Maternity Services

Big Reasons to Have Your Little One at MarinHealth Medical Center

Every woman deserves a safe, meaningful labor and delivery that meets both her healthcare needs and her individual, cultural, and philosophical preferences. Our Maternity Services offers the services and expertise you need, close to home, including UCSF Health experts to provide specialized care for high-risk pregnancies and premature or ill newborns.

We are the only hospital across Marin and San Francisco to have a midwife-doctor team available in the hospital at all times. Expectant mothers may choose a delivery primarily attended by an obstetrician (OB/GYN) or midwife, depending on their personal preferences and chosen prenatal care provider. Whether you would like your delivery to be physician-assisted, midwife-assisted, or a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), we have everything in place to plan for the kind of delivery you want.

In keeping with our philosophy of treating the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—we strive to provide an exceptional experience that delivers:

  • Confidence that we are giving you and your baby the highest level of medical care.
  • Control of your birth experience so you can have your baby, your way. We encourage women to fill out a Birth Preferences Plan in advance.
  • Comfort throughout labor and delivery, in a pleasant, nurturing atmosphere where all of your needs are met.

Safety

MarinHealth Medical Center has immediate access to all the monitoring equipment, technology, and specialists needed to keep mother and baby as safe as possible. There is a surgical suite and team on site and at the ready 24/7 in the event a woman needs an emergency cesarean or other OB/GYN-related emergency surgeries. For midwife-assisted births, strict, written protocols determine when physician assistance is required, such as in the case of an emergency cesarean section. We have UCSF experts on site to help bring high-risk pregnancies to term and help care for newborns with health issues in our Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

We are proud to achieve excellent outcomes in our Maternity Services, as evidenced by these important markers:

  • Low Cesarean Section Rate
    MarinHealth Medical Center was named on the California Health and Human Services Agency’s (CHHS) Hospital C-Section Honor Roll for its achievement in low cesarean section delivery rates. We only perform cesareans, whether planned or unplanned, when medically necessary.
  • High VBAC Rate (successful vaginal births after a cesarean)
  • High Breastfeeding Rate
    An impressive 99 percent of our new moms choose to breastfeed.
  • We are a member of the California Maternity Quality Care Collaborative, devoted to eliminating preventable maternal death and injury and promoting equitable maternity care in California.

Baby-Friendly® Designation

MarinHealth Medical Center is a participant in the Baby-Friendly Initiative, a global program sponsored by the United Nations International Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization. We are one of only 414 U.S. hospitals and birth centers (out of more than 6,000) to hold Baby-Friendly status, awarded to hospitals and birth centers that offer an optimal level of care to promote breastfeeding.

In order to receive this prestigious accreditation, we had to review and refine our procedures and adopt the following practices:

  • We train our staff to implement and promote our breastfeeding policy using the latest evidence-based data and educate moms-to-be about the importance of breastfeeding.
  • We facilitate “skin-to-skin” bonding at birth. Instead of being whisked away for a bath, our newborns are gently wiped down and placed on their mother’s breast. This encourages feeding behavior, helps mother and baby bond, keeps the baby warm, regulates blood sugar, and stimulates milk production.
  • We delay bathing and weighing to allow the baby to breastfeed. This has been shown to have many significant benefits such as maintaining newborn body temperature, heart rate, and bonding.
  • We practice “rooming-in,” so that mothers and infants can remain together 24 hours a day, and babies can be fed on demand.
  • We work with new moms to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after the birth of their babies.
  • We teach mothers how to breastfeed and maintain lactation when they are away from their babies. Before we discharge every new mom, we provide referrals to breastfeeding support groups.

Portrait of Chris CostelloHealing Podcast. Lactation consultant Chris Costello, RN, explains what a Baby-Friendly hospital is and discusses the importance of Baby-Friendly practices.

Play Podcast

Download Podcast

Watch a Video About our Maternity Services.

Register and Take an In-person Tour.
Attend one of our Pregnancy and Childbirth Classes or Support Groups.

Our childbirth preparation classes help parents and siblings get ready for the new arrival. Classes range from child and infant CPR to hands-on training for new dads. We also offer support groups for new moms. View a list of classes, schedules, and fees.

Read a Patient Story

Read some wonderful birth stories from moms who delivered at MarinHealth Medical Center:

Camille Hale: Baby Sienna Was a Special Delivery

Rebecca Hermanski: MarinHealth and UCSF Health deliver a happy ending to a high-risk birth.