At some Sutter hospitals, you have the option to choose a certified nurse-midwife. Sutter's certified nurse-midwives deliver babies and can provide comprehensive prenatal care throughout your pregnancy.
Nurse-midwives have undergone special training and been certified as experts in pregnancy and childbirth. To maintain their certification, they must adhere to the rigorous practice standards set by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
Nurse-midwives work collaboratively with doctors and other healthcare professionals. Although they do practice independently in many areas, consulting with doctors is an important aspect of a nurse-midwife's job. If you elect to have midwifery care during pregnancy, you’ll benefit from this close relationship between your nurse-midwife and your doctor. Should a problem develop, the nurse-midwife can seamlessly bring in your doctor at any point in your care.
Two hospitals in the Sutter Health network – California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and Sutter Davis Hospital – have robust midwifery programs that offer care for women before, during and after pregnancy.
The CPMC Mission Bernal Women’s Clinic provides support, education and childbirth services, as well as women’s healthcare from 18 through menopause. The midwives use evidence-based medical procedures when there is a specific concern for the health of you or your baby, and work in partnership with doctors who are available 24/7 if needed. Women can receive individual prenatal care, or Group Prenatal Care, in which small groups of women at similar stages of pregnancy meet with a nurse-midwife for prenatal care and group support.
Sutter Davis Hospital offers midwife care before and after pregnancy, as well as Group Prenatal Care, water births and a doula program. The hospital is a designated Baby-Friendly Hospital by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund.
In addition, midwives can help women deliver babies at Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center in Santa Cruz, Sutter Amador Hospital in Jackson and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, although those hospitals don’t have in-hospital midwife programs.
Using a nurse-midwife is generally not an option in high-risk pregnancies. Learn more about our high-risk pregnancy services.