Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)

Whether this is your first pregnancy or your first natural childbirth, it is important to feel comfortable with your birthing choices. To help you become better informed, you may want to review the list of frequently asked questions below.

Why should I choose The Birth Center?

For many women, giving birth in a a place that is safe, comfortable, and honors their birthing wishes is of the utmost concern. The Birth Center offers an environment that is hard to achieve in traditional birth places, simply because The Birth Center offers such personalized care:

  • Regardless of this being your first, second, or even fourth birth, you won't know which birthing positions will work best for you during labor until you are in labor. At The Birth Center, you aren't limited to laboring on a bed. You can birth on the birth stool, water tub, standing, squatting, or whatever happens to evolve.
  • Loved ones can be as close by (or as far away) as you need them.
  • You have access to many modalities of natural pain management, whether it be a soothing soak in the water tub to ease the rigors of labor, or listening to pleasant music. 
  • It is afforable. Many PPO insurance providers offer partial coverage; the remainder is made manageable with convenient payment plans. For those with no insurance, The Birth Center is an affordable option, again with payment plans available.
  • It is private. Most often you are the only one laboring at The Birth Center.  And other than the support staff, the only people there are the ones that you want to be there.

The Birth Center is there to listen and honor your choices and preferences.

How Do I Know The Birth Center is Safe?

Since 2000, women have been giving birth at The Birth Center. Giving birth at midwifery-operated birth centers has proven* to be a safe alternative to the traditional hosptial setting, and The Birth Center is no exception. Women who are in good health and have normal pregnancies can have confidence in birthing their babies while under the care of The Birth Center's qualified professionals. The Birth Center follows industry established protocol and had all the necessary equipment to provide effective monitoring of maternal and infant wellbeing as well as handle common, non-emergency complications.

*Findings are documented in The National Birth Center Study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Is The Birth Center Properly Licensed?

Yes. The Birth Center is Nathionally Accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC) and is also licensed as an alternative birth center in the state of California by the Department of Health Services and meets all licensing and code requirements. The standard used for licensing are those set forth by the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC), of which The Birth Center is also a member.

What Are the Qualifications of the Caregivers?

Ruth Cummings, the attending nurse midwife, is credentialed as a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). A CNM is a Registered Nurse (RN) who has chosen to become a specialist in birth and women's health. Every CNM has completed a rigorous accredited nurse-midwifery training program, passed a Nurse-Midwifery Board Examination, and met the requirements of the State Board of Registered Nursing. The CNM provides prental, birth, post-partum, breastfeeding support, well woman care, preconception counseling, birth control counseling, and menopausal care.

In addition to a CNM, you will also have an RN attend your labor, early post-partum care and provide your 2 day postpartum home visit.

What If Complications Arise?

Most complications during pregnancy and birth can be handled at The Birth Center, however, should you require additional medical assistance, The Birth Center will transition your care to an OB/GYN of your choice or a nearby hospital (Mercy San Juan Hospital is located 1 mile away).

Most transfers are not emergencies, for example, if the baby is breech and won't turn prior to labor, your care would be transitioned to an OB/GYN of your choice. Another example of a non-emergency transfer is when labor won't progress, and additional medical intervention is needed. In this case, the CNM would accompany you to the hospital for support until your care is transitioned to those providers at the hospital.


What Pain Management Options are Available to Me?

The Birth Center provides natural methods of pain management. Your CNM as well as a labor coach, referred to as a "doula," is present and can assist you with your labor by employing a variety of pain management techniques such as:

  • Administering physical comfort measures, such as hot and cold packs, offering water, applying cold compresses, and giving massages.
  • Help you with position changes, such as walking, standing, and squatting.
  • Using water, which is an incredibly effective pain management tool. The Birth Center has both a shower and a large water birth tub that can provide relief during labor. Sometimes the tub is so effective that women stay in and have a water birth!
  • Making environmental changes, such as using aromatherapy, dimming lights, and playing soft music on the radio.
  • Addressing emotional support. Just knowing that your birth experience is going to be honored and respected and you can labor in privacy with your loved ones can be all the reassurance that women need.

Many women, especially first-time moms, are doubtful of their ability to have an unmedicated birth. Women are so much stronger, and more capable in birth than they know! If you have lingering doubts, The Birth Center can get you in touch with past clients who can tell you how they managed the pain of their labor and how empowered they felt after the experience.

How Long is My Post-Partum Stay?

Most women can go home with their newest addition to the family betweeen three to four hours after delivery, after maternal and infant vitals have been monitored and deemed healthy, and breastfeeding is off on a strong start. At The Birth Center, recovery times are shorter than in traditional birthplaces because there are less medications and medical interventions. The advantage to this is that you can rest and relax in the privacy of your own home, and get acquainted with your new family as soon as possible.

Can Family and Friends Visit?

The Birth Center's mission is to give control to the families in deciding how they want to birth, which includes who they want to attend the birth as well. Who and where you want family and friends to attend or visit is up to you. Children are more than welcomed.

We have a family room with a TV and videos, kitchen, and play area for younger children to use while you are laboring.

Which Insurance Providers are Accepted?

Most PPO insurances can be billed and share of cost will be determined by each individuals plan benefits.

Non-managed care (straight) Medi-Cal or Pregnancy & Postpartum related Medi-Cal are accepted. And we also accept cash payers.

Most clients that need a payment plan option, pay monthly and are paid in full by their due date.


If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed here or elsewhere on our website, please contact us. We will be happy to answer additional questions. If you prefer, we can also put you in touch with one of our previous clients so you can hear first-hand why The Birth Center is a nice way for a family to be born.