If you deliver in the Birth Center, you and your baby remain in the same room you gave birth in until you go home. If your baby is born in the Labor & Delivery Unit, you and your baby will be transferred to the Family Maternity Care Center (FMCC), or Postpartum Unit, approximately two hours after delivery.The FMCC is a quiet environment where mothers and new babies spend their recovery period in a private or semi-private room where specialized nurses care for them. To strengthen the parent-child bond, healthy babies stay with their mothers.
You will be seen by your usual health care provider if he or she is at the hospital; otherwise, you will be seen by one of the partners in your provider’s practice. For more about your newborn's care, routine health screenings for infants, and our Baby-Friendly Hospital practices, see Newborn Care.
We practice family-centered maternity care, where fathers and support people are welcome anytime. We encourage parents to bond with their infants through rooming in and caring for their newborn. Siblings are welcome to visit as well; please be sure they are fully immunized and have no signs of illness.
Family and friends may visit at any time, although we offer "siesta time" from 1 to 4 p.m., when mothers and babies may want to rest with minimal interruptions. We ask friends and family to help the new family bond, which may mean coordinating visits with the baby's feeding schedule.
Please stop at the nurses’ station to sign in and get a visitor badge before entering a room.
Significant others visiting loved ones can valet their cars for $3 for the first two hours and 50 cents for each hour, up to $8. In addition, you can purchase “in and out” privileges for $10. For more information, see Parking at UC San Diego Medical Center.
Discharge and Follow-Up Care
The average hospital stay is one to two days for a vaginal delivery, or four days for cesarean delivery. With arrangements for follow-up care and good support at home, you may be discharged 24 hours after birth, but usually no sooner. Before you leave, we'll ask your support person to bring your baby's carseat to your room.
The newborn health team will communicate with your baby’s medical provider and help you arrange for infant care after discharge. On the day you go home, you'll receive written discharge instructions for making follow-up appointments for you and your baby. Most babies are seen within 48 hours of discharge.
We prefer to discharge patients by 11 a.m. when possible.
See Newborn and Postpartum Care FAQ
for related information.