Birth is a natural process. Each labor is different and every woman copes in her own way. It can be wonderful, and it can also be difficult and tiring. It helps if the father or someone else you trust can be with you during the labor and delivery.
Most babies in California are born in a hospital. Many hospitals let you choose the kind of birth you want and have family and friends with you. Some women want to give birth at home. Find out all you can about your choices.

Birth After the birth, a baby needs to be close to the mother. Breastfeed if you can. It is the best way to nourish your baby, and it helps you form a close relationship.

Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression?

It’s very common to feel tired and blue for a week or two after your baby is born. But if you have strong feelings of anxiety or depression, talk to your doctor right away. These feelings can keep you from having a close relationship with your baby. There are medications for depression that are safe to take while you’re breastfeeding. Call Postpartum Support International. Visit

Things You Can Do

Where to Find Help

Learn More

Support During the Birth

  • Support During the Birth
    Doctors and nurses cannot be with you all the time. Plan to have someone stay with you—the father, your mother, your sister, a friend or a childbirth coach.


  • Childbirth
    Learn about different positions for labor and birth, and ways to breathe to help control the pain. Many women want to give birth without pain medications.
    But learn about medications in case you want or need them. Talk to your doctor, nurse-midwife or childbirth educator. Call Mother and Infant Health. Visit
    For low-cost health insurance for pregnant women with low or middle incomes, call AIM Program.