Skip to content

Meet & Greet Dates for 2014!

If you aren’t sure where you want to have your baby, come meet our team of certified nurse midwives and obstetricians to learn about their philosophy of  personalized births for you and your family!

Register for one of these dates on our Web site.

March 11, 2014

May 12, 2014

July 8, 2014

September 22, 2014

November 11, 2014

Last Meet and Greet of 2013

We can hardly believe that 2013 is already starting to wind down. This will be our last gathering in 2013—stay tuned for our 2014 schedule. If you are thinking you may have a baby in 2014, please come meet our team. We have some new midwives on our team, too!

November 12, 2013

6 PM

St. Luke’s

3555 Cesar Chavez Street

Griffin Room, 1st floor

Sign up here!

Don’t forget our Meet & Greet next week!

Come meet the midwives and obstetricians that make up the St. Luke’s Women’s Center. Register on the CPMC Web site.

WHEN: Monday, September 16 at 6 PM

WHERE:  St. Luke’s Campus, 3555 Cesar Chavez Street, First Floor (Griffin Room) San Francisco


Delaying the Severing of the Umbilical Cord

There was an interesting story in The New York Times recently about a paper analyzing the benefits of delayed umbilical cord severing after birth. This has been standard practice among the midwives at St. Lukes Women’s Center, according to Emily Beck, CNM.

“We allow the cord to pulse out, meaning it has no more pulse in it,” she says. “This allows the baby to receive all of its own blood. Some studies have suggested reduced risk of anemia as benefit. Essentially, we allow nature to take its course.

Of course, if there is any risk of the mother or the baby being compromised they will clamp and cut the cord. “We monitor the situation to ensure the safety of the mother and the baby.”

Meet the midwives!

Come meet our midwives and doctors at our free Meet & Greet event. You will also get a tour.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

6 PM to 7 PM

3555 Cesar Chavez Street, 1st Floor, Griffin Room

San Francisco, CA


Call 415.641.6911 to reserve your space!

Meet our team in July

If you would like to learn more about our midwives and about the unique experience at St. Luke’s, come to our meet and greet!

July 19, 2012
6 pm to 7 pm

Sign up here!

Meet our team!

Meet our team of certified nurse midwives and obstetricians at our next Meet and Greet. Register here or call 415-641-6911 to reserve your space

6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Griffin Room, 1st floor
3555 Cesar Chavez Street
San Francisco

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Allergy Medicines and Pregnancy

After our unusually warm winter, followed by a wet March, the trees, grasses and molds are in hyper drive, releasing spores and pollen into the air. With that, many people are starting to suffer from seasonal allergies. Even if you have never suffered from allergies, you may develop symptoms while you are pregnant. Other women find their allergies reduce or entirely disappear during pregnancy. If you are one of unlucky ones who has the classic symptoms – stuffy head, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, coughing – you may wonder if it’s safe to take allergy medication to relieve your symptoms while pregnant.

Medications are graded by classes based on their level of safety for pregnant women and their fetuses. Class A is the safest and Class D has been shown to be harmful to fetuses. Allergy medicines, such as antihistamines (e.g. Benadryl), decongestants (e.g. Sudafed) or nasal sprays (e.g. Afrin), fall into Class B, meaning they are considered safe during pregnancy, although studies in humans may not be available or may only have included a small number of pregnant women.

If you suffer from severe allergies and have been taking immunotherapy injections with an allergist before you got pregnant, you should tell him or her that you are pregnant so s/he can monitor your dose.

Here are some suggestions that may relieve your allergy symptoms without any medications. You should always talk with your doctor or health care provider before taking any medications or using “natural” therapies.

Avoid triggers and exposure. Try to stay indoors and keep windows closed on windy days when pollen counts are high. Avoid activities like raking leaves. Ventilate moist areas of your home, such as bathrooms, if you have mold allergies. You may also want to consider using a HEPA filter in your heater, air conditioner and vacuum cleaner.

Exercise. Regular exercise can reduce nasal inflammation.

Rinse your nasal cavity. You may have seen neti pots or saline (salt water) rinse solutions in the pharmacy. You mix a solution of saline and distilled or sterilized water and inject it into one nostril as it drains out the other. Be sure to use distilled, filtered or previously boiled water. Never use water straight out of the tap. Follow the instructions carefully.

Disaster Kit for Babies

The San Francisco Bay Area experienced a couple little tremors yesterday, registering 3.5 and 4.0 on the Richter scale. Meanwhile, we watch with dismay the sad news coming from the storms that hit the Midwest.

We would like to take this moment to remind new parents, or expectant parents, to update their disaster preparedness kit for the newest member of their family.

Keep these items together in a plastic bin or a large “grab and go” duffel bag somewhere easy to reach:

Plenty of diapers. Even if you use cloth diapers, you may want to consider disposable diapers for emergencies. In the event of a major disaster, a diaper service might not be feasible. However, having at least three cloth diapers will allow you to wash, dry and reuse them in case you run out (assuming you have running water).

Travel package of wipes. These can double for basic baths, too.

Formula. Unless you are breastfeeding (which we encourage), you might want to keep some formula on hand. Particularly useful is the kind that does not require water. Pay close attention to expiration dates.

Baby food. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to keep extra baby food, preferable in non-breakable containers.

Toys and other comfort items. A disaster is stressful for everyone, including baby. If your baby has a favorite toy or item try to grab it. But if not, perhaps keeping an extra version of it in your emergency kit can help soothe baby.

Clothes. Babies grow fast, so if you have clothes that are too large, keep them in the disaster kit. Then when they grow into them, you are reminded to replace them with the next largest size.

Medications. Infant ibuprofen or other medications, including any extra of prescription medications, are essentials in the baby disaster bin.

Diaper rash cream and/or baby powder. This is another item that can make a huge difference in baby’s comfort in less-then-optimal conditions.


Don’t forget to pack for yourselves

The City and County of San Francisco have a detailed Web site on preparing for disaster, including what to include for pets and for yourself. Visit for details.


How we are preparing for disaster

CPMC is committed to building a new, $250 million, earthquake-safe hospital at St. Luke’s.To learn more visit



Should you bank or donate your umbilical cord blood?

Over the last decade, researchers have made enormous strides in the field of stem cell research. The promise of stem cell therapies to treat chronic disease or injury is compelling. In fact, just recently the journal Nature Medicine[1]published a study that demonstrated the potential for stem cells to generate human eggs, providing hope for infertile women.

During pregnancy, the umbilical cord transfers oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the baby. After birth, the mother’s body releases the placenta and the cord. The umbilical cord is rich in stem cells, often considered the body’s “master cells” because they have the potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. A stem cell can replenish other cells or become cells with specialized functions, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell. Increasingly, stem cells are used instead of bone marrow to treat diseases like leukemia and lymphoma.

Some parents have considered the possibility that a serious illness may someday affect their baby, and have chosen to “bank” the cord blood as a sort of insurance to help them or even a sibling. The collection of cord blood, which happens immediately after birth, is safe and painless, if done properly. But it does not happen routinely; it is a procedure you have to choose and plan beforehand.

There are two ways to bank your baby’s cord blood: private or public banking. In a private bank, you would pay a fee for the collection and storage of the cord blood for potential later use by your child or another family member. Some people approach this as a sort of “biological insurance.” In public banking, the cord blood is donated for use in medical research or to be used in the treatment of a compatible patient. There are no fees involved in the donation, but not everyone is an appropriate donor.

The American Academy of Pediatrics[2]has expressed concerns about private banking and does not recommend it for families unless they have a family member with a medical condition that could benefit from cord blood transplantation.  If you have a family member with a current or potential need to undergo a stem cell transplant, this could be an important consideration. Some private banks[3] have announced they will process cord blood at no expense to the family if there is a documented need. There is a wide range of estimates of the likelihood that a child will use his or her own stored cord blood cells in a lifetime. In 2008 the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology[4] estimated that the chance of using the stem cells for treatment are one in 2,700.Of course, there are many current clinical trials investigating the use of stem cells for many diseases, potentially increasing the chances that the cord blood might be used in someone’s lifetime.

If you choose to donate your cord blood, it will be anonymously marked and stored. If your child or family member later develops a disease that requires a transplant, you will not necessarily be able to access it. But it might have been used to help someone else. The National Marrow Donor program estimates that on any given day, more than 6,000 patients around the world are searching for a marrow or umbilical cord blood donor.

In 2010, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill (AB-52) that would fund the collection of umbilical cord blood stem cells by the University of California for use in research.  Some non-profit organizations, such as the National Marrow Donor Program and the American Red Cross, have also partnered with hospitals to collect the cord blood.

If you are interested in either private banking or donating your umbilical cord blood, be sure to discuss it with your nurse midwife or obstetrician.

[4]Umbilical cord blood banking, ACOG Committee Opinion No. 399.American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.ObstetGynecol 2008;111:475-7


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.