At Winneshiek Medical Center, birthing is special and personal. When the time comes for your baby’s birth, it may be reassuring for you to know a few things beforehand. What should I do if my water breaks? What if my baby needs extra medical attention? Answers to these questions before-hand can calm your nerves and help you settle in to an enjoyable birth experience when its time for delivery.
When to Come In
In the last weeks of pregnancy, you may not know when you are truly in labor and should come into the medical center. Don’t worry. If you have any questions, call the Winneshiek Medical Center Obstetrics Department. We will contact your health care provider to answer your questions and evaluate your individual situation. You can call us anytime day or night. If you come to the medical center overnight, please use the Emergency Department entrance for easiest access.
Who Will Deliver My Baby?
Family practice physicians provide obstetric care at Winneshiek Medical Center, along with a nurse midwife. A physician is paired with the nurse midwife to coordinate your care, and will be available if needed during birth and afterward. In the rare case your health care provider is not available when you are ready to deliver, a Mayo Clinic Health System or Gundersen Lutheran – Decorah physician is on call and will attend your birth.
If you have a planned or unplanned cesarean section, your family practice physician or midwife will attend the birth along with the general surgeon, who does the cesarean section.
Pain Management Offered at WMC
WMC supports the type of pain interventions you desire within the parameters of safety. Patients at Winneshiek Medical Center can choose a natural birth, from a variety intravenous (IV) pain management options, and epidural anesthesia. To reduce discomfort naturally, patients can relax in a whirlpool bath or sit on a birthing ball, and are encouraged to walk as comfort allows. If there are special pain management techniques you would like to try, please share them with your health care provider or obstetric nurses. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.
When is Cesarean Section the Best Choice?
When baby or mom shows signs of distress, your family practice physician or midwife may determine a cesarean section is necessary. Winneshiek Medical Center performs cesarean sections in the surgical suite adjacent to the birthing rooms. Cesarean section are only performed at WMC if medically necessary. We do not support elective cesarean section for first time moms without medical need. If this is not your first baby, the need for a cesarean section will be determined by your family practice physician or midwife, along with the surgeon.
Who Performs My Cesarean section?
At Winneshiek Medical Center, a general surgeon will perform your cesarean section. Your family practice physician or midwife will assist the surgeon in caring for your newborn. Together, they will care for you as you recover.
What if There Are Complications?
There are times when a birth will need extra medical attention. Winneshiek Medical Center works closely with Mayo Clinic in Rochester and Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse to keep you and your baby safe. If complications arise, your family practice physician or midwife will work directly with obstetric specialists to determine the care you need. WMC has a neonatal telemedicine unit available for all babies born at WMC. This unit connects us to neonatologists in La Crosse who can provide expert eyes and ears to your newborn’s condition.
What Happens after My Baby Is Born?
If needing extra medical attention, your family practice physician, midwife or other medical professionals will evaluate your newborn until they are comfortable with his or her condition. If no extra attention is needed, your baby will be given to you directly following birth for the first moments of bonding. We will not rush this first meeting of you and your baby. You can take your time getting to know your newborn. When you are ready, we will bring your newborn into the nursery for evaluation and his or her first bath, and you will move into a post-partum room for rest and recovery.