Maternity Services | Mission Hospital |Mission Viejo, CA

Natural Childbirth, in the Safety of an In-Hospital Birth Center 

If you want to bring your baby into the world naturally, Mission Hospital offers the best of both worlds. Our in-hospital midwifery birth center — one of only two in Southern California — offers natural childbirth in a home-like setting within the safety of a specialty hospital. We’ll honor your decision to have an unmedicated birth, but if you change your mind or certain circumstances arise, we can provide pain management and other services. For women with low-risk pregnancies, this means you can have the natural, home-like experience that you want, with the benefit of immediate access to modern safety measures if they become necessary. 

In your private suite at the Mission Hospital Birth Center, your midwife — and a doula, if you like — will support you through this very natural process. If any issues arise, rest assured that Mission’s OBs, nurses, laborists, anesthesiologists, perinatologists and Level 3 Neonatal ICU services are on hand 24/7 for full medical support. And for babies who need specialized attention, CHOC Children’s at Mission is right inside our hospital. 


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About our midwives

Mission Hospital is proud to collaborate with the midwives of Mission Heritage OB/GYN to offer comprehensive care for women, from preconception and family planning to prenatal care, delivery, postpartum care and well-woman care. These highly trained certified nurse midwives (CNMs) are licensed through the Board of Registered Nursing and certified through the American Midwifery Certification Board. Most also hold master’s degrees in nurse midwifery and women’s health.  

Meet our midwives

How your midwife supports you

The word midwife means “with woman.” Your midwife will be with you throughout your pregnancy, delivery and early parenthood to provide trusted guidance, encouragement and support. Some of the ways we help, specifically, include:

  • Assisting you to develop a birth plan that reflects your personal wishes 
  • Discussing both holistic and medical approaches to the discomforts of pregnancy
  • Helping you prepare emotionally, mentally and physically for pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum changes
  • Referring you to childbirth and breastfeeding education resources

Our goal is for you to feel confident, prepared, well-supported and cared for during this intimate experience. It’s our privilege to walk it with you.

All the comforts of home, naturally

The midwifery suites in our birth center are comfortable, homelike spaces designed exclusively for natural childbirth. Our spacious, family-friendly rooms include:

  • Queen-size beds
  • Hydrotherapy showers and tubs
  • Birth stools and birth balls
  • Soothing amenities such as music, aromatherapy, LED candles and massage
  • Nitrous oxide as a pain-management option
  • Support from nurses who specialize in working with midwifery patients and doulas

Our four midwifery suites are set apart from our traditional labor and delivery area to maintain a natural, homelike environment. While medical interventions such as epidurals and Pitocin (a labor inducer) are not used in the midwifery suites, a transfer to labor and delivery can happen in moments if new needs arise. Your midwife will stay by your side and continue to support you.


Additional support

Whether you choose a midwifery suite in our birth center or traditional labor and delivery, you have the full support of Mission Hospital behind you, including:

  • Comprehensive care, from preconception and family planning to prenatal and postpartum care, well-woman care, and treatment for minor gynecological issues
  • Extended appointment times
  • Shared decision-making between you and your providers
  • Clear education and communication
  • Referrals to in-house specialists and community resources
  • Collaborative, supportive back-up physicians on call and available when needed
  • Laborists and anesthesiologists on site 24/7
  • Co-management with highly skilled obstetricians for higher-risk patients
  • Support for vaginal births after caesareans (VBAC)
  • A Perinatal Nurse Navigator is available to help all patients, whether midwife or OB attended, in preparation for your delivery at Mission Hospital (including preadmission). 

Should you call the midwife?

If you are expecting a low-risk birth, the decision is entirely up to you. Doctors and nurse midwives have the same goals — a healthy mom and baby — but their approach is different. The Midwifery model of care is more holistic. We view the mother/baby as inseparable, and thus, individualize care with the guidance of evidence-based information. We view labor as normal and honor this, but also appropriately intervene, consult, collaborate and refer as needed to our OB experts and other healthcare professionals. Mission Hospital offers safe options and we’re here to support your choices. We look forward to helping you welcome your little one to the world.

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