Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center is located at 2900 Chanticleer Ave in Santa Cruz, California, right across the street from Dominican Hospital. Some people (myself included) have mistaken Sutter for a freestanding birth center. We do not have any freestanding birth centers on the central coast. A freestanding birth center, like Sutter, employs both midwifes and sometimes obstetricians, but do not offer epidural or narcotic pain relief and do not do cesarean sections like Sutter does. Sutter, however, still may be a good choice for couples planning an unmedicated birth and prefer a less hospital like environment.
From Sutter's website:
"We have both doctors and midwives on staff, which means you have a choice in your obstetrical care. We have 12 birthing suites to accommodate you before, during and after your baby is born. Some of our suites include an in-room Jacuzzi. For suites without an in-room Jacuzzi, a private one is available."
Sutter is supportive of women who choose to birth vaginally after having a cesarean (VBAC). Out of the total of 978 births at Sutter in 2012, 23.5% of the births were by cesarean section, (www.cesareanrates.com). Though this rate is below the state average of 33.2% and lower than all of the Monterey County hospitals, it is above the World Health Organization's recommendation of 10-15%. Sutter is a non-profit hospital, "a California survey found that women were 17% more likely to have a cesarean at a for-profit hospital than a non-profit" (Optimal Care in Childbirth by Henci Goer).
Sutter is certified as Baby-Friendly, meaning they utilize evidence-based practices in the postpartum such as immediate skin to skin, support in breastfeeding, and rooming in.
An expecting Monterey mom shared her thoughts and a couple pictures from her tour:
"The rooms are huge, bright and sunny, with a balcony you can walk out on (Dominican has patios but they don't let you out on them for security reasons)."
"And half of their rooms have the jacuzzi tub in them. The other half have only the shower, but there's a separate tub room those rooms can share. My pic doesn't show it, but they even have fake candles to make a soothing environment.
"They have a nutrition closet where you can grab drinks and snacks any time, plus you can order food from their cafe 24/7.
And another Monterey County mom shares her birth experience:
Hands down Sutter Maternity was amazing. We toured CHOMP, Dominican, and Sutter and immediately knew where we were going.
You can read more reviews of Sutter on yelp, here are a few excerpts:
"If you want to have a low-intervention or non-medicated childbirth, this is the place. It's the best of both worlds. Although I had a natural childbirth, I was glad the technology was there when we needed it, because my son had some heart rate issues during delivery."
"I do not care where you live....if you are pregnant...and you want an amazing birth experience.... GO TO SUTTER MATERNITY!"
"Giving birth here was like being a VIP, staying in a 5-star resort hotel. The nurses were so amazing and the chef downstairs whipped up gourmet meals daily."
"Staff was AMAZING. With my first child, I had a nurse by my side for 24 hours, literally. One nurse spent the night by my bedside (Due to some complications, but where else can you say you get your own private nurse?)"
Learn more about local hospitals and read reviews from local women:
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula
Natividad Medical Center
Salinas Valley Memorial
Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center
You can view and download a chart comparing hospital options and amenities here.
Did you give birth at Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center? Please share your experience in the comments below!
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Natural Birth Series
Sept 28 – Nov 15
Infant Sleep for Expecting & New Parents
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Gentle Cesarean: Planning & Recovery
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