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Midwifery Birth Center at St. Joseph

Our midwifery birth center is unique as it is the only outpatient birth center on a hospital campus in Washington state. We opened in 2016 to meet the unique needs of our families and offer another option other than home birth or inpatient hospital birth.

You’ll have a natural birth experience in a calm, luxurious setting with the peace of mind in knowing that, should complications arise, an expert team of specialists is nearby. Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) provide the compassionate support and expertise you need to create your best birth experience. We’ll be with you every step along the way to welcoming your family’s new addition.

Located at 1708 South Yakima Avenue on the St. Joseph Medical Center campus in Tacoma, the center provides a supportive, home-like environment for expectant mothers. With doulas or care assistants, CNMs and labor and delivery nurses trained in holistic approaches, our team will support your wish for an unmedicated and natural childbirth experience.

Our tour



Register online for all of our family education, childbirth and parenting classes.

Why Patients Choose Midwifery Birth Center at St. Joseph

What will I find at the Midwifery Birth Center?

The Midwifery Birth Center at St. Joseph is designed for women who have a strong desire for an unmedicated, natural childbirth experience. Upon arrival to the center in active labor, you will have access to your own birth suite, with hydrotherapy birth/laboring tub, a comfortable queen-sized bed, and many of the comforts of home. You and your family will stay in the suite for your immediate post-delivery care until discharge 6-12 hours after birth.

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  • Support: Highly skilled, Certified Nurse Midwives stay with you throughout your delivery to offer coaching and support, along with an expert care team including doulas or care assistants and nurses who specialize in labor and delivery.
  • Comfort: Spacious, luxurious birthing suites create a spa-like setting with deluxe queen size sleigh beds, rocking chairs, deep soaking tubs, hammocks, birthing balls and beautiful art work—all in a home-like environment.
  • Choice: Water birth, nitrous oxide, hammocks, birthing balls and other comfort measures are available for you to manage your labor the way you desire. You can move around as you like and decide who and how many loved ones will be present in the room with you. Intermittent fetal monitoring is required.
  • Safety: We offer a comfortable place for childbirth. When a higher level of care is needed, our midwives work closely with obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists. In addition, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is located just a sky bridge away, along with a team of highly skilled neonatologists.
  • Security: In our controlled access facility, labor and delivery take place in the same suite so your baby never leaves your care (unless complications arise).
  • Early discharge: You will typically be discharged 6-12 hours after delivery as long as you and your baby are both doing well.
  • Follow-up newborn visit: Your baby will be scheduled a newborn follow-up visit the next day to complete all the newborn requirements
    • Infant weight
    • Feeding assessment
    • Jaundice check
    • Foot prints
    • Congenital heart screening test
    • Blood test for metabolic disorders
  • The Midwifery Birth Center is the perfect choice if:

    • You are experiencing a normal, low-risk pregnancy
    • You have a strong desire to have an unmedicated, natural childbirth experience
    • You have chosen a certified nurse midwife who is affiliated with St. Joseph Medical Center to provide your care

    Regardless of where you choose to deliver, the staff at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health will support your desire to have the most natural childbirth possible.

  • Our midwives continually work in a collaborative environment with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health OB-GYNs and maternal fetal medicine specialists to provide a full continuum of care for expectant mothers. Should either your health or your baby’s condition change, you will be assessed and receive the appropriate level of care to best meet your needs. We will partner with you throughout this process.

  • Most babies join the world without complication. Our top priority is to provide place where you feel safe and comfortable.

    • Should any concerns or emergencies arise we have quick, easy access to our Family Birth Center as well as St. Joseph's Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
    • Our teams include certified nurse midwives, obstetricians, maternal fetal medicine specialists and neonatologists from Seattle Children's Hospital
    • Your certified nurse midwife will remain with you through the birth of your baby
    • We'll take care of the details, allowing you to focus on your labor and your baby

    Have your baby at the Midwifery Birth Center at St. Joseph. To find a Virginia Mason Franciscan Health certified nurse midwife, visit our page on midwifery services or call Franciscan Women's Health Associates at 253-274-7501. For questions or more information about the Midwifery Birth Center, email [email protected]

Download our free guide

Preparing for childbirth can be overwhelming. To help you get started, we’ve created a free downloadable guide that provides everything you need to know as you take your first steps toward motherhood with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.