santa cruz pregnancy and birth

It’s not just newborns entering a brave new world—their parents are too. And they are faced with all kinds of questions as they take on their biggest adventure. Where can I get breastfeeding advice? What do I do about vaccines? Can I find a quality day care? What about kids’ teeth? What kind of classes can we take together? Does playing music in the womb really help? Is a two-month-old ready to start applying to Ivy League colleges? We can’t answer all of them, but our local providers sure can help. Our focus in the yearly Pregnancy & Birth Guide is to hook you up with professionals who can help guide you along the best path for your children’s and your future. Luckily, we have many great providers in Santa Cruz County who will help your kids grow up.


Alison K. Jackson, DDS 
Children’s Dentistry
7545 Soquel Dr, Aptos
It’s time for a dental check-up when your child has a first tooth or first birthday. We are preventive-dentistry oriented and very thorough in our evaluations and consultations. We provide comprehensive dentistry in a caring environment for children of all ages.  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.

Dientes Community Dental Care
Mid-County: 1830 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz
Beach Flats: 302 Riverside Ave, Santa Cruz
Watsonville:  1430 Freedom Blvd., Suite C, Watsonville
Dientes Community Dental Care is a full-service dental clinic located in mid-Santa Cruz County. We practice whole family dentistry including kids, adults, and seniors; but children hold a special place in our heart–half of our patients are kids seen by our experienced pediatric dentists. As a non-profit dental clinic, our focus is on high-quality, low-cost dental services, including exams, x-rays, fillings, sealants and root canals. We accept Medi-Cal and we have affordable sliding scale fees for uninsured patients. Dientes is open 6 days a week. We offer bi-lingual services. Se habla Español! Dientes, providing dignity through dentistry for nearly 30 years.

Birth Preparations & Resources

Birth Network of Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz
We provide parents and professionals with information, education, and advocacy for safe, empowering, joyful birth. Visit for an extensive listing of pregnancy, birth and postpartum related service providers. Learn about the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative and become a more informed healthcare consumer. Find registration information on our Upcoming Events webpage for Meet the Doulas and other virtual events. Due to COVID19 recommendations, events such as Bellies, Birth & Babies will be delayed until in-person events are safe. Keep in touch with our local birth and parenting community with Birth Network Santa Cruz on Facebook and Instagram. 

Dominican Hospital Birth Center 
1555 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95065
Dominican Hospital offers advanced maternity care options combined with the comforts of home. Our Birth Center provides a welcoming environment for families and is committed to a positive birth experience. We are a certified Baby-Friendly® hospital, which means we offer comprehensive lactation support, and your baby will remain by your side throughout your stay. Families can rest assured if their newborn needs extra attention, Dominican offers the highest level of care available in the area through a partnership with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital – a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staffed by Stanford neonatologists and NICU-certified nurses

Early Head Start – Encompass Community Services 
The prenatal months and the first three years of life are periods of incredible growth in all areas of a baby’s development. Parents too, experience this exhilarating growth as they get to know their baby. Early Head Start’s prenatal, post-partum, childbirth, early education, and comprehensive services are designed to help you and your family get off to a good start and establish healthy patterns for life-long learning. We partner with you to support your caregiving goals to help your family thrive. Bilingual, telehealth, in-person, and at-home support services available. Contact us for eligibility information or to enroll: 831.688.3802.

Katie Williams, RN, IBCLC
(916) 868-4268
katiew[email protected]
Katie Williams is a local Mom, Nurse, and Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She is passionate about helping all families meet their feeding needs, and strives to provide compassionate, empathetic care and education to each of her clients. Katie is available for in-home/office/skype visits. Please visit her website for more information.

Live Oak Acupuncture & Healing Arts
6892 Soquel Ave, Suite B, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Acupuncture is a powerful relaxation tool to have during pregnancy and birth prep. It is more than just needles; it is a reminder to slow down, be present in your body, show up to whatever pathways your labor and birth take and in this process, to connect with your resilience. 

Nursing Mothers Counsel
831.688.3954 (Santa Cruz)
650.327-6455 (Bay Area)
Nursing Mothers Counsel, Inc. is a non-affiliated, non-profit organization whose goal is to help mothers and their babies enjoy a relaxed and happy feeding relationship. Our help is provided by telephone, text, Zoom, email, Facebook, FaceTime, and in-home visits. We provide hospital-grade breast pump rentals and grants. NMC services are provided without fee or obligation. Counselors are available from 9:00am – 9:00pm. If you would like to become a certified breastfeeding counselor please register for our trainings. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.

Pregnancy Resource Center of Santa Cruz County
1570 Soquel Dr. Ste 3, Santa Cruz 95065 
138-B Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 95060
55 Brennan St. Room 201, Watsonville, 95076
831-475-2200, 831-454-8481, 831-726-0011
PRC provides the capable healthcare women deserve in a nurturing environment. We offer comprehensive medical services and highly qualified counselors to assist you, regardless of your ability to pay. We offer medical services, counseling support, legal information, material assistance (baby clothes, maternity clothes and baby furniture), prenatal care, well-woman care and STD/STI testing and treatment. We take Medi-Cal and cash pay clients. All services are confidential. USE


Beth Lilienthal
Postpartum doula care for the whole family. Being able to bridge 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 also committed to continuing my 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.

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

REDYPER (Formally EarthBaby):
The World’s First Compostable Diaper Service
(650) 641-0975
[email protected]
REDYPER (formally EarthBaby) is the World’s First Compostable Diaper Service! REDYPER delivers fresh new compostable diapers and wipes right to your doorstep.  Soiled diapers are collected weekly, professionally composted, and turned into nutrient-rich topsoil in just 14-16 weeks. Did you know that the average baby will go through 5,500 diapers? Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest contributor to US landfill sites. By using REDYPER, you can enjoy the convenience of disposable diapers without the negative environmental impact. Sign up new and expecting parents within our delivery zone and they will receive 1 pack of compostable diapers, 1 pack of compostable wipes, and 1 month of REDYPER delivery. Pick up, and composting service for FREE! Use code ‘GROWINGUPINSC’ at 

Sports, Play & Fun

adventure sports unlimitedAdventure Sports Unlimited
303 Potrero St, Suite 15
Santa Cruz, CA
Adventure Sports Swim Babies
Swim Babies at Adventure Sports is a parent/infant class for swimmers aged 4 months to 2.5 years. We use subtle and comfortable techniques to introduce your little one to the wonders of water. Classes run from January to December in our 90^ pool 4 times per week. Come play with us!

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 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!

June Bug's Gym Santa CruzJunebug’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. Every Monday and Wednesday from 12:15-1:15

Music Together/MusicalMe, Inc.
Locations throughout Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County
Call/Text: 831-332-9002
[email protected]
In our Music Together Babies class (0 – 8 months), you’ll learn a lot of fun musical activities for babies. You’ll also learn to recognize which of your baby’s behaviors are musical so that you can support their development at the time when your baby’s brain is at its most receptive. The Babies class has other benefits, too! Singing and dancing with your baby is a beautiful way for the two of you to bond. And making music with other parents of newborns is a great way to make new friends in your community who are as sleep-deprived as you. Join us outdoors!

Wonderland Toys & Classroom Resources
19B Rancho Del Mar, Aptos
(831) 316-7261
[email protected]
instagram: @wonderland_santa_cruz
Wonderland Toys & Classroom Resources is now next to Safeway off State Park in Aptos!  We have a WONDERful selection of developmentally appropriate baby toys and learning materials, including clutching toys, silicone teethers, bibs, soft lovies, shape sorters, push & pull toys, bath toys, pacifier friends, swaddle blankets, rattles, and more!  Thanks for shopping at our local, family-owned shop!