Obstetrics

Winneshiek Medical Center welcomes more than 275 newborns every year using the combined expertise of a local team of medical professionals, including family medicine physicians, surgeons, a midwife, nurse anesthetists, specially trained obstetric nurses, a lactation consultant and car seat technicians. For high-risk births, families work with their local obstetrical care provider alongside specialists in larger medical facilities equipped to handle possible complications.

Services offered by the OB Department range from childbirth education opportunities, lactation consulting, car seat checks and other health and safety screenings, as well as cultural accommodations.

Winneshiek Medical Center is a milk collection site for the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa.

 

Visit the E-Nursery

OB Classes

At Winneshiek Medical Center, we devote extra attention to making sure that the birth of your baby is a personal experience. Those interested in joining any of our classes do not have to be a Winneshiek Medical Center or Mayo Clinic Health System patient. All classes are held in the lower level conference rooms at WMC.

Online classes are also offered through Mayo Clinic, if you are more comfortable seeking an online option. Those classes may be viewed at: Mayo Clinic Perinatal Education

 

Prepared for Childbirth

Parents learn what to expect during labor and delivery, including: stages of labor, birth plans, labor positions, breathing techniques and relaxation, breast feeding, newborn care and pain control options.  Delivering moms will also learn more about epidural anesthesia which is available at Winneshiek Medical Center 24 hours a day, every day.

The fee for prepared childbirth classes is $30.

Participants should dress comfortably.

View our Classes & Events page for upcoming class days/times.

Baby Basics

Parents learn about the basics of infant care, bathing, diapering, feeding, burping, car seat information, safety and immunizations.

The fee for baby basics is $20 for 2 people.

Participants will be given a copy of Mayo Clinic’s Guide to Baby’s First Year (a $22 value).

View our Classes & Events page for upcoming class days/times.

Breastfeeding Basics

Producing breast milk is natural, yet the art of latching the baby onto the breast is learned.This class is taught by a certified lactation consultant who provides up to date accurate breastfeeding information for the mother and support persons.

This class is free for participants.

View our Classes & Events page for upcoming class days/times.

Pumping/Returning to work

Worried about navigating day-to-day pumping, or feeling anxious that your supply may decrease when you return to work? Returning to work does not mean you have to end your breastfeeding journey. This class will teach you strategies to maximize your milk expression, helpful tips for building a freezer stash, and ways to ease the transition for you – and baby.

This class is free for participants.

View our Classes & Events page for upcoming class days/times.

Pregnancy & COVID-19 Vaccine

2/16/2022: Your Mayo Clinic Health System obstetrics team at Winneshiek Medical Center would like to provide you with the most updated information so you can make an informed decision about the vaccine. We’re following the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM). Here are resources that may help with your decision:

Get the facts about COVID-19 Vaccines – Mayo Clinic

Preparing for Birth

Chances are, you have a lot on your mind as you prepare for your baby’s birth. Let us help you with planning so you can focus on your new arrival.

Car Seat Safety

Iowa law requires you to transport newborns in a vehicle with a properly installed car seat. Please plan ahead for when baby arrives.

Car Seat Rules and Regulations

Helpful Resource: The Ultimate Car Seat Guide

Instructional Videos:

Rear-facing installation

Forward-facing installation

High-back booster seat installation

Seat belt use

Tour the OB Department

Six to eight weeks before you due date, call the Winneshiek Medical Center Obstetrics Department to schedule a tour. We will take you through the birthing rooms, nursery and post-partum rooms. Prepare any questions you have and bring them along. We will do our best to answer them to help you plan a calm and enjoyable birthing experience.

Types of Birth We Support

Safety of mom and baby are of the utmost importance at Winneshiek Medical Center. We deliver low-risk births, which includes vaginal and cesarean births. If you have had a prior cesarean section (C-section) and want to deliver vaginally for this baby, we will refer you to a medical facility prepared to handle possible complications that may arise. Talk to your family practice physician or midwife to determine your risk level and options.

The presence of a support person can make all the difference during labor and delivery. At Winneshiek Medical Center, we encourage you to have one “well” support people along with you. (The support person must go through the COVID-19 screening prior to entry.) If you plan to birth by yourself, not to worry. Compassionate obstetric nurses will be with you throughout labor and delivery to tend to your every need, make you comfortable and care for you and your baby throughout birth and after. If you have special support needs, talk to your family practice physician or midwife.

Safe & Secure Guidelines

Safety and security are a priority at Winneshiek Medical Center, which is why we have enhanced safety measures for our smallest patients and new families.

Think about Childbirth Education Classes

It is our goal to provide up-to-date information in a fun and relaxing atmosphere and teach techniques that expectant parents can use. Childbirth education classes provide information and techniques for labor and delivery, patterned breathing and relaxation, breastfeeding, cesarean birth, car seat safety, pain management techniques, unexpected outcomes, interventions and care of the family following the birth.

What to Bring to the Medical Center

At Winneshiek Medical Center, we have everything you and your baby will need to deliver safely. However, you may be interested in bringing along some personal items to make your experience as comfortable as possible.  And remember, your new baby cannot leave the medical center without a car seat. Be sure to have this purchased and installed correctly.

Your Delivery

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 at 563-387-3030. 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 Health System – 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 with the assistance of a family practice physician. Together, they will care for you as you recover. Your family practice physician or midwife will care for your newborn.

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 Health System 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, you will be moved into a post-partum room for rest and recovery.  You may choose the have your baby go to the nursery or stay with you.

After Delivery

After your baby’s birth, the time you spend at the medical center is for rest, bonding and healing. Once your newborn is comfortably in your arms, what can you expect?

Postpartum care at WMC

Winneshiek Medical Center offers private patient rooms following delivery. Your length of stay will be determined by your care needs. Your baby can spend all of his time with you in your room or we will bring him to you when it is time to nurse if you are breastfeeding. Just let us know when you want to bond with your baby and when you need to rest.

You can choose to have your support person stay in your room with you. A sofa converts into a day bed to make a comfortable sleeping area and complimentary guest trays are available.

Visitors

Please see current COVID-19 visitor restrictions at Winneshiek Medical Center.

Education

During your stay at Winneshiek Medical Center, our Obstetric nurses will help you begin your new journey of motherhood.  From bathing your baby, to breastfeeding and safe sleeping, you will learn what you need to know to begin caring for your new baby. And please feel comfortable asking questions. Our nurses are here to help you get off to the right start.

Personalized menus

Winneshiek Medical Center Nutrition Services offers personalized room service. Choose each of your meals from a full menu.

Going Home

After 24/7 care, you may be nervous to take your newborn home. We are here to support you during your stay and after you go home.

Follow-up Weight Checks

Before you leave, we will schedule a follow-up check for your baby in the OB department. This check usually occurs two days after you go home. It is common for your newborn to lose a few ounces in the first days of life. At the follow-up check, we will weigh your baby, check for symptoms of jaundice and help you with any breastfeeding issues you may be facing.

Note: If you are a Gundersen Health System patient, your provider may schedule the first weight check in the clinic.

Safe Sleeping

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all healthy infants sleep on their backs the first 6 months of life. Studies have shown sleeping on the back reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS is the sudden unexplained death of a healthy infant. Thousands of babies die each year from SIDS. Typically, a baby dies from SIDS while sleeping. The AAP started recommending that babies sleep on their backs in 1992. Eighty percent of parents now follow this advice and there has been a 40% drop in the rate of SIDS.

At Winneshiek Medical Center, every newborn is swaddled in a HALO® SleepSack®.  The sleep sack is a wearable blanket developed to protect newborns by eliminating the need for loose blankets in the crib, which has been linked to an increased risk for SIDS.   Specially trained OB nurses swaddle newborns in the sleep sacks to model correct sleeping practices for new families.

The Winneshiek Medical Center Foundation provides a complementary HALO® SleepSack® for each family, and the HALO® SleepSack® is available for purchase in the Winneshiek Medical Center Gift Shop.

Breastfeeding Support

If you have chosen to breastfeed you baby, congratulations! You are giving him the best start to life! Winneshiek Medical Center has a certified lactation consultant and counselors on staff to support you and your newborn as you learn how to successfully breastfeed.

Breastfeeding

Many women look to breastfeeding as a convenient way to provide valuable nutrients to their baby. Food is always readily available and at the right temperature, whenever baby needs it.

But in the days and weeks after birth, fatigue and other challenges may tempt women to give up breastfeeding if the process isn’t going smoothly.

We offer the following tips to breastfeeding moms who may need a little encouragement:

  1. Choose a health care provider supportive of breastfeeding – His or her attitude toward breastfeeding has a direct affect on your success level.
  2. Ask for help – Reading about breastfeeding and actually feeding your child are two very different things.  As soon as you deliver, follow the advice of the obstetric nurses or contact a certified lactation consultant.  For breastfeeding to be a natural and enjoyable experience, learning the correct technique is important.
  3. Breastfeed often – After delivery, you are tired and your body is in need of recovery time.  However, plan to breastfeed every two to three hours around the clock.   Frequent feedings stimulate your breasts to produce milk.  If you have more milk than baby is eating, use a breast pump to remove the remaining milk and freeze it.  The extra milk will come in handy when you cannot be with your baby for a feeding.
  4. Stay positive – Breastfeeding is not something to which you can set a clock.  Your baby will determine his or her own pace.  Enjoy this time with your little one and begin the bonding process.  If breastfeeding is difficult, don’t get frustrated with yourself and quit.  It takes weeks to become comfortable with breastfeeding. Seek the support from moms who have breastfed their babies, surround yourself with family, friends and professionals who encourage breastfeeding, observe a breastfeeding mother feeding her baby, and get help from a certified lactation consultant.
  5. Invest in a good breast pump – Hospital-grade breast pumps are available to rent or buy, and if you plan to return to work and continue breastfeeding, they are a good investment.  Discuss your plans with your employer.  Most employers are more than happy to accommodate breastfeeding moms, and will work with you to find a place and times for you to pump.  If you notice your milk supply is dwindling, check with your doctor, midwife or lactation consultant for additional information and tips.

Lactation consulting services are available to all mothers, whether they delivered their baby at Winneshiek Medical Center or not.  For information, call 563-382-2911.

For online resources on breastfeeding, visit http://www.llli.org/

Tour our Obstetrics Department
I have had quite the journey when it comes to my pregnancies and births. I’m thankful for my doctor's exceptional care in some of my most difficult and most beautiful moments.
Sarah
Obstetrics Stories
Welcome baby Kalvin
May 16, 2022
READ MORE

Close Button

close modal button