Unfortunately, not everyone does get to choose, but if you do, choose Alta Bates. No great revelation, I know; it's been called the East Bay's baby factory. But we'd also heard some disappointing comments about Alta Bates recently -- that private rooms were hard to come by, that some rooms were not only shared but shoddy, and that service wasn't always friendly. Based on the one data point of our very recent experience, though, we were thrilled with every aspect of having our son at Alta Bates. The delivery itself went very smoothly, but I felt confident that had problems arisen, we would have been in very good hands. Afterwards, the three of us stayed in a spacious, very comfortable room -- with a view of the Bay! The staff was so eager to help it was almost embarrassing, and the food wasn't half bad. Karen recovered very quickly, but when asked if we wanted to go home early, we said we preferred to stay!
Of course, we've had positive experiences elsewhere, but I'm happy to say that our third birthing center-experience was the best!