Birth Center (Natural Childbirth)

UC San Diego Birth Center 

The Birth Center at UC San Diego Medical Center supports the natural-childbirth experience desired by many women. As the only in-hospital birth center in California, we deliver family-centered maternity care in a comfortable, homelike setting.

Patients who receive their prenatal care with our Nurse Midwifery Service and meet eligibility requirements can choose to have their babies in the Birth Center at UC San Diego Medical Center. It's a safe and comfortable alternative to the traditional hospital maternity environment, and includes:

Take a Birth Center Tour

We offer weekly tours and an event every other month when you can meet our midwives. Reserve your place.

'Having a Baby at UC San Diego Health System' Video

See our facilities and get an overview of the process

More Information

  • Four spacious birthing suites (furnished with double or queen beds), each with hydrotherapy shower or tub
  • Rocking chairs
  • Homey antiques
  • Play area for children
  • Parent resource library

Yet because of our location within UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest, patients are just minutes away from the latest technology and a Level III NICU if needed.

Women delivering in the Birth Center or Labor & Delivery can also request a volunteer doula. If a doula is available, she will provide continuous one-on-one support throughout labor, delivery and the postpartum period.

Labor Support and Pain Medication

Our certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) are specialists in labor support techniques that can help women give birth with little or no pain medication. These techniques include:

  • Walking during labor
  • Hydrotherapy (shower or tub)
  • Birth stools
  • Birth balls
  • Breathing techniques
  • Massage
  • Music

Should the need arise, intravenous fluids and pain medication are available. If the pain is too challenging, or if a complication should arise, the option of transferring to the Labor & Delivery Unit for epidural anesthesia or more intensive medical care is available. Regardless of whether care is provided at the Birth Center or the Labor & Delivery Unit, each mother will continue to have the support of her midwife throughout her delivery and postpartum period.

Keeping You and Your Baby Safe: Why Choose An In-Hospital Birth Center?

Ready for the Unexpected

After a low-risk pregnancy and birth in our Birth Center, Sarah Johnston learned her newborn had an unforeseen heart complication. Alert care providers and our Level III NICU kept him safe.

Read their story

Birth is a positive and normal experience, but emergencies can arise without warning. Laboring women can take comfort that their safety and the safety of their babies are greatly increased with immediate access to full medical support.

Our Birth Center was created as a safer alternative to home birth or an out-of-hospital birthing center. You will still have the freedom to make important decisions regarding your birth experience, but can relax knowing that you are just minutes away from the latest technology and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) should it become necessary.

Birth Center Videos

  • Family Story: Birth Center Welcomes 4,000th Baby!

    Uploaded on Aug 7, 2012

  • Family Story: Four Babies, Same Delivery Room

    Uploaded on Feb 14, 2012

  • Birth Choices at UC San Diego
    uploaded: Jun 7, 2011