13 answers

Hospitals in Southern California

Hi mamas,

I was wondering if I could get some input on the hospitals in Southern California when it comes to labor and delivery wards. I am specifically wanting info on the hospitals in Riverside and San Diego counties. I would love to hear about your L&D experiences, good and bad, and any opinions you might have. Thanks!! :)

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Featured Answers

I delivered at Scripps Encinitas and had an awesome experience. I had an unexpected (not-quite emergency) c-section, and ended up staying a few days. They are very helpful, the baby stays with you all the time - only goes away for tests, and comes right back. The lactation helper comes right away to help you. We loved it. They also have great birthing classes through that hospital. Highly recommended.

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Hi R.,

I put a tremendous amount of research into my hospital choice and I wound up choosing and giving birth to both my son and daughter at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego and I highly recommend them. It is a women's hospital and they specialize in pre-natal care and delivery. They also have a NICU onsite and are across the street from Rady Children's Hospital. When we had unexpected complications with my son's delivery in 2005, I was grateful to know that the resources that we needed were right there. Since my children were born, I have met women that worked there in the past and left due to the commute - we are all in Temecula - and all of them have said that they believe it is the best in Southern CA when it comes to the Doctors and knowledgeable staff. Many of them are planning to go back to work there after working L&D at local hospitals. Congratulations to you and good luck in making your decision!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R.,
I had a great experience with my first born at Palomar in Escondido. Many of my friends have delivered there too. It is a large hospital with many amenities for the mom. All the staff, including MDs and nurses were awesome.
My second birth was at Rancho Springs. Our insurance had changed and I could not go back to Palomar. It was an "ok" experience. The "patient teaching" was no where near Palomar's level. Fortunately, I felt experienced enough being my 2nd time around. I feel like they were understaffed and many of the nurses floated all over the departments and were not experienced in L&D and Postpartum.

1 mom found this helpful

Depends on what you are looking for but I highly recommend Scripps Encinitas, very natural birth friendly, great breastfeeding support and a new nicu in the maternity ward.

My first was a planned c-section (frank breech position) my second was an attempted vbac with support from my Dr. and hospital staff. It was a great effort but I did end up with a c-section. Both of my c-sections, including my labor with my second were wonderful experiences. I live north of Temecula and will do the drive for our 3rd.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Robin,
I had my baby boy last March at Rancho Springs in Murrieta, CA. The staff was great, and the doctor's office was right across the street. I didn't like, however, that I had to share a room. I spent a day surrounded by these brown curtains, in a dark and tiny room with visitors coming in and out (my roommate's visitors). Very depressing. The hospital had been going thru a remodeling, and I believe the maternity ward has been completely moved to a new wing. I suggest you to take a tour before your big day. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello, just wanted to add a few words about the hospitals in SD and Riverside county. I had my son 7 years ago at Kaiser in SD. I had a wonderful midwife for half of my labor (28hr labor) I had a tramatic labor and did not really care for Kaiser. The rooms & hospital are clean but I really did not care for their staff. Inland valley & Rancho springs , both are in Temecula are okay. Over crowded and send you home unless you are about to pop the baby out. Hard to find good Ob/gyns in the area. Sharp/Mary Birch in SD is wonderful, they even have a Nic unit. The hospital in Fallbrook is old and VERY outdated but has the nicest nurses. More of a small town feel. I have heard many,many bad stories about Kaiser in Riverside. I teach parenting classes and preschool and have heard about all the hospitals. I currently am trying to get PG after 7 years and have a concern about what hospital to deliver at. Rancho springs is building a new womens center and will be ready next year. I FINALLY found a good OB but he only delivers at Fallbrook. Decisions-decisions!!! :)
What specific things were you looking for? Email me if you have any more ?'s

take care :)

1 mom found this helpful

hi there!!
i recommend Palomar or Pomerado Hospital.They are very mom friendly. I used to work there for a number of years. They belong to the same health system (Palomar-Pomerado). Palomar is in Escondido and Pomerado is in Poway.
Because of insurance reasons I delivered my baby in Inland Valley Hospital 3 years ago, it was the worst experience ever.
Particularly this one nurse was like so careless and cold to me and my baby, I hate it the experience.I requested to have another nurse assigned and they did, but by that time,the other nurse had already spoiled my stay there and my memories of my daughter's birth. Don't let anyone do that to you.
And since their maternity floor has only few beds, they really rush you out of there and they make it very obvious that they want you OUT. You also have to share a room. In Palomar or Pomerado you have your own room, unless of course they have a full house with several births going on.
Good luck to you, M.

1 mom found this helpful

If you live on the border of Riveride and San Diego counties...then the number one hospital for delivering babies is Sharp Mary Birch - it's truly wonderful. If you can't travel that far the second best is Loma Linda or Palmerado Hospital. Steer clear of Inland Valley or Rancho Springs in Murrieta. Take a tour of Mary Birch and you'll see why it's #1 in So. California. (: I lived there for 10 weeks because of very serious pregnancy complications and my twin baby boys were delivered via c-section at 34 weeks. They were in the NICU (which is wnderful) for 19 days and now weigh 15 pounds at 4 months old. Fallbrook Hospital just south of Temecula is also great... an older facility but truly wonderful staff. Dr. Bianchi in Fallbrook was going to deliver me there until we discovered all the complications I had with my twins. Good Luck R.. (:

1 mom found this helpful

I had both of my babies via c-sections at Riverside Community in 2002 and 2004. I love the staff there, both times they were very nice and helpful. The L&D rooms are very nice and big enough for whoever you want in there.The after room are nice too but most are for two people. Which means you would be in there with another mom and baby. Any place you choose, should let you take a tour beforehand just call and ask them.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi R.!!
I work at Hemet Valley Medical Center (Childbirth Educator/Lactation Specialist) and have been a doula for clients all over the Inland Empire (Rancho Springs, Inland Valley Regional, Arrowhead, Loma Linda, Riverside Community, Desert Hot Springs, Kaiser Riverside....homebirths...). I think each experience at each hospital has been different and I believe that there are alot of factors in a person's individual experience. The hospital itself plays apart, but there are great nurses and not so great nurses at every hospital. Who you get in labor makes a big difference (you can always ask for someone else too). Same for Dr.s, etc. I think if you find a care provider that you really feel comfortable with, and good labor support (friend, family or doula) who are all willing to help you work towards the birth you are hoping for, where it happens will matter less than who you are with and who is caring for you. Take a Maternity tour at a couple of hospitals and talk to mommies in your area who have new babies. Good Luck!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, we are in the Hemet, Temecula area and found that Hemet Hospital is a horror story for everything! There is a hospital, over on the 15 freeway, Rancho Springs Medical Center that I know people that have deliverd there and liked it. My grandchildren were born at Riverside County Regional Medical Center and they were great.
Those are the only one's we know of personally. Just don't go to Hemet Hospital, people die there unnecessarily.
Take care,

1 mom found this helpful

I had my son at Fallbrook Hospital. I LOVED IT. It's not the newest or largest building on the block, but everyone there is more involved with you and your baby's needs. I have heard too many bad things about the hospitals in Murrieta and would never recomend them. Hope this helps- B.

1 mom found this helpful

I delivered at Scripps Encinitas and had an awesome experience. I had an unexpected (not-quite emergency) c-section, and ended up staying a few days. They are very helpful, the baby stays with you all the time - only goes away for tests, and comes right back. The lactation helper comes right away to help you. We loved it. They also have great birthing classes through that hospital. Highly recommended.

Rancho Springs Medical Center, Murietta, CA…just a few reasons to seriously consider before choosing to deliver your baby there…from the viewpoint of One Pissed Gramma.
Positive - the location is good. Location is not everything.

When entering the Medical Center, do not be confused by the two office buildings that look like they could be the hospital. It is the one story building that looks like a very old Nursing home. Hope it is not raining, the front desk person directs you thru an outdoor courtyard, to a phone, to call into the delivery area. There was a group of about 15 tired, anxious family members that had been there for 24 hours, waiting for the delivery of the new family member. They were communicating via texts messages for updates and pictures. They talked about how pregnant women would arrive, they were refused admission, told to call back in 2 hours to see if a bed was available. Oh, the waiting area consisted of long wooden benches, about 8 inches deep, against the wall. They did have what once may have been 1” padding, covered in plastic.

Our delivering mom was placed in a closet…formerly a sleeping area for Dr. This process took a couple of days. Dad tried to sleep on the floor, no pillow or blanket was offered. He was rather invisible to the staff.

Now, for the really important stuff for your family… the Visitor limit is 2, so if there is a Dad present, that leaves only one person that is allowed to share in the miracle of birth of this new baby. The nursery is closed for viewing, so the time spent warming those 8 inch plastic covered wooden benches is not eased by the viewing of new babies.

After your new Grandbaby, or niece or nephew is delivered, while you are warming those 8 inch wooden benches for extended HOURS, there is an hour of bonding time. That time still does not include the bench warmers. When you are FINALLY allowed to enter, they are whisking the baby away for another hour…without even offering for you to NOW get to hold or see that baby up close. Only thanks to a request, did they now allow the holding of the new grandbaby.

A few more things to consider. No hot water for patient showers, the visitor bathrooms were closed for repair, both for men and women. Mom was moved to four different rooms. On the first visit out of the delivery area, we asked the room number. As the two grandmothers walked down the hall, we were chased down by the person at the front desk that informed us that ALL visitors were BLOCKED by this patient. After checking with the mom, we were allowed to enter, glad we did not take their word and leave. Construction workers had better access than the grandparents. We brought food for each meal…it looked really nasty.
While this new Gramma warmed the bench, having just lost out on one of the few “best life experiences” of her life, actually it was stolen from her, since she can never get it back, due to the “Hospital Rules”…she asked an employee if there were comment cards that could be completed. The person was actually the Chief Operating Officer, Gino Patrizio. One Pissed Gramma was seething, and was looking to make some very specific comments on the “unfriendly Family experience”.
His response included offering me a cup of coffee, or water. HE also wanted to state that the new wing would open in two months. The new wing held NO consolation to me…it would not change my extremely negative experience at this facility. I asked him to WALK AWAY. As he continued to stress how great the new wing was, I STRONGLY asked him to WALK AWAY, NOW! A cup of water was not a good trade for stealing the birth of my Grandbaby from me. Somehow, I do hope that he, and all the administrators of this hospital get the same experience in the birth of their grandchildren. Still not good enough…I will never get that experience that this hospital stole from me.
Overall, the Rancho Springs Medical Center provided a VERY NEGATIVE experience for a new Grandma. Keep in mind, you do have a choice of where to deliver. Does location really outweigh the rest? Take the opportunity to research this big decision on line. There are LOTS of postings, about 95% are less than glowing. Also, check out quotes from different news article:

“MURRIETA: State denies Rancho Springs Medical Center expansion. History of violations causes state to halt opening anticipated since the new year”
“Southwest (Rancho Springs Medical Center) received word from the Department of Public Health that it was in jeopardy of losing federal funding under Medicare/Medicaid and that a process was underway to revoke its hospital license.”
“State letter details reasons for possible hospital license revocation action”
“Federal Medicare officials told two Riverside County hospitals yesterday that they would no longer pay for seniors' care after June, signaling the end of a three-year process of trying to get the hospitals to follow basic care standards.”
“Three of the five delivery rooms at Rancho Springs Medical Center have been temporarily closed due to possible mold contamination resulting from water leaks”

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