Looking for the 'Perfect' Birthing Center in the Twin Cities.

Updated on January 29, 2011
S.H. asks from Minneapolis, MN
9 answers

I bet most moms-to-be only want the best. This is definitely where I'm at. C and I will be touring hospitals/birth centers in the next few weeks to hopefully find the right one. I feel like we are sort of going backwards because when we found out I was pregnant I scheduled an appointment with a midwife whom we immediately trusted and felt 100% comfortable with. She only operates at Minneapolis Abbotts Hospital (Is that the Allina Birth Center?). I plan to attend a tour of the birth center there on Saturday but I haven't heard much about it…

I'm wondering if anyone could share their experiences at any local hospital or if you have any advice for us as we search for the one that will work best for us. I'm unsure of things like; what to look for in the center, who should I ask my questions to, is location/distance from my house important, finding a new midwife(my preference) or ob's that operate in the particular hospital/center and are in-network to my insurance.

Some important things to me so far (I’m sure the list is going to grow) is; comfortable/positive environment, NICU services/state of the art (assurance my baby is in the best of hands no matter what happens), family/friend visitors during labor, private labor room/recovery room, beneficial classes offered (new mommy-to-be has some stuff to learn!).

Are these the right questions I should be thinking of? What am I missing? Am I going about this the right way? HELP!
I really appreciate any and all feedback.

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answers from Minneapolis on

If you love the midwife, then you should go with her. The hospital will be just fine. And the birth will be, too. Nothing is ever perfect -- except babies!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Check this out, we delivered here and were very happy. Everything explained on the website is very accurate, plus it's one the best hospitals in the nation: www.hcmc.org/midwives



answers from Minneapolis on

Looks like you've already gotten some great advice.

I just had my son 12 weeks ago at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury. I cannot say enough good things about our experience there. From the surgeon who performed my surgery, the midwives I saw while pregnant, to the AMAZING nursing staff while I was there for over 4 nights 5 days, it was TOP NOTCH.

Here's an interesting article to read about the campus: http://metromag.com/0p182a2976/the-woodbury-birth-experie...

If it's close to where you live, then definitely put it into consideration.



answers from Minneapolis on

"NICU services/state of the art (assurance my baby is in the best of hands no matter what happens)"

If this is really #2 on your list I would only consider delivering at one of the hospitals connected with Children's hospital. United in St Paul. I'm not sure which one is connected to Children's in Minneapolis (might be HCMC). Children's Hospital have the BEST NICUs in the state.

Woodbury, although, comfortable has no NICU or nursery. If your baby has issues it will probably be transfered to Children's in St Paul.



answers from Minneapolis on

I think the most important things to base your decision on, after insurance coverage :) are the people who will be attending you. The midwife is the main person who will be helping you give birth, so be comfortable with your choice. All the other things are just icing on the cake.

Please remember that even with an extensive search, analysis, and decision-making process, you are not completely in charge of the birthing process, and it is unlikely to be "perfect" but it can be a great experience. You can not plan for every aspect of this birth. Babies come when they want to (often at night), at the speed they decide to (3 hours+ of pushing), whatever the weather (ice storm in my case), or whether or not the car will start, your midwife calls in sick, the hospital you planned on is full and they send you somewhere else at the last minute (this almost happened to me!).

Here's some things I did - I read a lot of books, only some of which I believed, I talked with mothers (but watch out for the birth "horror stories"), I only went to one "birthing" class - it was useless, I found a doula who came to our home and gave us an individual training session that was informational, realistic, and invaluable! I believed in my ability to care for my baby best.

The labor and delivery you have is important to you, I know. It was important to me, too. I was happy to be able to give birth to my daughter without pain medication, stitches, or other interventions. But remember that the most important thing is to bring your child into the world as best as possible, you then have the rest of your lives to parent him/her!



answers from Minneapolis on

I had my daughter at St. John's in Maplewood and had a wonderful experience. It was hard to go home! My husband and I took many of the classes that Health East offered. Health East hospitals are St. John's, St. Josephs, and Woodwinds. They have great classes and instructors plus hospital tours.
The staff at St. John's were wonderful. The nurses were helpful with breastfeeding questions or concerns and any other questions we had. Parts of the maternity ward were under construction and should be done by now I would think. The new, remodeled rooms were state of the art with all of the bells and whistles. The hospital was quiet and comfortable.
My OB was from Metro OB. She did not deliver my baby but another doctor from Metro did and she was amazing, too. They really have a great staff at Metro. Locations:Woodbury, Maplewood, St. Paul. Two thumbs up to the doctors and staff there, too.
If I were to have any more children I would once again deliver at St. John's.
Hope this helps.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi S.! I had both of my kids at Abbott Northwestern and was very happy with the care I received. I chose it because my doctors were there, and it was close to home. It is right next to Minneapolis Children's hospital, so you will be very close to the best care should your baby need it.

A friend of mine had both of her kids at Methodist and she loved it there. She described the birthing room like a hotel suite! I can't say Abbott was so luxurious, but it was fine. They have a lot of classes available too.

Good luck with your search!



answers from Minneapolis on

Do you know about Health Foundations Family Health & Birth Center in St. Paul on Grand Avenue? They are a group of three fabulous midwives. Their website is health-foundations.com



answers from Minneapolis on


You will get a ton of good responses for this question. Here are my thoughts.

What kind of experience are you looking for? I had my first baby at a big hospital in Washington D.C. and used an O.B. The second (and third) times, I wanted a midwife. The first thing I did was look for a hospital that offered the kind of birth I wanted, then looked into what midwives delivered at that hospital. I ended up using Generations Women's Clinic in Shoreview.

My second and third children came into the world at St. Joseph's hospital in St. Paul. I wanted to have a water birth, and they offered that service. They also have a very low C-Section rate, and the tour I took gave me a good feeling about the birthing center. The nurses are VERY used to women giving birth without interventions and without pain medication - and that was important to me (my first delivery the nurse looked at my like I was a kook when I told her I did not want the epidural).

I lived near Roseville at the time, so St. Joseph's was only about 15 minutes away at the most. I wanted to labor at home, so it was important to me to be relatively close to the hospital, so I could wait to go in until it was really necessary.

A GREAT resource in Edina (and soon to open on Grand Ave. in St. Paul) is Blooma. It's a yoga center for pregnant women and families. They offer great yoga classes (amazing actually), tons of classes on breastfeeding, childcare, and my husband and I took a class called "Labor Intensive" that was fantastic. It was a one afternoon class, but she also offers birth classes that present information over several classes. They also have a wellness room with massage therapists and other services available. Take a look at their website www.blooma.com

Good luck to you! Congratulations on your pregnancy.

SAHM to Charlie (3-24-05), Joey (12-4-06) and Rebecca (11-21-08)

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