When you're pregnant, one of the most important decisions you'll make is where to have your baby. If you're in or near Seattle, Group Health Medical Centers' Family Beginnings Birthing Center, located on our Capitol Hill Campus, offers a safe, comfortable experience. Family Beginnings provides expert maternity care in a family-centered environment that's designed to feel like home.
You can be assured of full medical support at Family Beginnings. An obstetrician/gynecologist (Ob/Gyn), pediatrician, and anesthesiologist are at the facility 24 hours a day. In this setting, we have one of the lowest cesarean section rates in Washington state. And we also have a special care nursery for higher-risk newborns.
During your pregnancy, you can choose the kind of practitioner who will provide your maternity care and deliver your baby: an Ob/Gyn, a certified nurse-midwife, or a family practice resident.
You may self-refer to any maternity provider. When searching for a new provider in our Provider Directory, narrow your search results by selecting "offers maternity services."
Some of our family practice physicians and all of our family practice residents also deliver babies at Family Beginnings. These doctors offer maternity care in their offices at our Capitol Hill, Burien, Northgate, and Rainier clinics.
The nurses at Family Beginnings support all these providers and are experienced in assisting with all types of labor and delivery. Whether you choose an epidural or an unmedicated delivery, the nursing staff will support you and your partner throughout the process with encouragement and empathy.
Family Beginnings was designed to meet your needs during this special time, and embraces our philosophy of family-centered care. Each of the 14 private rooms is fully equipped to accommodate labor, delivery, and recovery for both you and your newborn. Babies "room in" with moms, and a special chair converts to a bed so your partner can stay overnight. By being together in one room, you and your partner can start bonding with your baby right away, and learn your baby's needs in a supportive environment with nurses readily available.
Each Family Beginnings room is as non-clinical as possible: with a CD player, DVD player, VCR, mini-refrigerator, and soaking tubs for you and your baby. But the facility also provides expert medical care and the latest technology that's needed to safely deliver babies, including:
A security system to protect you and your baby.
While most babies share a room with their mothers, some require the extra care provided by our Special Care Nursery. This 15-bed unit is fully equipped with the latest equipment and technology needed to care for higher-risk babies. It's staffed by newborn-care specialists (neonatologists), pediatricians, and specially-trained registered nurses who are dedicated to getting babies well and into the arms of their parents as soon as possible.
You and your family are encouraged to take an active part in caring for your infant. If you have a newborn in the Special Care Nursery, boarding rooms are available after you've discharged from Family Beginnings.
The health care professionals at Family Beginnings are committed to providing individualized care and support throughout your labor, delivery, and recovery. We'll give you one-on-one, exclusive nursing care while you're in active labor. We're also sensitive to the social and spiritual needs of different cultures and traditions, and will work closely with you to do everything possible to support your birth plan, philosophy, and needs.
Our policy about length of stay is simple: Mothers and babies aren't discharged from Family Beginnings until they're medically stable and no longer need in-hospital medical care. The final decision about when you're ready to leave the facility is between you and your doctor or midwife.
Because we're committed to you and your baby's good health, your care follows you home. Your midwife or a registered nurse will follow up with a phone call after you get home to make sure you and your baby are doing well. In addition, depending on your individual circumstances and medical concerns, you might receive a home visit from a nurse skilled in breastfeeding (lactation) support.
If you live in the Seattle area and are not a member of Group Health, you can also receive care and give birth at Group Health Medical Centers' Family Beginnings Birthing Center with the certified nurse midwives of Neighborcare Health. Neighborcare provides prenatal, labor, delivery, and postpartum care, and their back-up physicians are Group Health obstetricians. Neighborcare Health nurse-midwifery services are covered by most commercial insurance plans, Healthy Options, and DSHS coupons. They also offer an obstetrics maternity discount for clients who are uninsured, and accept fee-for-service clients.
Neighborcare Health's midwives see clients at five community health centers. To meet the Neighborcare midwives and learn more about Neighborcare Health's services, you are welcome to attend one of their open houses, which are held every three months. To make an appointment or attend an open house, call:
For more information, visit the Neighborcare Health website.
For more information about having your baby at Family Beginnings, contact Customer Service.