How to find a part-time nanny/childcare/general help in San Francisco?
November 11, 2019 9:24 AM   Subscribe

My San Francisco-based friend has a 4 m/o daughter, and has had a very very tough time with pregnancy, birth, and the first few months of her baby's life. She needs help, but she's too overwhelmed to figure out where to start. Do any of you SFers have tips or resources for finding a nanny or other childcare help?

My friend wrestled with infertility, had a SUPER traumatic birth, struggled with breastfeeding & lactation (and the eventual decision to mostly-FF), and has had a couple of traumatic events with the baby where they ended up taking her to the ER. Her husband is now working from home and she is at home with the baby, but they are EXHAUSTED and totally fried, and feeling super isolated and trapped. She definitely is suffering from PPD and probably some degree of PTSD from the trauma of birth/early weeks. (He probably is too ...)

They do not have any local family support (and no prospect of it for now) and perhaps worse, don't have any friends with similarly-aged children, so they have no built-in network of word of mouth resources.

They want to find some kind of regularly-scheduled help -- ideally a nanny or caretaker who could come in for a few hours, a few times a week (or a similar PT arrangement).

I do not think daycare is a preferred option at this point -- baby does not have any ongoing medical issues, she's just fussy (although not technically colicky) but at this stage their anxieties are so ramped up that they'd understandably be more comfortable with more focused in-home care.

They live in the Sunset District of SF, if that matters/helps.

1. How did you find your nanny or other caretaker? Are there services, parent groups or other resources you would recommend? If they aren't able to find regularly-scheduled help, even being able to find a babysitter to watch the baby while they get dinner alone would be a break.

2. She is talking to her OB about finding a therapist, but do you have any recommendations for area therapists who might be experienced in postpartum needs? (My friend is asian-american, not that that necessarily matters but sometimes there's added cultural baggage in therapy)

3. Any local parent groups to recommend, for mom, dad, or both? They are very intelligent, science-based folks and would not be into the more ... crunchy type of parenting groups. Also, she basically can't breastfeed and anything that would add an iota of guilt to that battle is right. the f*ck. out.

4. I've also recommended that they look into meal deliveries for the time being. Area recommendations?

Thanks! Anything else I might be missing, I appreciate.
posted by alleycat01 to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm across the Bay in Emeryville/Oakland, so I'm slightly less in touch with SF resources. Here ares some suggestions:
- Main Street Mamas: SF - I believe this is the most active SF FB group for parents, and I regularly see posts about nannies/sitters on it. There are also more specialized FB groups, like ones for family biking or particular parenting philosophies (e.g. RIE).
- Berkeley Parents Network (great general Bay Area advice, but leaning toward East Bay) has a section for postings for nannies and sitters.
- Swiss Cheese Childcare specializes in finding babysitters in the Bay Area on an as-needed basis, but with a fair bit more screening than or what have you. We've loved every sitter we've had, and I trust the service to only provide excellent sitters.
- Good Eggs (using my referral code in the link for $25 off for you/$20 off for me, absolutely feel free to not use!), is the local grocery & meal kit delivery service, and they are AWESOME. Super delicious food with lots of local brand options, and the meal kits are tastier/healthier than delivery food, but most only take a few minutes to prep (much better than Blue Apron or the like).
- UCSF has a psychologist specializing in just pregnancy and postpartum issues, and, speaking from personal experience, she's really good and thoughtful in her approach. I delivered there, so was referred as I followed up with postpartum physical health issues, so not 100% sure how to get in touch with them if that's not how your friend delivered, but you might try the Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood Assessment Clinic - they can probably provide support for other community resources not at UCSF. In general, I was very impressed by the level of care at UCSF, including how up-to-date they are on the latest research.

Also also ping a friend who until recently lived in the Outer Richmond, to see if she has any more local community resources to suggest.

Finally, we're in the city pretty often, and I'd be glad to meet-up and chat, if you think your friend would be comfortable meeting a friendly internet stranger. I also had postpartum mood issues (both times), as well as an inability to breastfeed (both times) and a colicky baby (the first time). Parenting is hard work, especially in the earlier days, and having parents support each other is so important.
posted by Jaclyn at 10:23 AM on November 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

Sorry, that should read that "I'll also ping a friend..."
posted by Jaclyn at 10:30 AM on November 11, 2019

There is a general facebook group and locality based groups for the podcast One Bad Mother and I would bet they have a local option for your friend. The original tag line for the podcast was something like ‘because this sucks and nobody cares’ and the two hosts have different mothering approaches while getting along very well with each other. Also, great guests. The groups may already have had the conversation of where to find care in her area for post partem emotional care.

Another option is to take the (crying) baby to coffee shops and watch like a hawk for moms with similar age babies and just, make the conversation start. I know, ‘just’ is doing A LOT of heavy lifting there and this is not actually an easy thing to do. But I have heard from birthing parents with all sorts of new baby issues report that getting out of the house helped even if the only person they talked to was a barista.

Finally, she’s probably heard this. It seems like she might be breast feeding a bit? If she is at all, she might find the baby responds well to her having a dairy free diet. There’s something in dairy protein that isbhard for some babies. If she’s exclusively FF, then she can eat whatever she wants and I’ll be happy to tell anyone who is giving her any guff about her needs to get wrecked.
posted by bilabial at 11:11 AM on November 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Is she on Nextdoor? I see posts on there all the time about nanny-share arrangements, recommendations for nannies, etc., and it would be a good place for her to post a question asking for recommendations. (I don't think you can do it for her, unfortunately, since you have to verify your address.)
posted by pinochiette at 11:43 AM on November 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

I came to recommend NextDoor and Facebook groups as well. I have a friend who recently had a baby after a very similar path to your friend (IVF, NICU after the birth, further health issues though those have calmed). She's found a a nanny share in her neighborhood and has been linked to a lot of resources through local Facebook mom groups. Nanny shares or mother's helper posts are frequent on NextDoor.
posted by quince at 12:28 PM on November 11, 2019

In the East Bay, I used to find a nanny-share when I went back to work. However Berkeley Parents' Network, linked above, is also a great resource for all kinds of things.

If your friend has Kaiser insurance, they offer new baby groups (at least they did in Oakland) and while I did not go to them regularly, the one time I hauled myself and my tiny baby out to one it did feel really good to be in a space full of new parents and new babies, just listening to each others' questions and fears. They had both a Kaiser employee and a parent volunteer to facilitate the group I went to.

Jaclyn's offer to meet up is very kind, and I think this kind of casual support of each other is super important in the early months of parenthood. It's the person who speaks kindly when you need it most that you remember forever. I've moved away from the Bay or I would be willing to buy your friend a tea and listen, too.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:35 PM on November 11, 2019

I’m in the South Bay so don’t have any super local recs, but we’ve found two amazing nannies on here. Happy to share our screening and interview process here or by MeMail if it’d be helpful.

Dr. Anna Glezer in Burlingame is a psychiatrist who specializes in perinatal issues and she recently added a psychologist who specializes in perinatal issues and infertility. Dr. Glezer is not in the city proper but she is willing to do telemedicine via a secure medical app after an initial consult.

I’m hardly ever in the city physically but I’d be delighted to be a text message or phone buddy for your friend. I also had a tough birth and a very colicky baby who is now a high needs toddler, so I completely get it and am happy to share any wisdom and just be a caring local mom friend to listen (including texting at those 3 am feeds!). Having folks I could text made a huge difference for me when things were really rough in the beginning. MeMail me if you’d like to put us in touch.
posted by bananacabana at 12:48 PM on November 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh and for meal delivery, we used Freshly for a bit. It’s completely prepared and just heat and eat, which is easier than any amount of cooking/prep like Blue Apron or whatever.
posted by bananacabana at 12:54 PM on November 11, 2019

You are all so kind and I thank you for the thoughtful responses. I really have found that there's nothing like the trenches of new parenthood to bring out the most neighborly/caring aspects of people.

I want to "best" all responses but will restrain myself to Jaclyn's and bananacabanas, especially with their very generous offers of reaching out personally. I will share all of these great recommendations with my friend and let her know about those of you who you have offered to bein touch! I will MeMail you if she wants to take you up on it.

Thanks again, you guys are all so great.
posted by alleycat01 at 8:37 PM on November 11, 2019

She should get onto Facebook parent groups for SF or even specifically for her neighborhood. They exist! Trust me! Then post that she is looking for a nanny recommendation - she'll probably get a bunch :D
posted by Toddles at 9:17 PM on November 12, 2019

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