Seeking Reviews of Natural Childbirth at Kaiser Sunset vs Cedars & OB Recs

Updated on December 22, 2012
M.N. asks from Burbank, CA
6 answers

HI folks,

Based on the great responses from my last question I have crossed off St Joe's from our list of potential hospitals. We are now looking for reviews from people who delivered at Kaiser Sunset. I went on a hospital tour there and the guide was an hour late and had forgotten we were even having a tour there...that said the place looked great and they seemed well trained for any scenario. I personally had a few months of severe menstrual bleeding just prior to getting pregnant that my doctor at Kaiser was unable to determine the origin. Therefore even though I would probably prefer a homebirth, given the extreme bleeding that kept me in bed for my menstrual cycles throughout the fall, I've decided a hospital is the best choice.

My OBdoctor at kaiser isn't a surgeon and surprisingly knows less about her field than I would hope. I am in the process of trying to meet with other doctors there to find one who has more experience. If anyone can suggest one that would be great. I am also curious about the level of intervention that people have experienced at Kaiser Sunset. I do not want any pitocin/epiduals/etc as i often have strong reactions to medicine.

I know people who have delivered at Cedars and though it is very far from my house, we hear it's good for natural childbirth. Is it better than Kaiser? Are there doctors there who are worth transferring insurance for?

Any responses would be very helpful.

I am also interested in getting a doula. Are both of these hospitals opens to that?

Thanks ever so much for your time!!


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answers from Austin on

I read that you would prefer homebirth but are scared of heavy bleeding. Just wanted you to know that the medications given in the hospital for severe bleeding to make it stop, midwives carry to all homebirths.



answers from Los Angeles on

Not to complicate things further, but I had a good birth experience at Glendale Memorial. When I got there, they asked me about an epidural, and I told them that I would prefer not to have one but that I was open to it so I signed the consent form. No one ever asked me again if I wanted one, and I had the nice medication-free birth that I had hoped for.

The fact that I progressed well and had no complications certainly influenced the positive experience I had there, but it's another place you might want to research and take a tour of. They are also very pro-breastfeeding, if that's important to you.


answers from Los Angeles on

Congratulations on your upcoming birth AND for eliminating St. Joe's from your list :)

Both of the hospitals on your short list are open to doulas, but I agree with Emma P's comment that Cedars is a better choice for a natural, unmedicated birth. Cedars has telemetry (wireless) monitoring so that you can walk and change positions while the baby is being monitored without limiting your mobility and the vast majority of nurses at Cedars have seen many natural, unmedicated births. They also have tubs in a few of the rooms and almost every one of my clients who have wanted to use them have be able to get the tub rooms.

That being said, I've attended great unmedicated births at both hospitals, particularly when the timing worked out so that my clients were able to have a midwife at Kaiser Sunset.

With a realistic birth plan and a strong and supportive team, you should be able to have the birth you want at either hospital.

Happy Birthing,

B*E*S*T Doula Service
”Where your passions
intersect with the
needs of the public,
therein lies your
vocation.” – Aristotle



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M.,

I recently attended a birth (I'm a trained doula) at Kaiser. I must say, from that experience, I would choose not to birth there myself. Not only did they find a way to demean mom's preference of an un-medicated birth, they also took a cheap shot at her "wonderful doula", while I was right there! Anyway, they must have come in 5 times in a span of 2 hours to push for pitocin. My mom was amazing in that she went all the way to 10 cm dilated without epidural (despite the pitocin). They only let her push for 2 hours - and scared her to death about baby being "too big", or not desending fast enough. Pushed for a C-section. Sigh.... I myself gave birth with my first baby at Cedars Sinai and I would push for you to go there instead. Please surround yourself with a good birth team that will help you get your natural birth. I had Dr. David Kline for my OB (and he works with midwives) and he is amazing! He is out of Century City. He was the sole reason I didn't have a C-section. I also had my midwife there. I transferred from birth center. My 2nd was born at home.

Now, it probably depends on the staff you get on call, but that's just it, it's a luck of the draw. In my opinion, definitely go to Cedars.

Good luck!


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! I am wondering the same thing. I'm very much leaning toward Kaiser for monetary reasons. (Would LOVE a homebirth but can't figure out how to afford it.) Now that you've delivered, could you please tell me which you chose and what your experience was like? I too crossed St Joes off my list pretty quickly. My mom had two successful natural births and one Emergency C-section (breech) at St Joes. I would love to deliver there, seeing as how that's where I was born and it's only a 5 minute drive away. I wish they had a better reputation for natural birthing mamas.



answers from Los Angeles on

I'm a doula and a childbirth educator. While Kaiser is not a favorite of mine I have attended unmedicated births there. If you have strong labor support it is very possible to have an unmedicated birth Kaiser. Sometimes the nurses do not check on you for extended periods of time which can be a good thing! As for Cedars I find them to be pushy with the drugs. It really doesn't matter what hospital you choose - it matters how committed you are and that you have an excellent doula. Good luck - I'm sure the choice you make will be the right one!

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