Minneapolis/St Paul Babies

natural-birth-friendly hospitals

I'm moving to the area soon, and I'm trying to decide where to go for a natural birth, with possible option for a water birth (or at least access to a tub). 

I've heard St. Joseph's has a low c-section rate, as does HCMC's midwife-led unit.  I think they both offer water births, although I'm not sure how many they can accommodate at a time.  Does anyone have experience with either of these? UMinn Medical center is probably closest to me, and also seems to have birth pools, so I'd be interested to hear of anyone's experiences with them, too.

Any other suggestions for places to look if I want to avoid the whole epidural thing, and use hypnobirthing without the staff thinking I'm a nut case? =)

I think my insurance *might* cover the Minnesota Birth Center, which is across from Abbott Northwestern...not sure if I want to be outside a hospital, but maybe I should give them a look, too? I'd love to hear opinions from anyone who has had a natural birth and enjoyed their experience.  Thanks in advance.

Re: natural-birth-friendly hospitals

  • I am hoping to do a natural childbirth. The clinic I go to is fine with the idea, the hospital no longer has water births I think because they didn't have enough demand. I go to OakdaleOBGyn & will be delivering at the Maple Grove Hospital. I was talking with my doctor yesterday. She said the only way they do c-sections is if it is for a medical reason or a must. They only induce IF you are at 41 weeks, otherwise it isn't an option. I liked both of those answers!! IF I HAVE to do either of those options I will, but I am really hoping to make it all natural ;-) Good luck with your decision, I have heard a lot of great things about Maple Grove hospital so I am looking forward to having our first there!! 

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  • I use the Health Partner Clinic for Women for my midwife/ob visits. They are on the same side of town as the U of M. One of the first questions my midwife asked was what type of birth I wanted, including natural or water. These options are available at the new Mother Baby center at Abbot Northwestern. It's only been open a few months but I have heard amazing things from a few people I know. I recommend checking it out. I plan to give birth there in December and I am considering a water birth as well. http://themotherbabycenter.org/during-delivery
  • Take into account not just what they say but what they do. Abbott has a high csection rate, even after accounting for the high risk patient population. Woodwinds as well. St joes is low. St. John's is pretty good. I delivered at regions using Healthpartners midwives for my first. It was okay, but I did end up with a csection. For the second I did a lot more homework. I switched to the Generations clinic and delivered at St. John's cuz st joes doesn't do vbacs... Hypocrites.. I ended up with a vbac, but I'm almost certain it would have been a repeat csection with any other care team. I was so close to a csection that the OB was called in from home, and most Obs called in would do a c/s and leave. Instead she labored with me for quite a long time and I ended with a vbac. There are some statistics in my website if you're interested. Maybe also check out health foundations on grand ave.
  • I also delivered at St. John's. My experience was mostly good. I had issues with my epidurals not working I was induced and no one wanted to call the anesth. back to fix it, even though I was only dilated to like a 6 I believe. Anyway, the staff was otherwise really good and I think would be natural birth friendly for sure. Also, I delivered in oct12 and they were just finishing up a room with a birthing tub, so I would imagine that is now available.
    *E 10/2012, H 7/2014, F 2/2016*
    Pregnancy Ticker

  • I planned to have a med free water birth with my DS at North Memorial, but we didn't make it there so I can't speak to the experience. This time I'm seeing the midwives at Methodist and am planning another med free water birth there.
    image Samuel (Photo by Gruman Photography)

  • Oh, yes sorry, they will not induce you early if you want baby to be born on a certain date, etc. ONLY for medical reasons. If you & baby are healthy OakdaleOBGyn will only induce once you've hit 41 weeks.... 

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  • I went through the health partners midwife group and delivered at regions. I can't say enough good things about it and would highly recommend using both. I wanted a natural water birth, but at 10 says overdue and low fluids with no signs of the baby coming, I was induced. The induction process was very slow and easy on me and baby. Laboring was a different story, but I know I would have had a csection had I used doctors. A team of nicu doctors actually ended up delivering after my midwife advocated for me for a bit more time and persuaded them to not do an emergency csection. The rooms and rest of the staff were also very nice at regions. I will for sure go there for future deliveries!
  • I delivered both my babies at St. Joes and I would highly recommend it. I can't say much about the water birth but I think they have one tub available. Definitely tour the places you are considering because their tubs will probably be on a first come first served basis.

    I had both babies med-free and the nurses were great with encouraging me to stick with it. Especially with my first because I was in labor with her for longer. Anytime I asked for the epi, they would suggest different positions for me to get into or had me lay in the tub in the room. They were great! I also don't use a midwife, just a doctor but she is great as well. She will only induce at 10 days overdue and is really anti c-section unless absolutely necessary. She acts more like a midwife than the midwife I saw at the very beginning of my first pregnancy.

    If it matters, the rooms are really small. My sister delivered at St. John's and her room was three times as big as the rooms I was in at St. Joe's.  

    luvU2theMoon
  • I had DD at the Mother Baby Center at Abbott and they were great. I was induced at 41 weeks , so not the natural birth I was hoping for, but the nurses were awesome about trying to keep it as natural as possible per my wishes. They didn't mention an epidural unit I broke down and asked for it and they made sure to talk through it first. They do have a high c section rate which is a downside but I think they try to do what is best for mom and baby.
  • I'll be having my baby at Methodist in St. Louis Park. They just remodeled their birth unit and added 4 rooms with tubs for water birth. They also have a midwife group, which is what I'm using. They also offer Centering, which is a group based meeting. So far it's been great! They are very supportive of natural, unmedicated birth.
  • For hospitals, Hudson Hospital with Dr. Hartung, Woodwinds with the midwives, HCMC with the midwives, and Methodist with the midwives.

    For birth centers, Morningstar or Health Foundations.

    Minnesota Birth Center seems to so far have a higher c-section and transfer rate than the other birth centers.  

    Homebirth is a fabulous option as well!  Some insurances cover it and if they don't, many times its more affordable than deductibles.

    Lilypie Maternity tickers
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    Jduronio
  • I second those who recommended Woodwinds. I delivered there with the HealthEast midwives, and I felt they would be supportive of whatever preferences a woman had regarding her labor/delivery. They also have a water birthing tub if you would like that as an option. I had a goal of avoiding meds, but wasn't dead set against them - and ended up opting for the epi as it ended up being the right decision for my birth situation. I felt like the CNMs and nurse were both supportive of my initial decision to try to avoid meds, and later my decision to opt for an epidural, with no judgment made regarding my choices.
  • I just wanted to thank everyone for the replies, I really appreciate it! Does anyone know what the c-section rates are for Methodist? I couldn't find it anywhere.  Was able to find most of the others mentioned. 

    Sounds like there are a lot of good options, now I just have to figure out what my insurance (Tricare) covers.  Just based on a web search, I am pretty sure at least some of the midwives at Abbot, Regions and United are covered (and maybe Methodist?)...found one or two at St Joe's, but their clinics would be a haul for me.  But I'll have to call, because it seems fishy to me that no covered CNMs are listed for some of the major hospitals.  Maybe I'm just not using the Tricare provider search feature correctly (I hope!).

  • I will be delivering at Woodwinds this fall with the Healtheast Midwives.  I have been super happy with them and my care so far.  I was also told on the Woodwinds hospital tour with the midwives that the Healtheast Midwives as a group had a 6.8% c-section rate last fall- which gave me a lot of comfort.  I believe Woodwinds as a hospital has a rate of around 24%.  

  • Also, they will let me go until 42 weeks before inducement with an ultrasound at 41 weeks to ensure everything is good with the baby.  

  • Here are the most current c-section rates by hospital http://www.cesareanrates.com/storage/state_pdfs/Minnesota_Cesarean_Rates_Report.pdf

    Here are the most current rates by OB/Midwife Practice http://www.docstoc.com/docs/146149790/Csections

    You don't have to pay for the second one.  You can view it at the bottom of the page.

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  • Thank you, MrsChamp, this helps a lot! I will definitely bookmark these sites.
  • image yoyo12345:
    Thank you, MrsChamp, this helps a lot! I will definitely bookmark these sites.

     No problem!  Glad I could help!

    Lilypie Maternity tickers
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  • Do you have a midwife in the healthpartners system you would recomend?  I feel like I am starting from scratch and would prefer to know a little about one before I jump in. Thanks!
  • Dman85Dman85 member
    Tenth Anniversary 1000 Comments Photogenic
    St. John's......I had both my kids there natural and drug free.
    BFP Baby #1 06/16/2011 Charles Robert Born 02/08/2012 BFP #2 08/07/2012 Graham Leo Born 3/29/13 Dman's Blog
  • Kate_CKate_C member
    Ninth Anniversary 250 Answers 2500 Comments 500 Love Its
    I delivered both my kids at UMMC Fairview with the Fairview Riverside OBs. While I really liked my OB, I didn't get the sense that the OBs would be super helpful with a drug free birth. I have heard great things about their midwives though. The nurses were also really helpful and supportive. My second kiddo was drug-free, not by choice, because of a fast labor and the nurses were great! When we toured the hospital, they talked about getting a birthing tub. Not sure if that ever happened.
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  • LouiejLouiej member
    Eighth Anniversary 250 Answers 500 Love Its 1000 Comments
    Do you have a midwife in the healthpartners system you would recomend?  I feel like I am starting from scratch and would prefer to know a little about one before I jump in. Thanks!

    I loved both Susan Tigue (pronounced tie) and Jody Ford. LOVED them. Susan was out of Woodbury and Jody out of WBL. Jody pretty much saved my life :)
  • Just a side note because of having a background with the HypnoBirthing (hence, the SN hints at my prior to kids profession)...  Mind you, I went in with an open mind when I had DS, but in discussing it with my nurse at Regions in L&D they were actually excited about the women who do use more natural methods and are incredibly Pro med-free births!  I had it as an option and remember just naturally using it and the nurse telling someone to just leave me be for a moment because I was using it.  Granted, I was there with an open mind and loved my epidurals to no end, but until the point that I was ready to just kick back and relax during my inductions, but also during a particularly nasty/painful complication that landed me there over Labor Day weekend that year, it was wonderful and the nurses/OB's/MW's were super supportive! 

    No matter where you end up, you need to remember that just because a hospital has a higher cs rate, does NOT mean much of anything at this point.  The decision to deliver based on the facts at the time of the delivery are what is most important for making sure Mom & Baby are healthy!  High risk or not, complications happen, and at the end of the day the most important part of the delivery is a healthy baby and Mom.  And yes, I know of women who used hypnosis for a cs instead of a spinal block/epi.  You can still use it!  One of the most important factors in successfully using hypnobirthing or hypnobabies or hypnosis for childbirth in general is being able to go with the flow regardless of what happens during the delivery.  As my developmental psych professor in college once put it "Only if the baby comes out your mouth is it not considered a natural delivery!"..  Deliver where YOU personally feel the most comfortable with the OB/MW team that is going to most be in your corner and be honest with you through the process!

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  • I delivered with the Fairview Riverside Midwives at UMMC in May. I have nothing but amazing things to say about all the midwives and our experience at UMMC. I was a little nervous to switch to the midwives from my OB at 30 weeks when my OB suddenly stopped doing deliveries but it all turned out wonderfully. I had a med free birth there and they do offer the birthing tub. 
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  • I'm due October 5! :-) 

  • auroraloo said:
    I will be delivering at Woodwinds this fall with the Healtheast Midwives.  I have been super happy with them and my care so far.  I was also told on the Woodwinds hospital tour with the midwives that the Healtheast Midwives as a group had a 6.8% c-section rate last fall- which gave me a lot of comfort.  I believe Woodwinds as a hospital has a rate of around 24%.  
    @natescupcake47 I just toured Woodwinds on Monday and the C-section rate is 22%, someone asked :) When are you delivering there? I'm also delivering there this fall.
    @auroraloo I'm due October 5

  • auroraloo said:
     

    Just be sure, everyone, to advocate for yourself.

    This part is KEY on SO many levels in L&D!  Whether you're zoned out in a state of hypnosis or zoned out in a state of medicated bliss - you still need to be you and your baby's best advocate!!!
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  • The c-section rate for the midwife group at Methodist is 9%! I just went to a Meet the Midwives session and the stats they gave were very impressive.
  • I hope this isn't too late of a reply for you, but I called Tricare to ask about the hospitals in question for me. United St. Paul, St. Joe's, St. John's, Woodwinds, and Hudson are all in-network. I hope to deliver my twins in Hudson with Dr. Hartung after 36 weeks. If I don't make it before, he will deliver at United. He gave up his privileges at the other three after frustration with their non-evidence based decision-making. Dr. Hartung's c/s rate is below 15% and is widely admired among doulas and L&D nurses alike. Totally worth the drive to Hudson to see him.

    Definitely look into hiring a doula, as the births desired in this thread have a much higher liklihood of happening with a doula. The evidence is amazing, which makes me wonder why doulas are generally out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Thank you to all who have posted here and provided information. I am going to attempt a VBAC2C...considering changes OBs to have a better support system. Anybody have any reviews on Generations?
  • My only option was a med-free birth, since I arrived to the hospital too late for an epidural. I loved the nurses at St. Joe's. They really helped me through it. I also appreciated the laid back atmosphere after my son was born. Everything seemed a bit more hectic at Abbott with my first.

    My two boys are getting a surprise May 2015!

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  • I had my daughter at woodwinds. I was supposed to go to st joe's- but they were full when my water broke!!! So I got sent to woodwinds. My experience was great. They actually let me labor for 3 full days after my water broke but my labor never progressed and ended up having a csection. But my experience was very positive. I even had acupuncture in room for free after the delivery for pain management. It is a long drive for me, but it was totally ok. I live 2 blks from abbot and will be having #2 there because I don't want to be so far from my daughter while I have her sibling. So that trumped my previous experience.
    MesmrEwe
  • St John's has a new water birthing suite and yesterday they said it is only being used 1-2x per month, so your chances it being available is pretty high. They are part of the HealthEast group and so is Woodwinds which has more waterbirthing suites but is also used more. Also both Woodwinds and St John's are very doula friendly. I know our doula is a volunteer doula at Woodwinds as well. (AKA you can request them to come help you and get one if the are available -first come first serve). We'll be at St John's. Good luck.
  • Hey @auroraloo, I decided to stick with the doc who delivered Eddie, and he just told me at my first appt that he delivers at Woodwinds. Is it weird to drive ten extra minutes for the nice, big tub? My husband is all for it but says it's a little strange:)

    Anyway, my real question is: did you use one of the free doulas? I can't remember.
    *E 10/2012, H 7/2014, F 2/2016*
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  • auroraloo said:

    do it. i'd have another baby for a shot at those tubs.

    I didn't use a doula. I'm not a doulay person :)

    Seriously, I had no complaints about my delivery at Southdale (DS), but I CANNOT say enough great things about Woodwinds. They are kind, uninvasive, accepting, so many wonderful things. It's worth an extra 10 minutes unquestionably.

    LOL at doulay. You're awesome.
    *E 10/2012, H 7/2014, F 2/2016*
    Pregnancy Ticker

  • auroraloo said:



    auroraloo said:

    do it. i'd have another baby for a shot at those tubs.

    I didn't use a doula. I'm not a doulay person :)

    Seriously, I had no complaints about my delivery at Southdale (DS), but I CANNOT say enough great things about Woodwinds. They are kind, uninvasive, accepting, so many wonderful things. It's worth an extra 10 minutes unquestionably.

    LOL at doulay. You're awesome.

    @mississippicatfish did you pick a hospital?


    Yep, we're going to drive the extra ten to Woodwinds. Ultimately, your "I'd have another baby for a shot at those tubs" comment won me over! ;)
    *E 10/2012, H 7/2014, F 2/2016*
    Pregnancy Ticker

    [Deleted User]
  • I did park nicollet midwives and delivered at methodist. Would highly recommend it. They have a brand new waterbirth center on the floor
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