What is a Midwife?

A Midwife is a trained birth professional who provides comprehensive care during the prenatal, birth and postpartum periods for both mother and baby. Midwives are experts of normal natural childbirth.  There are many paths for midwives to gain education and training, including: traditional apprenticeship, nurse-midwifery training, national or state certification and state licensure.

What Licensure and Certification do our Midwives hold?

Our birth center is staffed by Licensed Midwives (LM) and Certified Professional Midwives. LMs are licensed by the California Medical Board and CPMs are certified by the  is a national certification that qualifies these midwives as specialists in birth outside of the hospital. They are the only U.S. birth attendants whose education and clinical training focuses specifically and exclusively on out-of-hospital birth settings. 

What is a Doula?

A doula provides important physical and emotional support, as well as advocacy for laboring women in all birth settings. Doulas are a voice for the birthing mother and the guardian of her birth plan. The skill of a midwife and continuous support of a doula is a powerful collaboration that all women deserve.

How does Midwifery Care differ from Conventional Obstetric Care?​

The conventional approach to obstetric care manages birth in a routine manner in anticipation of a possible emergency. With midwifery care the normalcy of birth is respected and interventions are avoided. Choosing a midwife means a desire for a natural more holistic approach to birth. The individual needs and desires of the pregnant and laboring woman are the dominant focus in midwifery care. Generally pre and postnatal natal visits with midwives are longer giving midwives and mothers more time to develop a trusting relationship.​ At the Marin Family birth Center our providers connect women with wraparound maternal health services provided at one of our three primary care sites.

How much does Childbirth cost?

A delivery at the Marin Family Birth Center costs $8,000. We accept Medi-Cal, most private insurance, and offer flexible payment arrangements. For families with an out-of-pocket expense, a $250 deposit must be made to schedule a delivery at the birth center.

What about the Pain?

The pain of labor is manageable and an essential part of the hormonal exchange between mother and baby. Midwives and birth attendants use relaxation and comfort techniques to help provide women with pain relief. Gentle physical and emotional support are vital. Mothers cope with labor best when they are offered loving words, massage, warm baths, breathing techniques, visualizations and are encouraged to move when and how they feel most comfortable. Additionally, birth center clients are reminded that medical pain management increases the risk of emergency interventions.

Do I stay overnight after I deliver?

No. Women who deliver at the birth center recover in the comfort of their own home. Usually women go home 4 hours after delivery. By then the baby has had a well-child exam and the mom has had lactation support: the baby and mother are healthy, have eaten and are ready to sleep. 

What special Post-Partum care do I receive at the birth center?

Our midwives do a homevisit 24 hours after birth. We offer a hearing test and the California Newborn Metabolic Screening is performed 3 days after the delivery. A well baby check up is scheduled at one of our primary medical sites for all newborns 10 days after birth. On going care is provided for the mother until 6 weeks postpartum.

 Additional Sources of Information on Midwifery

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“Loved my experience here! Definitely recommend everyone to check them out! Inspiring, strong women helped bring my princess into this world! I love seeing these ladies when I come in for my daughters visits! Would definitely have all my babies here if i decide to have more... 

Vanessa V.

“What a wonderful concept and a great organization...You will be a tremendous resource to your community! We (Bili Blanket Baby, LLC) are excited to work with you keeping newborns safe!”

Emma R. 

"We decided that at a birth center we'd have more control over the birth experience than at the hospital...Kiki asked us in our first conversation why we wouldn't want a home birth as she pointed out that a birth-center birth is basically a home birth, just not in your home. Which is exactly what we wanted”

Jakki D. 

To tour of our beautiful birth center at 880 Las Gallinas, San Rafael, please:
email us at info@marinbirth.org, call (415) 339-8813
or let us know your availability here.
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