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Pregnancy & Birth Guide


Birth Preparation & Resources


Birth Network of Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz



Providing information, education and advocacy for safe, empowering, joyful birth. Visit our website for an extensive listing of “Mother-Friendly,” pregnancy, birth and postpartum related service providers and find out how to become an informed healthcare consumer! Visit Birth Network’s upcoming events page to register for events, such as, Bellies, Birth & Babies and bimonthly Meet the Doulas. Sign up for our newsletter on line and look for us on Facebook.


Birth Santa Cruz


Get the 4-1-1 on Birth in the 8-3-1. There is so much to prepare for and so much to know about the community you plan to birth in. Local trends in birth can affect how you plan for and give birth. Some trends will play a HUGE part in birth outcomes. Birth Santa Cruz provides information on local birth trends and statistics for women to consider while preparing for the most amazing and magnificent work of their lives.... giving birth.


Dominican Hospital

1555 Soquel Dr, Santa Cruz




Laura Maxson, LM, CPM

Licensed Midwife, Homebirth Midwifery Care



Schedule a complementary interview to explore the possibility of homebirth. Offering comprehensive midwifery care, including prenatal visits, home labor and birth, and postpartum home care. Call now to enjoy the unique pace of homebirth midwifery. Heated birthtubs available. Insurance billing. Lactation support home visits (specializing in latch-on in the first weeks) available by appointment. See website for more information.


Pregnancy Resource Center of Santa Cruz County

1570 Soquel Dr. Ste 3, Santa Cruz



Pregnancy Resource Center Medical Clinic has been serving the Santa Cruz community for over 30 years, providing accurate, competent, compassionate and FREE medical care. Our comprehensive services provide women, families and youth in our community with counseling and supportive programs for pregnancies, classes, education and much more.


Salud Para La Gente

204 East Beach St, Watsonville


Salud’s clinics offer both pregnancy care management and women’s gynecological services. In addition, Salud participates in California’s Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP) to provide education, psychosocial and nutritional assessments and referrals to the WIC program. (Women, Infants and Children) for pregnant women receiving Medi-Cal assistance. Through CPSP Salud also provides baby and child equipment for new mothers.


Fertility & Adoption Information


Human Services Department County of Santa Cruz





Path2Parenthood (P2P), a 501 (c)(3) national nonprofit organization, is a lifetime resource for infertility prevention, reproductive health and family building. P2P services and materials are provided free of charge to consumers and are available to everyone without reservation. These services include leading-edge educational outreach events, an extensive online library with HD videos, a daily blog, a resource directory available for download on mobile devices, telephone and in-person coaching, and a toll-free support line: 888-917-3777.


Pediatric & Post Partum Care


Dominican Medical Foundation:

Dignity Health Medical Group – Dominican Pediatric Care

1820 41st Ave, Suite D, Capitola


2018 Mission St., Santa Cruz



Dignity Health Medical Group-Dominican pediatricians focus on delivering care for newborns, infants, children, and adolescents through age 18. With a comprehensive approach to preventive care, pediatricians diagnose and treat a wide-variety of childhood illnesses, including acute and chronic conditions. With a holistic approach to your child’s health, our pediatricians create a nurturing environment, providing guidance to patients and parents in making healthy choices. Your pediatrician is there to listen and guide you in all aspects of your child's health. And with two locations, same-day appointments and weekend urgent care clinics, receiving care for your child is easy and convenient.


Free and Low-Cost Immunization Services & Information

Santa Cruz-831.454.4100




Breastfeeding & 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.


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.



Digital information about breastfeeding.



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 copayment greater than $500. Check with your other health insurance plan to see if your deductible or copayment is for maternity-only services.


Community Bridges


Childcare centers, food programs and many other services for families. Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Santa Cruz-831.426.3911. Watsonville-831.722.7121. A supplemental food and nutrition program for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women and children under five who have a nutritional risk.



New Parent Support Groups 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.


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 www.triplep.first5scc.org or www.facebook.com/triplepscc


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.


Parent, Child, and Family Therapy

Santa Cruz

Bethany Kientzel, IMF #83018


Supervised by Harvey Cohen, MFT# 30681

Center For Humanistic Development

Providing support for parenting young children. Understanding child developmental stages, strategies for making the best of the toddler and preschool years, adoption, special needs, foster/kinship care, self-care. 


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.


Preemie and Special Needs Resources


After the NICU


A Dominican Hospital sponsored support group that meets every month. Please call for details. NICU graduates from any hospital are welcome.


Early Start


Families whose infants or toddlers have a developmental delay or disability or an established risk condition with a high probability of resulting in a delay may be eligible to receive an "Early Start" in California. Teams of service coordinators, healthcare providers, early intervention specialists, therapists, and parent resource specialists evaluate and assess infants or toddlers and provide appropriate early intervention and family support services for young children from birth to three years of age.


Special Connections Resource Center

984 Bostwick Lane

Santa Cruz


Serves Santa Cruz County families with special needs infants and toddlers. Provides information and support; resource library, parent-to-parent support groups; educational workshops, parent training and more.


Special Parents Information Network (SPIN)



Families confront enormous challenges in raising a child with special needs. Confidence and mastery of the unique skills required to effectively parent a child with special needs are necessary goals that are often not fully met. SPIN helps parents and the professionals who serve them by providing information, trainings and support.



Teen Resources


Adolescent Family Life Program


Public Health Nurses provide home visits to pregnant and parenting teenage women under age 19, teenage fathers and their children. Services include assessments, education, and case management for teens to promote a healthy pregnancy and baby, to stay in school or re-enroll in school, to postpone future pregnancies, and to become emotionally, socially, and financially independent.


Teenage Parent Program (TAP)


The purpose of this program is to enable teen parents to attend and graduate from high school as parents of young children. It is a priority of this program to teach parenting skills through modeling and instruction. A caring, close-knit team of teachers assists students to engage in academic, social and emotional health. Students in the TAP Program and Watsonville Community develop a strong sense of belonging and learn to recognize the worth and value of others. A high percentage of teens attain academic success because the school's expectations of students are clear, concise and realistic.



Dentists for Babies


Alison Jackson, D.D.S.

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.


Brent J. Porter, D.D.S.

550 Water Street, Suite D-1, Santa Cruz


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Like changing diapers, brushing and flossing a young, small mouth can be a serious challenge. A tough and dirty job, especially at the end of the day! One common parental question is, ”How do we do this and still retain the use of our fingers?” It is recommended that at 12 months of age, your baby should have the first "Well Dental Visit." Dr. Porter and his Team are dedicated to a gentle approach, early ongoing instruction to stay clear and ahead of decay, and believe that parental involvement makes the greatest difference. As a team, we pride ourselves in the experience we offer our patients! Please join us in keeping your children Cavity Free while Growing Up In S.C! Early habits last a lifetime!



Other Services


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 --Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 12:15-1:15 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


A musical life begins at home, and because the early months (0-8) are so important, we offer a special "Babies' Class" where the music activities and materials are specially designed for parents who want to learn as much as possible about music development in infants. A child is never too young to hear and respond to music or language, and never too young to benefit from a musical environment. Sign up today for a Free Preview Class!


Santa Cruz Gymnastics Center

2750 B Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz



We at Santa Cruz Gymnastics Center understand how important physical movement is to developing 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 is incorporated to ensure a well-rounded experience. Check out our website to see what's available for your young toddler today.


The Party Store

1706 Freedom Blvd

Freedom (next to K-Mart)


Express your personal style with the largest variety of Baby Shower, New Baby, Baby's 1st Birthday and Baptism in Santa Cruz County. Whether you are looking for Balloons, Decorations, Wrapping Paper, Table Covers or Invitations, our experienced staff will assist you in making your party a memorable and successful occasion. Find us on Facebook.


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  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  if there is a business or service that you feel should be in next year's guide.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 October 2016 13:50
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