What you should know about the birthing center at the new CPMC Van Ness Campus Hospital

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Expecting parents in the San Francisco Bay Area have a modern & new birth center! On Saturday, March 2nd, Sutter debuted its new California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Van Ness Campus hospital. As a birth and newborn photographer, I had the opportunity to tour this hospital before it opened and I wanted to share some photos & info about what I felt made this hospital shine (in case you were interested in adding this hospital to your "must tour" list!).

Every detail of the CPMC Van Ness Campus is designed for an inclusive and healing environment, which is evident in every aspect of their hospital from the moment you check in to the moment you leave.





These are just 2 of the handful of triage rooms that are private & well-equipped to meet the needs of patients. This hospital will accommodate all patients and they will not turn anyone down, which is always comforting to know!

Once you are admitted, you'll be transferred to the 5th floor where the 20 labor and delivery rooms are located. These rooms are very spacious and they are made to offer a calm atmosphere for laboring mothers. All of the L&D rooms include a private bathroom and a window with some rooms that even have an amazing view of the city! The laboring rooms do not have tubs, but they do have showers.


Medical equipment is discreetly tucked away from view when not in use, helping the labor and delivery rooms look more like hotel rooms than hospital rooms. For additional comfort, mothers can bring in items from home. Diffusers, essential oils, and smokeless incense are all allowed. Mothers can also bring their own blankets or comforters and wear their own nightgown instead of a hospital gown. There is even a channel on the tv in the rooms that plays relaxing music. The hospital encourages mom's to make the space their own so that they feel comfortable as if they were at home.



CPMC Van Ness Campus also uses the latest technology for patient comfort and health. For example, both laboring mothers and babies can be monitored using telemetry. This means the mother has mobility, with an option to leave their room and walk around anywhere on the 5th floor, instead of being glued to the hospital bed & hooked up to wires. Instead of waiting in the hallways, you'll be thrilled to learn that you'll have access to the family rooms located at all 4 corners of the 5th floor. Instead of using these rooms for offices, CPMC designed family rooms with floor to ceiling windows so you'll have a panoramic view of the city. If you need more privacy, there are shades that drop at the press of a button.


If your partner or a family member wants to spend the night, they can get some sleep on a pull-out chair or couch. Mom's and their loved ones are also welcome to enjoy the Courtyard Family Room, which has various seating areas including a kids table. If you'd like to get some fresh air, they've created an outdoor courtyard waiting area just for expecting mom's and their families.


If you are having a C-section, there are 3 surgery suites where mom's and 2 designated support members are allowed. At this time birth photographers are not allowed in the OR, but they shared that this could change with time.


Once you've had your baby you'll be transferred to 1 of 44 private postpartum rooms where you'll be cared for by doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, etc. They even have a Baby Care checklist on a chart located in each room, so you don't leave the hospital feeling like you do not know how to care for your baby.


During your stay at the hospital, you'll have a welcome dinner & access to order from the cafeteria straight from your television. If you're craving something specific, you are welcome to order take-out! Although, they claim to have amazing food options in the hospital! There is also a kitchen on the floor for you to store or cook food if needed & a refrigerator for pumped breast milk.


Some other helpful info:

-Security device that attaches to baby's foot to assure baby is safe and does not leave the hospital prior to checkout

-Nursery where all procedures such as circumcision and shots are done

-35 NICU rooms with 6 designed for twins or multiples


This hospital was very impressive. CPMC really thought through what a laboring woman and her family would need and I think they went above and beyond. My favorite part of the L&D portion of the hospital was the corner family rooms with panoramic views. When I had my daughter I was glued to my bed -mostly due to pain due to back labor-, but if I weren't in so much pain and if I wanted to walk around, having this option would have been SO NICE! Hopefully this gives you a nice starting point to determine whether or not you want to add this hospital to your list! As Warren Browner, M.D. & CEO of CPMC states, "The opening of Sutter's CPMC Van Ness Campus provides a new and conveniently located hospital for people living throughout the city and beyond." The hospital expects to assist 4,000-5,000 deliveries each year. Will yours be one of them?




Marissa is a top family, maternity, & newborn lifestyle and portrait photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her photoshoots take place on-location in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Honolulu, Hawaii. To book a session email marissa.hbphoto@gmail.com or CLICK HERE


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