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Birth Center Eligibility

Healthy women with low-risk, uncomplicated pregnancies can give birth in our Birth Center. To keep you and your baby safe, we follow these eligibility guidelines.

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Eligibility Guidelines

  • Single baby
  • Baby is head down (not breech)
  • No prior C-sections (VBAC births are safest with continuous monitoring, which is not available in the Birth Center)
  • Labor begins between 37+0 weeks and 42+0 weeks of pregnancy
  • Mother is not taking medication for gestational diabetes
  • Prenatal test results do not indicate a need for fetal monitoring
  • Mother is receiving prenatal care from UC San Diego's Nurse Midwifery Service. (If you would like to transfer your care, it should be done by 34 weeks, or ideally as early as possible. Call 619-543-3863 for more information.)

There are no restrictions on a mother's age.

Transfers During Delivery

During delivery, there may be medical reasons that make Labor & Delivery the best place for you to give birth. Some of those reasons include:

  • Your labor begins before 37 weeks
  • Your labor needs to be induced or does not begin before 42 weeks
  • You need to receive labor-augmenting medication such as Pitocin (which requires your contractions and baby's heart rate to be continuously monitored)
  • You decide to receive an epidural (IV pain medication is available in the Birth Center, but epidurals are not because of the special monitoring they require)
  • There are concerns about the health of the baby or mother (such as fetal heart rate or a maternal condition) that require continuous monitoring

Your nurse-midwife will remain your primary care provider during most transfers to Labor & Delivery, and will continue to care for you until you are discharged. If the need for a C-section arises or other complications occur, a physician will manage your care and the midwife will provide support throughout your hospital stay.

For more information, see Nurse Midwifery and Birth Center FAQ.