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 portion of our fees. Please contact us to calculate your out-of-pocket cost for 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 and some ultrasounds at the birth center.
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.
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!
Pregnancy & Parenting Resource Centers
These are great places to take childbirth prep, breastfeeding, parenting & newborn care classes, find peer support, and buy books and parenting products.
Blossom Birth - http://www.blossombirth.org/ (Palo Alto)
Natural Resources - www.naturalresources-sf.com (San Francisco)
Day One Baby - www.dayonebaby.com (San Francisco & Palo Alto)
Mamas Resource Network - http://www.mamasresourcenetwork.com (San Francisco)
Parents Place - https://parentsplace.jfcs.org/location/peninsula/ (San Mateo & Palo Alto)
Blossom Birth - http://www.blossombirth.org/ (Palo Alto)
Gentle Birth, Carrey Ward - www.doulacarrey.com/gentlebirth (Hayward)
Rachel Yellin, offers 4-week classes & one-day intensives - www.rachelyellin.com (San Francisco)
Mama Natural Online Birth Course - https://mamanaturalbirth.com/ (Online)
Supporting Her, Partner Class - https://supportingher.teachable.com/ (Online)
Natsumi Nakamura, Hypnobirthing - www.naturaleasybirth.com (San Mateo)
Special Delivery Childbirth Education, Patty Dougherty - 650-712-1232 (Redwood City)
Belly Full Birth Prep Class: https://www.bellyfullbirthsf.com/classes/private-birth-prep-class (San Francisco)
New Life Chiropractic, Julia Mason - https://mynewlifechiro.com (San Carlos)
Los Altos Family Chiropractic, Dr. Deb Mosca (Los Altos)
Susan Freeburg (San Mateo)
Golden Gate Chiropractic Center, Dr. Adrian Villalba (San Francisco) - www.goldengatechiropracticcenter.com
Acupuncture and Massage
Family Room Community Acupuncture, Kim Reece - https://familyroomca.com/ (Pacifica)
Sage Wellness Center, http://sagewellnesscenter.org/ (San Mateo and Half Moon Bay)
Pecosas Touch, https://pecosastouch220.vpweb.com/default.html (Castro Valley)
Oakland Acupuncture Project, http://www.oaklandacupunctureproject.com/ (Oakland)
White Peony Acupuncture https://whitepeony.com/ (Los Altos)
Freyja Clinic, Dr. Jan Rydfors www.freyjaclinic.com (Redwood City)
St. Luke’s Women’s Center, Dr. Anna Altshuler (San Francisco)
Dr. Deborah Cohan (San Francisco - UCSF & SF General)
Dr. Laura Norrell (Kaiser SF & Kaiser Redwood City)
Sabina Sonneman, MD - home visits, homeopathy, alternate vaccine schedules (Redwood City)
Freyja Clinic Pediatrics - accepts insurance, routine vaccine schedules only (Redwood City)
Whole Child Wellness, Elisa H. Song, MD - self pay, alternative vaccine schedules www.wholechildwellness.com (Belmont)
Care First Pediatrics, Dr. Margaret De Villiers, MD - accepts insurance, alternative vaccine schedules (Los Gatos)
Pediatric Wellness Group – Dr. Josh Parker and Dr, Nickie Saxena, M.D. (Redwood City)
Palo Alto Medical Foundation: Nicole Ketterman, M.D. and Niel Patel, M.D. (San Carlos)
Birth & Postpartum Doulas
Christalyn Hagion - http://www.christalynjeanne.com/ (SF & Peninsula)
Peninsula Birth Companions - www.peninsulabirthcompanions.com (Peninsula)
Alicia Fishbein - www.dreambirthdoula.com (Peninsula)
Stork and Sprout, birth & postpartum - www.storkandsprout.com (Peninsula)
Nicole Rivera, birth - https://www.doulacaring.com/birth-doula (Santa Cruz)
Postpartum Doulas - www.doulamatch.net
Samantha Noel, maternity, birth, and newborn photography - www.samanthanoelphotography.com (Peninsula)
Meghan MacAskill, maternity, birth, and newborn photography - https://www.wildbloomstudio.com/WildBloom/Home (Peninsula)
Supplements for Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Postpartum
Thorne Basic Prenatal: https://www.thorne.com/products/dp/basic-prenatal
PreGenesis Prenatal Supplement: https://www.amazon.com/GrowBaby-PreGenesis-Prenatal-Supplement/dp/B075MPXVLB
Ferro-Sequels High Potency Iron Supplement 2 capsules daily for a total of 100 mg elemental iron (ferrous fumarate) - split them up one in the morning and one in the afternoon if possible: https://www.amazon.com/Ferro-Sequels-65-Mg-100-Caplets/dp/B000087HF7
Ferretts Iron Supplement 1 capsule daily for a total of 106 mg elemental iron (ferrous fumarate): https://www.amazon.com/Pharmics-Ferretts-Supplement-Potency-Elemental/dp/B001QKJJE6?th=1
Herb Lore Tinctures: https://herblore.com/
Motherlove More Milk Plus: https://www.motherlove.com/products/more-milk-plus-capsules
Supplements for Common Discomforts
WishGarden Sleepy Nights: https://www.wishgardenherbs.com/herbal-remedies/Sleepy-Nights-For-Pregnancy-734/?return\
Breastfeeding Products, Support & Information
La Leche League, chapters all over Bay Area http://www.llli.org/
Nursing Mothers Counsel, Inc., free prenatal nursing classes www.nursingmothers.org (Bay Area)
Healthy Horizons, products, classes, groups & consultants - www.hh-bc.com (Burlingame & Menlo Park)
The Marmet Hand Expression Technique https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1iZjBYoUj0
Postpartum Sealing & Belly Binding
Carrey Ward - 831-214-2158 or email@example.com (Bay Area)
Maternity Clothing and Second Hand
Lovely Bump, https://www.lovelybump.com/ (San Bruno)
Bird in the Nest, http://www.thebirdinthenest.com/ (San Carlos)
Christalyn Hagion - christalynjeanne.com
Juno Lactation Consulting, Marielle Warren, IBCLC - www.yourjuno.com (Peninsula)
Tracey Jedrzejek, IBCLC - www.traceylactation.com (San Mateo)
Healthy Horizons, lactation consultants available 7 days/week - www.hh-bc.com (Burlingame)
Baby Sips, Sheridan Ross, IBCLC, RLC, CLE, CMT, CIMT, Labor Doula (www.babysips.com)
Happy Milk Lactation Support - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (Aetna covers 100% of cost) www.happymilk.us
Bay Area Lactation Consultants - http://www.bayarealactation.org/find-a-lactation-consultant.html
Tiny Tots http://tinytots.com/diaperservice - cotton, compost, combo (serving Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Cruz counties)
Fitness & Movement
Baby Boot Camp - www.babybootcamp.com (San Francisco, Peninsula, East Bay)
Fit4Mom – www.sfpeninsula.fit4mom.com (Peninsula, Palo Alto)
BirthFit - www.birthfit.com (San Francisco, Palo Alto, Mountain View)
www.spinningbabies.com - exercises to help baby find optimal position for birth
https://evidencebasedbirth.com/blog/ - easy-to-digest research on pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding topics
www.kellymom.com - breastfeeding & parenting resources
www.workandpump.com - breastfeeding resources for the working mother
www.askdrsears.com - baby care/parenting; Dr. Sears is a very well-known parenting/baby guru
www.dadlabs.com - a website for dads!
www.cosleeping.org - information on co-sleeping
www.thebabywearer.com - information on babywearing
Postpartum Care & Support
Wombservice Postpartum Services - In-home postpartum midwifery care for clients who had a hospital birth. http://wombservicemidwifery.com/ppservices.html (covered by many insurances, not Kaiser)
Diastasis Recti Exercises - Free online program for dealing with diastasis recti http://drbeginnersprogram.katrinaoakley.net/beginnersprogram1
Postpartum Meal Trains
Beep Beep Carseat, carseat installation, childproofing the home - https://beepbeepcarseat.com/
Gov website where you can find a carseat inspection station near you - http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm
KinderCare, for children 0-12, they accept California assistance - www.kindercare.com