Preparing For Birth
Our board-certified OB/GYN and anesthesiologist are in the labor and delivery department 24/7 ready to assist. Both of our hospitals have dedicated Caesarean (C-section) suites and are prepared to provide whatever care is needed. For newborns who are premature or have special needs, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is on-site at both hospitals.
Learn About Our Birthing Centers
Our comfortable, family-friendly environment and private, spacious birthing suites are part of the reason we have earned repeated recognition as "best place to have a baby" by Bay Area Parent magazine.
Our birthing and recovery suites were designed with you, your partner and your baby’s comfort in mind. The suites offer plenty of natural light and privacy. We provide wireless monitoring to allow freedom of movement and have a variety of birth support equipment, such as peanut balls, to make giving birth a little easier.
Once you’ve welcomed your baby and recovered, you’ll move into a private room in the mother-baby unit. We care for the mother and baby together to promote bonding and breastfeeding. Your baby will even receive his or her first assessment and bath in the room with you.
All mother-baby unit rooms are private and include:
- Adjustable patient bed with call light
- A pull-out bed for partner or support person
- Wireless monitoring
- Large windows
- Private bathroom with a shower, towels and personal hygiene products such as soap and pads
Our lactation specialists visit the maternity unit daily and will provide you with information and support. All our mother-baby registered nurses (RNs) have received lactation training and are ready to assist as well. Both hospitals follow the recommendations for successful breastfeeding, and our Los Gatos campus is designated by Baby-Friendly USA as a Baby-Friendly Hospital.
Preregister for Your Delivery
Preregistering with El Camino Health before you give birth helps ensure a smooth check-in when the time comes. We recommend you register at about 22 weeks gestation. That way, we will already have your information on file and can admit you quickly.
Neonatal Intensive Care Units
Most births go as planned, and most babies go home with their families within days. But El Camino Health is ready for the unexpected with neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) on both of our campuses. Our NICU neonatologists, nurses and interdisciplinary team provide care around the clock for babies with special care needs.
At both our Mountain View and Los Gatos campuses, we provide an environment that promotes bonding throughout your baby's NICU stay. A NICU team, including a neonatologist, NICU nurse and respiratory therapist may attend your delivery. If your baby needs extra care, the NICU team will bring the baby to the NICU for assessment and possible admission.
We encourage and support skin-to-skin care in the NICU as soon as possible. Our team, including lactation consultants, can help you take steps to develop a milk supply, do early hand expression and breastfeed when possible.
Level III NICU in Mountain View
In collaboration with Stanford Medicine, our Mountain View NICU provides a full range of support using the latest medical technology for babies born at 23 or more weeks gestation. The Mountain View NICU’s high-quality, family-centered care helped our team win the top-quality award for 2021 from the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative.
Level II NICU in Los Gatos
Our Level II nursery in Los Gatos provides comprehensive care for babies with intermediate neonatal care needs (not requiring invasive breathing treatments or surgery). The nursery staff and neonatology team provide excellent family-centered care with frequent updates and daily discussions about the plan of care and your baby’s progress.
Take a Class
Now is the perfect time to learn more about what to expect and how to prepare for your baby. El Camino Health offers classes on childbirth preparation, baby care, breastfeeding, infant safety and other topics. Our prenatal classes are taught by experienced labor and delivery nurses who have special certifications in their fields. Free breastfeeding support groups and Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants are available to provide support once you go home.
Please note that all classes are currently being held over Zoom due to COVID-19.
Create a Birth Plan
A birth plan is just what it sounds like — a list of your choices and wishes for during and after childbirth. Creating one can help you consider and communicate whether you'd like pain medication, how you plan to feed your baby and other preferences. You can use our birth plan template to get started.
We welcome privately contracted doulas to attend your delivery. Your doula is considered part of your care team, so they will not take the place of your one designated support person. Doulas will need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, including booster, and pass COVID screening upon entry in order to be allowed to accompany you during Labor and Delivery. They will not be permitted to attend labor and delivery of patients who are COVID-19 positive. Please read our FAQs for more information about doulas and the requirements for them during COVID-19.