Safe, low-intervention, you-centered care.
Nightingale Birth Center offers a fundamentally unique approach to pregnancy and childbirth. We provide expert pre-conception, prenatal, birth, and postpartum care for low-risk parents and babies in our beautiful birth center in San Mateo.
We believe safe, professional, knowledgeable maternity care is just the minimum. Truly great care means understanding that each family is unique, listening with our hearts as well as our ears, educating, and empowering parents to make their own informed decisions about how they want to birth their baby.
If you are completely new to the idea of having your baby with a midwife, you are not alone. Learn more about the individualized kind of care that you receive with a midwife, and why it matters.
We are committed to providing inclusive and welcoming care for all people. We welcome clients of all colors, religions, creeds, genders, gender expressions, ages, national origins, family structures, sexual orientations, ability status, marital status, and military status.
(same as phone number)
Clients have 24/7 access to a midwife
Our birth center is located at:
327 N San Mateo Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
We attend home births in San Francisco, South San Francisco, Daly City, San Mateo, San Bruno, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Santa Clara, San Carlos, Pacifica, Burlingame, Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Pinole, Rodeo, Moraga, Lafayette, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Leandro, Castro Valley, Hayward, Fremont, Union City, and others. Contact us to see if we serve your area.
How We're Different
"My birth experience was nothing I could have anticipated, but it was everything I hoped for. I was in the comforts of my home with no medical interventions to bat away or unnecessary intrusions. I was surrounded by a dream birth team whom I trusted, and who supported me and my birth preferences. Firen was attentive, warm, patient, and professional the entire way through, and my son was born healthy with no complications. It's been wonderful having Firen as my midwife." -Karen L.
Nightingale Birth Center
We are now accepting clients for our new birth center in San Mateo, CA.
The birth center will feature two beautiful birth rooms that open onto a peaceful ivy-covered yard. Each birth room will be equipped with:
- A large comfortable bed
- An Aquadoula birth pool deep and large enough for both you and your partner
- A Swedish birth ladder
- A birth swing
- A birth ball & peanut
- Its own Sonos sound system
- An essential oils aromatherapy diffuser
- Customizable mood lighting
- Other amenities to facilitate a natural and peaceful delivery
Immersion in a deep pool of water during labor eases stress, provides deep relaxation, and greatly relieves pain. Many women find that the calming environment of the birth center, the freedom of movement, and the continuous support that they receive from their midwives is just what they need to achieve a peaceful, natural delivery.
If you are interested in birthing at our new center, please schedule a call with us so we can explore your options. Birth center tours will be available to potential clients starting in October.
A personal, one-on-one relationship with your midwives is the foundation of your care.
Tools for Home & Birth Center Birth - 1 Day Childbirth Education Intensive
If you are planning to give birth at home or in a birth center outside of a hospital, this course is designed specifically for you! Come meet others who are doing the same, and learn how you can birth your baby with confidence and peace. This course is aimed to give you a variety of tools you and your partner can use to stay calm, relaxed and focused on your journey to becoming a parent!
How can I best work with my midwife and other care providers?
How will I know when I’m in labor?
What do I actually do in labor?!
What will giving birth be like?
How will I cope with pain?
What can I do to best support my partner in labor?
What will happen after the birth?
What if myself or the baby has to go to the hospital?
A combination of instruction, videos, self-reflection, relaxation, breathing and partner exercises will answer these questions and help you become more comfortable with birth. Partners will learn specific techniques to confidently support the birthing parent through the process. A one-day 7 hour session, this course is perfect for busy parents who can’t or don’t want to take a series.
Current Class Schedule
Sunday, November 4, 2018 - Location TBD
Winter 2018 - Date & Location TBD
The best time to take this course is in your third trimester. Classes generally range from 1-6 couples. Class is 6.25 hours of instruction and activities, with a 45-minute break for lunch. Snacks, water and tea are provided; bring your own lunch.
Instructor: Firen Jones, Licensed Midwife; Read her bio.
Cost: $250 per couple
Frequently Asked Questions
Who chooses a birth center?
Teachers, accountants, lawyers, therapists, bus drivers, entrepreneurs, engineers, servers... the list goes on and on. Most people have done some amount of reading and research, and have decided that a birth center is where they feel safest and most comfortable.
How much does birth center care cost? Will my insurance cover it?
Our fee for complete prenatal care, birth, and postpartum care at the birth center is $6000. We ask that clients pay the full fee by the time they reach 36 weeks of pregnancy. Many PPO insurance plans, including many Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Healthcare plans (just to name a few), will reimburse clients for some or all of this cost. Our biller will work with you after your last postpartum visit, about 6 weeks after the birth, to obtain reimbursement from your insurance for our services. To start to get a sense of what your insurance might pay, we recommend you obtain a Verification of Benefits when or before you start care.
What would risk me out of birth center care?
The existence or development of risk factors like high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and insulin-dependent diabetes would necessitate a hospital delivery. In the state of California, the birth of twins and breech babies must also happen in the hospital. Factors like age over 35, BMI, previous C-section, or diet-controlled gestational diabetes do not necessarily risk you out of birth center care.
How often do I see my midwife?
We follow the same care schedule as an obstetrician, which means we will see each other every 4 weeks until you reach 30 weeks of pregnancy, every 2 weeks from 30-36 weeks, and then weekly thereafter until your baby is born. We do 5 postpartum visits - at 24 hours, 3 days, 7 days, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks. Prenatal visits are generally about 45 minutes and postpartum visits are 1-1.5 hours long. The care is very comprehensive!
Do you offer vitamin K, erythromycin eye ointment, hepatitis B vaccine, and metabolic screening for my baby?
Yes, we offer all of the above, except the Hepatitis B vaccine. You can get that from your pediatrician if you so desire.
How safe is birth at a birth center?
The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) has been gathering statistics on planned out-of-hospital birth in the U.S. since 2004. The results of their research show that out-of-hospital birth is a safe option for women experiencing a healthy, normal pregnancy. Additionally women who choose to birth at a birth center have a much lower risk of interventions like Pitocin induction, episiotomy, epidural anesthesia, and C-section, even if they do end up needing to go to the hospital.
Can I have a water birth?
Yes! We have Aquadoula pools available for both of our birth rooms. Aquadoula pools are big and deep. You and your partner can both fit in one comfortably. They also have a heating element that keeps the water at the perfect temperature. Even if you don't want to deliver in the pool, most women find that submersion in water during labor is highly effective pain relief.
Can I get pregnancy labs and ultrasounds if I have birth center care?
Absolutely! We can do all routine labs at the birth center. We will refer you to a professional sonographer for any needed ultrasounds.
Do you have any options for pain relief?
Evidence shows us that a calm, peaceful environment can go a long way in helping to reduce pain. Massage, touch, continuous support from your care provider, and a feeling of safety also increase feel-good hormones like oxytocin and endorphins. Submersion in water is a beautiful way to relax and get into the flow of labor. Additionally, we have TENS units available, which use electro-stimulation to relax the muscles.
What about the baby's birth certificate?
Before you leave the birth center after your birth, we will provide instructions and all necessary paperwork for you to obtain your baby's birth certificate and social security card.
If you would like more information or would like to make an appointment for a free initial consultation, please fill out the form below or call 650.731.5191. We look forward to hearing from you!