Five Ways You Know You Are a ‘KP Baby’

Nurse opening drawer with baby in it while mother is relaxing in bed talking on the phone
Mother and baby enjoying the innovative "baby in a drawer" in Kaiser Permanente's Walnut Creek hospital, 1953.

In the 70 years since it opened to the public, Kaiser Permanente has cared for many mothers and seen the birth of many, many babies. Countless more people have spent their formative years growing up with Kaiser Permanente. For those Kaiser Permanente babies and kids, there are some experiences that stand out as especially memorable and iconic. Do any of the following ring a bell? If so, you just may be a “KP baby.”

  1. You spent the first precious hours of your brand-new life … in a drawer. Sure, it was a radical innovation in maternity and nursery design in 1953 that allowed mothers to bond with their babies — and get much-needed sleep! — on their own terms. And with the photo, you can now see the genius of it and appreciate what it meant for your mom’s well-being. But when you were a kid and heard this story and tried to imagine it, you furrowed your tiny brow and thought, so when Mom was tired of me, she stuck me in a filing cabinet?
  1. Getting a lab test or picking up a prescription was as simple as walking down the hall from your doctor’s office. At Kaiser Permanente, you went to the medical center for everything, all under one roof: primary care, specialty care, radiology, surgery and pharmacy. It made so much sense. The first time you heard of someone picking up a prescription from the same chain drugstore where your parents had their photos developed it nearly blew your mind.
  1. Vintage proof-of-concept Kaiser Permanente Northwest membership card that looks like a credit card.

    Prototype membership card that mimics a credit card in that the letters and numbers are raised for an old-style machine. Where it says MEMBER is where someone’s name would go.

    You proudly carried a blue membership card. And if you left Kaiser Permanente and returned years later, you were stunned to see that your member ID number was exactly the same as before. (Cue “Twilight Zone” theme.)

  1. You were among the first in your community to truly manage your health care online and on mobile devices. Refilling prescriptions? Check. Scheduling or rescheduling appointments? Yep. Viewing lab results — often the same day? Absolutely. Email your doctor? Of course. For you, switching to a care provider that doesn’t offer these conveniences would feel like stepping back in time (and not in a charming, Downton Abbey sort of way).
  1. Dr. Lehman. Dr. Crance. Dr. Neumann. Whatever your pediatrician’s name, you knew your health was in the hands of the absolute best doctor ever.

Did you grow up a “KP baby?” Share your memories in social media using at #ImaKPBaby or email us at