The result of sex in the city? Urban parenthood—an opinionated world often divided into two Type-A tribes: The uptowners ($750 strollers, night nurses, feeder preschools) and downtowners (doulas, slings, ironic onesies). Wherever you fall, though, we’ve got you covered.
What’s in a Name? A sampling from the roster of a liberal Mission District preschool: Atticus, Huxley, Calder, Arlo, Harper, Coyote, Alabama, Lola, Hero, Emilia
Men: Can’t live with them, can’t live without their sperm. Pacific Reproductive Services (pacrepro.com) is a lesbian-owned sperm bank with a large gay clientele, but it’s also a great resource for straight women. PRS is the go-to clinic for “willing to be known” donors, which gives your child the option of meeting his or her father one day. Should you be looking to kick your fertility into gear with the help of acupuncture, the big name is Dr. Angela Wu (wushealingcenter.com), but for the tattoo’ed crowd, JoAnn Bennett (joannwbennett.com) has worked as both a faculty member of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a professional body piercer.
The film The Business of Being Born has inspired more than just hippies to opt for homebirth. For this, the ultimate midwife is Nancy Myrick of Rites of Passage Midwifery (ihomebirth.com); she trained at UCSF and won’t be waving sage around. Want go natural, but at a hospital? St. Luke’s (stlukes-sf.sutterhealth.org) is headed by the energetic and liberal Dr. Laura Norrell and UCSF (ucsfhealth.org) has panoramic views that are as renowned as the staff, including midwives Judith Bishop and Tekoa King.
Rather than rely solely on a freaked-out partner, many mothers-to-be (and not just the downtowners) are hiring these professionally trained women to assist with their births from the first contractions to post-partum support. Call Monique Gorski (thelabordoula.com) or Laurel Coates (baydoula.com)—both come highly recommended.
The Birth Class
Favorite prenatal yoga instructor Jane Austin (janeaustinyoga.com) also holds a no-holds-barred birth class that includes the usual techniques (breathe deep), plus a silk vagina model to demonstrate how the baby gets out. Austin has a no-question-is-too-dumb attitude and sense of humor that brings the color back to the cheeks of even the most white-faced parents-to-be.
Where to go to find a lactation consultant, a mom’s group, a sleep-support circle or preschool advice? Natural Resources (naturalresources-sf.com) in Noe Valley is the one-stop shop. This doesn’t mean the center doesn’t draw from the hill dwellers too: Last year, a pregnant Mrs. Newsom was spotted here among the organic onesies and Earth Mama body butter.
Stroller, schmoller. Hard-core attachment types go for the Moby Wrap ($39), one dauntingly long stretch of fabric that an experienced parent can wrap around her baby faster than Houdini could say the word presto! Your kid will never know it left the womb. Available at Chloe’s Closet (chloescloset.com).
Hipster parents feel right at home at the 24th and York Street Mini Park just next to Pops’ dive bar and across from St. Francis Fountain; its fun water elements are great for hot sunny days. Otherwise, Douglass Park in Noe Valley is Mommy Central. On rainy days, you’ll find parents fleeing to Recess (recessurbanrecreation.com), a cool, membership-based recreation center in Potrero Hill.
Glenridge Cooperative Nursery School (glenridgecoop.org) is located in the heart of Glen Canyon, where your child can get a taste of the wilderness. And yes, Buen Día (bdfs.org) is a bilingual preschool started in the ’70s, but there’s an added bonus: It’s around the corner from Tartine bakery. The San Francisco Waldorf School (sfwaldorf.org) might be located in Pacific Heights, but its Austrian philosophy—which discourages rushing education and encourages wooden toys—fits right in with the granola lifestyle.
What’s in a Name? A sampling from the roster of a coveted Cow Hollow preschool: Boden, Asher, Tyler, Pierce, Tanner, Jack, Webb, Ava, Grace, CaitlinThe Conception
Widely respected Dr. Victor Fujimoto is the head honcho at UCSF’s In Vitro Fertilization Program (ucsfivf.org), but the tastefully decorated office at Pacific Fertility Center (pacificfertilitycenter.org) is equally attended by well-heeled ladies who go to see the likes of Dr. Isabelle Ryan. In addition to IVF treatments, the center offers a blue-chip roster of egg donors. For high-risk pregnancies—those involving multiples and pre-existing conditions—it’s likely you’ll find yourself at San Francisco Perinatal (sfperinatal.com) for prenatal tests, genetic counseling and more. The boutique-like center has a calm environment, not to mention good lighting, as well as a great group of docs, some of whom branched out from CPMC.
The go-to gyno for SF’s who’s-who is TV personality Dr. Laurie Green (pacificwomens.com), but Golden Gate Obstetrics includes the crack team of Karen Callen, Donna Wiggins and Fung Lam, who are known for their many years in practice and for expertise in dealing with medical emergencies when necessary, but supporting a less-managed birth too.
The Night Nurse
Beauty sleep comes at a price: The place to call is Town & Country (tandcr.com), which employs an amazing network of night nurses who cost about $5,000 per month—and that doesn’t include the agency fee.
The Birth Class
The McMoyler Method (mcmoylermethod.com), taught by SF-based nurse Sarah McMoyler, is the It class for pre-birth prep right now, but a private class given by two great CPMC labor-and-delivery nurses, Tina Moss and Shirley Lau is perfect if you want a personal approach (birthclass.net). The basics are covered and the class also incorporates meditation, massage and yoga.
Day One (dayonecenter.com) in Laurel Heights has two other locations outside the city and is the place to go for classes (prenatal yoga, “chicks and chickens,” sex and motherhood), products (the Pee Pee Tee Pee, the Kushie Tushie) and parent groups. And since it’s conveniently located in Laurel Village, tired moms can stop by Beautifull for a grilled salmon bowl with brown rice for dinner.
After an engagement ring, nothing says status like a stroller. While the Bugaboo still holds strong with the power parent set, The Orbit G2—designed by two local guys—starts around $750 and comes complete with a coffee cup holder, the “world’s most advanced stroller suspension” and (we kid you not), a “paparazzi shield.” Look for it at Giggle (giggle.com), the ultimate Marina shop for the hip but monied set.
Marina-ites who have grown up and had kids will feel right at home at the Moscone Recreation Center, just a hop from the hub of Chestnut Street. The members-only Peekadoodle Kids Club (peekadoodlekidsclub.com) in Ghirardelli Square offers classes and a huge indoor activity area for kids as well as a fitness room for adults.
Those who haven’t already fled to Marin are likely angling to get into one of a few preschools, considered feeder schools (never too early to aim for Harvard). The uptown crowd looks to Lone Mountain (lonemountain.com) and Little Gators (3149 Steiner St., 415-346-8608), known for “placing” kids into elementary schools like SF Day, Town and Hamlin. Pacific Primary (pacificprimary.org) is a coveted, if more liberal, spot, with a chef who cooks organic lunches. To get into these schools, parents have been known to pull strings, apply when the baby’s in utero and, if all else fails, pray.