UCSD Birth Center vs. Mary Birch — The Bump
San Diego Babies

UCSD Birth Center vs. Mary Birch

Now, I know this is like comparing apples an oranges, but here is what I am trying to find out...

If I would like a natural birth in a nice facility, which is more natural birth friendly, while still offering top-notch staff and nice little perks for the mother-to-be?

Even if you can't speak about natural birth experience at either, I'd like to hear what you liked or disliked about either facility.

TIA (thanks in advance)! Big Smile

Re: UCSD Birth Center vs. Mary Birch

  • Congrats on your pregnancy!  I'm actually a L&D nurse at UCSD.  i don't work in the Birth Center, but I have floated up there.  Obviously I'm a bit biased, but... go with UCSD!  The midwives are awesome and the doulas are part of a free volunteer program.  The Birth Center is such a great option for moms who want a low/no intervention birth experience and (god forbid) something goes unplanned, the L&D unit is rght there. The midwives also deliver on the L&D unit.  Most all the nurses are very open and supportive of natural childbirth and the pediatricians are 100% supportive of breastfeeding, mom/baby bonding, not separating mom/baby, etc.  the Birth Center hosts a "Meet the Midwives" every month so you can meet who works there and hear about their philosophy on birthing. 

    here's a link to meet the midwives:


  • I delivered my son at UCSD Birth Center 2 years ago and was thrilled with my experience. I think it's SD's best kept secret! It's a great place for a drug free birth with the option of having regular L&D a couple floors away if needed. I saw a number of UCSD midwives during my prenatal care which actually worked out well because you won't know who is on duty when you deliver. The rooms are huge and it's nice that you labor, deliver and recover in the same room (as long as they have room). My son was tiny and he had to stay for 5 days after delivery. They let us stay there with him the entire time and the large private room was great! The nurses and lactation consultants were awesome.

    One thing about the birth center is that you must, must be low risk all around to deliver there. They have some restrictions you have to meet for liability and they are very strict about following them. I went into labor a bit early and was almost booted to L&D because you have to be at least 37 weeks along to deliver at the birth center. The good thing is the midwife would do the delivery in L&D as well, if for whatever reason you were moved. 

    Definitely go to meet the midwives. It's very informative and it's very cool to hear about the midwives experience, number of births,etc.

    My only compliants were I wish they had private showers (which wasn't a huge deal but I was there way longer than the norm) and the woman Terri who handled the scheduling for prenatal appts. in Hillcrest is a disaster - unresponsive and unorganized. I would seriously consider going to La Jolla for prenatal care in the future to avoid dealing with her. Hopefully there has been some improvement in the last 2 years!

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  • Thank you! My husband and I actually went to Meet the Midwives last week and we thought it was great.

    Just for balance, we decided to tour Mary Birch also and I have to say that they weren't very natural childbirth friendly. Our decision was pretty simple. :o)

    I'm scheduled for my first appointment with a UCSD midwife next week!

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