Seeking an OB for Alta Bates Delivery

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  • OB who delivers at Alta Bates

    (4 replies)

    I'll be moving (back) to Berkeley at 26 weeks pregnant and looking for a OB who delivers at Alta Bates. Does anyone have suggestions for providers they've had and loved?


    The team at sutter east bay on milvia street is first-class and they deliver at AB. I had a pretty complicated pregnancy and delivery, so I pretty much saw them all. Favorites were Venkat, Padatoori and Van Remorterer, but you’ll end up getting who you get for delivery anyway, so i was happy to have a whole team that was good. 

    I delivered at Alta Bates and has a fabulous experience with the OBs in the Sutter practice on Milvia Street. I saw Dr. Madhavan and Dr. Taub for prenatal visits and was delivered by Dr. Kadri. I recommend all of them.

    I’ve had 2 babies with Dr Yvette Gentry at AltaBates. Both were uncomplicated pregnancies. I really like her approach, which is low intervention. I think her practice is going through some changes in the new year, but they are worth checking out! 

    All the Sutter Health ob's deliver at Alta Bates. Their Milvia office is right around the corner from the hospital - super convenient.

  • Hi, I'm looking for an OB. Preferably in Berkeley or Oakland or nearby who delivers at Alta Bates, but if you have someone who delivers in Oakland (non-kaiser) or at UCSF who is amazing for what I need, I'd be interested in their names too.

    I have a history of medical trauma, (primarily my consent being disregarded), and have a disability around social communication and sometimes with verbal speech in stressful situations.

    I'm looking for an OB with experience with gestational diabetes who prioritizes true informed consent, and will frame conversations in a way that prioritizes my agency as well as health. I need someone who will take the time to make sure I understand them and they understand me, even when I'm struggling with communication. Someone with experience with neurodivergent pregnant people is a plus.

    Not what you asked for, so please feel free to disregard, but I had a great experience with my CNMs Aimee Tom and Jasmine Swinson in 2019/2020. I really didn't like my OB so went looking elsewhere, too. I really didn't want a non-medically credentialed midwife, and both women are nurses with a long history of nursing practice. I really appreciated the length of my appointments, email communication, etc. When I developed complications they were great and said they had a lot of experience co-managing things like pre-e (like me), gestational diabetes, and others.

    Most OBs in the area do not work on an "on-call" basis but rather in a group/rotational schedule so it's unlikely the OB you see through most of your pregnancy will be at the actual delivery. For that reason I would highly recommend a doula who can act as the person to help you frame these conversations with the OB who is at your delivery. In general though I found most OBs at Sutter (on Milvia) to be good with communication and the delivery nurses at Alta Bates to be great as well.

    Dr Nseyo is amazing and she’s at Alta Bates. My kid was delivered by c section and I’m planning on using her, if we have another kid. Absolutely love her!

    I also had medical trauma that made me nervous about the labor/birth experience. I found having a doula really helpful. (Or course this was pre-covid, so not sure what the doula situation is now.) I had to interview a few before I found the one that was I was most comfortable with. But she was a great support before, during, and after labor. 

    You might consider getting a doula for delivery. With most ob practices, when you’re in labor/delivering you’ll see whoever is on call and this may not be the person in the practice you connect with best. A doula stays with you for your entire labor and is there entirely for you—to help you through a crazy/wonderful experience, with comfort measures, and can help make sure there are no miscommunications between you and the nurses and doctors. 

    Fwiw, I delivered twice at Alta Bates using the ob/gyns at the 2500 Milvia office of Sutter and had great care both at the hospital and the practice. I mostly saw Dr. Cindy Zhang throughout my pregnancies (and even before) and she is fabulous. In fact, I loved all of the women doctors in that practice. (I saw one man for a check up once and cannot recommend him—forget his name unfortunately.). I also used a doula for both of my births, and it was the right call for me, especially with my first. Best of luck and congratulations!

    If I were in your shoes I would reach out to the midwives who deliver at Alta Bates (looks like they may now be teamed up as Golden Oak Midwives). I wanted to go this route with my first because it gives you the chance to work closely with the person who will be at your birth, but still deliver in the hospital. I didn't get to work with them because of schedule issues, but I spoke with both and thought they seemed great.

    Otherwise, I second the suggestion of a doula. For my second birth I worked with the Sutter group and thought they were great--all four doctors I met with were confidence-inspiring, supportive, and eager to support the birth experience I wanted. But it sounds like you might be looking for the extra support a doula could provide.

    Pavithra Venkat supervised my second pregnancy, and I cannot recommend her more highly. Our first birth was ROUGH mainly because of gestational-diabetes-related interventions, including an induction that stretched out for days; when we started Pregnancy #2 and went for our first prenatal appointment w/Dr. Venkat, we told her our birth story and felt like she both listened and truly heard us. She is low-intervention, evidence-based, and very personable and kind. And I'd also second (third?) the other recommendations you're getting here to look into having a doula to help with delivery room support.

    Dr Nseyo and most of her colleagues at east bay medical foundation. They were all amazing at Alta bates. Good luck!

  • Hello!

    We moved to Piedmont recently, and I am looking for an obgyn. I was looking at Sutter Health, but it makes me nervous, that the ob you build a relationship with during your pregnancy most likely will not be the one you deliver with. Therefore I am looking at any other doctors (board certified) that are affliated with Alta Bates, but have a smaller practice. I have Premera insurance. Any recommendations? 



    Have you considered a midwife? If your pregnancy is not high-risk, certified nurse midwives can have as much expertise with prenatal care and delivery as many OBs, and tend to have lower rates of unplanned medical intervention during birth. I recommend Golden Oak Midwives in Oakland; they work exclusively with Alta Bates.

    I was very happy with dr Lilia Lizano!

    I recently delivered at Alta Bates with Dr Lilia Lizano at Women’s Group for Health and she did all my prenatal care along the way. She makes a point to attend the deliveries of her patients (unless she’s out of town).

     I found her to be kind and knowledgeable and I definitely trusted her care during the actual delivery. The only critical thing I have to say is that I felt like her style of bedside manner didn’t quite match what I was seeking in terms of emotional support and helping me understand my options for delivery. As a first time mom I had lots of questions and ended up doing a lot of work to educate myself. In hindsight, if I supplemented my care with a doula and I think I would have gotten the best of both worlds— the emotional support that I was seeking and the great care that Dr Lizano gave backed by decades of experience. 

    Best of luck finding your care provider! 

    Dr Lília Lizano is great. I had a very good experience with her.

    Hi, I delivered at Alta Bates in January with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation on Milvia. I was very close to my doctor too but she was not the one on call when I went into labor. However, due to the length of my labor I probably pushed with 6 different OB’s in the end, including my own doctor, which is more than half of Milvia’s practice! My own doctor even made an appearance as she happened to come in the next day for a planned Caesarian, and upon hearing I was in labor she came in early. You just don’t know if you’ll be there for 12 or 72 hours so it’s hard to guarantee your OB or midwife no matter what, unless you sign up to do a homebirth. I just wanted to say that I found Milvia fantastic. It is actually the nurse assigned to your room that makes your experience since they are the ones in and out the most, while the OB make an appearance at push time. My nurse was amazing. If you have access to Sutter Milvia I would do it! 

  • Hi there,

    I’m switching OBs to the East Bay since we’ve moved. I’m 23 weeks pregnant and looking for a new OB or midwife who delivers at Alta Bates in Berkeley. Does anybody have any recommendations?


    I just delivered a VBAC at Alta Bates with Dr. Kier Van Remoortere at the Berkeley campus of the Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation. I was very happy with her throughout the pregnancy, and then I was lucky in that she was on-call during my delivery as well and I had a great experience with her then too. I had a few complications during pregnancy, and I found that the Sutter system was well-integrated with respects to referrals, sharing information, etc. Since it's a big practice, there's no guarantee that you'll have your doctor of choice for the actual delivery, but I was pretty happy with each of the 4 OBs I saw during my pregnancy (out of 14).

    I cannot recommend my midwives Ellie Griffinger and Gwen Haynes enough (private practice partners at Golden Oak Midwives). They spend ample time on appointments to address any and all concerns, and really take the time to build a trusting relationship with clients. They also have a beautiful space where they hold visits, and offer a number of extra resources through people in their community (workshops on lactation, acupuncture in pregnancy, choosing a doula, pelvic floor health, support groups for breastfeeding, etc). They also have practitioners working in their space who offer massage and pelvic floor physical therapy. I have not had my baby yet so I do not know what it will be like to work with them at Alta Bates, but they have a lot of reviews on their website and on Yelp that you can read.

    We are LOVING Dr. Pavithra Venkat at Sutter (delivers at Alta Bates). We did the "Sutter doctor bingo" approach w/our first child 3 years ago and while everything turned out fine, we did end up feeling a little disjointed w/continuity of care during the pregnancy and like we didn't really care which doctor delivered the baby (we ended up w/a longer L&D stay and so were interacting w/several doctors we'd not met and didn't care AT ALL). Dr. Venkat never makes you feel rushed, is very responsive to questions and seems really committed to trying to help clients have the experience they want. A friend who had a really traumatic first birth experience also delivered w/her (scheduled C-section) for Baby #2 and gives her nothing but the highest praise.

    I recommend Dr. Van Remoortere at sutter health in Berkeley. she was my OB while i was pregnant. She has a great bedside manner and is super knowledgeable.

    I believe at alta bates you are not able to choose the ob who will delivery your baby. it will be whoever is working in labor and delivery that day. Dr Thomas delivered my emergency c section and she did an excellent job.

    Ellie and Gwen with Golden Oak Midwives. Amazing pre and post natal care that was very personalized. I feel like I got the VIP treatment at Alta Bates and was treated like the goddess a birthing woman is! Really incredible ladies who care deeply about their work.

    I highly recommend Dr. Lilia Lizano, she has offices in Berkeley and Hercules. I gave birth to my baby in November/2018 and had an amazing experience with her.

    I delivered with Golden Oak Midwives this year and the two ladies are fantastic! Got a completely unmedicated birth that went very smoothly. If I ever want a second kid I would go with them again.

    Kier Van Reemoortere is great!!! i give her all the credit for my not having a c-section. 

    I worked with the golden oak midwifes with a delivery at Alta Bates. They were wonderful.

    You must go to Golden Oaks midwifes over the Sutter Group. I had birth experiences with both of them and I can't stress how much better my experience was with Ellie and Gwen. I saw the Sutter group for (#1) and Golden Oaks for (#3). Golden Oaks is amazing and the provide excellent pre and post natal care. One of them will be there for your birth. In addition, they helped me deal with trauma from birth #1 with the Sutter Group. One of my strongest memories of birth #3 is knowing that Ellie has my back and really knew what I was capable of.

    If nothing else, the Golden Oaks group was more efficient, you don't spend 45 minutes waiting for late appointments. 

    All of the midwives at Pacifica Family Maternity Center, right down the street from Alta Bates, are phenomenal. They have a great relationship with Alta Bates and many of their patients choose concurrent care and deliver in hospital. I'm hoping to deliver at their birth center, but would highly recommend their services to anyone, regardless of where you're hoping to have your little one

    Hi, I used to be with the large OB group from east bay Sutter Health medical foundation, but lost my privilages with them when Alta Bates Medical group severed ties with them as my medical group.  It SUCKED! i was so attached after delivering twice with their group and bummed when i got pregnant a third time and couldn't see my OB I had seen for over 7 years.  However, I found Dr Lilia Lizano for my third (which i delivered at Alta Bates a year ago).  Though it is a small practice (she has an office across from Alta Bates and also in Hercules i think) she was fantastic.  Amazing in fact.  It was amazing having her so present for my entire labor and delivery which included bed rest, and an induction.... and a healthy baby!!! i was blown away and really got the level of care i never knew before with the sutter east bay group that others were rec.  If you want to ask questions please feel free to ask...but i highly recommend her!