Birth Center (Natural Childbirth)

The Birth Center, one of the birthing options at UC San Diego Health, supports the natural birth experience desired by many women. As the only in-hospital birth centers on the West Coast, we deliver family-centered maternity care in a home-like setting. It's a safe and comfortable alternative to our traditional hospital maternity environment.

Patients who receive their prenatal care with our Nurse Midwifery Service and meet eligibility requirements can choose to have their babies in Birth Center rooms at Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla or UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest. Both include:

  • Spacious birthing suites (furnished with double or queen beds), each with hydrotherapy shower or tub
  • Rocking chairs

Yet because of our hospital location, patients are just minutes away from the latest technology. Jacobs Medical Center is home to 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 a Labor & Delivery room for epidural anesthesia or more intensive medical care is available. Regardless of whether care is provided at our Birth Centers or in Labor & Delivery, 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 rooms provide an 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 have the support of the latest technology and Jacobs Medical Center's Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) should it become necessary.

Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla 


See your options for delivering at Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, including our Labor & Delivery and Birth Center rooms. 

Uploaded in November 2016

Information and Appointments

  • La Jolla: 858-657-8745
  • Hillcrest: 619-543-7878
  • New Patients: 800-926-8273
  • Hospital tours

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