 2012

Can anyone refer a Pediatrician/Family Practice Doctor in the East Bay (Tri-Valley) Area who is good with kids and open minded (will consider/try alternative healing methods; not force vaccinations)? We have just moved to Livermore and are looking to find someone who fits this description who is within 30 min drive. Thanks. erica

Dr. Shannon McCune is a wonderful family doctor on Telegraph Ave. in south Berkeley. She is very open to alternative medicine treatment and refers patients often. She is a very open and sympathetic person. I think you would like her. She also has very good reviews on that you might want to look at. She can be reached at (510) 204-8110. I understand the frustration of finding such doctors. I am an ''alternative health practitioner'' and have the same issue with finding traditional doctors that are open minded. Best of luck to you! Leah

There is a lovely practice called Sage Pediatrics in Oakland. I recommend Dr. Amy Maidenberg there. I was pleased by her gentle approach and ability to listen and offer information in a way that very much felt like she was supporting my choice as a parent. Given that I have more alternative perspectives than my husband and my mom when it comes to health, I was also really impressed at how well Amy was able to respectfully communicate with all of us in the same appointment. She also did a home visit, which felt so right for a small baby. I also appreciate that Amy is the mother of 2 little ones herself. If you'd like to contact her, the number is (510-984-6169) and their website is Trina

Pediatrician Open to Alternative Vaccine Schedule?

March 2010

I'm having a baby any minute now and would like some local (Oakland, Berkeley) recommendations on a pediatrician that is more open to alternative medicine and is willing to break with the traditional vaccine schedule. Thanks! Carolyn

We go to Kiwi Pediatrics (652-1720) and are very happy with them. They are pro-vaccine, as are we, but I don't feel good about giving a baby a huge number of shots at once. We space them out, getting 1-2 on the appointed day, then coming in a couple weeks later for another 1-2, then a couple weeks later for more,... until we're done with that round. The doctor just told us which one(s) were the most urgent to get in that batch and we got those first. Not sure how much of an alternative schedule you want, but certainly for our slightly modified schedule, we didn't get any grief. Kiwi Fan

hi. i'm not sure how alternative you are looking for - spreading out most vaccines, or skipping many. if you are referring to spreading out vaccines i can recommend Dr. Meezan at The Pediatric Medical Group on Woolsey in Berkeley. we have taken our 20 month old daughter to her since birth. she always gives us her full time and attention, handles our daughter well, we like the nurses, she offers good advice, and has been open to us following Dr. Sears alternative schedule of spreading out vaccines. they also have separate healthy and sick kids waiting rooms, which we like. we have never given our daughter more than two shots at a time and we skipped the Hep B shot and the Rotovirus, since she stays home with me. they do not support anti-vaccination parenting, if that's what you were looking for. and a few months ago they told us that all their new patients had to get Varicella and MMR by age two. we are OK with this. she got Varicella yesterday and will get an MMR a month before she's 2. if you are OK with this too, then call them. if not, then i hope you get the help you were looking for. vicki

Check the archives, this was discussed a few months back. Our pediatrician (Kiwi Pediatrics ) were open for us to have an alternate vaccine schedule and also to refuse vaccines. We just had to sign a waiver form. anon

Though I do not like the office one bit because the wait is sooooo long (like 45 mins-1 hour! No kidding), I do go to Bayside Medical where Dr. Janet Perlman supports our Alternative Vaccine Schedule (we use Dr. Sears). I have heard that the other doctors in the practice are not at all happy with an alternative schedule.

However, I have decided we will switch to Pediatric Alternatives in Marin. They sound wonderful, well worth the drive. I would also be interested in learning if any of the pediatricians in Berkeley Pediatrics Group support alternative vaccine schedules. Their webpage says they will not accept families who will not vaccinate, but I don't know what their policy is about alternative schedules (their policy is in pdf which I can't open for some reason). - Dr. Sears fan

In search of open-minded Pediatrician

Feb 2010

We are about to have our first child and don't have a history of pediatric care in the bay area (we're both from the east coast). We are a very earth-based, holistically minded couple in search of a pediatrician that is open to supporting a non-traditional approach to pediatric care, i.e. the schedule of vaccinations (whether or not we get them), etc. We're in Oakland and are covered by BCBS PPO. Any suggestions/recommendations would be welcome and appreciated. Thank you- first-time parents

My husband and I were also looking for the same when we were looking for a Pediatrician for our first child when she was born. We tried a few Pediatricians at Kaiser before asking around and found out about Dr. Naomi Bolden . She is very kind and very open to the idea that we wanted to do the vacinations on an alternative schedule. Our experience with Kaiser that a lot better than I thought it would be. In general I found the Kaiser staff to be accepting of what we wanted our birthing experience to be. We chose not to have the baby cleaned after birth because we wanted to do that once we got home as a bonding experience and they were okay with that. Best of luck! Claudia

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Pediatricians open to modified vacc schedule

August 2009

Looking for a pediatrician that is open to a modified vaccination schedule that is near Benicia. I have read most of the posts about the doctors in and around Berkeley. I was hoping there might be one closer to East Vallejo/Benicia area. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Sasha

When our favorite pediatrician moved away from Benicia, we were not able to find a local doctor who would work with our modified immunization requests. In fact, we were flat-out denied service. We ended up finding a great pediatrician in Pinole. His name is Michael Linn and he is with Bayside Pediatrics . Their ph# is 510-724-8300. He is the nicest guy and respects the parents' viewpoints on immunizations. JOJ

Pediatrician who honors an ''alternative'' vaccine schedule

June 2009

Hi All, I am in search of a Pediatrician who honors an ''alternative'' vaccine schedule. Anyone out there had any luck finding one??? Would really appreciate some help. tired of being chastised for deviating

We've not had any issues or commentary as we've discussed, delayed and deferred vaccines with Dr. Janet Perlman at Bayside Medical on Telegraph in Berkeley. Anon

Dr. Winokur at Kiwi Pediatrics has been quite tolerant of my very alternative vaccination schedule. concerned Mom

We go to Kiwi Pediatrics in Albany (they have an office in Berkeley) and we're on an alternate vaccine schedule. They didn't argue too much w/ me when I proposed it on our first visit. I just had to sign papers. And when I talked to the pedi, it sounded like they've got many families they see who don't get any vaccination. They do try to get you to get vaccinated, but it's not to the level of badgering, so I've been okay w/ it. Their new doctor though (I don't remember her name) is a bit more forceful and I did not like her attitude so I just make sure we don't see her during our visits. anon

The poster is asking for a flexible schedule, and has received that information. But for the sake of the child, and because of misinformation provided at times in response to this question, I would like to provide some documented information as a physician and Berkeley parent.

Pediatric vaccines are recommended because they prevent devastating diseases, which are not entirely absent in the US today. A mother of a 7 month old in Minnesota discovered this when her child died of Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) meningitis in 2008, when she had delayed vaccination because of concerns about possible adverse effects. This case is reported in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, January 30, 2009 / 58(03);58-60 which states ''...During 2008 in Minnesota, five children aged 5 months to 3 years were reported with invasive Hib disease; one died. The patients resided in five different counties in Minnesota and had no known relationship to each other. Three patients had received no vaccinations because of parent or guardian deferral or refusal....''

Overall, Hib disease has around a 5% fatality rate--and about a quarter of survivors of meningitis have long term neurologic damage. The Hib vaccine is over 95% effective, and very safe. I think it is crucial for parents to have accurate information in making important decisions for their children. informed decision maker

Holistic Pediatrician in East Bay area

March 2009

Looking for a referral to a holistic pediatrician in the East Bay Area. Thank you! Julia

Hi there. I am an acupuncturist and herbalist in Emeryville specializing with children & I get this question all the time.

Unfortunately, there are currently no western medical practitioners in the east bay that actually practice holistic medicine. The closest option we have in the east bay are Medical Doctors that accept/support/tolerate parents' use of an alternative therapies for their children.

There is a group in Mill Valley called Pediatric Alternatives- and another group down in Bellemont that consist of MDs practicing holistic medicine in their practice.

Pediatric Alternatives-type in Berkeley?

Feb 2009

I am very interested in the Pediatric Alternatives practice in Mill Valley, but don't want to travel that far for pediatrics care. Is there any place near Berkeley that offers an integrative approach to children's health care? From the Pediatric Alternatives website: ''Integrative Medicine [combines] western medicine with alternative care, including herbal remedies and classical homeopathy.'' Their doctors are both MD and NDs. Thanks!

I have been practicing pediatric acupuncture and naturopathy in Berkeley for 25 years. During that time a number of MD pediatricians have come to my attention as being more open to working with alternative approaches. Sometimes they stay the course, sometimes they become more strict about what they will allow their patients to do or not do (eg. vaccinations, etc). I cannot recommend particular physicians to the public but I can suggest physician referrals to my own clients. I have to say, though, that their numbers have decreased over the years.

Pediatrician friendly to attachment parenting

Jan 2009

I'm looking for a pediatrician who is attachment parenting-friendly and who has a warm, generous, caring style. I am currently with Bayside Pediatriacs and, while I like the doctors OK, I hope to find an office that isn't so rushed with such impossibly long wait times. I also have an image in my head of a deeply kind, big-hearted pediatrician who remembers my son from visit to visit, who is a brilliant physician, who takes the time to teach us about our health, and who supports and even facilitates methods of healing that aren't always about medication. Also, someone who supports a delayed vaccine schedule and doesn't think that elimination communication is weird. I would like to *love* our pediatrician! We're in Berkeley. Thank you! Happy New Year! - lookin' for a big heart

I have to recommend our pediatrician, Dr. Wolffe Nadoolman in Berkeley. His website is Our kids absolutely love him. He knows them and practices what he believes about taking time to make the children feel open and secure. They look forward to seeing him. The level of care is like something from a different generation.

That said, I have no idea what he knows about elimination communication. I think he'd be ok with adjusting the vaccine schedule, but I know he is firm on kids getting vaccinated. Go and talk to him, and ask him. Frank

Pediatrician open to alternative modalities

Nov 2008

I am looking for a pediatrician, and open to a health care professional from a different discipline, for my 5 year old daughter and my baby-on-the-way. We want someone who is open to alternative modalities, and supportive of our following an alternative vaccine schedule. Here's the catch: I need someone who will bill my insurance. Cynthia

Hi there. There are no medical doctors located in the east bay that I currently know of that are holistically minded practitioners. There is a great practice up in Mill Valley and another one down in Bellemont. Unfortunately, the best that I have come across in the east bay are MDs that are open to alternative care for their patients, but are not actually practicing it. Jill

we have been going to dr.janet pearlman at bayside medical on telegraph in berkeley: (510) 843-4544. she is open to alternative vaccination schedules and very receptive to alternative modalities such as homeopathy. haia

Pro-homebirth pediatrician

Sept 2008

The pediatrician doesn't have to be PRO-homebirth, just homebirth-FRIENDLY, but that wouldn't fit in the heading. :) We're having a daughter in mid-January, hopefully at home, and we would like to know if anyone has had experience with homebirth and any of the female pediatricians at East Bay Pediatrics. Our three-year-old son sees Dr. Richard Oken at East Bay Pediatrics, and although we think he's a great doctor, he's old-school and old-fashioned and (although we haven't yet asked him for his opinion) probably not a fan of homebirth. (Also, he's male, and we'd like a female doctor at the same practice for our daughter.) Thanks for any advice you can share! Nicole R.

Dr. Gerwein and other doctors at Bayside Pediatrics on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley (just kitty corner from Whole Foods) is homebirth-friendly. Dr. Gerwein is respectful of our choices, inc. delaying vaccination or not having them. I believe they will also do a home visit if you are close enough to their office. One other place I'd try is Dr. Janet Himmelvo in Point Richmond, of Point Richmond Family Practice. She does home visits and I'm pretty sure is friendly to homebirthers. She and her partner just had a baby a few months ago.
homebirth family with regular pediatrician

SF pediatricians open to modified vac schedule

April 2008

Hi, I'm looking for recommendations for good SF-based pediatricians who support delayed/modified vaccination schedules. Thanks! anon

I had a baby in SF last year, and man did I make a lot of phone calls looking for an SF pediatrician who could meet my needs! I started out on Yelp! and BPN and got some recommendations from my midwives, but unfortunately I didn't save my notes from all the phone calls. One office manager explained to me why they do not allow parents to tinker with vaccination schedules - she said that insurance companies note which doctors do not vaccinate on the CDC schedule and ding them for it. More than one office told me that if I were to bring my child there as a patient, they would require me to sign a form saying I would adhere to the CDC vaccination schedule. No thank you! The only office I found that looked like it would work for me is Noe Valley Pediatrics ((415) 641-1019), which was conveniently a few blocks from my house... and they were not taking new clients (I was due in late September '07).

Since it looked like I was going to have to drive 30 minutes anyway to get to the CPMC end of town, I decided to go with Bayside Medical Group in Berkeley. We see Dr. Jenna Seiff, and have had a very good experience with her. We are splitting all our vaccinations so we go twice as often for half the number of shots. We also decided to skip Hep B until age 10, skip rotovirus completely, and delay chicken pox until school age. This has been absolutely no problemo with them.

There is a new pediatric clinic which opened just a few months ago - it's medical professionals who have recently left St. Luke's and it's on the corner of I think Church and 29th. I perused their website and they sounded open to flexible vaccination. I would have switched but they don't work as well with my insurance situation. I'll keep my eyes open next time I drive by and post again with the name of it if I can.

Continuation of earlier posting: the new SF pediatric clinic is on the corner of 29th and Church and it is called GetzWell Pediatrics ( Another SF Mama

Pediatrician open to no/few vaccines?

March 2008

Can anyone recommend a pediatrician in the Alta Bates medical group that doesn't push vaccines? I'm having my first baby in June and would love to find a natural leaning doctor for our new baby. Lesly

Hi, we are ''up to date'' with our vaccines, so I can't say from first-hand experience that we would be totally supported if we had chosen not to. However, I can recommend our Ped's practice: Kiwi Pediatrics (Dr. Kittams, Dr. Winokur, Dr. Salzberg). They have been very willing to discuss my concerns about some of the new vaccines and have been willing to let me hold off on one of them. I also remember their names coming up in a similar post about 6 years ago when we were also looking for a ped. Though, that is second-hand information. anon

We go to Dr. Janet Pearlman . We've only seen her a couple of times now, but we were real straight forward about the fact that we do not vaccinate, and so far she has been supportive. Before that we were seeing Dr. Kittams and he had said that he would be supportive, but every time we went he was telling us why we should vaccinate. Some of his reasons were very far fetched, and it got old real fast. anon

My two sons age 5 & 3 are have had almost no vaccines. We see Dr. Janet Perlman at Bayside Medical at 510-452-5231 in Berkeley near whole foods. She also has an office in Oakland. She is wonderful and respectful. She has never made us feel irresponsible for refusing vaccines. She is also great about the use of antibiotics. My younger son has had frequent ear infections and she has never pushed us to use antibiotics but has instead kept a close watch on him. All of these infections have turned out to be viral and have gone away within days. She is very kind to our children and she seems to be up on the more recent studies regarding pediatrics. She has raised a few kids herself and I find her to be very real around issues of eating, sleep, potty training and behavoir. I think there are some other docs in the office who support the delay or refusal of vaccines. Herbal Momma

You may want to check out Pediatric Alternatives in Mill Valley. We absolutely love the practice and find the drive well worth it. . They integrate the best of Eastern and Western medicine and are very supportive of a parents choice to not vaccinate or vaccinate selectively one at a time. fan of pediatric alternatives!

Practice that will accept non-vaccinated kids

Oct 2007

If there is anyone who can help me finding a doctors practice that will take non- vaccinated children, I would be really grateful. I have just moved here from England 8 weeks ago and would like to find a sympathetic doctor, who won't try to convince me to vaccinate. I have three young boys aged 6 1/2, 4 1/2 and 9 mths. Thanks. lucy

Dr. Janet Perlman, Bayside Pediatrics. She's the greatest. No hassle whatsoever about vaccines. Totally respects your choice. Homebirthed her own kids. She totally honors that I am an acupuncturist mom and don't use allopathic medicine except for certain kinds of cases. Smart, engaging, very experienced. I can't recommend her highly enough. Be aware that not every practitioner in the practice is like her, though. So it's worth the wait to get in to see her. Happy, holistic mom

Pediatrician that is NOT hot on Vaccines

April 2007

As part of my research I would like to interview one or two Pediatricians that are NOT hot on Vaccines. Any recommendations? Annon

Dr Perlman on telegraph is very definitely ''not hot'' on vaccines. Definitely check her out, we've had many pediatricians (3 kids) and love her best. christine

I just want to say that Janet Perlman of Bayside Medical Group (in Oakland 510.452.5231) has a very pragmatic approach to vaccines and as a result most her patients (or their parents) choose what she calls a ''boutique'' approach to vaccines-- setting their own timeline, choosing which ones are important to them at which stages, if at all. She has helped me immensely in balancing my desire to protect my child with my concerns about overburdening his immune system with too many vaccines. I also know people under her care who have had no vaccines. In general she leaves the parenting up to the parents--and doesn't pass judgement or have a specific agenda about how that should happen. This means however, that you have to be willing to do your homework--bring in your questions and concerns and advocate for your child and your parenting choices. She won't tell you what to do--which I think can also be stressful for new parents--but ultimately it is a gift and a rare one. Corey

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

Pediatrician for non-vaxed baby

August 2004

My husband and I just moved to the East Bay (albany, to be exact) with a 2 1/2 month old baby and need to find a Dr. We are not vaccinating our child and would like a Dr. who will not give us a lot of problems for that. Thank you. Kelly


  • Janet Perlman, Bayside Medical Group (2)
  • Primary Pediatric Medical Group

    Other advice:

    I have searched high and low and have left several pediatricians because they were disrespectful of my parenting decisions. I have found the doctor of my dreams! Not only is he not for vaccinations, he is a doctor of Chinese medicine, homeopathy and accupuncture. He has several books out on vaccinations and has a great web site His name is Randall Neustadter. He is in Redwood City butit is worth the drive! His number is 650-299-9170. Feel free to email me offline for more info. Melissa

    2003 & Earlier

    Limited Immunizations & Alternative Medicine


    We are looking for a new pediatrician for our seven months old son who was born at home and hasn't had any vaccinations yet. We would like a pediatrician who won't freak out by this, and, preferably, is also open to alternative medicine. Also, we would like the pediatrician's office to be reachable by public transport. (This is one reason why I don't want to see Dr. Gill who is recommended by the website.)

    Recommendations received:

  • Christine Ciavarella
  • David Kittams & Robin Winokur (5)
  • Frank Lucido
  • Janet Perlman, Bayside Medical Group

    Limited Immunizations & Open to Homeopathy


    We're looking for a pediatrician for our 16 month old. Previous postings that I've seen here didn't address our very specific wishes. We'd like someone who is fantastic with the child (and his lesbian parents...), and who is supportive or at least comfortable with various choices we're making, including limited and flexibly-timed immunizations, use of alternative medicine (such as homeopathy), family bed, and who doesn't keep us waiting in their office for more than 15-20 minutes (we waited 1.5 hours last week for our doctor!). Kind office and nursing staff are also important to us. Thanks in advance.

    Recommendations received:

  • Mary Jones , Berkeley
  • Robin Winokur , Berkeley
  • Jeff Gill , Orinda

    Vegan/Vegetarian Children


    I am looking for a pediatrician who is supportive/knowledgable about vegan/vegetarian toddlers. Any advice? Or recommendations? Thanks!

    Recommendations received:

  • Jennifer Miller, UCSF Medical Center
  • Janet Perlman, Bayside Pediatrics