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What to Expect if You’re Expecting At: CPMC in San Francisco


Today marks the final post in my 3-part series of what to expect while you’re expecting at three major Bay Area hospitals – featuring CPMC in San Francisco. If you missed my posts on Alta Bates and Kaiser Oakland, see them here and here.

As I stated in those two overviews, our practice does majority of our births at these three hospitals so it’s safe to say we know a thing or two about the ins and outs of them. So, if you’ve been debating on where to have your baby, you’re in luck. Read on for more about CPMC in San Francisco and one thing about them that I particularly love.

CPMC (San Francisco)

– Like Kaiser Oakland, CMPC allows more than one support person with you in triage. But if you’re going to the hospital outside of normal business/visiting hours, then you’ll have to enter on the Cherry Street/emergency entrance and go through security.

– One thing that I love most about CPMC (besides their friendly nurses) is that its the only hospital in the area that will allow up to two support people in the operating room if a C-section arises. This is fantastic as it allows partners to really focus on those having the operation and doulas are great support to take beautiful pictures of your first moments together with baby. Also, when baby gets wheeled back to get assessed, partners can feel okay going with them and your doula can stay with you as the doctors continue working on getting you all stitched up and you start your recovery.

– Eating/drinking in labor at CPMC can be hit or miss, depending on your nurse. If you have an epidural, narcotics, or need to start Pitocin, they will allow you clear liquids only. This can include bone broth (they have packets there) and juice. Some nurses will only allow you ice chips :(.

– Other observations: CPMC’s labor and delivery ward is a bit of a maze and it can be easy to get lost. However it’s also a good hospital where laboring women can walk around the halls. There’s plenty of walking space to help get baby in optimal position for their impending birth. And, you can walk by the baby nursery and look at all the cute little ones who are brand new – better prepping you for when your bundle arrives!

If you have any further questions on CPMC (or Alta Bates or Kaiser Oakland) please feel free to reach out. I’m more than happy to help you narrow down where you’d like to have your baby.



Disclaimer: this is based off what I’ve experienced at the births I’ve done at this hospital. There are not any hard numbers to back these up, and therefore it is not “evidence-based,” so please keep that in mind during your own experiences as they may be different than what’s listed here.

About Katelyn Gonzalez

Hi, I’m Katelyn - a seasoned birth doula, childbirth educator, placenta specialist, Ayurvedic postpartum care practitioner, and certified women’s health coach. My #1 priority is to empower women to see what they can do when they believe in themselves and their beautiful bodies. I live in the East Bay with my husband and fur babies.

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