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
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 accepting clients for our birth center in San Mateo, CA.
The birth center features two beautiful birth rooms that open onto a peaceful ivy-covered yard. Each birth room is 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 birth center, please schedule a call with us so we can explore your options. In-person birth center tours are also available.
A personal, one-on-one relationship with your midwives is the foundation of your care.
Our midwives are licensed to provide care throughout the lifespan.
We offer pre-conception, well-woman, and pregnancy & birth care at the birth center.
We offer water birth! Ask us about your options.
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?
Many PPO insurance plans, including many Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, Healthnet, and United Healthcare plans will cover a significant portion of our fees. Most clients end up paying between $3000 and $6000 out-of-pocket for all of their care with us. Unfortunately we cannot accept Kaiser, Medi-Cal, or TriCare at this time. Please contact us to calculate your out-of-pocket cost for care, or follow this link to enter your insurance information and we will contact you with an estimate!
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.
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.
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.
What kinds of safety equipment & medications does the birth center carry?
We are prepared to handle a number of scenarios at the birth center without necessarily needing to transfer to the hospital. For mom we stock IV fluids, antibiotics for GBS prophylaxis in labor, epinephrine, urinary catheters, and sterile suture equipment and local anesthetic to repair perineal tears. For bleeding we always have Pitocin, methergine, and misoprostol at hand and ready to use at a moment’s notice. All staff are trained in adult and infant CPR, as well as neonatal resuscitation, and are ready to support a baby who needs help breathing. To do this we use a special resuscitation cradle with portable heating device, pulse oximeter to measure oxygenation level, and a neonatal ambubag. We also stock deLee catheters, bulbs, laryngeal mask airways, and neonatal epinephrine in case a baby needs more help. Oxygen is always available for both mom and baby should they need it.
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, including genetic screening. We have several diagnostic centers that we can refer to for ultrasounds as needed.
Do you have any options for pain relief?
The birth center offers nitrous oxide, TENS units, and sterile water injections for pain relief. Evidence shows us that a calm, peaceful environment really does 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. Additionally, submersion in water is a beautiful way to relax and get into the flow of labor.
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!