Labor & Delivery

Labor is a very personal experience, and we do all we can to honor each woman’s birth preferences plan so she can have her baby, her way.

At this time (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) we have a limited visitor policy. One support person is allowed to attend the labor and birth, and room-in with the mother for the duration of her stay with us. In addition, a doula may be allowed if pre-approved by the manager/director of Maternity. Please call us to inquire: 1-415-925-7000.

We have planned everything to make labor and delivery as comfortable as possible:

  • We have 19 luxurious new private labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum rooms in our Oak Pavilion. This allows most moms to remain in one place, without disruption, from labor through the end of stay. Rooms are spacious and equipped with a refrigerator, rocking chair, TV, and a foldout couch for spouse, partner, or labor coach. Each room has a private bathroom with a spa shower and pull-down seat. What’s more, every room has large windows that provide natural light and a beautiful view!
  • Enhancing your comfort during labor is a top priority. Our new, high-tech adjustable beds provide support for many laboring positions, including a squat bar that can help promote progress. All rooms are equipped with a spacious tub if you would like to labor in warm water.
  • We provide peanut balls to help you get into the right position for labor to progress, and you are welcome to bring personal items such as extra pillows, music, and exercise balls.
  • We offer the latest technology in wireless fetal monitoring so you can walk around the unit unencumbered while your care team keeps close watch on your progress.
  • We provide a variety of pain relief options. TENs units deliver electrical stimulation to alleviate discomfort. Should you require stronger pain relief, our nurses can administer nitrous oxide, and we have an anesthesiologist on call to provide pain medication if needed.
  • Only one medical and/or midwifery student is allowed in the labor room at a time, and only with the mother’s permission.


(Watch the above video to learn more about labor and delivery at MarinHealth Medical Center)

Of course, not every birth goes perfectly smoothly. For midwife-assisted births, there are clear protocols for when and how the doctor steps in. We have a surgical team at the ready 24/7 to perform cesareans in one of our two new C-section procedure rooms.

When a baby is close to delivery, our nursing staff helps the mother find the most comfortable position for delivery. We practice the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) endorsed guidelines for delayed cord clamping. Right after birth, we place the baby on the mother’s breast for skin-to-skin bonding.

To keep you and your new baby secure, we have the sophisticated Hugs Infant Protection System that uses connected mother-and-child ID bands.

Each room features a warming table to keep your new arrival cozy should they need additional support after birth. We encourage breastfeeding right away. Our lactation services staff is available to help with breastfeeding issues. In addition, we have certified lactation consultants (IBCLC) on staff. Once baby has been fed, the mother has an opportunity to take part in her baby's first bath.

Getting Ready to Go Home

Before discharge, a woman can expect a few visitors from MarinHealth:

  • Our specially trained staff provides ongoing education to ensure each new family has the information and resources they need as they begin their new lives together.
  • Our expert postpartum nurses and certified lactation consultants are available to answer questions and assist women with breastfeeding issues.
  • A perinatal data coordinator visits the new parents to record the newborn's information and register the birth with the County of Marin, initiating the birth certificate process.
  • The MarinHealth Medical Center hearing and speech department performs hearing screens on all our babies before discharge.
  • As a special treat for mom, a massage therapist from our Integrative Wellness Center is available to give her a massage!

If you are planning to deliver your baby at MarinHealth Medical Center, please help us prepare for your arrival by pre-registering.

Why Have Your Baby at MarinHealth Medical Center?

It’s hard to think of a more life-changing experience than having a baby. Naturally, every woman has her own preferences as to how she wants to labor. At MarinHealth, we encourage you to fill out our birth preferences plan and share it with us. We do our utmost to provide the birthing experience you desire, backed by all the expertise and advanced medical technology needed to help keep you and your baby safe.

On-Site Experts

Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)

Many women prefer the nurturing, woman-centered approach of a midwife-assisted birth. We are one of the only hospitals in the Bay Area to have certified nurse midwives available 24/7.

Impressive C-section & VBAC Statistics

  • Our C-section rate for first time moms is well below the national average and one of the lowest in the Bay Area.
  • Our rate of vaginal births after a C-section (VBAC) is three times higher than the national average.

24/7 C-section Coverage

We have an operating room reserved for C-sections and an anesthesiologist and a dedicated surgical team is always on site.

Fully Equipped Level II NICU

Our top-notch, 7-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has an in-house pediatric hospitalist specializing in the care of newborns, as well as 24-hour access to UCSF Health neonatologists.


(Watch the above video to learn more about the NICU at MarinHealth Medical Center)

Comfort & Privacy

Our beautifully equipped private labor/delivery/recovery/postpartum rooms allow you to remain in one place, without disruption, from labor through postpartum. The rooms have every modern convenience, from high-tech adjustable beds to spacious tubs for women who prefer to labor in warm water.

Outstanding Support

Our breastfeeding rates are 99 percent (compared to the national average of 77 percent), among the highest in California. Our lactation services team has been helping new mothers and infants adjust to breastfeeding for years, and a certified lactation consultant meets with you in the hospital and is available for breastfeeding support and questions once discharged. We also offer a great list of classes and support groups to help parents prepare before and after delivery.

Take a Virtual Tour of MarinHealth Maternity Care.
Take an In-Person Tour.

Portrait of Lizellen LaFoletteHealing Podcast. Listen to OB/GYN Lizellen La Follette talk about MarinHealth Medical Center’s pro-woman, patient-centric approach to labor and delivery.

Play Podcast