The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA


Local Resources for a Healthy Pregnancy
and Positive Birth Experience
in Silicon Valley

Go directly to Main Directory

Meet the Doulas Nights


 Pregnant & Can't Sleep?
Are you 18 to 32 weeks pregnant?

Stanford University Department of Psychiatry is conducting a study for insomnia that offers therapy that does NOT involve medication to qualified pregnant women.
Therapy and participation are at no charge. You may receive up to $240 as compensation for your time and other expenses involved in your participation.


New Birth Center in San Francisco!!!

San Francisco Birth Center

Opening Spring, 2016!


Tea with the Midwives in Los Gatos

Lin Lee and The Midwives are Back!  HURRAY!
Bay Area Maternity & Women's Health (BAM)
10430 South De Anza Blvd., Suite 230, Cupertino, CA 95014, 408-883-8233

BAM . . . no, they're not a new rock group.  Lin Lee used to be at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View,
and she's joining together with Maria Greulich to open a new midwife practice at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos.

This will be an ongoing, free, monthly event run by the Midwives. The first is at Los Gatos and then alternating between the Mountain View site and Los Gatos thereafter. It will always be on the 3rd Sunday of every month and we are all looking forward to seeing many new faces and several of our old friends too. So please come and welcome us back to the Community as we have missed you all very much and have lots to share!   

When - 3rd Sunday of every month, at 6.30pm - 8pm

Location - El Camino Hospital -- Los Gatos
815 Pollard Road,
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Meeting Rooms 1 and 2 -
Park in the front of the hospital and walk to the left hand side of the building. Look out for the signs for the Conference rooms which will be on the left hand side.

Maps & Directions:

Registration: please contact me to confirm attendance: linlee@gmail.com
Maria and Lin will be there and also Dr Jim Byrne, our Medical  Director for the practice will also attend. This is a great time to ask questions, get more information about the  new practice and share a cup of tea - of course!   

Children and babies welcome.


Blossom Beanstalk is a resale and retail store benefiting Blossom Birth Services


In 2011, California passed laws that require that hospitals tell the public how many people get infections while in their care.

Hospital-Acquired Infections: A First-hand Account
Patient Safety
California Hospitals Adapt to Infection Rate Requirements
Patient Safety: A Hospital Advocate Perspective


Thank you! to Tiny Tots Boutique
for their great support of our local birth community!
Go Green with Tiny Tots
138 Railway Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008

Does Your OB Prohibit Doulas?
There are some OB practices that "prohibit" doulas at the birth.  Aside from the fact that this is against the Rights of Childbearing Women (#15),
you should take this as a huge red flag.  The OBs in that practice may  have noticed that women who hire doulas then transfer care to another provider because of that practice's reputation in the birthing community.

Ask the Experts Panel
This is a free monthly panel discussion for expectant parents, those planning to be parents, and those interested in the current birth climate in the Bay Area. Come listen to a Midwife, OB, Lactation Specialist and other birth professionals and ask questions.  The theme of every discussion is
Will you have a "Mother-Friendly" childbirth?

These panels alternate monthly at Blossom Birth Services in Palo Alto and

Tiny Tots Boutique (in their classroom space) 138 Railway Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008

For more information about BABI (Bay Area Birth Information) or Ask The Experts, go to www.bayareabirthinfo.org


Homebirth Lunch
Come chat with other pregnant, hoping-to-get-pregnant, and new families who are planning or had a homebirth: share info and resources, commiserate, encourage and be encouraged! Thinking about homebirth, but haven't decided yet? This group is for you, too. Free. Bring your lunch if you like. Informal and unfacilitated.
If you'd like to talk with a midwife, please phone me (Ronnie Falcao, LM MS) at 650-961-9728, and I'll try to make it.

Third Tuesday of the month at Blossom Birth in Palo Alto, Noon to 1:30
Fourth Monday of the month at South Bay Homebirth Collective in San Jose, 12:30-2:00
Midwives Mingle - 1st Wednesday of each month at South Bay Homebirth Collective in San Jose - 6:30-8 :30 pm


Doula Training with Anny Hurty - Rare Opportunity!
Blossom founder, Anna Hurty, will be back in the area to teach occasional doula classes at Blossom.


The midwives at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos host a Yahoo Group: SVPregnancySupport (Silicon Valley Pregnancy Support Group)
We are here to discuss pregnancy, labor & delivery, postpartum and parenting issues specifically for women in the Bay Area.



Bay Area Maternity Services from calhospitalcompare.org

Check out the c-section rates, VBAC policies and breastfeeding rates for local hospitals.
[NOTE - I was skeptical of the actual numbers here, and Henci Goer confirmed my suspicions that there's something fishy about them:
These statistics are not the overall cesarean rate as anyone would think but the rate in women with term,  cephalic,
singleton pregnancies. Ditto for the VBAC rate."]

California Cesarean Rates by Hospital
These are absolute or total rates.

California Hospital VBAC Rates


Was your experience of childbirth WONDERFUL or DIFFICULT?

Our local birth resource centers often have support groups for telling your birth stories.


There are some birth activism groups organizing in the Bay Area:

Contact Shelley Campbell
(415) 451-1973




Homebirth is safer than hospital birth
for healthy women with a normal pregnancy says
new Canadian study, comparing midwives at home and in hospital and hospital OBs

Summary of the study

The study itself - abstract - full text

Additional homebirth safety references




How to File a Complaint About Bad Care at a Birth


In-home visits for lactation consulting provided by an experienced midwife.


Chiropractics may help your breech baby to turn head down

A local chiropractor is participating in a Practice-Based Research Program looking at the efficacy of the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique. The principle investigator is Dr. Joel Alcantara of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis to determine sacral misalignment and includes the application of a chiropractic adjustment which reduces interference to the nervous system, balances pelvic muscles and ligaments, alleviates torsion to the mother’s uterus allowing for optimal baby positioning.

Contact Laura A. Sheehan, D.C., sheehanchiropractic@gmail.com, 415-681-1031.


In June, 2005, Mountain View Fire Stations were included as "Safe Haven" sites where anyone may leave a new baby in safe hands without fear.  The Safely Surrendered Baby Law gives a parent the legal right to surrender a baby within three days of birth.  Parents who choose this option have 14 days to change their minds and retrieve their baby before the infant is placed in the foster care system or a pre-adoptive home.  All hospital emergency rooms are also "Safe Haven" sites. [Ley Como Entregar a Su Bebe Sin Peligro - Folleto - sin pena, sin culpe, sin nombres]


Pregnancy does not have to be one long continuum of minor discomforts!  We're lucky to have a local chiropractor/nutritionist
who has helped my clients with nausea, heartburn, swelling,  itchy skin, and, of course, musculoskeletal discomforts.
Dr. Anjali Agrawal, 949 Sherwood Avenue, Los Altos, CA  94022 650-949-3636.


Homebirth Midwives and Labor Coach Midwives in the South Peninsula area.
In California, LM's and CNM's have similar laws, but one big legal difference.
As of January, 2014, LMs are autonomous healthcare practitioners who no longer require physician supervision.

(The CPM designation is not recognized in California but is also equivalent.)


Insurance Coverage for Midwifery Care

Many homebirth midwives and hospital midwives accept private health insurance.

For Google employees, your CIGNA plan covers homebirth and monitrice/doula services very well.

Even if you have an HMO or a network that doesn't include any homebirth providers,
you can still get insurance coverage for your homebirth!
In California, consumers have rights to request coverage for out-of-network
providers if there are no in-network providers offering a particular type of care.
For complaints about PPOs, a good place to start and mention in your letter is the California Department of Insurance. You can file a complaint there.
You can also get information by phone at the Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357.
Or, if your insurance is with an HMO, contact the California Department of Managed Health Care at www.hmohelp.ca.gov or call the help center at 1-888-466-2219.

Medi-Cal Coverage: Some midwives also are able to accept Medi-Cal insurance.

Kavita Noble, CNM, Amy Meier, CNM,  and Kay Smolley, CNM (O'Connor Hospital and Good Samaritan)  accept regular insurance and Medi-Cal.

I don't know of any local homebirth midwives who are still able to accept Medi-Cal.
Kathryn Newburn, CNM, in Burlingame accepts Medi-Cal, and she will sometimes come down into the South Bay - 650-347-6943.
[Labor of Love Midwifery in Soquel used to take Medi-Cal, but they've closed their practice.  :-(  ]

California Birth Trust is a fledgling idea that will become a grassroots fund to provide midwifery services to MediCal eligible women.

Meet the Doulas Nights

Bay Area Birth Information (BABI) sponsors MTDN in 4 locations:

Palo Alto, Campbell, Los Gatos, San Mateo and Morgan Hill 


NOTE - If you find that information on this page is incorrect, please e-mail me about it.  Thank you!




Main Directory


Home Health Care

Birth Centers and Hospitals

Birthing Tubs and Waterbirth, TENS Rentals

VBAC - Vaginal Birth After Cesarean and Vaginal Twin Births

Birth Attendants Who Delay Clamping/Cutting the Umbilical Cord

Birth Attendants Who Use Optimal Cord Technology - Superior for Breastfeeding

Low-Cost Prenatal Care

Hospital-Based Care Providers (Midwives, Family Practice Docs, OBsPediatricians)

Holistic Pediatricians

Pediatricians and Doctors who truly support a parent's right to decline vaccination for their children

Midwives, Pediatricians and Doctors Who Make Home Visits

For Turning Breech Babies

Sibling or Child Doulas

Integrative Medicine HealthCare Providers - MDs with an Expanded Practice, Nutritionists, Homeopaths, Chiropractics,
Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Osteopaths, Chinese Medicine, Placenta Encapsulation, Ayurveda,

Childbirth Preparation - Education, Hypnobirthing®, Yoga, Massage, Photographers

No-Cut or Low-Cut Bris Ceremonies

Breastfeeding / Tongue Tie Postpartum, Fathering and Parenting Resources

Resources for a Sane Postpartum

Unexpected OutcomesTherapy for Maternal Birth Trauma - Physical, Postpartum Therapy for Maternal Birth Trauma - Emotional,
Sex Therapy, Sleep Consultants, Therapy for Newborn Birth Trauma, Postpartum Therapy for Paternal/Partner Birth Trauma
Counseling, Blessingways, Reiki, Energy Work

Herbalists, Fertility Resources and Perimenopausal Resources
Birth Art and Photography, Supplies and Miscellaneous


Other Local Birth Resource Centers or Nearby Resource Lists

Bay Area Birth Information  - BABI has a terrific referral page for the San Jose area.

An extensive Provider List from Blossom Birth Services, including information about Acupuncture, Baby Care Products, Baby Nurse, Baby Sign Language, Bellycasting, Bereavement Services, Birth Announcements, Birth and Pregnancy Supplies, Birth Tub Rentals, Blessingway Ceremonies, Breastfeeding Assistance, Breastfeeding Classes, Cesarean Support, Children's Clothes, Childbirth Prep - Public, Childbirth Prep - Private, Child Care Referral, Child Care Services, Chiropractors, Classes, Coach, Counseling, CPR/Safety Classes, Craniosacral Therapy, Diaper Bags, Diaper Service, Doula Education, Doula/Labor Support, Doula/Postpartum, Emergency Services, Exercise Class, Fertility, Genetic Counseling, Herbalists, Homebirth, Holistic Health Providers, Holistic Pediatrics, Homeopathic Medicine, Hospital Tours, Hypnotherapists, Infant Bedding, Infant Massage, Insurance, Kid's Preowned Clothing and Equipment, Kinesiology, Massage, Meditation, Midwives, Midwives/Postpartum and Well Baby Care, Myofascial Therapy, Mothers Groups and Parent Clubs, Naturopathic Medicine, Night Nurses/Doulas, Nutrition, Ob/Gyn, Occupational Therapy, Osteopath, Pediatrician, Photography, Physical Therapy, Pilates, Portrait Art, Postpatum Depression , Premature Birth Support, Professional Women Support, Psychologists/Counselors, Registered Nurse, Resource Centers, Spa Services, Twins Support, Waterbirth.

Please e-mail me with additional suggestions for this page.  Thanks.   We're lucky to have multiple birth resource centers in the area:

Blossom Birth Services in Palo Alto (650-321-2326) also maintains their own extensive resource list.

Harmony Birth Resources in Campbell is a birth resource center for the South Bay!  Directors Jennifer Penick and Kristin Milner Evans,
621 East Campbell Avenue, Suite 14, in Campbell (next to the Campbell Inn, between the Pruneyard and Historic Downtown Campbell).
They offer yoga and movement classes as well as classes relating to conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting.

Bay Area Naturally - holistic and earth-friendly businesses

Resource information from bayarea.UrbanBaby.com

Natural Resources - a pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting center in San Francisco

The Maternal Wellness Center in San Francisco is located at 606 Carpenter Lane, at the corner of Greene Street near the High Point Cafe.....to schedule a massage (on the belly table!) or for any questions please call 215 713 2666. They also sponsor New Moms Groups.

Day One - the center for new and expectant parents, 3490 California Street, Suite 203, San Francisco, California 94118

Pregnancy, Birth & Parenting Resources in Southern Alameda County

Birth Network of Santa Cruz

BirthWays - a birth resource center in Berkeley/Oakland; also offers a beautifully decorated space available for classes and other events. 510-869-2797, email: contact@birthways.org

UCB Parents Network - Recommendations for Medical and Dental Providers in the Berkeley area

The only thing really happening in the East Bay right now is the The East Bay Doula Circle.

The Birth Network - Birthing information and resources for Santa Cruz County.

Dolphin Yoga & Doula Center in San Mateo

East Bay Birth Circle - Pregnancy, Birth & Parenting Resources in Fremont - This web site is the first step in developing a birth resource center in Fremont, California. For now, the site will be a compilation of resources available to families in Fremont and the surrounding cities of Hayward, Union City, Newark, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, and San Leandro.

The Santa Cruz Village Birth & Family Enrichment Center in Santa Cruz is merging with Baby Steps Doulas as of April 1, 2014.

Closed Birth Resource Centers

Day One - the center for new and expectant parents, new location in Palo Alto at Town and Country Village.

The Red Tent in Los Gatos has closed its doors.  Alas.  It was great while it lasted!

Insurance Coverage for In-Home Postpartum Care

In California, state law requires insurance companies who cover maternity care to cover care for a minimum of 48 hours after a vaginal birth and 96 hours after a cesarean birth.  (California Codes, Insurance Code, Section 10123.87)  You may arrange with your in-hospital care provider for this postpartum care to be provided in the home by midwives.

Payment for Alternative Birth Services

Many insurance companies really drag their feet when it comes to paying for "alternative" birth services, including doulas and homebirth.  These choices typically cost less than a standard epidural/pitocin/vacuum extraction route, but insurance companies will do anything to avoid paying money, and they seem to think people are more likely to give up more readily regarding payment for alternative services.  Well, ha!  This is your chance to put your maternity leave to good use and learn more about the American legal system.  Take your insurance company to Small Claims Court.  You can collect up to $7500 per claim, you do not need to consult a lawyer, and you get to watch your insurance company's representative explain to a judge why they are in direct violation of California law in not covering care for new mothers and babies.


Birth Centers and Hospitals


Birth Centers

Midwives providing out-of-hospital care work with low-risk women, but they are also trained and equipped to handle emergencies that may arise.  One of the nice things about a birth center is that they can keep most of the emergency equipment in the closet, rather than cluttering the entryway or hallway as we do at homebirth.  Why choose a birth center?  There are lots of good reasons, but here's a Fact Sheet: Out-of-Hospital Midwifery Care: Much Lower Rates of Cesarean Sections for Low-Risk Women and The Evidence Basis for the Ten Steps of Mother Friendly Care.

Sanctuary for Birth and Wellness will be a free-standing birth and wellness center in the San Jose (California) area dedicated to expanding women's options regarding childbirth beyond either birthing at home or in hospital. As a non-profit, we will serve families of all socio-economic backgrounds with birth, wellness, and educational services.

Morgan Hill - Casa Natal Birth Center - opened 2013

San Ramon - Nova Family Birth Center - opening October, 2014 - A freestanding Birth Center serving healthy low-risk women by providing full scope prenatal care, midwife attended births and complete post-partum support.  510-333-8911

Berkeley - Pacifica Family Maternity Center ~ An East Bay Birth Center.  Their new building is located at 3101 Telegraph in Berkeley. HURRAY!

Oakland - Bay Area Midwifery, a Community Wellness and Birth Center, 2800 Park Blvd, Oakland Ca 94610. The individual midwives have their own phone numbers.  (Formerly Sacred Birth Place with Selena Green and Nariman Nasser.)

You could also look at Birth Centers Online: www.BirthCenters.org - a joint project of the NACC Foundation and the National Association of Childbearing.Centers.

Another place to look is the list of licensed facilities, including hospitals and birth centers - Names and Addresses of California Health Facilities

Closed Birth Centers

Sage Femme Midwifery Service and Education Center, 154 A Capp Street, San Francisco, CA  94110, 415-552-6600, 415-552-6680 director, Judith Loebensteen-Tinkelenberg, RN, CNM, CCE, Email: sagefemmemidwifery@yahoo.com [Note - In November, 2011, this birth center is closed.]

The Birth Home in Pleasanton - closed as of Aug. 31, 2005 due to difficulty securing midwifery coverage.

If you're looking for information about the Birth Place in Menlo Park, it opened in 1979 and closed in 1994.

The Marin Birth Center in San Rafael is also closed, but you can contact me if you're trying to get in touch with some of the midwives who practiced there.

Birthing Tubs and Waterbirth

Ronnie Falcao - AquaDoula birthing tub rentals out of Mountain View

Sunshine Tomlin - birth tub rentals - deliveries to South Bay and Santa Cruz area

Heather & Steve's AquaDoula rental, San Francisco.  $200.  Email us at sfaquadoula4rent@gmail.com.

Esther Healey in Oakland rents AquaDoula and La Bassine tubs.

BABI - Bay Area Birth Information - Use the pull-down menu for "Birth / Labor Tubs"

Natural Resourcesin San Francisco rents Waterbirth tubs, 415 550-2611, 1367 Valencia St., San Francisco, CA 94110, info@naturalresources-sf.com

Erin Brown - (415)488-1028 - Three birth tubs for rent.

Esther Antonelli Schmidt - East Bay - (510) 725-5456 - Three AquaDoulas for rent at $250. www.Breathe-Esther.org, midwifery@breathe-esther.org

BirthWays, Berkeley, rents a Spa-In-The-Box.

Birth Tub Rentals - Spa-N-A-Box rented out of El Cerrito for $200.00, from 38th-42nd week.  Contact Mariaelena Robles Quale, 510-760-7549, eastbaydoula@gmail.com

The Nurture Center in Lafayette offers AquaDoula Water Birth Tub Rental - 925-283-1346

Molly Sullivan, 510 710-7166

Internal Wisdom – Aqua Doula Tub, Kari Tinker, 650-359-9056, kariseligman@hotmail.com

Gentle Birth Tubs - Spa-N-A-Box tub rentals within a 40 mile drive of Tracy, California.  This typically includes San Joaquin County and parts of Alameda, Contra Costa, and Stanislaus Counties.  If you are outside of this area, please contact me as I may be able to deliver to you for an additional fee.

Judy Shalev, 510-763-9362, Oakland - "Rent a Portable Birth Tub - Labor in Warm Soothing Water"

150 gallon hard-sided Rubbermaid tub w/lid, hose, faucet attachment, instructions - $50 rental if you pick up the tub from downtown San Jose; the tub fits in a truck, van or SUV, or will deliver for $50 more.  Contact Rick & Angie Schertle, 408-279-0307, 408-314-3588, schertle@yahoo.com

. . . or you can rent from national organizations.

There's an odd phenomenon happening on the Peninsula.  We're hearing increasing rumors about birthing tubs in hospitals; obviously, the public is requesting them, and we'll see whether the hospitals actually ever install them and allow women to labor and birth in them.

I'm going to record the state of rumors and reality here, as reported to me: [Or you can read fuller reports]

Hot off the Press! as of July, 2005 - Sequoia Hospital (Redwood City) - I heard a first-hand report from a woman who arranged to leave her AquaDoula tub at Sequoia hospital, and they set it up in her room when she was in early labor, and it was waiting for her, ready to use, when se got there.  Wow!  What a wonderful option!  Fingers crossed that this is a sign of progressive times to come.  [Note - the permanently installed beautiful birthing tub there is reported to have been dismantled.]

El Camino Hospital Los Gatos - Some of the staff tell women they can bring their own labor/birthing tubs into the hospital, and others say no.  If this is important to you, get it in writing!

El Camino Hospital (Mountain View) - As reported to me - phone conversation with the Director of Maternal/ Child ? (Services?), Barbara Petree (phone 650-940-7161). They have small tubs in 9 out of 10 rooms, but no, they don't allow portable tubs.  (Something that she didn't mention is that like most hospitals, El Camino doesn't really have good hot water coming into most of the labor rooms, so even if you are laboring in a room with a tub and are cleared to use it for a half hour at a time, the water may not be warm enough to allow you to relax in it.  Someday . . .)

Stanford University Hospital (Palo Alto) - The only rumors I've heard are that Stanford has no interest in having women labor or birth in tubs..  In fact, they don't seem to have any tubs at all in the L&D rooms, not even basic bathtubs.

Mills Peninsula Hospital (Burlingame?) - As reported to me - they have a single portable tub on wheels (AquaDoula? 4' wide, about 3' deep?) that takes a while to fill. Can be used with ROM and pit if continuous telemetry unit available (only EFM that is 'waterproof').  Only water labor is officially allowed, not water birth, although some babies have come more quickly than the mom could get out of the water.  It's possible that these tubs are no longer available, since the midwifery program was dissolved on May 1, 2006, "due to the medical legal climate currently surrounding healthcare."

It used to be that the closest facility that truly offered waterbirth was the The Birth Home in Pleasanton, which closed Aug. 31, 2005.  However, there are rumors that it's possible to have a waterbirth at Sequoia Hospital.  There are also rumors about the Sutter Birth Center in Santa Cruz.  (As an aside, although this is called a Birth Center, it is not a free-standing birth center - it is really attached to a surgical center where cesareans are done.)  The only planned/confirmed waterbirths happening on the Peninsula are happening in private homes.  If having a waterbirth is important to you, make sure the midwife actively supports waterbirth; some encourage laboring in a birth tub but want you to get out of the tub for the birth. Some local midwives rent out or provide tubs for laboring or waterbirth.

TENS Rentals

TENS units can be used to provide pain relief during labor.

Felissa Hay, 408-781-2182, felissa@yourbirthdoula.com, $75 with delivery and 20% off if you come pick it up and drop it off yourself. Also, 10% off for people with the El Camino-Los Gatos midwives?

Vaness Pisias, 408.202.8369, vanessathedoula@yahoo.com, contact web page

Megumi Burr-Tolliver, contact web page from becoming-a-mama.com

Deana Harris, 650-648-3198, mydouladeana.com, mydouladeana@yahoo.com

Stacy Hattori, trivalleydoula.com,  925-413-6328, $70 for 4 weeks, postage included.  Will meet with mommas and teach them how to use it.

These places rent standard TENS units - they're not specifically designed for labor but work OK; both say they'll give you the rental rate negotiated with your insurance carrier even though they may not cover the rental for use in labor.

California  Home Medical Equipment, 1166 Triton Drive, Suite 600, Foster City, CA 94404, 1800-906-0626.

Apria, 3905 Bohannon Dr, Menlo Park, CA, 1-650-330-2420

TENS rentals out of Mountain View.  Ronnie Falcao provides these as a last resort for people who can't find them anywhere else.

VBAC - Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

Read about our local chapter of ICAN - International Cesarean Awareness Network

Krystal Long, is facilitating VBAC Support Circles in Santa Cruz & Campbell ; she maintains a list of VBAC providers she can forward to you.  831.216.6262

ICAN is the International Cesarean Awareness Network.  There is a local ICAN chapter meeting the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 7-8:30 pm at Blossom Birth Services in Palo Alto  "ICAN's mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing  unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)." Here's the Yahoo Group for our local chapter

The midwives at MGH: Prima Midwives of Marin are offering VBAC services with approximately an 80% success rate!  They've been doing VBACs for the past 18 years or so.  Although it's a long drive from the South Bay, labors that start naturally do tend to start at night when traffic is light.  VBAC labors tend to be at least 3-4 hours, at least for a mom who's having a first vaginal birth, so there's likely to be time to get up there.  The logistics of being further from home and an older child are complicated, but if you can't find any other good VBAC support, this might still be a good option.

UCSF seems to be very supportive of VBAC and is even closer than Marin!

For the latest information on local practitioners who support VBAC, join the icansanjose Yahoo Group for our local chapter. They have a great resource file of local VBAC practitioners in their "Files" section.  Or send e-mail to icansanjose-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Your doctor will likely scare the bejesus out of you and especially out of your husband! regarding uterine rupture.  For a little grounding in reality, read about the relative risks of uterine rupture, especially this stellar statistical analysis.  In particular, it points out that "You're 6 times more likely to have a doctor who is an impostor than you are to suffer a rupture."

Here's the situation - Cesarean surgery leaves a scar in the uterus.  There is a VERY small chance that this scar might re-open under the stress of a subsequent pregnancy or labor.  This chance is so small that doctors don't even think to mention it the first time they suggest a cesarean.  If the uterine scar does start to open during a subsequent pregnancy or labor, and if it takes a long time for the healthcare providers to notice this problem, then it can become life threatening to the mother and baby.  This might necessitate a true emergency cesarean, i.e. one done in about five minutes.  So, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that the laboring woman's obstetrician remain very close by in order to be available for this emergency surgery, should it become necessary. Well, this situation isn't very appealing to obstetricians, who typically spend less than an hour at a birth and aren't going to be enthusiastic about spending the 12-18 hours it might take for a VBAC.  Plus, there is an increased liability risk to the obstetrician and the hospital.  So . . . their solution is to prohibit VBACs, even though cesarean surgery creates a higher risk for the mother and creates other risks for the baby.

This is a lose-lose situation for mother and baby.

If you're as appalled and outraged as I am, I encourage you to learn more about VBAC, become a member of  ICAN (The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc), educate yourself about the ways that intelligent management of VBAC labor can prevent and ameliorate rare uterine ruptures, and become activist in supporting birthing women's choices in general before all your choices are taken away from you.

From the web pages of the Consortium for the Evidence-based practice of Obstetrics - ending "Flat Earth Obstetrics":

Defensive medicine rules the day. This creates an asymmetrical burden of risk that falls unfairly on the childbearing woman, in which the mother is exposed to the actual pain and potential harm of medical and surgical interventions in order to reduce the risk of litigation for the obstetrician
Obviously, the best way to avoid getting caught in the VBAC trap is to avoid the first c-section.  This is best done by choosing birth attendants and hospitals with low c-section rates.  Here's the relative c-section and VBAC data for California hospitals in 2006[If you link to the "rate explanation" at the bottom of the pages, you will find that the c/sec rate is the rate of cesareans per 100 deliveries EXCLUDING abnormal presentation, preterm birth, fetal death, multiple gestations, and breech. Same is true of the primary rate (rate of 1st c/secs). The c/sec rate in low-risk women (term, singleton, head down) is now being passed off as the total c/sec rate without any indication in the document itself of the switch.]

Here is the state of local rumors about VBAC policy - please e-mail me more information.

[When you think you've found a midwife or OB and hospital that will "allow" you to give birth by VBAC, be sure to ask them how VBACs are treated differently from low-risk births and what is their VBAC rate among women who want to have a VBAC.]

Best hospitals for a VBAC:
Valley Med is the largest VBAC center in California, with over 250 a year as of 2010.  They are dedicated to providing excellent care, and as a county facility, they have an obligation to shepherd the county's healthcare dollars and not waste them on unnecessary c-sections.  You can check to see if there's an OB/GYN with privileges at Valley Med who's covered by your healthcare plan.
Kaiser facilities with midwives on staff are your best bet for a system that supports VBAC.  Kaiser loses money if you have a repeat c-section, whereas other hospitals make more money if you have a repeat c-section.  As they say in the movies . . . follow the money! [NOTE - I've heard some negative things about Kaiser San Jose regarding VBAC support, even though they are mostly staffed by midwives.  I've heard that Kaiser Santa Clara is actually much better as of 2011.]

Hospitals that have sometimes not allowed VBACs at all:

El Camino Hospital recently received a letter from their malpractice insurance provider that they cannot do VBACs after July 1, 2004, even if the doctor stays in house.  (01/08 - I've heard mixed versions of this policy, and that Drs.Sahai, Raman and Raj are still attending VBACs?)  As of July, 2009, I heard that Drs. Christine Litwin-Sanguinetti and Dr. Katherine Sutherland are attending VBACs at El Camino.  They charge extra for the additional time they're required to stay at the hospital.  I applaud them for taking this reasonable approach.  They get paid well for their time, the insurance company still ends up paying less for the birth, and the mom gets her VBAC!!!

Dec./Jan., 2009, in a letter from Kenneth D. Graham, CEO of El Camino Hospital to Suzanne Andrews of our local ICAN chapter:

"VBAC is allowed at El Camino Hospital.  The medical staff of the OB department established the monitoring requirement for women in active labor attempting a VBAC.  Community standards and medical organization standards were reviewed when setting El Camino Hospital's policy.  Safety of mother and baby is our utmost concern...We are confident in the services we provide...Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention."

As most of you probably know, the problem is the monitoring requirements.  Just to make sure everyone is aware, let me explain:  As I understand it, an OB is required to be present in the hospital the entire time a VBAC mom is laboring.  This is an onerous requirement for OBs because of their patient load and the way their practice is set up.  We are blessed to have wonderful, supportive docs in our community such as Dr. Weber who want to support women, but each time they take a VBAC client, it is likely to require a great deal of their own personal time.  This monitoring requirement is currently nearly universal, and does come from community standards and medical organizations (like ACOG and insurance companies, I believe).  In our letters, we encouraged El Camino to consider hiring an OB hospitalist, which is an OB who stays on-site and covers the monitoring requirement for the other OBs.  El Camino currently does not have such a staff person, although I know Lin and Olga have been working on that for quite awhile.  [Editor's NOTE - it is clearly in the insurance company's best interests for the mom to have a VBAC rather than a repeat cesarean . . . it reduces the postpartum hospitalization from 4 days to 2 days, which saves the insurance company about $5000 to $10000.  Why are the insurance companies not figuring out a way to pay OBs for their extra time?!?]

As far as I can tell, docs are taking VBAC clients on a case-by-case basis.  This is understandable, given the system they work within.

Hospitals that require the doctor in attendance the entire time - most doctors don't have the time for labor sitting, so it's going to be hard to have a VBAC at one of these hospitals:
Good Samaritan Hospital has hospitalists so they always have an obstetrician in the house; this makes it easier for the OBs to offer VBAC there.

Hospitals that do not have this restrictive policy:
El Camino Hospital Los Gatos - I haven't heard their new policy since the re-org.

Midwives and OBs who are still attending VBAC:

Cedar midwives are doing VBACs at Good Sam with hospitalization back up (7/12)

Dr. Kendrick at Good Sam, 408-356-8681

Dr. Teagle at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos has *made* it her practice to remain at the hospital, purely on her own initiative, which shows an extraordinary support of VBAC. (checked 4/06), although you'll want to ask her for a thorough explanation of her VBAC policies.

Jennie Cato OB at Kaiser (Santa Clara?), 408-871-6409

The Obstetrix Medical Group at Good Sam, 408-356-8681.  They are a high risk center though, but since it's for a VBAC, they will meet with the patient to see if they are candidates to see if they will see them or not.

Dr. Kathryn Mercer  at Stanford Hospital  (03/08?), previously known as Dr. Kathryn Matthews

Dr. Deborah Shapiro at Mills Peninsula

The Hoffs at Sequoia Hospital (checked 4/06)

Dr. Debra Matityahu, working with midwife Teri Westerlund at Sequoia Hospital (checked 5/07).

VBAC is also still available at the following practices:
Midwife Carrie Holschuh at Mills/Peninsula (practices with the group w/Dr. Barbara Canida and Dr. Dyer)

Hi all. I just had my annual with Dr. Pollard today and mentioned I heard she is no longer doing VBACs. Happy to report that is not true! She had gotten really slammed with them, especially people transferring care to her in the 3rd trimester, so she was limiting the amount she does. Plus, some of her back-up OBs do not do VBAC. So, she is officially doing them, as long as the patient starts seeing her by 20 weeks or so.

Dr. Angela Pollard, 408-370-3100 at El Camino Hospital Los Gatos does VBACs (as of Sept., 2015), and she is open to using hypnobirthing and acupuncture during L&D. She is also totally fine with doulas, and she now has a midwife (Bethany) in her office. 

For women further North, UCSF is still doing VBAC's as of May, 2005.

For women in the Berkeley area, the Berkeley Parents Network has a resource list: ObGyn for a VBAC




You can look up the Hospital Safety Score of your local hospitals.

California Cesarean Rates by Hospital - These are absolute or total rates.

California Hospital VBAC Rates

The California Hospital Assessment and Reporting Taskforce (CHART) from the California HealthCare Foundation analyzed four measures of maternity care — low-risk C-section rates, episiotomy rates, rates of exclusive breastfeeding before discharge, and VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) rates — and found wide variation in how hospitals performed.  Many of our local hospitals are not included.  Kaiser is clearly doing a lot of things right with maternity care!

As of April, 2006, the only Bay Area hospital that is a designated Baby-Friendly facility is Kaiser Hayward.  Check to see if the hospital you're considering has been added to the list of Baby-Friendly Hospitals and Birth Centers.

To receive The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) designation as "baby-friendly," a hospital, birth center, or home birth service must fulfill UNICEF's Ten Steps of Baby-Friendly Care.  You can also read their The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative. You can see how the United States compares worldwide in its compliance with these recommendations.

If you want to get a sense of how committed a hospital is to supporting women's birthing choices, ask about their policy regarding their interfacing with homebirthing families:

If the answer to any one of the above is "No", then the hospital doesn't truly support birthing choices.  This is, unfortunately, very common in this area, and it won't change unless you start asking these questions. If you haven't already educated yourself about the superior safety statistics of homebirth, here's your chance.  After learning more about this, broach the subject with your hospital-based care provider.  If they are offended that you would dare bring up this subject, they're not likely to support your choices for alternative in-hospital birth, either.


Best Local Hospitals for Supporting Women's Choices

If you choose to give birth in a hospital, it's a good idea to call them and check that they are a Baby-Friendly Hospital and
that they have been approved as a Mother-Friendly Hospital by The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS).

Hospitals that aren't Mother Friendly and Baby Friendly may routinely separate mothers and babies
or be openly hostile to mother-led care and baby-led bonding and breastfeeding.

For extra credit, you could ask them if they have a birth stool that will be available to your during your labor. 

Best Local Hospitals for Supporting Women's Choices

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, 751 S. Bascom Avenue, San Jose, California 95128, 408/885-5000. If you want to have a birth experience where your and your choices are respected and the interventions are appropriately limited and evidence-based, then Valley Med is a great choice for you.  Their c-section rate is very low, and the doctors and nurses are exceptionally respectful. Valley Medical Center is the only hospital in the County with an open door policy that guarantees access to needed medical care, regardless of ability to pay, i.e. this is a county hospital.  The Labor and Delivery personnel are committed to providing the finest family-centered care in a respectful manner.  They are also dedicated to minimizing unnecessary interventions because it is safer and wiser, and it also helps the County to keep their expenses down.  (It's painful to think that some hospitals are happy with higher rates of intervention because they make more money that way.)  Since Valley Med is affiliated with nearby Stanford University School of Medicine, and with nursing schools, they also offer some very sophisticated services.  In a somewhat surprising turn of events, this is also the place where many people with private insurance will get the best possible care.  Basically, the staff here doesn't have an attitude that they know what's best for you . . . thus, Valley Med has become the preferred hospital for transport of local homebirth midwives.  The Valley Med staff provide us and our clients with a respectful welcome and terrific care.  I've seen the staff provide more sympathetic and more supportive care here than at most other hospitals.  And they will go to the wall to prevent a c-section.  Thus their c-section rate is consistently around 15-16%, despite serving a population with a suboptimal health history. Valley Med rocks!  [Note - since they are often very pleased to have paying customers, they may be tempted to keep a slightly jaundiced baby a little longer than otherwise.]  Valley Med is also the largest VBAC center in California, with over 250 a year.  That's amazing.  Plus, they never do routine episiotomies. THANK YOU, Valley Med! [NOTE - I mostly see the Labor and Delivery floor and rarely see the Maternity and Newborn areas.  I have heard not great things about them: spartan accommodations, sometimes 4 to a room, and not much help with breastfeeding.  It's tough sometimes to balance the value of avoiding a c-section with having a pampered postpartum recovery in the hospital.  Another option is to go home as soon as possible and arrange for a midwife to come to your home to provide more personalized recovery care for mother and baby, along with lactation consulting.  They are usually available evenings and weekends if you contact them before the birth.  Some will even do the Newborn Screen at home so you don't have to stay in the hospital waiting for this procedure.]

Sequoia Hospital has a long-standing record of supporting women's choices and progressive birth practices.  I consider them THE BEST place to have a baby on the Peninsula.

O'Connor Hospital has a number of private-practice midwives as well as many of the same fine features as those listed above.  In general, I really like these smallish community  hospitals for birth; the staff tends to be a little more laid back and accepting and supportive of alternative choices, and the de factorooming in is terrific for moms and babies.  O'Connor Hospital, 2105 Forest Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128,  408-947-2500

El Camino Hospital Los Gatos is surging ahead with the new midwife practice.  Lin Lee is joining Maria Greulich.  This promises to be an exceptionally progressive practice, supporting choices for women, gentle births and breastfeeding for babies while providing evidence-based care.


Other Hospitals


Every hospital has a unique environment in Labor & Delivery. Some focus on providing the most aggressive treatment possible, others focus on providing an environment where the family can enjoy their baby's once-in-a-lifetime birth bonding hormones and get to know each other as a family before routine procedures are performed on the baby.  Here are some of the features of our local hospitals.

Maternal Child Health Center at El Camino Hospital - The Hospital of Silicon Valley - UPDATE, Aug., 2011.  I had such a positive experience at El Camino this month.  I finally believe that they are truly trying to be mother, baby and breastfeeding friendly.  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU! to all the great people who have spearheaded this terrific change.  FINALLY! As of Mar. 2008, El Camino Hospital appears to be changing their outdated practices of routinely separating mothers and babies several times a time.  I am told by a reliable source that they are now only separating mothers and babies TWICE a day!  This is a big improvement!  I've also heard that they are relaxing their policy about bathing babies an hour after the birth and are instead allowing parents to request that they follow the World Health Organization recommendations to wait at least six hours after the birth.  And I've heard that everyone gets a private room after the birth?  Definitely ask about this one; they still have separate rooms for the birth and for "maternity", i.e. after the birth.  There are some fabulous OB's here, and the nurses are truly Angels of Mercy and top notch, and I've been privileged to attend some magical births here, but the nursery policy is destructive to the developing breastfeeding relationship. (As an example of how terrific the nurses here are, I heard that some of them are leaving the baby on the mom's belly even when giving some supplemental oxygen; this allows the cord to be left intact, which is usually the best source of oxygen for the first few minutes right after the birth and the best resuscitation of all!)

There is an official paper now that the parents sign that offer them 3 choices for the night: - rooming in, baby in the nursery, bring in for breastfeeding on demand or baby in the nursery bottle-fed. Parents can change their mind at any time, but there is a document that explains them their choices. It is not true that the light needs to be on that one person needs to be up or any of that. But it's still a good idea for families to bring their own night light just in case. The morning exam is still mostly done in the nursery as most pediatricians want it that way, but a wonderful family physician Dr. Midori Nishimura, who is also a lactation consultant, comes to the rooms to check on the babies since she knows that's best for breastfeeding babies.

There are rumors that the nursery nurses are very free with the bottles of glucose water, even with babies who are breastfeeding.  And, perhaps worst of all, I've heard that parents are being threatened with being reported to Child Protective Services if they don't comply with the hospital policy to inject all newborns with vitamin K and the Hepatitis B vaccine. I find this hard to believe, so be sure to ask about this explicitly.  [NOTE - I've been getting feedback from moms who've birthed at El Camino who generally agreed that the Labor & Delivery nurses are great, but they were *VERY* unhappy with the default separation of mother and baby three.  I have heard that changes are happening so that if parents REALLY insist on staying with the baby, the mom can even go to the nursery in a wheelchair right after the birth with the baby.  Let's hope that El Camino Hospital continues to upgrade their policies to be completely supportive of breastfeeding by keeping moms and babies together!

Stanford Hospital/Lucile Packard Children's Hospitals - Our Local Teaching Hospital - [UPDATE Summer 2015: Apparently, they are now offering nitrous oxide for pain relief, which is fabulous.  However, I have heard that each canister lasts for only 20 minutes, which doesn't seem terribly useful for labor.  Maybe they're still working out the kinds in the system?] This is definitely the place to go if your baby is very premature or you're having a very high-risk pregnancy.  Unfortunately, the staff sometimes has difficulty distinguishing between these very high-risk cases and the normal births which make up the majority, although I've seen some real positive change in the last few years.  In particular, they are working hard to keep babies skin to skin with mom for the first 90 minutes after birth, even if it might require having a dedicated nurse to monitor a baby with some minor respiratory issues.  There are also stories about babies being intubated many times so residents can get experience with the procedure; this is less likely to happen to you if you are older and have private insurance.  There are also stories about the very aggressive legal stance that hospital personnel have taken against families who make their own healthcare choices.  As horrible as this sounds, women have been threatened with court orders to force them to have a cesarean rather than proceed with a normal VBAC labor.  I've heard numerous stories about families being threatened with investigations by Child Protective Services if they don't accept all recommended treatments, and I know of at least one case where a baby was vaccinated against the parents' express wishes.  I've heard other stories about the hospital staff threatening to call the parents' insurance company and telling them not to pay their claims if they don't follow staff recommendations, and I've heard people say that Stanford is quick to take punitive action in order to "teach people a lesson".

Kaiser - Kaiser's a bit of a puzzle.  In general, HMOs get a bad name because they try to limit the procedures performed on their subscribers.  It happens that this improves outcomes in maternity care.  AND . . . their approach is very consistent with midwifery care, so various Kaiser hospitals have midwives on staff.  You'll need to check about the Kaiser nearest you, but there have been midwives at the Kaiser in Redwood City and Santa Teresa.  The best hospital birth I ever witnessed was at Kaiser/Redwood City with a midwife who truly attended the birth, instead of managing the birth.  The lights were dim, the midwife and nurse were respectfully quiet, and they had all the time in the world for this first-time mom to birth her baby gently over an intact perineum.  Regardless of where you live, if you're a Kaiser subscriber planning a normal birth, you may want to arrange to use one of the Kaiser hospitals that provides midwifery care, although I also had a very positive experience with the resident program at Kaiser/Santa Clara.  I have also heard stories about Kaiser "med-wives" who manage a birth beyond all recognition, so there are no guarantees of a gentle birth according to your wishes.  Kaiser in Oakland did some of the earliest studies about the benefits of doula care for laboring women, but then they dropped the ball and didn't follow through by providing universal doula care.  One of the most wonderful things about the Kaiser system is that they seem to be happy for women to plan to labor at home for a long time or plan homebirths, because it saves them money.  I have had terrific transports into Kaiser/Redwood City, Kaiser/Santa Teresa and Kaiser/Santa Clara.  The reason that there are no specific midwives' or doctors' names associated with Kaiser is that Kaiser subscribers do not get a choice as to who their birth attendant will be; Kaiser staff work shifts, so you'll get whoever is on duty when you need care.  I have heard that some people have been able to choose their prenatal provider, but it's very unlikely that they'll be at your birth; my limited understanding of how Kaiser works is that some providers work only in the offices, and some providers work only in the hospital actually attending births; it's much more efficient that way, and Kaiser is all about efficiency.

Washington Hospital, Fremont.  I personally won't go there anymore.  Reports from the front lines are that even in 2010, almost all of the staff at Washington Hospital have a lack of respect for midwives, doulas, and women who want to reduce interventions.  There are even some horrific reports of nurses forcing women to submit to vaginal exams even as the woman is yelling at them to stop.  Go there at your own peril.


Vaginal Breech Births


VAGINAL BREECH BIRTHS are still happening in the Bay Area.

[If you have private insurance that doesn't cover any providers who attend a vaginal breech birth, you can request a "gap exception" so that another provider (outside th network who does breeches) will be covered at in-network rates.  Your plan description should provide details, or you can contact customer service for the insurance company.  You might remind them that a vaginal birth will save them two days of hospitalization for mother and baby so will actually save them a lot of money.  In an emergency situation (and every birth is considered an emergency situation), your insurance is required to cover care provided by out-of-network.]

As of August, 2012:

1. UCSF:   The FOG group   415-353-2566
     ***must consent to an epidural for delivery
     ***must consent to a CAT scan, etc to evaluate pelvis
     ***must be in OR & lots of spectators
     ***2 hrs max to push baby out no matter how close to delivery
     ***only a few docs and not full coverage for breech vag
     ***birth in OR

2. UC Davis   530-750-5880
      ***BEST CHOICE - more coverage w 3 docs who want to do breech and midwives are available
      ***must call to be approved which includes wt of baby, etc, but do not insist on an epidural
      ***birth in OR
      ***tubs available for labor only

3. San Francisco General Hospital  415-206-8725
The word is that Dr. Juan Vargas and his team have a lot of breech experience and are skilled and enthusiastic.  If a woman in labor is seeking this service they prefer that she call before arriving to ensure they have a skilled doctor available.  Dr. Juan Vargas is the head of the program.
Some reports are that they can offer 24/7 vaginal breech as the team grows and are willing to care for women with a breech babies who might be seen there for the first time when already in labor.
Because SF General is a county hospital, they accept Medical & also serve those without insurance and/or funds to pay.
Epidurals are recommended but not required

As of April, 2012, I've heard that Andy Combs at Obstetrix in Los Gatos is doing breeches.

As of Oct., 2010, I hear that UCSF is training OBs to do vaginal breeches.

San Francisco General Hospital - 415-202-2000, L&D?415-206-8000

Dr Stephen Wells at John Muir in Walnut Creek and a hospital in San Ramon?

Judy Bliss at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, near Concord???

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, as of Sept., 2000?

Dr. Davis Baldwin at Stanford Hospital?  Apparently he used to, but retired Jan., 2006?

Or you can go to Davis - contact Sutter West Women's Health
You must be a good candidate (frank or complete breech, EFW < 8 pounds)
and willing to do CT pelvimetry.  They don't require you to have an
epidural in place, and you may be able to labor in a big tub.

Renaissance Midwifery in Oakland is a resource for women wanting to learn more about breech options.


Vaginal Twin Births


See also: Twins Support on the Blossom Provider list

You  might try Jan Rydfors, MD, the Hoffs and Lori Bluvas at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City.

Dr. Angela Pollard

Dr. Martin Silverman

Possibly Dr. Narisse Kendrick (Women's Care For Life)

I know Dr Duncan in Los Gatos will always allow the twins if baby

Ken Weber and Anjali Sahai at Altos Oaks Medical Group are great and will attempt a vaginal birth as long as the first twin as vertex.

Laurie Green, MD and other OBs at California Pacific Medial Center (CPMC) in San Francisco.

Laura Norrell, MC at St. Luke's in San Francisco.


Birth Attendants Who Delay Clamping/Cutting the Umbilical Cord


There is much evidence that clamping or cutting the umbilical cord too soon is harmful; it may even cause brain damage.
The following care providers have educated themselves on this issue and are practicing evidence-based midwifery or medicine.

Please e-mail me with names and contact information for more birth attendants for this section.  Thank you.


Birth Attendants Who Use Cord Bands or Cord Tie
- Superior for Breastfeeding


It's always bothered me that the typical umbilical cord clamps are rigid and relatively large and firmly attached to the baby for at least the first day of life.  What fun is it for a baby to be belly-to-belly with mom when there's this nasty clamp sticking into the tummy?  I've seen babies who weren't latching on well because the clamp was pinching, twisting, pulling or poking some part of their body.  That's not the easiest way to get breastfeeding off to a good start!

Fortunately, there's an easy solution to this problem . . . the Averbach Cord Bander, invented by Dr. Louis Averbach; it leaves only a tiny rubber band securely "clamping" baby's umbilical cord.  It's a bonus that they're environmentally more responsible as the disposable rubber band is very tiny compared to the bulky plastic disposable clamps.  (Those reusable, metal clamps were most reusable of all, but they are no longer available, and they were still very poky to new babies!  A newer type of cord band, the Sterifeed Cord Ring, costs only $1.50 and doesn't require a special instrument.  Cord tie is also soft and flexible, but may come off as the cord dries and shrinks; this isn't really a problem but can be troubling to new parents.)

Right now, Renee Anker, Rosanna Davis and I are the only local providers I know of who use the Averbach cord bander instead of the common, plastic clamp. I would love to see other providers and hospitals make this simple change to support breastfeeding.  Most maternity care providers seem unaware of the availability of the Averbach cord bander, so it's up to expectant parents to lobby for positive change here. You can purchase your own Sterifeed Cord Ring for about $5, including shipping.  Or, if you have the resources to try to help other mothers and babies, you could buy your own Averbach Bander for your baby and then give it as a gift to your birth attendant.  Alternatively, you could pass it around among your friends and families, sterilizing it in between uses, of course..  [NOTE - The Averbach cord bander is significantly more cost effective as well - the instrument itself costs $85, but each little rubber band costs only eight cents, compared with sixty-five cents per plastic cord clamp.  The cost of the instrument is recovered after only 132 births!  All the subsequent births actually save the hospital money, in addition to helping mom and baby get off to a better start with breastfeeding.  The Averbach Cord Bander can be purchased from Cascade, 1-800-443-9942, item

Alternatively, you can purchase and provide your own Sterifeed Cord Ring or single-use packets of cord tape.

Please e-mail me with names and contact information for more birth attendants for this section.  Thank you.


Low-Cost Prenatal Care


Planned Parenthood has a number of local clinics that offer affordable prenatal care.  "Medi-Cal eligible women are welcome to participate in our prenatal program.  As part of the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP), we provide high quality prenatal medical care as well as nutrition, health education, and psychosocial services to improve your pregnancy and birth outcome.  We address the full needs of our clients in a culturally competent manner, respecting our clients’ values, beliefs, and traditions. Delivery options vary by site but typically we partner with local physicians who deliver our clients’ babies in state of the art hospitals in the region.  In some cases, our clients transfer to the doctor’s office for their last few prenatal visits."

If you, a family member, or friend was tricked or lied to by a Crisis Pregnancy Center, there is an easy way for you to file a consumer protection complaint to help document the harmful practices of these clinics.

Community Pregnancy Centers of Santa Clara County - Christian-based crisis pregnancy services are free and confidential.
Mountain View: 2425 California St., 650-964-8093
South San Jose: 408-978-9310
East San Jose: 408-272-5577

Real Options does not refer for or perform abortions.  Their services are free and confidential.  They offer Pregnancy Tests, Options Counseling, Pregnancy Confirmation (including ultrasound to help date the pregnancy) and screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections.  They have locations in Mountain View and San Jose.

Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM) - 800-433-2611 - low cost health insurance to pregnant women and their infants who are not eligible for no-cost Medi-Cal or health insurance.  You can apply for this program up to 30 weeks of pregnancy.

Coalition for Alcohol & Drug-Free Pregnancies (CADFP), Patti-Ann Bossert, LCSW, coordinator, 3190 S. Bascom Ave., Ste. 180, San Jose, CA  95124, 408-380-1215, pbossert-lcsw@comcast.net

County Hospitals sometimes have an "Ability to Pay" program, where you can get low-cost bloodwork (or ultrasounds if necessary?) done.  Start with Valley Med first.

The Phoenix Data Center is a not-for-profit organization that maintains an index of all free and low income services offered throughout Santa Clara County and neighboring communities."

In June, 2005, Mountain View Fire Stations were included as "Safe Haven" sites where anyone may leave a new baby in safe hands without fear.  The Safely Surrendered Baby Law gives a parent the legal right to surrender a baby within three days of birth.  Parents who choose this option have 14 days to change their minds and retrieve their baby before the infant is placed in the foster care system or a pre-adoptive home.  All hospital emergency rooms are also "Safe Haven" sites. [Ley Como Entregar a Su Bebe Sin Peligro - Folleto - sin pena, sin culpe, sin nombres]


Hospital-Based Care Providers


There are some good basic questions to ask any birth attendant that you're interviewing:  What is the likelihood that they will be present at your birth if it's in the middle of the night on the weekend?  How long are they at a typical birth?  How many people do they share call with?  What is their induction policy for postdates - induce at the due date? one week later? two weeks later?  What are their attitudes towards working with doulas - will they write a recommendation for a doula that you can use to get insurance reimbursement?  Do they do episiotomies?  What is their tear/suture rate?  Do they wait a minute or two before cutting the cord?  These are just some of the things that seem to be most important to the women who find this web page.

There are lots of other questions and lists of questions at "For Parents - How to Get the Best Care"

One key question to ask any physician who works as a birth attendant is whether they have ever worked with midwives.  These physicians are likely to have picked up some midwifery culture so that they have more options for a non-progressive labor than suggesting either a cesarean or vacuum.  Hospitals with midwives on staff will likely have a culture that is more geared towards normal birth.  The nurses and pediatricians will have attended births with midwives as birth attendants, and they're more likely to be accustomed to the practices of leaving the baby on the mother's belly and delaying non-emergency procedures for an hour or so after the birth.  For some odd reason, many physicians seem to think that women don't care whether or not their perineum tears and they end up with sutures that make breastfeeding uncomfortable.  But midwifery culture includes sharing information about preventing or minimizing tearing.  Doctors who hang out with midwives often learn these valuable skills from them.  According to the World Health Organization, midwives should be the preferred medical caregiver for low-risk pregnant women, reserving OB-GYN's for high-risk pregnancies or emergency birth complications only.  If a hospital has no midwives with hospital privileges, it's worth asking why; many hospitals will simply say that no midwives have applied for privileges there. What they're not telling you is that midwives can't apply unless they have a "supervising physician".  So the real question is, "Why haven't any physicians at this hospital recruited midwife partners?"  If there are no midwives around, it's also possible that there's a level of misogyny at the hospital that makes it a hostile environment for midwives.  Well, an environment that's hostile to midwives is likely to be hostile to birthing women, too. Does the hospital you're planning to use have any midwives?  [Read more about the Technocratic Model of Birth vs. Holistic Model of Birth.]

If you want to get a sense of how committed a care provider is to supporting women's birthing choices, find out what they know about homebirth and about their experiences interacting with homebirthing families:

If the answer to any one of the above is "No", then the care provider doesn't truly support birthing choices.  This is, unfortunately, very common in this area, and it won't change unless you start asking these questions.  If you haven't already educated yourself about the superior safety statistics of homebirth, here's your chance.  After learning more about this, broach the subject with your hospital-based care provider.  If they are offended that you would dare bring up this subject, they're not likely to support your choices for alternative in-hospital birth, either.

In order to find out whether this care provider actively persecutes homebirth families and their midwives, ask them:

It is particularly important to ask these questions of the physicians at El Camino Hospital, which is currently leading the pack in hostility towards  midwives.  Up until very recently (January, 2003) they were one of the few local hospitals with no midwife presence on the Labor & Delivery floor, other than the midwives who work as Labor & Delivery nurses.  (Even the nurses there recommend that women go elsewhere for their birthing care, at least if they're the kind of women interested in homebirth.)

Physicians who go out of their way to obstruct women's pursuing their choice as to where and with whom to give birth are acting out of either ignorance or arrogance.  Neither of these is a particularly desirable trait in a birth attendant.  What about yours?

Hospital Midwives

A point of public education: homebirth midwives can do anything in your home that a hospital midwife can do in the hospital.  Women who can get to a hospital within 30 minutes have the same level of access to emergency surgery as women birthing in the hospital with a midwife.

If you're hoping to have a hospital birth that is as close to a homebirth as possible, then you'll want to have a midwife as your birth attendant.  Our local hospital-based midwives are doing their best to provide care that allows a birth experience that has some of the most important aspects of homebirth: reverence, respect, dignity, caring.  You'll still probably benefit from having a doula, and you'll still need to take precautions about hospital germs.

These midwives practice as part of an obstetric group.  It is important to understand that all midwives working under the supervision of an obstetrician are constrained to work under the same protocols as the supervising obstetrician.  There are serious problems inherent in a system where one class of birth attendants is given power over a competing group of birth attendants; unfortunately, efforts to change "Supervision" to "Collaboration" through legislation in 1996 (SB255) were defeated by opposition from the California Medical Association.

I have heard rave reviews about all of the following midwives!

Lin Lee, CNM, Maria Greulich, CNM  (El Camino Hospital Los Gatos) 408-883-8233.  They maintain a pregnancy support group for their clients and for any women interested in their practice--SVPregnancySupport (Silicon Valley Pregnancy Support Group).

Kavita Noble, CNM, Amy Meier, CNM, and Kay Smolley, CNM (also speaks Spanish) (O'Connor Hospital and Good Sam). Kit Aldrich works with them part time. They are in practice with Mary Margaret O'Neill, MD.  408-287-4441 (NOTE - I've been told that Melanie Jordan, CNM, has moved to Kaiser - Santa Teresa.)  The midwives at Cedar OBGYN are taking clients with Medi Cal under SCFHP. Clients should choose the Independent physicians group. They have an informational " Meet the Midwives " meeting on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 6-7pm at their office at 200 W Campbell Ave, Campbell CA 95008

Melissa C. French, CNM, N.P., Women Caring for Women is still attending births at Mill Peninsula Hospital as of April, 2013.  1720 El Camino Real #120, Burlingame, California, 650-697-8808.  Their "birth center" is really a hospital.

Looking for the Stanford Midwives or the Stanford Midwifery Services? It was closed as of 1/1/04 - Midwifery Service at Stanford (Stanford Hospital) (650) 723-7451, 725 Welch Road, Palo Alto, CA  94304. What to do?  Well, you wouldn't be the first woman to choose homebirth after discovering that the Stanford Midwifery Services is no longer an option.  :-)

Looking for the midwife practice who used to be with Peninsula Women's Health at Mills Peninsula Hospital?- Jan Blanchard, WHNP, C.N.M., Carrie Holschuh, C.N.M., M.S.N., and Mary Newberry, C.N.M., M.S.N.are no longer attending births there since the midwifery program was dissolved on May 1, 2006, "due to the medical legal climate currently surrounding healthcare."

More info on midwives from bayarea.UrbanBaby.com

Midwives Providing Prenatal Care in Obstetric Practices

These midwives work with obstetric practices and may be the best midwifery option open to women with serious pregnancy complications requiring hospitalization for the birth.

Gayle Peterson, MSSW, LCSW, PhD offers Preventative Prenatal Counseling for Childbirth and a Childbirth Preparation and Postpartum Program incorporating hypnosis.  She is a nationally known therapist and author with an office in North Berkeley.  If you have a complicated personal history, especially a previous traumatic birth experience, it might be well worth the drive to seek her assistance; she also offers phone sessions.  Her services may be covered by your health insurance.
Phone:  (510) 526-5951  e-mail:  gp@askdrgayle.com   website:  www.askdrgayle.com

As an adjunct to any hypnosis-based preparation, you will benefit from mindfulness practice: Amy Saltzman, MD teaches "Mindfulness and Parenting"  - Mindfulness is a wonderful antidote to the stresses of living and parenting in Silicon Valley. Please join us as we cultivate compassionate awareness, and allow that awareness to inform our lives, particularly the challenges of parenting.  650-326-0701

Cynthia A. Sholes, Ph.D., MdH, Director Mind Wave Institute, Health & Wellness Consultant, Certified Medical Hypnotherapist, 650-704-1252, With Offices Located in Palo Alto and Redwood City.  Cynthia also offers NET.

Prenatal Yoga

Our local birth resource centers also offer prenatal yoga.

Hillary Easom teaches prenatal yoga classes in and around Mountain View.

Penni Thorpe offers Pregnant Couples Prepare For Labor with Yoga at Change of the Peninsula (www.changeofthepeninsula.org--a yoga studio in San Mateo with many pre & post natal offerings) about every two months.

CHANGE of the Peninsula in San Mateo

Yoga of Los Altos offers daily prenatal yoga classes.

Mommy & Baby Pi-Yo Play™ classes combine a very unique blend of pilates, yoga, and singing while bonding with your baby.  Nurture yourself and your baby in this class designed to address the unique postpartum needs.  The focus will be on poses to strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, while connecting with the baby and other moms, honoring the transition into motherhood. . .  Classes at ReFormation Studio, 33 Las Colinas Lane, San Jose, CA  95119, 408-284-1300

Whole Birth Yoga classes in a variety of South Bay locations - Mindfulness-based Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga classes include lively discussions and support for pregnancy, birth and new parenthood. You can also order a Whole Birth Yoga CD for home practice.

Prenatal Yoga taught by Jeanna Lurie at Shanti Yoga Center, 940 Park Ave., San Jose, CA 95126.  408-885-1018 - Wednesday mornings, 9:30- 11:45 and Sundays, 10:30- 12:45

Devi Yoga, 883 Santa Cruz Ave., Suites 29 & 30, Menlo Park, CA 94025, 650.324.4555 - Prenatal classes with Connie Habash on Mondays, 12:30-2 pm

Center for Healing and Global Evolution (CHANGE) in San Mateo, CA - classes include prenatal and mom-baby yoga and mom-baby and postpartum pilates.  They also offer a Meet the Doulas Night on a monthly basis.

Irene A. Smith, Ph.D., Yoga in Union - specialized classes for pregnancy and general classes for post pregnancy. Downtown San Jose, 408-299-0707

The El Camino YMCA in Mountain View offers pre/postnatal classes; they also have on-site child care!

California Yoga Center, 570 Showers Drive, Suite 5, Mountain View,  650-947-9642

Yoga Wellness Center, 35 North San Mateo Drive, San Mateo, California 94401, (650) 401-6423

ReFormation Studio, Divya Zuccaro, 33 Las Colinas Lane, San Jose, CA  95119, 408-284-1300 - Bond with your baby from conception onward.

Ellen E. Hamilton, MPH, CLE, ICCE, 650-322-2717, eehamilton@earthlink.net - Call for class times and locations.

Pre-natal yoga classes taught by Marti Foster on Sundays at 11AM at the Peninsula School in Menlo Park in case you wanted to add it to your resources web page.

The Yoga Center of Los Gatos offers prenatal and postpartum classes.  Contact Jennifer Penick at 408-621-4779.

Nancy Tudish teaches Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga at CSE (Center for Spiritual Enlightenment), University Ave, San Jose (phone: 866-1394) teaches a prenatal yoga class. She also occasionally offers private sessions or group couples sessions.  She can offer referrals for postnatal yoga classes with childcare provided.

CAN DO YOGA, 3636 Florence St. Suite A, Redwood City, CA 94063,  650-368-5727.  Although they don't specifically offer prenatal yoga classes, the instructors will take your pregnancy into consideration in the instruction.

MindBody Zone, at Avalon Fitness Center, 141 Mowry Ave, Fremont, CA, 510-813-4700, info@mindbody-zone.com - Prenatal classes with Connie Habash on Thursdays 4-5:15 pm.  Childcare available!

Prenatal Fitness is offered at the San Carlos Recreation Department, 1017 Cedar Street, San Carlos, Ca., Monday and Wednesday evenings 5:45 to 6:45 P.M. We do light aerobics, muscle toning and weight training. Personal training in the client's home is also available.  Contact Patty by phone: 831-475-0451 or e-mail: PattD@aawson.com

Barbara Laux - offers prenatal yoga instruction in your home - 408-399-0131

Mindfulness is a yoga of the mind: Amy Saltzman, MD teaches "Mindfulness and Parenting"  - Mindfulness is a wonderful antidote to the stresses of living and parenting in Silicon Valley. Please join us as we cultivate compassionate awareness, and allow that awareness to inform our lives, particularly the challenges of parenting.  650-326-0701


Our local birth resource centers also offer prenatal massage.

Many women love the idea of a table with a cut out that their pregnant belly can hang through.  Some massage therapists have said that those tables are extremely bad on the pregnant body ­ they put a tremendous amount of strain on the low back.  Worth asking about.

Sadhana Stupar, CMT, NCTMB, 1633 Hollenbeck Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94087, 408-480-2210 - Does home visits for postpartum massage and newborn craniosacral therapy.  She is very well versed in Indian culture and custom surrounding childbirth from her own experience of birth in northern India.  She can provide traditional massage for mother and baby for the first 40 days of the postpartum period.

Postpartum Massage In-Home - Diane Evans, CMT, InLine Massage, certified in Prenatal & Postpartum Massage, Mountain View, 650-759-3600, diane.evans@inlinemassage.com

The Mommy Spa - Specalists in Pregnancy Massage, 413 Monterey Avenue,  Los Gatos, CA 95030, 408-395-2009

Melissa Carroll, LMT, specializes in Pre/Post Natal Massage.  621 E. Campbell Ave., Campbell, 408-568-9106.

Racquel Logan, CMT, Esalen Practitioner, Pregnancy Massage, Cranialsacral, Reiki, Swedish, Lymphatic Drainage, Deep Tissue Sculpting, 408-313-6909

The Massage Therapy Clinic is a sports massage place in Mountain View that is apparently TERRIFIC with sciatica

Ruth Stein is a massage therapist with a specialty in prenatal massage - named by Allure Magazine as "Washington DC's Best Massage Therapist" (11/03) when she lived there.  Currently seeing clients in Los Altos, Saratoga and Palo Alto.    650-941-1248

Verde Touch - Artistic Body Therapy with Heart, 650-630-4565, david@verdetouch.com - David Verdier is a Blossom supporter and has a special relationship with the homebirth community.  They specialize in pregnancy massage and have a cut-out table with a sling for those growing bellies.

The Rub Club - a discount massage program at Santa Rita Chiropractic, Inc., 173 N. Morrison Ave., Suite F, San Jose, CA  95126, 408-978-2RUB

Mendy of  ElementsOfMagic.com is a doula who also does massage; she travels to people's homes.  Elements of Magic "Flying Carpet Travelling Spa"  is a spa designed specifically for pregnant and new moms, offering family discounts!

Rosanna Davis (650-964-2229), prenatal and postpartum massage.

Cheryl Dailey, Center of balance 1220 Pear Avenue Suite 1 Mountain View, Ca. 94043 650-967-6414.  Massage therapist specializing in pre- and post-natal massage.

Kathleen Harper, CMT, Touch Blue Sky, 650-222-6538, massage@touchbluesky.com

The National Association Of Pregnancy Massage Therapy (NAPMT),1-888-451-4945, maintains a Therapist Directory

The Foundation of Family Values, a relatively new non-profit family resource center in San Jose /Campbell, offers Infant Massage classes.

Prenatal/Birth Photographers

Christy Scherrer - bellymotherbaby Photography - 408-343-1017 - Cupertino - specializing in birth photography. Christy will be on call to come to your birth whether at home or in the hospital.  I've seen her work and am very impressed with the quality of the photos and the amazing way she manages to get great compositions while being completely unobtrusive at the birth. E-mail to Christy Scherrer

Dawn Photography - Burlingame - 415.348.3655 - prenatal photography, similar to that seen in Pregnant Goddesshood by Mary Ann Halpin.  This is a great way for a pregnant woman to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of her pregnant body - a photo session would be a great shower gift!

Lily Dong - A Mother's Birth - 408-255-8850 - Photo documentary of motherhood's privileged moments from pregnancy, to giving birth, to bonding with your baby - free consultation.

Lori Rose - Signature Images, Inc. 72 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008, 408 374-3714, lori@signature-images.com- Lori lectures throughout the world to other professional photographers on her award-winning style and approach to family and children's portraiture.

ROBIN ROSENZWEIG - PHOTOGRAPHY - Fine Art • Portraits 831-649-3545 [located on the Monterey coast - ideal if you want some beach or oceanside photos!  "My black and white fine art photography includes commissioned portraits - specializing in pregnancy - nudes, narratives, social commentary and emotionally-charged landscapes"

No-Cut or Low-Cut Bris Ceremonies


Brit Shalom Celebrants - Brit Shalom is a non-cutting naming ceremony which replaces Brit Milah (ritual circumcision) for newborn Jewish boys.

As of Feb., 2004, these included:
Rabbi Nathan Segal, POB 880, Larkspur CA 94977, (415) 419-3511, nathan@rabbinathan.com, www.rabbinathan.com/
Rabbi Kai Eckstein, P.O.Box 1471, El Cerrito CA 94530, (510) 965-1935, humanrabbi@hotmail.com
Mark David Reiss, M.D., 773 Duncan Street, San Francisco California 94131, (415) 647-2687, mdreissmd@aol.com
Rabbi Yeshaia Charles Familant, 332 O'Connor St, Menlo Park CA 94025, (650) 326-5330, yeshaia@sbcglobal.net

There is a local rabbi who claims to do such quick circumcisions that the babies feel no pain and hardly cry.  Here's what scientists who study infant pain say: "Studies demonstrate that even though an infant may not cry during circumcision, the stress hormone level in the blood still increases dramatically, and medical researchers consider this change to be the most reliable indicator of pain response. Therefore, lack of crying does not mean that the infant feels no pain. It could mean that he is withdrawing from unbearable pain."

Saying no to circumcision - San Jose Mercury News - Sat, Jul. 12, 2003

For additional information, contact NOCIRC of California - Silicon Valley, Gillian Flato, Tel: 408-263-2165, gillian@jewsagainstcircumcision.org

Jews Against Circumcision

Alternative Bris Support Group, P.O. Box 1305, Capitola, CA 95010, (831) 475-3313, E-mail: bris@sagatech.com [unreachable 01/05]
Provides support and information on alternative brit ceremonies and medical, religious and cultural information for parents considering covenant/naming ceremonies without circumcision. 

Bay Area Intactivists - their facebook page 

Breastfeeding, Postpartum,
Fathering and ParentingResources


Breastfeeding Resources

New Breastfeeding Support Group in Palo Alto - Facilitated by a lactation educator, this free, drop-in group is designed to support mothers and their babies (ages 0-4 months). The group is beneficial for women who have breastfeeding questions and for those who are looking for a community of other new mothers in this transitional time. Topics may also include self care, baby care and the postpartum adjustment.
Meets every Thursday from 10:00-11:30 at the Palo Alto Center in the 67 Encina building. For more information or to register, please call the Health Education Department at 650-853-2960. Please register before you attend the first time and drop-in thereafter.

Breast Pump Rental


Mrs. Patel's Milk Makers - Indian Ayurvedic lactation and postpartum treats.

Home Visits for Lactation Consulting

Some local homebirth midwives or semi-retired midwives may be available at odd times for emergency breastfeeding consultations in your home. Although their services may be more expensive, they may be more likely to be covered by your insurance.  Some are IBCLC and some just have a lot of experience.

I have found that women with breastfeeding problems sometimes benefit from an overall assessment of mother and baby's well-being and recovery status.  Most PPOs will cover these services well.  Ronnie Falcao "accepts" insurance payment from the reliable payers and offers in-home postpartum midwifery support for mother and baby, including a non-traumatic heelstick for the Newborn Screen at Day 5 or 6, which is the optimal timing.  A traumatic heelstick can interfere with breastfeeding, just as any other birth-related trauma.

There are some midwives who are particularly set up to do this:

In-home visits for lactation consulting provided by an experienced midwife.

Eva Bryer, RN, CNM, MSN, WHNP, Redwood City, h-650-369-7464, cell-650-743-5076

Ronnie Falcao, LM, MS, CHT, Mountain View, 650-961-9728

Lactation Consultants who will make home visits:

Sheridan Ross, 751 Laurel St. href="mailto:sheridan@babysips.com?subject=Referral%20from%20Ronnie%20Falcao%20at%20gentlebirth.org">sheridan@babysips.com - Sheridan makes home visits and is also set up to use Skype to evaluate latch issues right away.

Marielle Warren, IBCLC, Juno Lactation Consulting in Mountain View, 650-200-3972, online contact form or email info@yourjuno.com.

Nivi Yaakov, IBCLC, 415-646-6148, nivi.yaakov@gmail.com - makes home visits! 

Chris Pritchard, I.B.C.L.C, B.S. R.N., Doula, Certified Lactation Educator, Childbirth Educator.  650-728-3950, Contact Web Page, chrisprn@pacbell.net, will see people in their homes from S.F. To Palo Alto and the Coastside, or in my office in Moss Beach. I will still be available to offer post partum doula services during the daytime as well.

Rachel Groleau 831-345-4283. Rachel is certified.

Julie Tardos, IBCLC, offers in-home breastfeeding assistance in the San Jose area.  Please call or text: 408-771-9090

Pearl Yu will make home visits for lactation consulting - 415-516-7606

Rumiko Kawaguchi will make home visits; she specializes in helping Japanese-speaking mothers and is also available as a postpartum doula. 650-549-5228 or email rumiko@mamanbaby.org

Janet Dombro, IBCLC will make home visits! 408-205-1234  (Sunnyvale),  janetibclc@att.net  I've heard that Janet is also is also one of the La Leche League leaders for the San Jose evening group, so you might be able to get her assistance there!

Sheila Janokos will make home visits - The Peninsula Breastfeeding Center (formerly Healthy Horizons) in Burlingame: 1-800-FYI-MILK (toll free), i.e. 800-394-6455, 650-579-2726, 650-347-6455 (MILK) www.Babiesandmoms.com

Other lactation consultants may also be available for house calls:

Bridget Owen is almost certified and makes house calls.  408-529-7949

I've gotten rave reviews for Tonya Kearney at Sequoia Hospital's Lactation Center.

There is a great lactation team at Good Sam. They have 3 lactation consultants, Pat, Emma, and Erin and they are all said to be really great.  They are very available by phone (408-559-baby or 408-559-2229), and they have a free support group on Tuesday from 2-3:30. I've heard that they will also do home visits, but am not sure of the details.

There is also a great free support group led by the lactation consultants at Blossom Birth Services in Palo Alto on Wednesdays (I think at 1:30). Cindy is the main consultant, and is also one of the the leaders of the La Leche group that meets there on Fridays at noon.

Healthy Horizons Peninsula Breastfeeding Center has been hosting a support group on Tuesdays and Fridays for years, and now they've been combined into one day: every Friday. The location will be the same: Mills Health Center in Downtown San Mateo - 100 S. San Mateo Drive, in the Saidy Conference Center. Free valet parking is still in effect, as well as the $5 fee (any additional donations are welcomed too!).  650.347.6455

Yvonne Bannister, BS,IBCLC,CBE,CMT,E-RYT does a lot of free phone consults that can help new moms get started, often without follow up needed. 832-636-6781.

If you're trying to find a doctor who will prescribe Nifedipine for persistent breast pain associated with nipple vasospasm or Raynaud's syndrome, you should start with your family doctor, OB or pediatrician.  If they're reluctant, show them the research paper.  If that doesn't work, try Franklin Perry, who is a pain specialist - 555 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA, 650-839-0108

If you're trying to find a doctor who can treat intraductal yeast (infection that has gone into the milk ducts), call Dr. Honor Fullerton, (female) Menlo Dermatology Medical Group, 888 Oak Grove Ave., Suite 8, Menlo Park, CA  94025, 650-325-1511.

Rooibus tea (often recommended for colic) can be purchased at Tea Time - a tea shop in Palo Alto, 542 Ramona St., Palo Alto  94301, 650-328-2877. It is also now widely available in blends from Republic Of Tea - very tasty!

The Mothers' Milk Bank at Valley Medical Center is active again, 751 South Bascome Ave., San Jose, CA  95128, 408-998-4550  You can purchase breastmilk for $3/oz. with a doctor's prescription; this is often covered by insurance.  This is especially practical if you just need to supplement for a short while as you build up your milk supply.  Contact: Pauline Sakamotot, RN, MS, Executive Director, Pauline.Sakamoto@hhs.co.santa-clara.ca.us

Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB) Global Network - Mother to mother milk-sharing for babes in need. Together we can provide human milk for human babies.  Human Milk 4 Human Babies - California [facebook]  NOTE - the scuttlebutt is that there are some people who pick up breastmilk donations and then turn around and sell the breastmilk.  Be VERY VERY careful.

Sylvia Boyd,  PT, IBCLC,  LCCE, uses her physical therapy skills combined with her breastfeeding knowledge to help babies who can't nurse or cause mom pain.  She can help babies diagnosed with GERD or on Zantac.  South Hayward 94544-4734, 510-538-3679 or 510-881-5348

Dr. Jane Morton is a pediatrician who also specializes in lactation.  She practices general pediatrics at Burgess Pediatrics in Menlo Park, 401 Burgess Drive, Suite C, Menlo Park, 650-321-9555.

The Peninsula Breastfeeding Center (formerly Healthy Horizons) has moved to a new location: 1432 Burlingame Avenue, next to Morning Glory and Malouf's, closer to El Camino.  There is 2 hour free parking in the back off of Chapin.  1-800-FYI-MILK (toll free), i.e. 800-394-6455, 650-579-2726, 650-347-6455 (MILK) Breastpump rental, sales, breastfeeding supplies, scale rentals, consultations, support groups, classes and home visits by Board Certified Lactation Consultants. By Appt only.  www.Babiesandmoms.com

The Breastfeeding Center at Seton Medical Center  1900 Sullivan Daly City CA  650 992-4000 x 2315, Hours are M,W,F 3pm to 6pm and Sat 11am to 2pm. Walk-in s welcome. No Appt needed.  Breastpump sales and rentals, scales, full line of breastfeeding aids (including gripe water), certified bra fitters and large selection of bras. Support groups, classes and consultations by Lactation Consutlants.

Elizabeth Green - 650-269-9046, offers home visits for breastfeeding support in the role of a postpartum doula.

Leslie Keenan, RN - 650-941-3884 or 650-255-1972 offers home visits for breastfeeding support in the role of a postpartum doula.

Beverly Morgan has moved to Austin, TX, as of January, 2004.

La Leche League of the Peninsula (Northern California) with contact information and meeting schedules for San Francisco, Pacifica, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and Cupertino.  650-873-6525

La Leche League of Greater San Jose, California - 408-264-0994

LLL of South Valley is starting meetings again in Jan., 2010, meeting in Gilroy.  lllofgilroy@gmail.com

The Nursing Mothers Counsel hotline - we answer on weekends and make home visits when necessary.San Francisco Bay Area 650-327-6455 or  Santa Cruz County 831-688-3954.  They also offer a free monthly breastfeeding class.

Ellen E. Hamilton, MPH, CLE, ICCE, 650-322-2717, eehamilton@earthlink.net - Medela breast pumps available for rental weekly or monthly.

Foothill Medical Pharmacy (in Sunnyvale at Mary and Fremont) has an extensive line of breastfeeding supplies and rental pumps.  They also have an on-duty lactation consultant - Pat Gold RDH, PT - call for more information -  (408)739-3452.

Maternal Connections Of El Camino Hospital (2485 Hospital Dr., Mountain View 650-988-8287
This is in the Orchard Pavilion (L&D/Maternity/Nursery Bldg.) Suite 361.  NOTE - Maternal Connections has a NO RETURNS policy on bras.
Lactation consulting and supplies; they rent out breast pumps for $25/month.  I've heard that they carry Gripe Water, a natural colic remedy.

Janet Perrino, MPT, PhysioFit Physical Therapy, 650-947-8500, offer treatment (education, massage and ultrasound) for plugged ducts; usually one or two treatments clear blockages. You'll need a referral or prescription from a doctor, midwife, or nurse.  PhysioFit is in network with most PPOs.

San Jose Milkbank - 408 998-4550 - affiliated with Valley Medical Ctr., San Jose, CA.  (They especially need donations from mothers who have babies under six months of age so the milk composition will be appropriate for a newborn or preemie.  However, they may not be interested in anything less than 100 ounces because of the overhead of managing paperwork and testing.) 

Tongue Tie

If you're trying to find help with a possible tongue tie, Sylvia Boyd, PT, IBCLC is particularly skilled in assessing and making recommendations to providers who will snip or lase the frenulum.  Some people just go to see Dr. Wessman at Children's Oakland.  Other names are: Dr Dale Tylor, a pediatric ENT in Fremont, Dr Arnstein.  This is all the information I have about these doctors so you'll have to look for them online.

Pat Bonasera is a lactation consultant at the Breastfeeding Support Group at Good Samaritan Hospital who can help refer for tongue tie.

Deborah J. Freehling MD can confirm a diagnosis of tongue tie and cut it in one visit.  (NOTE - cutting may result in a lot of bleeding whereas laser stems the bleeding as it separates the tissue.)  2204 Grant Rd., Ste 102, Mountain View, CA  94040

Dr Shervin Yazdi in Castro Valley is a pediatric dentist who specializes in using a laser to release a tongue tie or lip tie. He will also show you exercises to do so that it doesn't heal back up.  510.538.2098 or email info@DrYazdi.com.

More doctors who will evaluate and clip tongue ties: (Additional information from Rowen Holland, LM.  Thank you, Rowen!)

Robert Wesman, MD Oakland, pediatric ENT/Otolaryngologist, (510) 428-­‐3456 No laser, no upper lip

Anna Meyer, MD, San Francisco, ENT/Otolaryngologist, (415) 353-­‐2757 No laser, no upper lip,

Peter J. Koltai, MD, Palo Alto, pediatric ENT/Otolaryngologist, (650) 724-­‐4800

Garry Crummer, MD, Capitola, Pediatrician (831)476-­‐3000

Dale Amanda Tylor, MD, Fremont, ENT/Otolaryngologist, (510)248-­‐1590
Melinda Moir, MD and Brad Hinrichs, MD, PAMF Palo Alto, ENT/Otolaryngologists, (650) 853-­‐2952

M. Lauren Lalakea, MD, San Jose, ENT/Otolaryngologist, (408) 885-­‐6767

Phillip Bartlett, MD, San Francisco, ENT/Otolaryngologist, (415)751‐4914

Frenotomy Surgeons and Practitioners directory

See also: Tongue Tie and Lip Tie from the Midwife Archives.

Breast Pump Rental

Maternal Connections Lactation Center - El Camino Hospital, (650) 988-8287

Parenting and Breastfeeding Services - Good Samaritan Hospital, (408) 559-2229DayOne Palo Alto

DayOne Center, Palo Alto, (650) 322-DAY1  (3291)

The Nursing Mothers Counsel rents breast pumps -- They have both Medela Classic - hospital grade and the Lactina.  Both rent for $50/month or $125 for three months plus tax. They also sell the kits that go with it, and other accessories.  They also sell the pumps at $250-265 depending on which type, plus tax. All sales and rentals go towards NMC a nonprofit and helping moms with breastfeeding classes and counselors!. 650-327-6455 for advice and pump rental or Sara at 650-490-0914. In Redwood City, you can contact Sandi Tordoff at 364-9579.

The Peninsula Breastfeeding Center (formerly Healthy Horizons) has moved to a new location: 1432 Burlingame Avenue, next to Morning Glory and Malouf's, closer to El Camino.  There is 2 hour free parking in the back off of Chapin.  1-800-FYI-MILK (toll free), i.e. 800-394-6455, 650-579-2726, 650-347-6455 (MILK) Breastpump rental, sales, breastfeeding supplies, scale rentals, consultations, support groups, classes and home visits by Board Certified Lactation Consultants. By Appt only.  www.Babiesandmoms.com

The Breastfeeding Center at Seton Medical Center  1900 Sullivan Daly City CA  650 992-4000 x 2315, Hours are M,W,F 3pm to 6pm and Sat 11am to 2pm. Walk-in s welcome. No Appt needed

Denise Magee, AAHCC, Redwood City is a rental depot for Ameda Engel breast pumps for $60.00 per month.  The kit is extra and costs about $60.00.

Updated 6/07:

Natural Resources has by far the most competitive rental rates, both for members ($80/yr for membership plus many benefits!) and non-members, followed closely by DayOne and Healthy Horizons.

1. Natural Resources - Medela Symphony:
$65/mo. members; $325/6 mos. members
$75/mo. non-members; $375/6 mos. non-members

2. DayOne SF & Palo Alto - Medela Symphony:
$70/mo. members
$80/mo. non-members
no long-term discounts

3. Healthy Horizons - Burlingame - Medela Symphony:
$350/5 mos ($70/mo)

4. Lullaby Lane - San Bruno - Medela Lactina Select only:
$150/3 mos.
$200/6 mos.

5. CPMC Newborn Connections - Medela Symphony:
$75/mo. plus non-refundable $10 cleaning fee
no long-term discounts

I was told the Symphony models have a "smoother function" and Medelas in general have stronger pump force than Amedas, which is why all the rental places mostly rent out Medelas.

Postpartum Support Groups

Our local birth resource centers also offer support groups.

Jessica Sorci offers an Adjusting to Motherhood support group. The fee is $25, babes in arms are welcome. Discuss self care for anxiety, depression and any other concerns that arise during this challenging time.  (408) 345-5572

El Camino Hospital offers a New Mothers Support Group - Mondays and Tuesdays.  Hours vary depending on child's age group.

Einat Klopfer Cohen leads a workshop for new mothers, Saturday Mom and Dad workshop, and Workshop for new mothers of twins.

See also: Postpartum Therapy for Maternal Birth Trauma - Emotional

Postpartum Yoga

Our local birth resource centers also offer postpartum yoga classes.

Whole Birth Yoga classes in a variety of South Bay locations - Mindfulness-based Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga classes include lively discussions and support for pregnancy, birth and new parenthood. You can also order a Whole Birth Yoga CD for home practice.

Julianne Rice at CSE (Center for Spiritual Enlightenment), University Ave, San Jose (phone: 866-1394) also teaches a postpartum yoga class.  The first part of the class is for mom, and the second part is for mom and baby together.

Whole Birth Yoga classes in a variety of South Bay locations.

Postpartum Doula - Cares for mother and baby postpartum, teaches newborn care, some light housekeeping

Postpartum doulas charge around $35/hour and can often be hired for half a day.  This can be a great help in that first week when the woman's partner has gone back to work and the new mother is home alone for the first time.

For URGENT NEED for a postpartum doula, you can contact Rotem Pearlson (rotem@rotemdoula.com, 650-714-4928) who will broadcast your need to a list of postpartum doulas to find ones who are able to assist you as soon as possible.

Rotem Pearlson - Postpartum Doula, rotem@rotemdoula.com, 650-714-4928

Sandy Caldwell - Postpartum Doula, sandy@doula-la.com, 650-218-7321

Bringing Home Baby!, Heather G. Lovejoy, U.S. Wester Pacific Director for DONA, may be able to refer you to low-cost birth and postpartum doulas on a sliding scale basis, 408-315-6521

Lisa Nakamura (San Jose) -  408-225-5343, e-mail: lisanakamura@earthlink.net
Robin Rogers - In The Nest - 650-329-1269
Elizabeth Green - 650-269-9046 - does home visits for breastfeeding support only
Maureen Jackson, Birth, Babies & Beyond, South San Jose, 408-629-6861
Lela Karzian-Banos (Sunnyvale) 408-734-5598
Tobi Stevens, "Tante Tobi", 408-247-1201, Postpartum Doula and Child Doula, Family-Centered Birth and Parenting Support Services

Real Meals for Families  - a personal chef service at very affordable prices!

New Creations Catering - chef Howard Weiss will fill your freezer - he prepares and delivers complete meals for new families, 510-562-2216

Resources for Fathers

Becoming a father can be amazing and tough.  Society expects a lot from modern dads, but hasn't caught up to honoring their unique needs for support.  Becoming a parent changes many things, and the whole family does better when both mom and dad get to talk & laugh with others who understand the journey.  Come COMMISERATE and CELEBRATE this new role and your incredible child!

Harmony Birth Resources in Campbell offers classes for Dad/Partner Prep before the birth and some postpartum classes for dads/partners after the birth.

Dad's Group - 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 7-8 pm, starts 6/10/08, facilitated by Ollie Moore, Dad Prep instructor& father of two. Call Harmony, 408-370-3702.

Blossom offers a Dads group as well (BYOB: Bring Your Own Baby), which meets the third Sunday of every month at 11.  It is also facilitated by Ollie.  If a mom has a parent-baby group card, her partner can use it to go to the dads group.  Otherwise, it’s $15 drop-in.

Fay Kelly  CHT, MdH, HBCEoffers a session now where she teaches a pregnant couple stress reduction and other techniques for the coming birth.  They both learn the latest mind/body techniques to help them and it's especially great for the husband to learn how he can be a calm, focused and a solid birth support for the wife instead of on an adrenalin high or very reactive. San Mateo, 650-773-6440

Jonathan Bartlett MA LMFT has a Masters in Holistic therapy. His focus is on Couples Counseling, New Parent Coaching and Fatherhood issues.  Family well being classes include "Parenting & Partnership - Keep Your Love Alive".

Silicon Valley Dads Group - Playgroups and support for stay at home dad’s.

Grateful Dads - A community of men who share the same desire to enjoy the richness and bounty of the natural surroundings in which we live and instill in our children the same mindset.

More nationwide resources about fathering.

Parenting Groups, Support, Education

Blossom and Harmony - Our local birth resource centers have a variety of support groups for families after the birth.

Building Buddies - New social skills groups for preschoolers! with Dr. Alisa Stern, 650-644-5358

Foundation of Family Values, a relatively new non-profit family resource center in San Jose / Campbell that works with families of all races, religions, sexual orientations, economic status, and political affiliations, in a variety of ways.  Their core services are parenting classes.
    * Conscious Parenting
    * Parenting Children with Behavioral Issues
    * Family Issues and Special Needs Children
    * Pre-Language Communication
    * Touching your Infant and Child: Massage and Body Communication
    * Setting and Modeling Boundaries
    * Identifying and Aligning with Values
    * Encouraging a Co-Dependant-Free Family Dynamic
    * Proactive Parenting: Stacking the Deck Against Drugs, Violence, and Depression
    * Proper Nutrition for Children
    * Managing Anger – Yours and Theirs
    * Talking to Children about Sex – When and How

Discover Your Baby - RIE Parent-Infant Classes with Lee Fernandez, MA, 650-400-3102, Redwood City

Bloom, a retreat center for mamas and their children in Walnut Creek. (with a holistic childcare studio on-site)  Offering perinatal bodymind therapy, massage, and prenatal meditation groups. Yoga, pilates, acupuncture, moms support groups, coaching.  925.939.6262

Janada Clark, MA - Parenting Coach, janadaclark.com, 650-400-4798

Bay Area Attached Families in Los Altos -  "Our community is focused on attachment parenting, gentle discipline and natural family living." This is a great group for parents who want support and community with other families who make parenting a priority. These seem to have replaced the old Communities for Attachment Parenting (South Peninsula/East Bay) and Bay Area Attachment Parenting (BAAP) (North Peninsula) and API in Silicon Valley. 

Attachment Parents of the Peninsula (APPen) is a community of families  who support each other in applying the philosophies of Attachment  Parenting.  Attachment Parenting is a philosophy based in nurturing  parenting practices that create strong emotional bonds.  The group has an email list, play groups, and other activities. APPen was formerly  BACAP-SMC; Bay Area Community of Attachment Parents in San Mateo County. Yahoo group.

New for June, 2013 - Vanessa Pisias (408.202.8369) & Tracie Lynch (408.674.1502) are co-teaching a new class, called Attachment Parenting: Navigating the First Year of Mom and Baby, in Los Gatos. "This class is not your ordinary newborn care class or postpartum class. We will discuss the benefits of adopting an 'attachment parenting' approach to caring for your baby, including themes surrounding extended breast feeding, baby wearing, baby led weaning, and safe bed or room sharing. We will also address more holistic ways of caring for Mom and Baby (avoiding antibiotics, use of Homeopathy, Chiropractic care, Nutrition, Cloth Diapering, etc). Postpartum mood disorders are will also be discussed."

Holistic Moms Network (HMN). chapters in:

San Jose
Mid-Peninsula DiaperFreeBaby - monthly meetings of parents throughout San Francisco Mid-Peninsula region (particularly those in the cities of and around Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale)- practicing Elimination Communication (EC), also known as Natural Infant Hygiene (NIH) and Infant Potty Training (IPT). You don't have to be practicing EC to be part of this group, just interested and open minded. This group is part of the DiaperFreeBaby organization.

Parent Effectiveness Training

PreSchool Family in Palo Alto, 4120 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto, CA  94303 - 650-856-0833 - This is conducted under the auspices of the Palo Alto Adult School, and it really is a class about parenting skills.  This group takes infants and newborns.  Hurray!

Las Madres Neighborhood Playgroups, Inc.

Moms Club - Support groups for at-home moms

Parental Stress Hot Line:  415-327-3333

Parental Stress Hot Line:  415-327-3333

Postpartum Depression Support Group and other Community Resources:  510-727-4610

Palo Alto and Menlo Park Mothers' Club, 650-306-8182
    Offering benefits such as playgroups, speakers on family issues, kids' activities, etc.

Center for Creative Parenting:  A family-oriented educational center that offers classes for people preparing for parenthood.  Specializing in preconception, prenatal, birth, postnatal and early childhood parenting services.

Parenting Resources

I've created a moderated Yahoo! Group for the announcement of events related to progressive parenting.

To join this low-volume list, go to http:

If you have announcements to post, go ahead, being mindful that the moderator (yours truly) is sometimes away from e-mail for days at a time.


Hooked on Nature is an educational campaign to inspire communities to develop an infrastructure that provides youth of all ages with an opportunity to develop a relationship with the natural world - based in Palo Alto.  There is an affiliate program - Children, Nature and You.

Waldorf parent/child program of young children ages one to three, meeting at the Oasis School in San Jose.  Contact Celia Rothenberg 408-264-0848.

The Parents' Club of Palo Alto and Menlo Park - The Parents’ Club of Palo Alto and Menlo Park (PAMP) is a diverse group of parents who have come together to form a volunteer-led, non-profit organization to offer community, resources, knowledge, and support on common interests.

Early Parenting Support Services with Elizabeth Green, a long-time educator and activist with Blossom in Palo Alto.  707-762-7006, elizabeth@earlyparentingsupport.com

Jeanna Lurie is a distributor of Maya Wrap Slings, so you can get one directly from her; she will give any interested party a tutorial in slinging. 408-275-1250, jeanna@mindfulmama.net

New Native slings are made in Watsonville and sold locally.

Lullaby Lane, Tiny Tots, and Day One all carry a limited selection of  slings.

Intro to the Art of Baby Wearing with Terri Burtin, Sling Doula, 650-968-3524,terri@slingdoula.com - Come learn from a professional about the myriad of popular options for baby-wearing, from the Baby Bjorn to pouches, rebozos, ring slings, and Mei Tais; get a chance to try them all on with experienced guidance;  and learn some of the lesser-known benefits along the way (including healthy spine development and preventing "flat-head" syndrome).  She is offering a Slings & Things workshop at Harmony in Campbell regularly, as well.  She has geared the workshop so it is appropriate before the baby comes, to help parents figure out which carrier they might want, or after the baby comes, parents can bring their babies and try things out.

For those who like to make purchases from local companies, one of our local moms runs the Hip & Little Baby Boutique - lots of adorable stuff.

Jeanna Lurie offers a meditation group for parents at Inner Reflection in Campbell.

CHP offers free car-seat inspections.
Call your local police department, fire department, public health department, or CHP office to inquire about free car seat checkups in your area.

Signing With Children - Keiki's Corner is dedicated to working together with children, and those who care for them, to enrich language and learning skills. We believe that providing meaningful, fun, and interactive experiences fosters an effective learning environment

Amy Saltzman, MD teaches "Mindfulness and Parenting"  - Mindfulness is a wonderful antidote to the stresses of living and parenting in Silicon Valley. Please join us as we cultivate compassionate awareness, and allow that awareness to inform our lives, particularly the challenges of parenting.  650-326-0701

Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) is a program that offers parents the specific communication and conflict resolutions skills it takes to build and maintain an effective relationship with a child, in any and all circumstances.

Music Together - the Joy of Family Music - MusicTogether of the mid-Peninsula  has classes in Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale, or you can check the City Locator to find one near you.

Dominique Vincent is a Kindermusik educator in Mountain View.

KidsSings- Schola Cantorum typically offers a summer series of group sings for children aged 5-9.

The Fall/Winter 2001 catalog from the City of Los Altos Recreation Department listed a class called "Baby Music Together" with Maryse Nadeau and Juli Wong.  This was described as a "first" music class geared towards very young babies.  Fingers crossed that this continues to be an option in our area!  You can download their current Activity Guide from their web page.

Kidpower workshops- they work with kids to give them empowering skills to protect themselves, from bullies, strangers, etc. without scaring them or teaching “stranger danger.”

Whole Child Education Choices - whole child education choices in the Silicon Valley, a list maintained by Heather Ward.  Whole Child Education? What does that mean?  An education that serves every aspect of the child; physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.  An education that is developmentally appropriate, that paces itself to the child, that celebrates talents, and encourages growth. An education that creates a life long love for learning, internal motivation, and confidence in self. Whole child education assures that a child will achieve to their fullest potential.

Counseling for Adjusting to Parenting - These therapists were recommended by members of the local birth community.

These three women are especially experienced with birth/baby issues: 
I know two excellent therapists, one in Half Moon Bay, the other has her office in Palo Alto. They both work with couples.
Philipa Bar, Half Moon Bay, 650-393-9331
Katie Eisen, Palo Alto, 650-222-2485

Chandrama Anderson, MFT, 650-575-2167, Couples Counseling and Marriage Counseling - fabulous resource for couples who have experienced a perinatal loss.

I have met Candice Richardson-Solomon. I haven't worked with her as a therapist but have heard positive things about her.
She's in San Mateo at 161 W. 25th Ave. 650-341-1073 CandiceRS@aol.com .

Wonderful couples therapist in Palo Alto: Sally Hayman, LCSW 650-325-9515

Couples Institute Menlo Park – We worked with Ellen Rosenthal, She's fantastic. Her number is 650-322-6044

Nicole MacDonald, M.A. - Holistic Counselor and Therapeutic Herbalist, San Carlos.  Nicole combines Holistic Counseling with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Western Herbalism to help her client’s reclaim physical well being, connect deeply with themselves and others, and manifest their spiritual destinies. Nicole creates custom herbal formulas and healing plans to suit each client’s unique concerns and constitutions. 650-766-2088, email nmcmoon@yahoo.com

There's also an organization called Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment (ACME). Bea and Jim Strickland host quarterly meetings in Mountain View for couples in all stages of marriage. Here's the organization's mission statement: "The mission of the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment (ACME) is to promote and provide enrichment opportunities and resources that strengthen couple relationships and enhance personal growth, mutual fulfillment, and family wellness." For moreinformation about the organization, contact Bea and Jim at 408-268-3956

Barbara Whiteside is great.  She's not officially a "therapist" but she's a parenting and enneagram teacher and does individual and couples counseling/coaching.  She's in San Mateo. www.whitesideworkshops.com

Community Center for Health & Wellness, The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 744 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303, offers affordable counseling - sliding scale fees, 650-493-5006, counseling@itp.edu 

Nancy Klimp is active in organizing a New Grandmother's Group in Palo Alto, sometimes through the Grandparents Network Meetup Groups. 650 493-1935 X

Resources for a Sane Postpartum


The postpartum period can be overwhelming, especially for a first-time mother at home alone with her baby for extended periods of time. Our local birth resource centers offer many wonderful groups and events that provide postpartum support:

The Attachment Parenting Groups have weekly gatherings at parks and regular family events.

Other regular gatherings of mothers and babies are meetings of La Leche League or Las Madres.  Or just go hang out at your local park when you see other young children there.

The San Mateo Mothers Club (SMMC) is a club open to moms with kids from birth to age six.

The San Carlos/Belmont Mothers' Club 

[Sadly, the Betty Wright Swim Center announced permanent closure as of Oct. 4, 2013.  Similar classes might be available at existing partner sites--the Palo Alto Family YMCA and the San Jose State University Timpany Center.]   Baby Swim Classes - Abilities United Aquatic Services (formerly the Betty Wright Swim Center at CAR), (starting at 6 months of age) 3864 Middlefield Rd. (x Charleston), Palo Alto , 650-494-1480 - a heated, indoor pool suitable for newborns.  There's a similar facility in San Jose - the Almaden Valley Athletic Club. Or Aitkens Peninsula Swim School, (starting at 6 weeks of age) 1602 stafford st, Redwood City, CA 94063, (650) 366-9211

La Petite Baleen (The Little Whale) in Atherton - special pool kept at 90 degrees.  They also have three family swim sessions weekly for enrolled students and their families.

The Sutton Swim School in Cupertino has a strong emphasis on excellent water quality at a warm temperature appropriate for baby classes.

The Mommy Lane, Jessica Woods, Career coaching, resources and support for moms - 831-212-6556, jessica@themommylane.com    Our workshops, support groups and one-on-one coaching sessions are geared towards your personal success as a woman and mother.

Mommy's Coach, Carrie Vawter-Yousfi - Avoid Chaos & Embrace Motherhood

BabyQigong, Los Altos, 650-949-1200 is a gentle, effective, and rejuvenating work-out for mommy and baby. Combining the meditative principles of Qigong - the Chinese relative of Yoga - with the strength of Pilates, and the endurance of kickboxing, this is an extraordinary, all-in-one workout that relaxes, strengthens, and stretches the body. Although the work-out is primarily for mom, baby movements and massage are also included.
Next Session:  Starts April 10, Days:   Mon, Wed, or Fri at 10 a.m., Call or email to reserve a spot., Price:   $150 for six weeks (12 classes)
Try it out: first class is FREE!, Attendance:  Limited to 15 participants per session, Babies ages 6 weeks ­ 9 months (or older if baby is not walking)

Oh, Baby! Motherhood(TM) is dedicated to helping women successfully transition into motherhood.  "Join us Mondays at 12 noon (pst) for our free mini-seminar (over the phone) Moving Into Motherhood. Email us at info@ohbabymotherhood.comor call us at 805.745.8048 for details."

Elisabeth Stitt, Joyful Parenting -  a parent coach who offers workshops designed to help parents articulate and explore their values and priorities, to envision what kind of adult they want to raise, and to give them concrete communication skills to help weather the inevitable differences of opinions when it comes to the oh, so loaded questions of parenting.

Here are some other fun ways to celebrate the birth of your baby:

Local Birth Announcement

One of the ways we can raise awareness about homebirth options is to announce your baby's homebirth in your local newspaper.


Unexpected Outcomes and Postpartum Therapy


Getting a Copy of Your Medical Records

Stanford requires that you use their form.

Request A Copy of Your Medical Records after the Birth!  An Idea Whose Time Has Come

This idea came from a researcher in the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology who observed that the people who have control of the information
have control of the research.  If you want to be able to participate in long-term research studies about your child's health as a side effect of the
procedures performed during pregnancy, labor and birth, and in the newborn nursery, then you will need to have a copy of your records.

"As a prenatal/perinatal therapist, such records can be invaluable in explaining a problem or validating a hunch about what happened to a baby/child
presenting symptoms of birth trauma. . . .[I]f it becomes routine for mothers to request their medical records, it's possible that hospitals will become a
bit less defensive about releasing them (fearing they'll be used to support litigation) and that the idea that this information is rightfully that of the parents
(and the baby, really) might become more accepted.  This would serve to support more and more research I see taking place down the pike as my
fellow students in our field explore different aspects of pregnancy and birth and empower families to learn more about how birth relates to how their
children think, feel and act in life. . . . So . . . let's think in terms of working towards having medical records of births easily and frequently released to
mothers who request them, and having mothers empowered to believe they are entitled to this data and that it can ultimately benefit their understanding
of their birth, and their child's well-being."

The researcher suggests asking for the full medical records (including nurses' notes) of their birth (and/or child's nursery stay).

Unexpected Outcomes

Parents Helping Parents is is a multi-faceted, comprehensive Parent Directed Family Resource Center for children with any kind of special need (mental, physical, emotional, or learning disabilities.  408-727-5775

Community Association For Rehabilitation, Inc. - Provides services to individuals and their families who have developmental and other disabilities. The programs offered are designed for those who cannot obtain services elsewhere due to the severity of their problem..  415-494-0550

Postpartum Therapy for Maternal Birth Trauma

Birth Trauma is often a combination of physical and emotional issues.

If you're experiencing physical symptoms, especially painful sex, there are probably local practitioners who can help you:

Dyspareunia  (painful sex) - You don't have to live with painful sex.  Proper diagnosis and multidisciplinary treatment can help you reduce or eliminate pain.  SF Bay Area sex therapists, gynecologist, and physical therapists explain sexual pain, dyspareunia, vulvodynia, and pelvic pain. (Denise Alberto, MPT, Mary Buxton, LCSW, Maia Chakerian, M.D.,  Annemarie Cosby, MPT, Paul D. Indman, M.D., Linda R. Janowitz, Ph.D., and Diane Morrissette, Ph.D.)  Diane Morrissette, PhD is an affiliated sex therapist - 220 California Ave Ste 115, Palo Alto, 650-494-8184  (Also a good referral for vaginismus.)

Candice Garrett offers a fabulous workshop on "The Female Pelvic Floor".  Check with her to find out when one will be in your area.

El Camino Hospital offers the Total Control Program, a series of educational and fitness classes to help women strengthen their pelvic floor.

Lindsay MacInnis, CMT, The Mommy Spa - Los Gatos - I'm a massage therapist specializing in Pregnancy Massage, injury and surgical recovery and Oncology Massage for people living with cancer. Over the past 8.5 years I have worked with many women who experienced pelvic pain during pregnancy.  I'd be happy to offer a $20 discount off your first visit if you'd like to try prenatal massage to see if it could provide some relief.

Denise Alberto - Physical Therapist - Denise knows a tremendous amount about traumas that can happen to pelvic organs during childbirth, and she can probably help you in a small number of appointments. Denise would be appropriate to help with cystocele, rectocele, pelvic adhesions from cesarean or scar tissue from episiotomy or any suturing.

The Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center specializes in physical therapy management of myofascial pelvic pain in pre- and postpartum women.

STAR Clinic Physical Therapy offers Pelvic floor rehabilitation for Pre and post-natal related conditions (including vulvodynia, coccyx pain, piriformis syndrome, sacro-iliac pain), 1350 Grant Road #14A, Mountain View, CA 94040, 650-965-1185

Meenal specializes in pelvic floor therapy at Colwill Physical Therapy, 4155 Moorpark Ave., Suite 20, San Jose, CA 95117 - 408-615-1516, colwillphysicaltherapy.com/

Dr. Andrew Cook, Vital Health Institute, 15055 Los Gatos Blvd, Suite 250, Los Gatos, CA 95032 - gynecologist specializing in chronic pelvic pain.

Dr. Renee Young offers therapies to soften up scarring from c-sections or perineal suturing. Naturopathic Medicine, Fox & Young Chiropractic and Naturopathic Health Center, 751 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, CA  95032, 408-761-6781.

See also: Recovering from Surgery

Taffy Dugan, CMT, CEIM does myofascial release and massage to soften up cesarean birth scars. taffy@serenebalance.com,  408-768-8186

Jenny Walker, DC has experience with Kinesio tape used postpartum for C section scars or just for general healing.  Some of the ways it helps are pain reduction, swelling reduction and reducing the risk of contractures to improve the range of motion.  We often use homeopathy or botanicals as well to help with healing.  408-891-8222 or  info@losgatoswellness.com.

Arnold Tayam, Doctor of Medical Qigong(China)..  He teaches qigong for several programs at Stanford University, including their IVF program.  He's also Professor of Qigong at Five Branches Acupuncture College, and maintains a clinical practice in San Jose.

Almost all postpartum women can benefit from some chiropractice care and a nice in-home massage.

Helena Women's Health - A World Leading Center for Treating Chronic Pelvic Pain - 2101 Forest Avenue, Suite 22,  San Jose, CA  95128, 408-999-7900

Dr. Jerome Weiss in San Francisco specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction.

Oxygen with Attitude Hyperbaric Healing Center, LLC - 1485 El Camino Real, Suite 101, Belmont, California 94002, 650-654-9268.  Treatments for wound healing and more.

Postpartum Therapy for Maternal Birth Trauma - Emotional

For women who feel they had a difficult birth experience, they would benefit from some of the special classes offered from time to time at our local birth resource centers.  They may offer post-cesarean groups from time to time.

There are two very different approaches to postpartum depression:

Alternatively, some books can also be very  helpful in processing a difficult birth - Gayle Peterson's An Easier Childbirth and Creating A Joyful Birth Experience by Lucia Capacchione and Sandra Bardsley both have helpful exercises.  (There are more resources listed in my Midwife Archives web pages on "Miscellaneous Emotional Issues" and "Postpartum Depression".)

Discuss your birth with a midwife - Ronnie Falcao, LM MS is a midwife in Mountain View available to review your birth records with you and answer questions about what happened and what might have been.  650-961-9728.

PSI: Postpartum Support International - California referrals

Sally Clark, MA MFT, some office time in Mountain View - 650-969-3003 and 510-549-9401  - babies through adults explore prenatal issues and early imprinting through sandplay, art therapy, EMDR and regressive therapy.

Tessa Richardson, LCSW, 39785 Paseo Padre Pkwy Fremont, CA and 1197 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA, (888) 530-9633 - accepts insurance, blends Western psychotherapy with mindfulness-based practices, and treatment is solution-focused and goal-oriented.

Dolat Bolandi, MFT - Pregnancy and Postpartum Wellness Support Group -Support group for women that are pregnant or postpartum and are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The group will meet once a week in Los Gatos and many insurance plans cover this service.  The initial appointment is a one on one session at the group rate to see if the group is a fit. My hope is to provide affordable treatment and support to more women in the bay area suffering from mood disorders during pregnancy and postpartum.  (408)264-0100

Tess Landey - ovenbuncoaching.com - in Berkeley but all sessions can be conducted in person, on the phone, or via Skype.

Marika Berman, MS, Emotional Freedom Techniques, "The Tapping Therapy" - some of my clients have benefited tremendously from this approach.  It is a somatic therapy that doesn't require analysis of the root of the problem.  Marika specializes in Pregnancy and Birth issues.  408-978-5427.  Call for a free 15 min. phone/Skype consultation.

Dolat Bolandi, MFT, 408-264-0100, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist both in private practice in Los Gatos, and at the MOMS program at El Camino hospital. "I specialize in working with pregnant and postpartum moms that may be struggling to adjust and/or having difficulties with depression and anxiety spectrum during this time. I also enjoy working with couples, and parenting issues. While I work under a medical structure in the hospital and appreciate what it can offer, I am also a firm believer that this is a very spiritual time in a woman's life, a time to heal, grow and experience the magnificence of pain and joy from within."

Amy Roberts, LMFCC (Palo Alto) 650-813-1317 - "Are you feeling overwhelmed with the emotional challenges of pregnancy, birth and early parenting?  Struggling with the emotional issues of infertility, miscarriage, or prenatal loss?"  Licensed therapist with 15 years experience working with perinatal issues. Group and individual support counseling for infertility, pregnancy, birth, postpartum.

Paula-Jo Husack, MA LMFT, CGP, 1838 El Camino Real, Suite 203, Burlingame, CA  94010, 650-343-4554

Jacki Silber, MS, LMFT, Sequoia Counseling Services, 165 Arch Street, Redwood City, CA 94062. 650-363-0383 ext.119, Jacki@postpartumdepressionhelp.net

Pec Indman EdD, MFT, 1475 Saratoga Ave. #140, San Jose, CA 95129, 408-255-1730, pec@beyondtheblues.com  beyondtheblues.com  Her web page has some very helpful sections on Miscarriage, Abortion, Neonatal Loss; Adjusting to Motherhood; Work-Life Juggling; Premenstrual Moods and Per-Menopause; Fertility Challenges; Trauma Related to Childbirth; When Survivors Give Birth.  She is also the Director of Women’s Health for regroup therapy; they offer online video support groups for moms with postpartum depression and anxiety.   You are not alone and support is now even closer and easier to access.

Caroline Cribari MD, PhD - a psychiatrist in Mtn. View specializing in women's mental health.  650-988-7874

Magda Wroblewska, MA, MS, LMFT, 17575 B Los Gatos - Almaden Road, Los Gatos, CA  95032, 408-356-8200, ext. 427, magda_w@yahoo.com  Magda specializes in reproductive traumas, i.e. miscarriages, abortions and late-pregnancy losses.

There's a possibility that a new ICAN chapter is forming in this area.  HURRAY!  If interested, contact Holli at 408-266-8566.

Reichian therapy is a non-verbal "breathing" therapy to help free blocked energy and sexual dysfunction.  Michele T. Newmark, MS, DD has an ongoing private practice in Santa Rosa and in San Francisco at The Center for Healing and Expression.  She also hold classes on "Tantra, Yoga, and Breath, and Exploration of Sexual Energy".  Santa Rosa: 707-538-3778 and San Francisco: 415-775-6145.

Denise Roy is an author, a psychotherapist, and a popular speaker.  She is available for marriage and family therapy.

See also Dr. Cohen and Rebecca Kurtz


Sex Therapy

If your birth experience has affected your marriage in a negative way because of a decrease in your sexual interest that isn't caused by physical issues, it might be a good idea to get see a sexologist - Dr. Danielle Harel, 408-469-1989, Danielle@DareToEnjoy.com

Mary Buxton - special interest in helping new parents adjust to a "new healthy" sexuality after childbirth.  Licensed Clinical Social Worker  #LCS 7780, 3425 S. Bascom Ave., Suite F, Campbell, CA 95008, 408-371-4847, mbuxton@marybuxton.com

Susan Scott Hennings, MA, LMFT  - a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in San Jose, California.

Therapy for Newborn Birth Trauma

NOTE - Some of the chiropractors also do craniosacral adjustments on newborns.

Laura Woodrow, d.o., Osteopathic Physician, 4161 El Camino Way, Suite B, Palo Alto, CA 94306, 650-681-4422, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine for Infants, Children and Adults.  Laura will make home visits to treat newborns close to Palo Alto.

Judy Modderman, Mountain View -  650-967-1486 - craniosacral adjustments for newborns

Debbie Sera, M.A., Saratoga - 650-766-5169

Kathleen Harper, CMT, Touch Blue Sky, 650-222-6538, massage@touchbluesky.com  Kathleen may be available to make home visits for craniosacral therapy for newborns.

Sylvia Boyd, Hayward -  510-538-3679 - craniosacral adjustments for newborns as part of her work.  Serving as a physical therapist who uses her therapy training to help babies latch successfully and nurse efficiently, Sylvia specializes in helping babies who can’t latch, can’t nurse both breasts, or cause the mother pain when nursing.

Oxygen with Attitude Hyperbaric Healing Center, LLC - 1485 El Camino Real, Suite 101, Belmont, California 94002, 650-654-9268.  Treatments for a variety of birth injuries: autism, Bells palsy, brain injury, seizures, wound healing and more.  This can also be helpful for prenatal "insults" such as cerebral palsy.

Tom McCook at Center of Balance offers craniosacral therapy for newborns. 1220 Pear Avenue, Suite i, Mountain View, CA 94043, (650) 967-6414

Step Ahead Infant Development with Dafna Golan Carbone,  650-646-5506, dafna@stepping-ahead.com - Offers free phone consultations

Jeremy Goldberg, CMT, offers Birth Integration Work, including craniosacral and vibrational therapy, to clear any stresses and tensions that a baby may be carrying related to birth or prenatal conditions.  650-630-0822, 652 Bair Island Road, Suite 306, Redwood City, CA 94063, jeremysgold@hotmail.com.Jeremy makes home visits, which can be a life-saver for a mom/baby with breastfeeding difficulties related to head compression during the birth.

Nancy Newbold, DC does cranial/sacral work with infants. Her primary office is in El Granada (near Half Moon Bay), but she sometimes sees clients at a Redwood City location and makes home visits!.  650-726-3300  To arrange for an appointment at the Redwood City location, tell them you were referred by Sandy Caldwell.

Harmony Birth Resources sometimes offers workshops on The Happiest Baby on the Block techniques taught by certified instructors.

Sadhana Stupar, CMT, NCTMB, Specializing in Craniosacral Therapy.  "I have had wonderful successes working with newborns.... correcting latch, torticollis, colic, etc.  i share an office with chiropractor, dr rob murray, and offer home visits on tuesdays and thursdays." 408-480-2210, 408-830-9264, craniosacral13@yahoo.com

Dr Marilyn Moss is a chiropractor in Los Gatos who does craniosacral on infants.

Cheryl Eichner specializes in cranial sacral work with infants and children.  650-868-0343

Myofascial Therapy Center in Campbell

Birth Resolution for Babies, Children and Families - MAIA Midwifery specializes in a form of bodywork/emotional work for babies that allows space for them to release and express their experiences of birth, prenatal life and early traumatic experiences. In Orinda.

Postpartum Therapy for Paternal/Partner Birth Trauma

Even though fathers/partners aren't directly involved physically in the birth process, their experience may still be felt as traumatic.  For some dads, seeing the raw physical nature of birth can be overwhelming. Other dads may wrestle with feelings of helplessness at seeing their partner's wishes ignored, or seeing their partner or baby treated roughly.  Other dads are traumatized by the surgical procedures, such as episiotomy or cesarean.  In any case, processing these traumas is an important part of this rite of passage; unprocessed trauma can interfere with the ability to parent fully and wholeheartedly.

Ollie Moore, the leader of Harmony's Dad/Partner Prep classes, may be available for individual conversation to help a dad process his experience.

Jonathan Bartlett MA LMFT has a Masters in Holistic therapy. His focus is on Couples Counseling, New Parent Coaching and Fatherhood issues.  401 Alberto Way, Suite #3, Los Gatos, 408-353-3791, jonathan@familywellbeing.net.  (Jonathan remains happily married to a local midwife with an active practice. Though he brings with him a deepened awareness of birth issues, the two are deeply committed to the confidentiality of their clients.)

Birthing From Within has an exercise for "Healing Your Birth Wounds"; some of our local BFW mentors might be available to work with dads as well as moms.

The Australian BirthRites site has a nice subsection on Men's Experiences

More information about Fatherhood

Sibling Adjustment and Couples Counseling

Mika Gustavson, Campbell - mikag@pacbell.net or 408-375-9635

Marté J. Matthews, M.A., MFT, San Jose - marte@martejmatthewsmft.com or 408-887-7133, works with young children, including sibling issues.  She makes home visits!

Doug Drucker, Ph.D., 3803 S. Bascom, Ste. 210, Campbell, CA  95008, 408-377-3510

Counseling, Blessingways, Reiki, Energy Work



Maternal Outreach Mood Services  (MOMS) - El Camino Hospital in Mountain View recently became one of only two health care organizations in the country to offer inpatient treatment to expectant and recent mothers grappling with severe mood disorders related to pregnancy.  [story from the Mountain View Voice]

The Perinatal Treatment Program at CPMC aims to help perinatal women with unmet mental health needs quickly access specialty care with expert psychiatrists and psychologists. Perinatal women (from pre-conception to a year postpartum) are encouraged to call the Perinatal Triage Line at 415-600-3637.

California Resource Page for PSI - Postpartum Support International is dedicated to helping women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression, the most common complication of childbirth.  They may be able to help you find Medi-Cal providers.

Phyllis Klaus, MFT, 899 E. Charleston Rd., #G204, Palo Alto, CA  94303, 650-391-9062, phyllisklaus@gmail.com - Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LCSW, has specialized in the perinatal period for 30 years. She consults nationally and internationally and is co-author of Bonding, Your Amazing Newborn, The Doula Book, and When Survivors Give Birth.

Sharon Storton moved back to Canada in May, 2012.  Sharon was a shining light in our local birth community.  We still miss her terribly, two plus years later.

Dr. Rama Ronen, Ph.D. - Psychologist - Families, Couples, Prenatal & Postpartum Support, Palo Alto and San Francisco.  Rama@entelechywellness.com

Jessica Sorci, LMFT - Psychotherapist with a particular interest in helping new parents as they adjust to the surprises that come with having a baby.  She has special training in the areas of pre and perinatal psychology, attachment, birth trauma and growing into motherhood/fatherhood.   1165 Lincoln Ave., Suite 220, San Jose, CA  95125.   408-345-5572, jessicasorci@hotmail.com.

Alisa Nowik Stern, Psy. D., Licensed Psychologist, 345 South California Ave., Ste. 2, Palo Alto, CA  94306, 650-644-5358, dralisastern@gmail.com Prenatal and Postpartum Psychological Services.  Alisa offers Pregnancy Groups, Mom-Baby Groups, Parent-Child Therapy as well as Individual, Couples and Family Therapy.

Elinor Wahrmann, MA, MFTI, Marriage & Family Therapist Registered Intern 650-318-6590, info@elinorwahrmann.com. Works with women and families to overcome challenges such as pregnancy and postpartum adjustment, Attachment and bonding issues, relationship struggles, self-esteem, depression and anxiety related to birth and parenthood.  English, Hebrew and French.  Author of articles: Postpartum Adjustment - Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression and  What I Wish I Had Known About Becoming a Parent

Robin Bates-Pualuan, MS - 2155 S. Bascom Avenue, Suite 203. Campbell, CA 95008, (408) 874-6574, robin@rbpcounseling.com - Emotional Wellness Counseling for Parents of Young Children

Elizabeth Eastman LCSW, 650-283-6814 -  Individual and couples counseling provided in your home for issues of postpartum, relationships, self-esteem, infertility, transitions. Office appointments also available. email: EEastmanLCSW@hotmail.com

Lynette Danylchuk, San Mateo, 650-572-2710

Tess Landey - ovenbuncoaching.com - in Berkeley but all sessions can be conducted in person, on the phone, or via Skype.

Eva Roodman, Clinical Social Worker, 350 Second St Suite 1, Los Altos, CA, 650-714-1839, general practice, emphasizing work around birth and postpartum issues, including parenting, marital transition,etc.

Pec Indman EdD, MFT, 85 Saratoga Ave. #127, Santa Clara, CA 95051, (408) 252-5552  beyondtheblues.com

If you're looking for nutritional support in addition to counseling, try Dr. Kunin in San Francisco. He is very eccentric to say the very least but he does a series of tests to find out where ( what vitamins) you are deficient in and then puts you on Mega dose.  He also formulated the Ola Loa drinks. Packages are sold at Whole Foods.  He doesn't take insurance and is very $$$.

Michelle Kalehzan, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, 1059 El Monte Avenue, Mountain View, CA, 94040  408-792-3232, michelle@psych.stanford.edu  Specializes in working with women with depression, and particularly mothers with postpartum depression.  She is very supportive of homebirth and alternative birth practices, so she is especially appropriate for women whose disappointments in their birth experience might be discounted by those who consider a healthy baby the only important component of a good outcome.

Sally Clark, MA MFT, some office time in Mountain View - 650-969-3003 and 510-549-9401  - babies through adults explore prenatal issues and early imprinting through sandplay, art therapy, EMDR and regressive therapy.

Dayna Reader, LMFT, 650-483-8893, 501 first ave. in downtown san mateo - lots of experience working with sexual abuse survivors - works with women about fears about labor/birth.

Angela Maldonado-Nunes, MA, MFC, 408-813-1885, Individual, Couple and Family Psychotherapy, Focusing on couple and new parent issues

Sara Darnley comes very highly recommended as being down-to-earth, genuine, non-judgemental, sharp, intuitive, knowledgeable and with a great understanding of the complexity of family systems!  Campbell, 408-267-4702.

Amy Roberts, LMFCC (Palo Alto) 650-813-1317 - "Are you feeling overwhelmed with the emotional challenges of pregnancy, birth and early parenting? Struggling with the emotional issues of infertility, miscarriage, or prenatal loss?"  Licensed therapist with 15 years experience working with perinatal issues. Group and individual support counseling for infertility, pregnancy, birth, postpartum.

Paula-Jo Husack, MA LMFT, CGP, 1838 El Camino Real, Suite 203, Burlingame, CA  94010, 650-343-4554

There are a couple of support groups available for parents that are pregnant after a previous loss, one in Redwood City, and one at CPMC, which
is drop-in, and free.

Jenny Robertson moderates an on-line support group - svppmd@yahoogroups.com

Counseling and Assistance for Grief and Loss

KARA in Palo Alto provides grief counseling for adults and children free of charge. 650-321-5272

Chandrama Anderson, MA, MFT, Palo Alto, CA 650-575-2167.  We are very fortunate to have Chandrama in our community.  She is the author of No U-Turn at Mercy Street: A Memoir and Resource Guide for Grieving Parents.  She is the obvious choice for couples who are having relationship problems related to the loss of a child.

HAND of the Peninsula - Helping After Neonatal Death, is a non-profit, volunteer group founded in the early 1980's to provide support and information to bereaved parents, their families and friends following a miscarriage, stillbirth, or newborn death.  They are located in Northern California, (650) 367-6993.  In an emergency, call the 24 Hour Crisis Line: (650) 579-0350, (888) 220-7575 (toll free)

HAND support group meetings for Santa Clara take place the first and third Thursdays of each month starting at 7:30pm in Los Gatos. 408-358-5640. 24 Hour Telephone Support: 1-888-908-HAND (1-888-908-4263) is staffed by professionally trained support volunteers through Contact Cares (contactcares.org) Please ask the counselor to leave a message for "HAND".

Now I lay me down to sleep - Volunteer Infant Bereavement Photography -  an organization of professional photographers, volunteering their time and services to parents experiencing an early infant loss.  There are no fees to the parents for the services NILMDTS provides.

Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy (see also Hypnobirthing)

Carol Daly offers childbirth preparation and comes highly recommended. 745 Distel Drive, Suite #20, Los Altos, CA  94022650-969-3167

Stacy Pan, CHT with offices at Bayside Chiropractic, Brittan Avenue, San Carlos. 310-953-8082 - Personalized guided meditation & visualization recordings tailored to your needs or Deeper sessions delving into the root cause of behavior and deep-rooted change at the subconscious level.

Andrea Walker, Spirit Vision Hypnotherapy, 388 2nd Street, Los Altos CA 94022, 408-355-5779, andrea@spiritvisionhypno.com

Barbara A. Kulle, 2500 Hospital Drive, Building 10, Mountain View, 94040, 650-949-3362 - Medical hypnotherapy for stress reduction, fertility enhancement, hypertension, breech, labor coping techniques.

Other issues: Palo Alto School of Hypnotherapy, Palo Alto 650-321-6419

Doulas with Hypnosis Experience
Rhonda Taylor, 408-448-4082

For general hypnosis, we're fortunate to have a renowned expert with offices in Los Altos -  Dr. Emmett Miller - call 530 478-1807 for appointments.


A blessingway is a prenatal gathering of a pregnant woman with her close friends and supporters to focus their intentions for a safe, gentle birth.  It can be a very meaningful experience for all involved.

Carol Fitzgerald, 1325 Cowper, Palo Alto, CA  94301  650-322-9841

Kristen Johnson  is offering a service where the guests make a silk scarf for you at your baby shower or blessingway.  Silk painting is fun and easy and rewarding - it always turns out vibrant and lush. 650-493-4383 or email graffikdezine@comcast.net

Reiki, Energy Work or Spiritual Counseling

Rebecca Kurtz, 650-796-1312 - Rebecca is temporarily living in an other state but is available for phone sessions.  Rebecca offers treatment of newborns and babies as well as the whole family.

The Reiki Center of the East Bay is developing a program that supports and empowers parents, starting with pregnancy, to accelerate healing and provide well-being for their infants and children, as well as themselves.  This program is especially helpful for families with a high-risk pregnancy, and parents of preemies, sick, and colicky babies.   Meg Siddheshwari Sullivan, RN, MS, Reiki Master, 510-653-9884, Siddheshwari@ReikiCenterEastBay.com

I've also heard good things about Aska Yoshizu at Lotus Seeds Therapy

Sharon Allen, CMT, Health Enhancement, 885 N. San Antonio Rd., Suite J, Los Altos, CA  94022  650-968-2293, sharallen@earthlink.net - Mindfulness-based stress reduction, Meditation instruction, Massage therapy - Certified in Transpersonal Studies and Certified Massage Therapist

Reiki Clinics in Mountain View are held on the second Monday of every month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Come and enjoy an evening of peaceful energy. Stay as long or as short as you like. Volunteer practitioners are welcome to give Reiki. Everyone is welcome. Love offerings are accepted.

Czarina Bowers - birth and postpartum doula in Hollister.  408-832-7996, czarina@doulaczar.com  She's one of the instructors with Sacred Pregnancy,

Healing Body Work

Rami Nagel, Santa Cruz, Hands On Healing, 831-429-2009, author of Healing Our Children



Home Health Care


In addition to doulas who provide comfort measures in the home during labor, homebirth midwives will sometimes also provide in-home midwifery care in early labor, including fetal monitoring and assessing the mother's well-being and the progress of labor - this kind of care is also called monitrice care. They provide midwifery care in your home until you decide it's time to go to the hospital, and then they accompany you to provide doula care in the hospital.

As of November, 2006, these two midwives are most active in providing monitrice services:

Rosanna M. Davis, LM, CPM, Palo Alto, 650-964-2229

     Faith Gibson, LM, CPM, community midwife, Palo Alto, 650-328-8491

During the week immediately after giving birth, it can be an ordeal for a woman to have to leave her home to seek health care.
This is especially true for breastfeeding women, who would need to take their babies with them.
The following healthcare providers will make house calls:

Insurance Coverage for In-Home Postpartum Care

The owner of this website is Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA.
In addition to the obvious house calls for her own homebirth clients, Ronnie is also available to provide
comprehensive European-style in-home midwifery care and lactation assistance to women after they've come home
from giving birth in the hospital.

Ellen Levitt. L.M is available to provide in-home postpartum medical care for women who have had a hospital birth.
Ellen will travel about a half hour from Berkeley to most of the East Bay, including
Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Albany, El Cerrito, Moraga, Orinda, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Benicia, and San Leandro.
She offers skilled breastfeeding support, resources, advice, and answers to all your of questions.  She bills insurance.  510 459-8708 wombservicemidwives@gmail.com

Other local homebirth midwives might also be available for in-home postpartum midwifery care.

Lactation Consulting

Midwives, Pediatricians and Doctors Who Make Home Visits

Dr. Tina Roach-Gagnon, BS, DC, QME, is sometimes available to come to your home to perform craniosacral adjustments.

Dr. Destia Skinner will make home visits to do craniosacral adjustments of newborns of current patients.

Jeremy Goldberg, CMT, offers Birth Integration Work, including craniosacral and vibrational therapy.

Cindi Ignatovsky, L.Ac., acupuncture for postpartum depression and lactation issues.

Postpartum Massage In-Home





Nicole MacDonald, M.A. - Holistic Counselor and Therapeutic Herbalist, San Carlos.  Nicole combines Holistic Counseling with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Western Herbalism to help her client’s reclaim physical well being, connect deeply with themselves and others, and manifest their spiritual destinies. Nicole creates custom herbal formulas and healing plans to suit each client’s unique concerns and constitutions. 650-766-2088, email nmcmoon@yahoo.com

Pam Caldwell, HerbLore, General health for the whole family, specializing in pregnancy, birth and postpartum.  Santa Clara 408-249-8858, 877-808-5815.  Pam offers phone consultations, and her herbal products are available at local retail outlets.

Bridget Owen, Sweet Herb Medicinals provides consultations and educational workshops in order to teach techniques on how to make and administer herbal protocols, flower essences and aromatherapy for healthy living and gracefully aging.

Ms. Marshall Riley, Los Gatos, 408-354-9066.  She is a licensed acupunturist who specializes in women's issues.

Where to Purchase Herbs, Homeopathics, Supplements, Aromatherapy Oils, etc.

Herb Lore has some local retail outlets.

Sweet Herb Medicinals has some local retail outlets.

Ancient Ways has an extensive catalog of herbsavailable in the store - 4075 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, California 94609, 510-653-3244

MichaelaBoldy's fabulous essential oil Labor Blends are available from Maternal Connections at El Camino Hospital, Blossom Birth (25% of profits are supporting Blossom), or directly from www.mbaromatherapy.com.

The excellent combination of oral acidophilus capsules and vaginal acidophilus suppositories (called Gy-Na-Tren) is available at the Whole Foods in Cupertino (and by special order at any Whole Foods store) and at the House of Nutrition, 1371 Lincoln Ave., San Jose.

Whole Foods also carries 5-W.

As far as I know, it is not possible to purchase Doctor Christopher's Prenatal Tea locally.

Peggy's Health Center in downtown Los Altos carries some hard-to-find products. 151 1st St, Los Altos, CA 94022, (650) 948-9191

Fertility Resources

Dr Jan Rydfors at Bay Area Fertility and Pregnancy Specialists in Redwood City has a subspecialty in fertility assistance.

Mary E. Abusief, M.D., FACOG has gotten rave reviews from other midwives.

Zouves Fertility Center, Foster City, CA - Dr. Christo Zouves requires patients to start with chiropractic and acupuncture treatments, as they've been so successful for his clients.

Dr. Marina Rose, DC, gets great results in treating fertiliy issues with herbals, enzymes, homeopathics and other remedies.  949 Sherwood Avenue, Los Altos, CA  94022 650-383-8853

There are numerous high-tech fertility counseling and treatment centers in this area - here are some sophisticated practices using low-tech resources.

norcalfertility.com - a professional group of affiliated Acupuncturists who specialize in the holistic treatment of Infertility in the Bay Area

Rachel Schneyer, M.S., L.Ac, D.OM, FABORM is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist.  Rachel has undergone extensive training in the holistic treatment of Infertility and its associated conditions.

Rachel Cooley - Holistic Fertility Coach, Palo Alto, 650-521-2824, www.littlemiraclesconception.com, rachel@littlemiraclescone

Conscious Conception is a combination of wellness teachings and tools to assist you into stepping into--or allowing--your own highest light, first-- before you step into the most honorable role possible, motherhood.  Rev. Elisabeth Manning, 415-306-3079, teaches classes at Blossom Birth Resource Center in Palo Alto, consciousconception@yahoo.com

Tatyanna Teeuwisse L.Ac. - (conscious) conception, detoxification and preparation for conception and/or working to enhance fertility

The four acupuncturists at Harmony Acupuncture specialize in Reproductive Health, Pregnancy, and Women’s health, 920 Hillview Ct. #140, Milpitas,CA 95035, 408-941-9229

Dr Henry Lee (of Mountain View) has gotten rave reviews for fertility support, especially for short luteal phase.  He has also helped to complete a miscarriage without need for a D&C.  He is a 3rd generation acupuncturist who started training at age 10. His office accepts some insurance plans.

Eunice Kan, L.Ac., Live Well Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine,  1860 El Camino Real, Suite 236, Burlingame, CA 94010, 415-235-2710.  Eunice is an acupuncturist and an herbalist and specializes in women's health (fertility, menopause, prenatal, postpartum etc.)

Wellness Within – A clinic for infertility and gynecology, Claudia B. Wolfe, L.Ac. and Associates, 744 San Antonio Rd., Palo Alto, CA  94303, 650-858-8048 and 1815 Hamilton Ave., San Jose, CA  95125, 408 978 9851.

Malu Rydfors, Clinique Asiatique, Redwood Ciy, acupuncturist, herbalist and primary care giver - Malu takes a holistic and integrative approach to health and works in concert with Western medical practitioners to provide comprehensive care to her patients.  Her specialty lies in Women’s Health, particularly issues relating to emotional wellness, menstrual irregularites, PMS, hormonal inbalance, and fertility enhancement for both women and men.

Cindi Ignatovsky, L.Ac.

Kimberley Davis, OMD, LAc.

Kimberly Silsby, L.Ac., 745 Distel Drive, #206-207, Los Altos, CA 94022, 408-834-3161.

Roxanne Paolini, CHt., Integrative & Wellness Medical Center of Silicon Valley, 15891 Los Gatos-Almaden Rd., Suite 100, Los Gatos, CA  95032, 408-268-3950.  Roxanne is a Fertility Therapist.

Douglas Husbands, DC, CCN, ABAAHP, Rivera Chiropractic Group, 1168 El Camino Real, San Carlos, CA 94070, 650-802-8700.  In addition to chiropractic support, Dr. Husbands also offers pre-conception nutritional counseling to reduce your chances of conceiving a baby with Downs Syndrome.  doctor@drhusbands.com

Pam Caldwell, HerbLore, General health for the whole family, specializing in pregnancy, birth and postpartum.  Santa Clara 408-249-8858, 877-808-5815.  Pam offers phone consultations, and her herbal products are available at local retail outlets.

Maia Midwifery and Preconception Services - "Maia's reputation as the premiere preconception center for lesbians, bisexual women and single women is well-known throughout the country."  They are also serving an ever-growing number of single heterosexual women, and partnered straight women who are experiencing fertility challenges. 925-253-0685  They often work with women to identify the small window of opportunity for IUI to co-ordinate complementary services with Michelle Edgar, LM, who does the IUI.

Ellen Levitt. L.M is available to provide in-home IUI procedures in the East Bay.  She bills insurance.  510 459-8708 wombservicemidwives@gmail.com

At Home Fertility - Intrauterine inseminations at home with a midwife

Susan G Hall, MA, CMT, CST - a craniosacral practitioner who works with a wide range of issues, including endocrine problems, especially those related to stress and/or pituitary dysfunction due to craniosacral issues.

See also: Getting Pregnant/Infertility

Perimenopausal Resources

Destia Skinner, ND

Marilyn Moss, D.C.

Patricia Muller, MD

Kimberley Davis, OMD, LAc.

Dr. Marina Rose, DC, gets great results in treating perimenopausal issues with herbals, enzymes, topical and oral progesterone and homeopathics.  949 Sherwood Avenue, Los Altos, CA  94022 650-383-8853

Tatyana Teeuwisse, L. Ac., Los Gatos - works in depth with peri/menopause conditions mostly using diet, herbs and acupuncture and very occasionally with natural progesterone--with very good success.

Many practitioners who work beyond the limitations of the mainstream medical model offer holistic perimenopausal support - consider some of the Integrative Medicine HealthCare Providers - MDs with an Expanded Practice, Nutritionists, Chiropractics, Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Osteopaths, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda,

Tedde Rinker (female), MD in Redwood City, 650-367-1988, specializes in anti aging and hormones.

Please e-mail me with additional suggestions for this subsection.

Birth Art and Photography - These are local artists who specialize in birth-related art and have appeared at local birth events.

Family Tree Glass Studio


Women Can Drum

Vortex Green Jewelry

Andrea Berkey, Artist, Berkey Studio, The Art Within, 408-307-8046, e-mail: AndreaBerkey@sbcglobal.net

Michelle Tibbils, Bugs and Butterflies Phootgraphy, Campbell, Maternity/Babies/Children Photography, 408-379-0905, michelle@bugsandbutterfliesphotography.com


Birth Stool Rental

Maureen Jackson, Birth, Babies & Beyond, South San Jose, 408-629-6861  has a 19" DeBy stool that is sometimes available for rental.

Teri Nava-Anderson rents a BirthRite stool - 209-833-7629

Organic Mattresses - outgassing from synthetic substances has been blamed for some cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Essentia - Their Berkeley store carries an Organic crib mattress made with natural latex and the World's only Natural Memory Foam.

Lifekind's Organic Mattresses & bedding in Grass Valley, CA.  They sell organic crib mattresses.

European Sleep Works in Berkeley, CA

RECLAIM - Healthy Green Home - Healthy Children's Furniture, Bedding, Clothing and Accessories

Badaboum's sleeping sacks - made locally in Mountain View.  These are great for allowing babies to soothe themselves by rubbing their legs together.

Domperidone prescriptions can be filled at the Los Altos Pharmacy who compounds the medication and is very familiar with it.

We're lucky to have a local source for The Prenatal Cradle and other pregnancy support devices, including back, abdominal, and vulvar supports - Liz Summerhayes, 408-395-2100.  It's also possible that they're carried at El Camino Hospital (650-988-7752)

Source for plaster bandages for making a pregnancy belly cast: Palo Alto Orthopedic Co., 3910 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto, 650-813-9300, in the same little shopping center as Piazza's, next to the art supplies place.  It costs about $20 to make a single cast.

Maternity Clothes - One of my clients says she buys her clothes at Baby on the Way, 10123 N. Wolfe Road, Vallco Shopping Center,
Cupertino, CA  94118, (408) 253-4675.  She says the prices aren't as high as some other local stores. (Note - This may have closed.)
Other recommendations:  Motherhood store in Westfield Valley Fair had good prices, and they have an outlet store in Gilroy; there's a Motherhood Maternity outlet store at the Great Mall in Milpitas.

Jobst Support Garments - Footwear, Etc. on Stevens Creek in Cupertino (near Whole Foods) carried Jobst stockings as of 08/05; I'm not sure whether they were the "medical grade" stockings.  You can also use Jobst's Store Locator.

Kinesio Tape - On Your Mark in Los Altos. You can use Kinesio Tape to help provide belly and back support when you don't want to wear a bulky or hot support garment.  They will also do the taping for you; it lasts 3-5 days.

Moldable Shoe Insoles for Changing Feet - On Your Mark in Los Altos.  They carry a variety of arch support insoles, but the ones most useful to pregnant mamas might be the heat-moldable ones that can be reshaped up to five times to accommodate changes throughout pregnancy.

The Jewish Baby Network distributes free Shalom Baby Bags with priority going to families with newborns (under 3 months of age) who live in the Southern part of the Peninsula (approximately Menlo Park to Mountain View). 

Episiotomy Wall of Shame

I can't believe I need to do this in the Year 2011, but something has to change.  It has been sixteen years since Bob Woolley's Benefits and risks of episiotomy:A review of the English-language literature since 1980, which concluded that "Episiotomies prevent anterior perineal lacerations (which carry minimal morbidity), but fail to accomplish any of the other maternal or fetal benefits traditionally ascribed . . . "  So, really, episiotomies are almost never necessary; I would say a flat-out never, but that's a little absolute for birth.

Yet, some physicians continue to do them routinely and without consent.  If you witnessed an MD in this area cutting an episiotomy without obvious reason and without getting explicit consent for this surgery, please leave me a voice mail at 650-961-9728 with the doctor's full name, so I can add the name here:

NOTE - Except as noted, I did not personally witness these incidents, but I am only including credible reports, typically from experienced midwives or doulas (whom I do know personally) who were personally present at the birth in question.  However, I cannot vouch for the truth of these assertions.  Consider this merely a heads up that if you care about whether or not an episiotomy is done unnecessarily on your perineum, then it is a very good idea to ask these providers about their episiotomy policy.  Under what circumstances do they routinely cut an episiotomy?  What are the exceptions?  What is their episiotomy rate?  Note that if you don't get it in writing, then it could be fabricated.

Why am I doing this? There are three main reasons: 1) Mothers deserve to have this information accessible somewhere; 2) Maybe, just maybe, a birth attendant will find out about this list and be deterred by the accountability and the realization that women really *DO* care whether a scissors is used on their genitals; and 3) This is what one doula wrote after her client heard that the doctor had been reported, "I talked to the mother and she's very happy about this [the doctor's being reported]. She still has issues around it. Honestly when you come down to it she really felt violated."

I am opposed to routine genital cutting of all kinds, and if you're a mother who wants to avoid an episiotomy but is planning to have her baby boy circumcised, then you might want to think about why permanent removal of genital tissue would be any more acceptable to a defenseless newborn than cutting and suturing would be acceptable to a capable adult.  Let's all work to stop the cycle of intergenerational violence!

Dr. Smriti Nalwa - O'Connor, Good Sam and El Camino Hospital. [NOTE - the fact that she attends births at multiple hospitals may be part of the reason she cuts so many episiotomies;  wherever she is, she needs to be thinking that she has to be ready to go to another hospital for another birth.]

Dr. Hector Maga in Watsonville.

Dr. Brummer-Good Sam (Informed, but the reason given was "to prevent you from tearing"; I assume the doctor really does know that tearing heals better than an episiotomy.)

Dr. M M O'Neill - Good Sam - Informed (usually for fetal decels and  quick delivery)

Dr. Brown - Good Sam (informed/coerced)

Dr. Cary Hill - El Camino (Routinely does episiotomies, and even if  client declines, coerces them during pushing)  Injects lidocain into the perineum before head is crowning without client consent.

Dr. Maureen Khoo - El Camino Los Gatos/Good Sam (uninformed)

Dr. Jim Hur - Good Sam (informed and uninformed)

Dr. Karen Kunzel - Good Sam (uninformed)

Dr. Mary Kilkenny (Totman) - (informed/coerced)

Dr. Jumnah Thanpathy - Gilroy, Saint Louise Hospital (uniformed)

Local Sources for Low Carb and Low Glycemic Foods

Whole Foods carries Clemmy's Sugar Free Ice Cream and the Chuckanut Bay No-Sugar-Added Cheesecake.  They also carry low-carb tortillas and Paleo Bread.

Lite for Life in Menlo Park and Los Altos carry Eat Rite's low-carb pizzas and brownie squares.

Lite for Life in Menlo Park and Bumble Bee Health Food in Mountain View carry Julian's Bakery one-carb bread.

Miscellaneous Miscellaneous

Tuberculosis Blood Test

You can get the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Test blood test as alternative to skin prick test at our local Quest Diagnostics labs through your midwife or doctor; the test code is #47470. It is apparently also available at the Mills Laboratory in San Mateo and the San Francisco Department of Health at 415-554-2800.  Lisa Walsh, DC , Vitality Chiropractice Center in Belmont is also able to perform non-invasive TB testing - 650-342-4623.


HPV Treatment

Kasia Hopewell is a naturopathic doctor in Belmont who works a lot with HPV and cervical dysplasia.


Newborn Hearing Screeen

Lucille Packard at Stanford takes self-referred patients for the ALGO Hearing Screen.  Contact Pediatric Audiology, 1000 welch road suite 10 palo alto, ca 94304, Appt. 650.498.HEAR (4327), Fax 650.736.HEAR(4327)

LMs refer to CEID in Berkeley and to Children's Hospital Oakland.

If you're having trouble finding a place to do a Newborn Hearing Screening for you, you might consider contacting the state's Hearing Coordination Centers.

Cervical Caps

You can get cervical caps at Palo Alto Medical Foundation in the OB/GYN dept.

Indoor Swimming Pool

Perinatal Swim Classes: Abilities United Aquatic Services (formerly the Betty Wright Swim Center at CAR), 3864 Middlefield Rd. (x Charleston), Palo Alto , 650-494-1480

"Deep water immersion", i.e. up to your waist or shoulders, can be very beneficial for problems such as swelling/edema or hypertension or for doing special exercises.  There are a couple of public-access places that might meet your needs:  Watercourse Way in Palo Alto, (650) 462-2000.  [Apparently, they deny access to all pregnant women because they can't control the temperature enough to be sure it won't cause  harm.  I find this attitude disturbing - it denies women access to facilities which could actually improve their health.  Perhaps a good informed consent waiver would protect them as well without putting them in a policing role]  Also try Easter Seals Timpany Center in the Santa Clara County Building, San Jose.  [Read about watsu at the Timpany Center.]

You can read more about Watsu for pregnancy: Watsu: Water Massage, PREGNANCY and WATER, Watsu® for Pregnancy, Watsu for Pregnancy

Julie Lefmann, CMT, Certified Watsu Therapist, Birth Doula, 408-529-8031

Steven Rice, CMT, 650.814.3949 offers Watsu, a relaxing aquatic bodywork done in a warm swimming pool.  Be floated, passively moved and gently stretched in the weightless support of the water. Nurturing, supportive and soothing.  Partners or friends welcome as company.  www.flowing-touch.com

Tashi Holistic Health Services has beautiful Watsu facilities, and their 98-degree policy avoids the concerns about hot water for pregnant women..  Unfortunately, it's some distance away - in the Oakland Hills. 

Silliman Family Aquatics Center, 6800 Mowry Ave, Newark, CA 94560 - This is a bit of a drive for most of my clients, but I've heard rave reviews about the indoor slides and the tubing ring with current.

Sleep Consultants

Noelle Cochran (noelle@symbiosf.com) is a Sleep Consultant for children.

Elissa Gilbertson helps with newborn and baby sleep education.  I hear rave reviews about her.

Caroline Meagher - As an in-home parental coach, she addresses sleep and breast- or bottle-feeding, along with day-to-day scheduling, care, and family adjustments.

Dawn Fry - Child-Friendly

Prenatal Swim Classes

Prenatal Swim Classes - Betty Wright Swim Center at CAR, 3864 Middlefield Rd. (x Charleston), Palo Alto , 650-494-1480 - a heated, indoor pool for stress-free lounging.

Check with your local YWCA or YMCA for prenatal swim classes

Baby Swim Classes

If your waterbirth baby wants to keep returning to the bliss of the water . . . these swim clubs offer baby classes:

Almaden Valley Athletic Club, 5400 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA 95124, 408.445.4900, marketing@avac.us

De Anza Cupertino Aquatics (DACA), runs the DACA Swim School, 1080 S. De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129, 408-446-5600

Home-Schooling Support

The Whisman School District offers an Independent Study Program (I.S.P.) directed by Lee Carty, which may provide free textbooks, games and supplies to homeschooling families.  This program offers students enrichment classes such as art and music, a computer lab and monthly field trips.  This program is open to people outside the Whisman School District. I don't have any contact information for them, but it should be readily available through the City of Mountain View.

South Bay F.R.E.E. Scholars - Family Resources Educating for Excellence - Homeschool Support in the South Bay Area

The School of Choice in Sunnyvale offers AP classes and testing for home schoolers.

Waldorf in the Home hosts an annual conference in Fair Oaks (near Sacramento).

Medications Disposal 

It's important to dispose of unused medications properly so that they don't contaminate the bay.  In Mountain View, the Regional Water Quality people have a table at the Thursday Night Live events in the summer, as well as the big Art and Wine Festival in early Sept.  You can also take your unused and expired medications to a variety of places, depending on where you live.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation at their Palo Alto location on El Camino has a disposal bin near the pharmacy.

Kaiser Permanente on Castro Street in Mountain View has a bin available every Thursday during the month of October (corresponds with them manning their flu shot campaign).

Los Altos Pharmacy on Second Street may have a drop off too.

General Medical Clinics / Urgent Care

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation has an excellent Urgent Care Center in Mountain View.  However, some people say that it is quite expensive.  Here are some alternatives:

Rotacare Free Clinic at El Camino Hosp, 2400 Grant Rd., Mtn. View. 650-988-8200 (not sure if they see patients that have insurance but doesn't hurt to ask)

Elite Medical Center, 515 South Drive, Suite 12. Mtn.View 650-318-3384

Cvs at el camino just north of San Antonio -- Minute Clinic w certified licensed nurse practitioners

Planned Parenthood also offers general healthcare.

Pregnancy-friendly Head Lice Treatment

San Jose Head Lice Treatment Services - Lice Control - Care is provided in the home with the LouseBuster™ Device, which uses high-flow hot air to dry out the lice and their eggs.  Lice Free in One 30 Minute Treatment - Guaranteed! (510) 727-1280

The LoveBugs®  Salon uses the LoveBugs® non-toxic, lice removal technique and special formula. 4037 El Camino Way, Palo Alto, CA, 650-493-5423.  They offer a FREE head lice check - just call for an appointment.

Really Miscellaneous

Aspiring Community Midwives is a group of aspiring midwives and midwifery students from throughout the SF Bay Area. Our free monthly gatherings are open to all Bay Area women who are interested in becoming a midwife, regardless of level of experience. Meetings are held in San Leandro and are facilitated by Jennifer Heystek, LM, CPM.  jenheystek at sbcglobal.net

Both Blossom Birth and BABI accept donations of maternity and baby supplies for needy families.
Where to Donate Children's Clothes

Asian American Donor Program - "The Asian American Donor Program (AADP) is a community non-profit organization geared towards saving lives.  Asians are desperately needed to register as potential marrow/stem cell donors.  Many Asian children and adults with life treatening blood diseases need a stem cell transplant in order to survive.  Their best hope for matched donors are those within their Asian community.  You could be a "miracle match" and save a life by registering as a potential donor."  Contact Joan C. Yamamoto - Umbilical Cord Blood Outreach Coordinator at 510-568-2700 or 800-59-DONOR.

You can get State Disability Insurance claim forms through the mail - call 408-277-9581 or 408-277-9582 or 800-480-3287.

In Nov., 2007, I received an e-mail from Stewart University of America announcing a new graudate nurse midwifery program.  They are based in San Jose but don't yet have a campus?  408-436-8595.

AuPairCare - Live-In Childcare, Deb Goetz, Area Director, deb_aupaircare@yahoo.com, 408-649-5844

Tiny Tots Diaper Service and Baby Boutique - 138 Railway Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008, 408.866.2900, Ext. 301, 800.794.5437, Ext. 301
Tiny Tots has been a stalwart supporter of local birth events and has hosted several "Meet The Experts" Forums.  They're great!!!

Linda Handley, New Doula offering Low-Cost Doula Services, $200-$500, sliding scale, 831-425-1233, linda_reb@yahoo.com

Bringing Home Baby!, Heather G. Lovejoy, U.S. Wester Pacific Director for DONA, may be able to refer you to low-cost birth and postpartum doulas on a sliding scale basis, 408-315-6521

Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT) - Alternative Cancer Chemotherapy that is Gentle, without major side effects...

doulabirthconnection Yahoo! group is to connect newly trained birth doulas with pregnant women seeking free or low cost doula services.

Midwives Who've Gone on to Other Work

Once a midwife, always a midwife.  Having been a midwife affects a woman for the rest of her life.  I would find ex-midwives generally pleasant and easy to work with.

Jean Rasch, Attorney at Law - Elder Law, Estate Planning, Asset and Medi-Cal Planning, Trust and Probate Administration, Special Needs Trusts, 1190 Chestnut St., Menlo Park, CA  94025, 650-331-7288, jean@jeanrasch.com.  Offices also in Monterey, 831-647-9200

Breast Thermograms Instead of Mammography/Mammograms

Pacific Naturopathic, 2570 W. El Camino Real, Suite 111  -  Mountain View, CA 94040, (650) 917-1121.  This is the practice of Connie Hernandez, who is well known in women's health circles.

Pacific Chiropractic and Research Center- Infrared Imaging Laboratory, 621 Middlefield Rd., Redwood City, CA 94063, 650.361.8908
email: info@breastthermography.com
Clinic Director: William C. Amalu, DC, DABCT, DIACT, FIACT
Thermographic Technician: Shannon Spring, CTT

One of the most experienced Breast Thermographers in California is in Redwood City: Dr. William Amalu.

Holistic Dentists

Arta Vakhshoori, DDS, 5595 Winfield Blvd., Suite 108, San Jose, 95123, 408-226-6683, help@ihealthysmiles.com.  Arta Vakhshoori, DDS (“Dr. V.”) a Holistic Dentist & her caring team provide State-of–the-Art Technology in Dentistry, including Drill-less Laser.  Bio-compatible, metal-free materials.  Safe removal of mercury using biocompatible material, accredited by IAOMT, no fluoride, mercury free from the beginning of her new practice for over 8 years.

Dr. Jeffrey Krupp, endodontist for root canals -  3994 S. Bascom, Ste. 5, San Jose, 408-371-1444.  His anesthesia and technique are so good that you leave there feeling like you could do it all over again.  This guy is fantastic!!!  He seems more holistic than many, i.e. careful when he's drilling through mercury.

Scott Loman in San Jose, 408 226-1060 [has retired?]

Timothy Gallagher in Sunnyvale, (408) 739-9050

If you are willing to make the trek, I would highly recommend Dr. Landerman in Sebastopol.  He is a great biological dentist and worth the drive!

Holistic Pediatric Dentists

Jennifer Wu, DDS, 877 W Fremont Ave, Ste D2, Sunnyvale, CA 94087, 408-733-0840

Simon Morris DDS on 14507 Bascom Avenue, 408-356-9101, Fantastic. Doesn't recommend anything unnecessary. AND he is against the use of fluoride drops (which our pediatrician recommends all the time). Has three young children of his own. Can't recommend him enough

Dr. Davydova, DDS, 1273 South Mary Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087, 408-749-8235

Randy Miller DDS, 408-866-9252, 2290 Winchester, Campbell.  Comments: doing really interesting work in palate growth, and can evaluate your child's mouth, palate and overall growth based on his research.

Donna Cotner, Family Dentistry, 10011 N. Foothill Blvd, Suite 112, Cupertino, CA, 408-255-2550

Murakami Randy DDS, 14547 S Bascom Ave_Los Gatos CA, 95032 ­ 2003, 408-358-3030.  Very gentle and conservative.

Holistic Veterinarians

Walter A. McCall, DVM - Campbell Pet Clinic, 2160 Winchester Blvd., Campbell, 408-378-5190.  He uses homeopathics, herbs... truly a holisitc vet and wonderful man.

Dr. Sara Skiwski - The Western Dragon. She generally has office hours once/week at Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos.


Please e-mail me with additional suggestions for this page.  Thanks.


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