Nothing in the world compares to the bond a pregnancy creates between a mother and her child or what a woman feels as she welcomes her newborn baby into the world. That moment when she can finally hold her baby in a warm embrace as she comforts him from the shock of birth, is unparalleled. His cry is quieted only by the safety of his mother’s arms and her familiar scent. Naturally, that special intimate moment should be shared only by those she feels closest to.
It wasn’t very long ago that having a midwife present during labor and birth was the norm. Traditionally a midwife not only provides care during the pregnancy, but also support during the birthing process and after the birth. According to the CDC’s National Vital Statistics Report, midwives attended 7.6% of in-hospital births and 30.4% of out-of-hospital births in 2012. However, those numbers are on the rise and New Mexico is at the top with 35% of births being born under the care of a midwife. Midwifery has actually been around much longer than hospital-based obstetrics and gynecology care, and in Encinitas, there is a unique midwife who can offer the services of both.
Stephanie McNamara doesn’t deliver babies, she “catches” them and in the almost 15 years of experience she has as a Certified Nurse Midwife, she has had the joy and honor of welcoming over 1,000 babies into the world. An accomplished and compassionate midwife, Stephanie holds a Master of Science in Nursing and has been a Certified Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner since May of 2001. In addition to her experience as a midwife she also has 20 years of experience in women’s health. Although she was not born in Encinitas, it is where she calls home. A 1993 graduate of Oñate High School, Stephanie returned to Encinitas in 2004, where she is raising three beautiful children of her own.
The belief that pregnancy is a state of health and well-being, a time to be celebrated in a woman’s life is what drives Stephanie. Through education and empowerment, she promotes confidence in women to overcome fears surrounding the birth process. She practices holistic and individualized care, and enjoys making a personal connection with her patients and their families. Stephanie also understands that every woman has a voice, and works diligently to honor their individual health goals and needs. She reaches out to her patients to provide not only physical health, but also social, emotional and family well-being. With a strong emphasis on patient empowerment and education, Stephanie works hard to help each woman create their ideal pregnancy and birth experience.
“I had my daughter in February 2014 with Stephanie. She let me deliver my daughter while she cheered me on! I was already at 8cm when we arrived at the hospital so she rushed us up to a room and Stephanie fully let me labor and push on my own terms. She let my body do what it was meant to do. I cannot thank her enough for helping me to have the most amazing birth! It was the most empowering experience of my life. I will never forget her kindness and support for that short amount of time while I labored and delivered my baby girl. Stephanie is a wonderful midwife and such a blessing to mommies everywhere,” explains Jess Sanchez, who transferred to Stephanie when she was 35 weeks pregnant.
With the ever changing world of healthcare, it is comforting to find a provider that offers one-on-one care from the day a patient walks through the door. At Babies by the Sea, Stephanie gives each mother personalized care during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum allowing the mother to take the lead in making decisions pertaining to her body with the education and evidence-based medical guidance that Stephanie provides them. Every woman births differently, and whether it is a low risk, unmedicated birth experience, or a pregnancy and labor that presents risk factors and the need for advanced technologies and interventions, Stephanie is there to ensure safe and healthy outcomes for mother and baby. Stephanie works closely with area OB/GYN physicians at Babies by the Sea Birthing Center should the need for a consultation, surgery or an emergency arise.
As a Women’s Health Nurse Practioner, Stephanie is trained to also offer optimal gynecologic care of women from their teens through adulthood. She provides a wide range of services including: Pre-conceptual and fertility counseling; disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention; birth support and comfort options for those who desire natural childbirth; TOLAC/VBAC counseling and birth options for appropriate patients; breastfeeding education and support; counseling on alternative health modalities; birth control method counseling, initiation and maintenance; IUD and Nexplanon insertion and removal as well as diagnosis and management of abnormal pap tests, including Colposcopy and Cryotherapy. Stephanie is fluent in Spanish, and is able to offer bilingual and bicultural services to her clients. “I enjoy helping women in every season of their life and getting to know them on a personal level. It’s the only way to truly get to know their needs,” explains Stephanie.
The women and families of Encinitas can rest assured that Stephanie McNamara and the staff at Babies By The Sea will listen carefully, answer all questions thoroughly and will be well taken care of.
For more information on Stephanie’s services or other services offered at Babies by the Sea Birthing Center, please visit or call:
Babies by the Sea Birthing Center
781 Gardenview Ct, Ste 200
Encinitas, California 92024