santa cruz pregnancy and birth

Pregnancy & Birth Guide

santa cruz pregnancy and birth

Birth Preparation and Resources

Birth Network of Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz

Beth Lilienthal

Postpartum doula care for the whole family. Being able to bridge the time of pregnancy with parenthood is key to developing love in the home; this love spreads both into the family and the greater community. Trained as an infant care specialist, I help families transition comfortably into parenthood, during the first few days, weeks and months. I am passionate about my chosen field and I am involved in our local birth worker community. I am also committed to continuing education. This allows me to offer a variety of resources to you and your family. I am certified through Doulas of North America (DONA) in postpartum care.

Breastfeeding and Lactation Support
La Leche League

Do you need help with a breastfeeding question? La Leche League has many sources of breastfeeding information. All women interested in breastfeeding are encouraged to attend group meetings and babies are always welcome. La Leche League Leaders are experienced mothers who have breastfed their own babies and who have been trained and accredited by La Leche League International to help mothers and mothers-to-be with all aspects of breastfeeding. If you would like breastfeeding help, please contact La Leche League.

Financial Assistance
Medi-Cal Access Program (MCAP)

You have a baby on the way! The State of California wants to help you get good health care during your pregnancy. Going without prenatal care can cause many problems for you and your baby. Studies show that women who do not get prenatal care often have more complicated (and expensive) births. If you don’t have insurance to cover your pregnancy and you are not receiving no-cost Medi-Cal or Medicare Part A and Part B, the Medi-Cal Access Program (MCAP) may be the helping hand you and your baby need. MCAP can also help if you have other health insurance that doesn’t cover maternity services or with a maternity-only deductible or co-payment greater than $500. Check with your other health insurance plan to see if your deductible or co-payment is for maternity-only services.

Mothers’ Milk Bank
Valley Medical Center, San Jose

Mothers’ Milk Bank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tissue bank providing safe and processed breast milk for babies and others who are under the care of a health care professional. This organization, known as the San Jose Mothers’ Milk Bank, was established in 1974 in San Jose, California to collect excess breast milk from volunteer breastfeeding mothers, store the breast milk for optimal nutritional value, process the breast milk to remove viruses and bacteria that may cause illness and distribute donor human milk to hospitals and families. As a charter member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), our standards of processing donated breast milk is the basis of operation for milk banking organizations.

Nursing Mothers Counsel 

“Our goal is to help mothers and their babies enjoy a relaxed and happy feeding relationship.”

Our help is provided by telephone, text, email, Facebook and in-home visits.

“NMC services are provided without fee or obligation.” 

Peanuts and Parents – Birth Photography and Doula Services

Cristy Solomon is a student midwife offering birth photography and experienced doula support to all families, encouraging them to empower themselves throughout the childbearing year. 

Pregnancy Resource Center of Santa Cruz County
1570 Soquel Dr. Ste 3, Santa Cruz 95065
138-B Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz 95060
831.475.2200 or 831-454-8481

Trusted by women for over 36 years, Pregnancy Resource Center provides competent and compassionate medical care. Our services include pregnancy options, pregnancy tests, ultrasound, nurse consultations, counseling, prenatal care, perinatal education, social service education, material assistance, referrals for housing, legal assistance and other community resources. Presumptive Eligibility and Medi-Cal provider. Hablamos Espanol

New Parent Support and Services

Child Care Information and Referral Switchboard
Watsonville: 831.724.2997 x210
Santa Cruz: 831.466.5820

The Child Development Resource Center operates the Child Care Switchboard which offers families referrals and information about early education and afterschool programs in our community. This information helps families make informed choices based on child and family needs. CDRC provides opportunities for program directors, teachers, aides, and family child care providers to attend research-based workshops on pre-kindergarten skill development in literacy, mathematics, science, child assessment, working with children with special needs, and infant/toddler care giving.

Children’s Dentistry
7545 Soquel Dr, Aptos

We provide comprehensive dentistry in a caring environment for children of all ages. We are preventive-dentistry oriented and very thorough in our evaluations and consultations. We have a pediatric anesthesiologist on our premises and are able to treat special, challenging children safely and comfortably under a general anesthesia. We have a 24-hour emergency service available for all of our patients.

First 5 Santa Cruz County

First 5 Santa Cruz County promotes the healthy development of children from birth to age 5. Parents and caregivers of newborns can contact First 5 to receive a free “Kit for New Parents” with parenting videos, children’s books, information on caring for babies and local resources. First 5 also offers parenting support through the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, a world-renowned program that strengthens families by building positive relationships. To find Triple P classes or quick tips, visit or

Monarch Services
24-Hour Bilingual Crisis Line

Offers immediate crisis response to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault through a 24-hour crisis line, including emergency response to law enforcement or medical facilities, and accompaniment to forensic rape examinations. Support services include emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault and their children, peer counseling, advocacy, information, referrals, drop-in support groups, and assistance with restraining order applications.

Parents Center of Santa Cruz and Watsonville
Santa Cruz-831.426.7322 (24-hr)
Watsonville-831.724.2879 24-hr

Professional counseling for parents and families. Parent support groups, parenting skill classes, education and counseling for prevention of child abuse and strengthening of families.

Perinatal Mental Health Task Force in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz has recently convened a new Perinatal Mental Health Task Force. Our goal is to raise community awareness of prenatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and expand resources and support systems for new mothers and families in our community. The task force is open to professionals working with new families and to community members with interest in perinatal wellness. We meet bimonthly at Sutter Hospital. For more information please contact: Nancy Diehl PHN.

Mount Madonna Institute
445 Summit Road
Watsonville, CA 95076

Pacific Cultural Center
1307 Seabright Ave Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Wednesdays 12 pm Prenatal Yoga (all trimesters) Wednesdays 10 am Postnatal Yoga (Mama + Baby) at Pacific Cultural Center  AND Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training annually at

Mount Madonna Center

Supportive sanctuary for mothers to move, breathe and connect with others navigating motherhood.  No experience necessary. Prenatal classes welcome to women throughout all trimesters. Postnatal classes for mothers and their infants, 6-weeks to crawling.  Led by Hannah Muse, certified Prenatal yoga teacher, mindfulness coach, doula and mother. Known for her depth of k and hcompassionate way of holding space for all mothers, regardless of their story or circumstance, Hannah has been voted best yoga teacher in Santa Cruz for several years.  She leads the the Prenatal+Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training at Mount Madonna:institut December 4-8, 2019 for Level 1.

Sports, Play and Fun

Adventure Sports Unlimited
303 Potrero St, Suite 15
Santa Cruz, CA
Adventure Sports Swim Babies

Adventure Sports Unlimited

Swim Babies Adventure Sports Unlimited (ASU) welcomes the youngest swimmers, ages 4 months to 3 years, to our Swim Babies – parent/infant swim class. The best way to comfortably introduce a young child to water is at their own pace. Our Swim Babies classes are designed so the parent is the direct instructor to their child while an ASU instructor moves between parent-child pairs. The Swim Babies have exclusive access to our 90-degree pool. The Swim Babies is offered throughout the swim year from January to December on Saturday and Sundays, and seasonally on Tuesday/Thursday.

Jim Booth Swim School
Harvey West pool in Santa Cruz and Watsonville

Be a water wonder! From our Little Otters swim class for parents and their babies to Aquaphobics, our adult beginner class, the whole family splashes together at Jim Booth swim school. Little Otters is a gentle introduction to our 94-degree pools that will make you confident that you are guiding your infant to a happy water experience. Our group lessons emphasize quality swimming in an exciting class taught by our caring, well-qualified teachers. The whole family can swim at Jim Booth Swim School!

Junebug’s Gym
831.464.BUGS (2847)
3910 Portola Dr., Stes. 2 & 3, Santa Cruz

Did you know? Activities for babies and toddlers that stimulate balance, movement, and core strength activate the brain for higher learning concepts and lead to later success in school. Join us at June Bug’s Gym for Inchworms — our baby development classes — for crawlers to wobbly walkers.

Music Together/MusicalMe, Inc.
Locations throughout Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County
Call 831.438.3514 / Text 831.332.9002

Discover your family’s rhythm! Make music an exciting & enriching part of your child’s life. In our weekly classes, babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and the grownups who love them come together for 45 minutes of fun-filled, learning-filled, bonding-filled family time. You’ll have so much fun singing, dancing, playing, and laughing that you may not realize just how much learning is taking place.

We can help your child grow into a confident music-maker while also tapping into all the developmental benefits that music brings. As you discover fun ways to play with music and rhythms both & out of class, you’ll be supporting your child’s music-learning and overall development. Classes are offered throughout the year, with a new song collection each season.

Contact us today and bring the joy of music into your family’s life.

Santa Cruz Gymnastics Center
2750 B Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz

We at Santa Cruz Gymnastics Center understand how important physical movement is to develop a healthy brain in children. Healthy brain development leads to proficiency in learning and overall confidence to lead a successful life and begins at birth. Our Kinderstars program is carefully designed to guide parents and their young children 1 – 3yrs of age through meaningful movement experiences. Each class offers a wide range of sensory integration activities through the usage of our gymnastics equipment and props such as trampolines, balance beams, parallel bars, ladders, slides, a huge foam pit, bubbles, tunnels, balls, hoops, ribbons, scarves and much more! Music and movement are incorporated to ensure a well-rounded experience. Check out our website to see what’s available for your young toddler today.

Tender Blossoms Preschool and Daycare
116 Trescony Street, Santa Cruz 95060
(831) 239-0117
[email protected]
Lic# 444414540

A mixed-age, play-based program on the west side of Santa Cruz, with infant and toddler care for ages six months to two years, and a hybrid Waldorf inspired, nature-based Preschool curriculum.  Organic meals provided, full or part-time. Private tours offered weekly. 

Wonderland Toys & Classroom Resources
(831) 316-7261
4101-B2 Soquel Dr (at 41st and Soquel)
[email protected]

Wonderland Toys & Classroom Resources has a wonderful selection of developmentally-appropriate baby toys and learning materials, including: clutching toys, silicone teethers, amber necklaces, soft lovies, shape sorters, push and pull toys, bath toys, pacifier friends, swaddle blankets, rattles and more!  Thanks for shopping at our local, family-owned shop!

GUiSC does not endorse or recommend any business or service listed in this guide. Some listings were provided by the business or service. Please consult your own practitioner in making medical and birth decisions. GUiSC assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Please call the individual listing for accuracy. This guide does not represent all of the pregnancy and birth resources in Santa Cruz County. Please email us at  [email protected] if there is a business or service that you feel should be in next year’s guide.