What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Jul 14, 2021

Dear fellow community members and colleagues,


Childbirth can be one of life’s most beautiful and cherished moments, but it is also a time of tremendous vulnerability for both the parents and the baby. A quote from Gandhi comes to mind here: “the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable,” and I am proud of the comprehensiveness and quality of care we provide to new families so that they are safe, secure and sound in their moments of vulnerability.

Our philosophy at Tenet Health Central Coast is one of family-centered birth. Both Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital are internationally recognized Baby-Friendly birth facilities, a designation created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to recognize maternity services that support successful and sustained breastfeeding for babies to give them the best start in life. Also, recently, both hospitals were honored with the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) Care Award.

We encourage parents that are expecting, and birthing coaches, to tour our Birth and Baby Centers to find out what to expect when delivering at our hospitals, what support classes are available, and to get a sneak-peek at our private birthing rooms and recovery suites.

Part of what makes birthing special at Tenet Health Central Coast is our Deluxe Hydrotherapy Labor Tubs, which allow mothers to take advantage of the soothing properties of warm water and aromatherapy to help ease labor pain. Unlike the inflatable tubs often found at other facilities, our permanent tub is ergonomically designed to support the back and allow access for personal physicians.

At Twin Cities, we also have a unique Outdoor Zen Garden as a part of the Birth & Baby Center’s third floor terrace. It’s a calming respite for those desiring fresh air and a tranquil setting overlooking Templeton’s rolling hills and vineyards.

Classes can be a powerful tool in supporting mothers as they welcome their new family members. For the convenience and safety of mothers, many of our classes are now available online, such as Preparing for Childbirth, Breastfeeding and Returning Back to Work and Introducing Solid Foods to Your Child. We also have in-person support classes at Twin Cities, including Navigating Motherhood, where positive coping skills and strategies for successfully overcoming the new challenges of parenthood are taught. Understanding the risk factors and symptoms of postpartum depression are also addressed.

For those who are working with midwives, Sierra Vista has a program for collaboration with midwives and local birth centers. Approximately 10 percent of midwife clients having a first baby require transport to a hospital to augment or enhance their labors and we are here to support. A midwife is an independent health provider, licensed by the state, who provides prenatal care, birth care and postpartum care for women that have low-risk, healthy pregnancies. The birthing itself can be in the setting of a birth center, such as at the hospital, or in a home. If complications arise, our collaboration with midwives allows for seamless care where patients are welcomed into the hospital and the physicians understand their needs. 

An added layer of safety for women who give birth at the hospital is that Sierra Vista is the only hospital with Obstetrics (OB) Physician Hospitalists. An experienced, board-certified obstetric hospitalist is onsite and immediately available 24/7/365 and specializes solely in caring for patients who are hospitalized. The OB Hospitalists focus on providing care for mothers who are in their second or third trimester of pregnancy that need immediate medical attention or are in active labor.

Sometimes, newborns can have unexpected challenges and, should there be any concern, Sierra Vista’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – the only Level III NICU in the County – stands ready to help. Plus, we have added two new ways to support the families that have babies come into our NICU’s care.

One form of support is a new innovation: if it turns out that a baby needs to stay in NICU after mom is able to go home, we are launching the NicView webcam system to help families feel close and connected 24/7 after mother is discharged from the hospital.

For the NICU babies themselves, we now also have staff certified in Neonatal Touch and Massage Therapy. This therapy can have significant impact, including increased weight gains, improved developmental scores, and earlier discharge from the hospital. Parents also benefit because this therapy enhances bonding with their child and increases confidence in their parenting skills. 

No matter what path a mother’s journey may take, Tenet Health Central Coast is here to support and help.  



Mark Lisa, CEO
Tenet Health Central Coast