Bay Area Hospital Foundations
Dignity Health/UCSF Health Partnership
End of Life Option Act
Mission, Vision, and Values
The term natural birth is often used to refer to the process of going through labor and birth without the use of pain medication or other medical interventions.
At Dignity Health, we want you to have the birth experience you’ve imagined. If you are interested in natural childbirth in the Bay Area, Find a Doctor to learn more about your options.
As you create your birth plan, we invite you to take a free tour of our birth center at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz and birth center orientation class at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City.
Reasons a woman may choose natural childbirth include:
Labor is usually divided into three stages. This first stage of labor is further divided into three phases:
The second stage of labor is the pushing phase. Without pain medication, women often experience an irresistible desire to push and a strong burning sensation as the baby’s head stretches the vaginal opening. There is a sense of relief as the baby’s head exits, and the rest of the infant’s body follows.
The third stage of labor lasts from the baby’s birth until the delivery of the placenta. You will likely be preoccupied with your newborn baby during this time, although you will still have contractions.
Your childbirth team at Dignity Health will support you at every stage of labor and delivery. Pain relief options commonly used during natural childbirth include:
Recovery after birth is different for every new mom. Some women feel great within hours of giving birth, while others take weeks to regain their strength and stamina.
If the tissue between your vagina and anus, or perineum, tore during delivery, you may feel sore for a few weeks after birth. Your doctor will discuss postpartum pain relief and recovery with you.
Talk to your Dignity Health doctor today about your options for natural birth in the Bay Area.