Frequently Asked Questions
Are there videos I can watch?
There are many videos available online and on DVDs.
Lamaze Healthy Birth Your Way Videos offer a series of 6 short online videos that are very informative.
The Business of Being Born available from netflix offers information on many issues facing maternity care today.
The Essential Ingredient: Doula From Doulas of North America
More to come
What are some of the current birth statistics for Santa Cruz County? (including cesarean and vaginal birth after cesarean rates)
The full report can be viewed here.
In 2015, there were 2,833 live births among mothers who reside in Santa Cruz County, which is 236 more births than in 2014.
The World Health Organization says hospitals that do not take high-risk patients should have a total cesarean rate of not more than 10% and in hospitals dealing with higher-risk patients the cesarean rate should not be more than 15%.
2011 Cesarean Rates:
Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center (lower-risk patients) = 21%
(primary c/s 13% + repeat c/s 8%)
(primary c/s for only low risk women = 11.5%)
Dominican Hospital (low & high risk patients) = 30%
(primary c/s 18% + repeat c/s 12%)
(primary c/s for only low risk women = 12.9%)
Watsonville Hospital (low & high risk patients) = 36%
(primary c/s 17% + repeat c/s 19%)
(primary c/s for only low risk women = 18.5%)
With studies showing successful Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) rates in the 80-90% range. Santa Cruz County reported 437 repeat c/s and only 71 VBACs. Sutter lead the way with 35 VBACs, Dominican 18 and Watsonville 11 . While these VBAC rates are very low, some communities have no availability of VBAC in their communities.
This information is based on Birth Certificate data provided by the county. This information does not indicate which or how many doctors are responsible for successful VBAC births. There are some practices that do not do any VBACs and others that may specialize in VBAC.
About Birth Network - What We Do
Birth Network of Santa Cruz County, founded in 1998, is proud to be the first nonprofit 501
Birth Network offers:
Birth Network of Santa Cruz County works in various capacities as a catalyst for new projects in the community, such as helping to gather research, and report on the care that women and families in Santa Cruz County receive during the childbearing year.
We want to help you stay informed about Issues of interest:
Birth Network strives to offers accurate, independent information on a variety of topics. Many parents are surprised to learn that much of the routine care pregnant and birthing women receive in the United States is based more on convention than research. Hospitals, obstetricians, insurance companies, even your mother and your best friend, all have ideas about how you should give birth. Take some time to explore your options in: choice of place of birth, who will provide your care, pain relief in labor, common procedures including epidurals, episiotomy and other interventions.
Birth Network wants to help you stay informed about Issues of interest including:
What should I know about Birth Network of Santa Cruz County membership?
Become a Professional Member of Birth Network - You will support our work, make your services more visible to pregnant and postpartum families, and become a part of the Santa Cruz County birth community.
Birth Network of Santa Cruz County is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. Our hard working Board of Directors is all-volunteer. Every bit of support, large and small, go to support out work.
All Memberships run from Oct 1 to Sept 30 (there are no prorated membership fees for mid-year memberships)
Professional Memberships are $50 per year.
Even if you are not a birth-related service provider, Birth Network encourages you to endorse the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative and make a tax deductible donation.
You might like to give a donation in honor of:
What books do you recommend?
These are just a few!
Click to shop at Bookshop Santa Cruz" Bookshop Santa Cruz and a portion of your purchases will go to Birth Network!
Where can I find out about specific doctors, midwives or hospitals?
The Birth Survey provides information collected from women's experiences about specific care providers. You can search for information about your Santa Cruz County care provider before birth, and fill out a survey after birth to help keep the information current. If you have given birth within the last 3 years you may fill out the survey.
This includes information on women's experience in our county's hospitals.
What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
A midwife (whether providing care at home or in the hospital) is a primary care provider with a responsibility for the health and safety of the mother and baby during the prenatal care and labor, birth and postpartum.
A birth doula provides physical and emotional support, as well as education and information to a laboring woman and her partner. Prenatal and postpartum care may also be part of a birth doula's care.
A postpartum doula provides care to a family after childbirth to help with the transition to parenthood.
Meet midwives and doulas at Bellies, Birth & Babies Expo
Is there a Birth Center in Santa Cruz County?
Dominican Hospital's "Family Birthing Center," Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center's "Maternity Center," and Watsonville Community Hospital's, "the Birth Place" may sound like Birth Centers, but none are free-standing birth centers. They are hospitals.
At this time, in Santa Cruz County women have the choice of home and hospital births only . Choosing a place of birth.
What are some of the local and national issues parents should know about?
The local and national issues around birth and parenting are ever-changing. As a parent or parent-to-be it can be helpful to know that certain issues may be more "hot-button" than others. There are medical and political issues that are considered controversial. You may want to do some further exploration on the web or within the community to find answers to questions that concern you. Join Birth Network of Santa Cruz County on Facebook to get connected with current issues.
Why aren't there midwives at all three Santa Cruz County hospitals?
Why don't all OB offices offer midwifery care, too?
Why is the cesarean rate so high?
Why is it so hard to plan for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)?
Are there political issues facing homebirth midwives and the families who want homebirth?
Why does the USA have such bad maternal mortality rates?
Why does the USA have such bad infant mortality rates?
Why can't I have a waterbirth in the hospital in Santa Cruz County?
Why isn't there a freestanding birth center in Santa Cruz County?
Will my insurance pay for homebirth?
Will my insurance pay for a doula?
Why do some care providers not want me to have a doula?
Why do some care providers want to induce me at 40 weeks?
How do I start a Birth Network in my area?
Birth Network of Santa Cruz County is an independent, nonprofit organization, developed around the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI). The MFCI is the backbone upon which all Birth Networks are built. Don't neglect to utilize this document, as well as the resources available through the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) and Lamaze International.
Is there already a birth network near you?
If there is not a birth network nearby, begin networking with other local birth workers. Meet with doulas, midwives, childbirth educators, parent activists and others to discuss your community's needs. Work together to make resources available to pregnant families as you encourage local birth workers to endorse the MFCI.
> Lamaze support for Birth Networks provides information on starting a birth network, locating birth networks nationwide and mini-grant to help start your own birth network.
Birth Network of Santa Cruz County is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization and was the very first birth network to to organize around the MFCI. Now there are hundreds of other birth networks world-wide. You may choose to have an independent organization or to be part of Birth Network National, which has a program to enable other birth networks to join their national umbrella organization.
Let us know how things work out!
Detailed instructions to renew membership online or update your online listing.
~ You will need to log-in to your account to renew your membership. Click the "Log in" box at the top, right-hand side of Birth Network's Home Page and use your email address and password to sign in
~ Your log-in email is the one that your professional member newsletter recently came to.
~ If you have forgotten your password, just click the "forgot password?" link, then check your inbox for an email from email@example.com with instructions on how to reset your password.
~ Choose "Renew Membership" from the menu.
~ Follow the directions to renew your membership. You may use your PayPal account if you have one, or check-out with a credit card. (You will also be offered an option to send in a check. Please only use this option if you have to, online payment is best for us and your membership renewal will not be considered complete until your check is received by Birth Network. If you are renewing on a close membership deadline, paying by check in the mail could cause you to miss the deadline.)
Be sure to go back (you may need to log in again) and review your listing information as this is where information for the printed guide will come from.
How to Manage & Update Your Profile (Online Listing):
· Click the Log in box at the top, right-hand side of Birth Network's Home Page and use your email address and password to sign in,
· Click "Update Profile" This will take you to your membership information. Make any corrections to this information or add any additional information.
· Note that initials/credentials can be added to your name in the Professional Listing area.(public will see this section)
· Be sure to check how your listing appears on the local providers page once you have updated it. (If it looks the same you might need to click the refresh button on your browser.)
· If your listing doesn't appear or you have any other problems, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT - If you are having problems:
~ Be sure you are at birthnet.org (not birthnetwork)
~ Use copy and paste to enter your password and email address when logging in