On Saturday, May 21, 2016, at 2:43pm, Milenka Aliana Suarez-Alvarado became the first baby born at Zuckerberg San Francisco General (ZSFG). The birth happened the same day patients moved into the new building in a carefully choreographed procedure involving over 200 patients.

As the newest member of the Suarez- Alvarado family, Milenka was welcomed into this world by her loving parents and the devoted staff at ZSFG, named one of the safest places to have a baby in California, and the only hospital in San Francisco that is certified by the World Health Organization as a Baby- Friendly Hospital.

Rebecca Jackson, MD, Chief of Obstetrics & Gynecology, delivered Milenka and remarked, “My greatest joy is delivering a healthy baby into a room of cheering and supportive family and friends. It never gets old. In our new Family Birth Center, the rooms are absolutely gorgeous, spacious, private, and can accommodate a lot of well-wishers! The facility now matches the high quality of care that we provide.”

The private labor and delivery rooms offer an environment where parents can begin bonding with the newest members  of their families. Each labor and delivery room has its own private bathroom with a large, deep tub for mothers-to-be during labor. The Family Birth Center is a welcoming, family- friendly, and diverse environment that offers care in over 20 different languages.

In order to make the birth process as calming as possible, ZSFG offers several other support resources for patients: physicians from the University of California, San Francisco as well as the choice of a midwife for care during childbirth and a free doula service to provide labor support. Available 24 hours a day, these highly skilled nurse midwives are experts in supporting natural childbirth and work closely with doctors in order to monitor for any complications. If a patient chooses to make use of the free doula service, she is provided with a caring volunteer doula that will assist with whatever support is needed during her stay.

“Many of the families we care for have faced difficulties in obtaining the healthcare they deserve,” says Dr. Jackson. “Our new Family Birth Center is a state-of-the-art environment that says: we value you, we value your health. We take great pride in providing the highest quality medical care and providing the support that families need to give their little ones the best start in life.”

The Family Birth Center’s next major activity is to participate in a new interdepartmental initiative called Solid Start. The hospital- wide initiative will support mothers and families before and after the delivery by connecting them to services in the hospital and the community such as parenting education, mental health services, financial fitness classes, and legal aid. These services will encircle all pregnant women and young children with the resources they need to have a solid start in life.