Hospitals all over California are closing their maternity wards, including in dense cities like Los Angeles and in more remote communities in the Sierra Nevada.
Lea este artículo en español.
Few regions in California have escaped the impact of maternity ward closures in the past decade. At least 46 hospitals have permanently closed or suspended labor and delivery since 2012, a CalMatters analysis of hospital records found. About 60% of the closures have taken place in just the last three years.
These closures are being driven by a combination of factors, including high costs, inflation, labor shortages and declining birth rates, according to hospital administrators and experts.
In some cases, communities are losing decades-old maternity units. Four counties lost their last maternity ward in the past 10 years, with three of those closing since 2022. In others, the maternity ward was short-lived. For example, Palmdale Regional Medical Center in the high desert of Los Angeles County opened a birth center in 2021 before closing it last month, citing “lower than anticipated” births.
Hospitals are closing maternity wards in urban and rural communities. By far, Los Angeles County recorded the most closures. It accounts for 15 of the hospitals that shut maternity wards.
Here are the hospitals that closed or indefinitely suspended labor and delivery since 2012.
Los Angeles County
Bellflower Medical Center
Centinela Hospital Medical Center (Inglewood)
College Medical Center (Long Beach)
Emanate Health Foothill Presbyterian Hospital (Glendora)
Hospital converted into an inpatient behavioral health facility
Greater El Monte Community Hospital
Los Angeles Community Hospital
Memorial Hospital of Gardena
Pacific Alliance Medical Center (Los Angeles)
Pacifica Hospital of the Valley (Sun Valley)
Providence Little Company of Mary – San Pedro
West Hills Hospital
Mammoth Hospital (Mammoth Lakes)
Plumas District Hospital (Quincy)
Mayers Memorial Hospital (Fall River Mills)
SoCal outside L.A.
El Centro Regional Medical Center
Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center
La Palma Intercommunity Hospital
Los Alamitos Medical Center
Palo Verde Hospital (Blythe)
San Diego County
Palomar Medical Center Poway (Poway)
Tri-City Medical Center (Oceanside)
St. John’s Hospital Camarillo
San Joaquin Valley
Adventist Health Selma
Madera Community Hospital
San Joaquin County
Dameron Hospital (Stockton)
Doctors Hospital of Manteca
Oak Valley Hospital District (Oakdale)
George L. Mee Memorial Hospital (King City)
Closed indefinitely 2020
Kaiser Permanente Hayward
Adventist Health St. Helena
San Francisco County
California Pacific Medical Center – Mission Bernal Campus (San Francisco)
Closed indefinitely 2021
San Mateo County
AHMC Seton Medical Center (Daly City)
Santa Clara County
Regional Medical Center of San Jose
Petaluma Valley Hospital
Closed indefinitely 2023
Sonoma Valley Hospital
Sutter Solano Medical Center (Vallejo)
Adventist Health Feather River (Paradise)
Colusa Medical Center
Providence Redwood Memorial Hospital (Fortuna)
Adventist Health Mendocino Coast (Fort Bragg)
More on Health care
As maternal mortality rates are steadily worsening across California, a CalMatters analysis finds that maternity wards are closing at an alarming rate.
Expectant parents are losing access to prenatal care or driving long distances with so many California hospitals closing maternity wards to cut costs. A mother whose first child was stillborn shares her story and an important practice that public agencies should raise awareness about.