You’ve gotten two dark lines on the test -- congratulations! One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make over the coming weeks and months is whether to choose an OB/GYN or a midwife, and where to give birth.
Depending on where you live, you likely have three options:
As a birth doula near Cambridge MN, my goal is always to help you find a birth location that fits your birth philosophy, comfort level, and medical needs. What’s right for someone else might not be the best choice for you.
Why do women choose a hospital birth?
98+% of women in the US give birth in a hospital. Women may choose a hospital birth for many different reasons, such as the distance from their home, health insurance considerations, because they have a condition that makes their pregnancy high risk, they know they want an epidural, they want the option of having an epidural, they feel safer knowing that specific medical interventions are nearby, or because they feel most comfortable in the hospital environment.
What type of healthcare providers can attend a hospital birth?
Most hospitals in east central Minnesota are staffed with OB/GYNs and some family practice physicians. In the hospitals in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud, you may also have the option of care from a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). CNMs begin their training as nurses and go on to receive a master’s degree in midwifery.
Pros of hospital birth
Freestanding Birth Center
Why do some women choose a birth center?
**Note that many hospitals call their labor and delivery unit a birth center, which can be confusing. A freestanding birth center is independent and not affiliated with a hospital, and is staffed by midwives. In Minnesota, birth center equipment, midwife training, and the model of care is extremely similar to a home birth, except that you will travel to the center instead of them coming to you.
Birth centers are becoming more popular in the U.S. For many families who are seeking a natural birth experience, a freestanding birth center is a nice middle ground between a home birth and a hospital birth, and may be covered by insurance even if a homebirth is not. At a birth center, you’ll receive care from midwives and birth assistants, and possibly an RN. A birth center may offer nitrous oxide and other alternative forms of pain management, and have some medical prescribing authority, but you will not be able to get an epidural. Birth centers in Minnesota must comply with specific regulations, such as attending births only between 36 and 42 weeks, and not attending breech or twin births. You’ll go home 4-8 hours after your baby’s birth.
What type of healthcare providers can attend women at a birth center?
Birthing centers are staffed by midwives, usually Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) or Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM). Some birth centers in the Twin Cities are also affiliated with a physician.
Pros of freestanding birth centers
I provide doula support at A New Story Birth Center in Milaca, Luna Women’s Wellness & Birth Center in Brainerd, as well as most birth centers in the Twin Cities.
Why do women choose a home birth?
Only about 1% of women in the U.S. opt for a planned homebirth, but that number rises each year. Most women who choose this type of care believe that birth is a natural process and want to avoid interventions in the process. They feel safer and more comfortable in their home environment with a midwife they know and trust.
What type of healthcare providers can attend a home birth?
Minnesota’s homebirth laws are more generous than many other states. Most midwives in our state who attend home births are certified professional midwives (CPM), although there are many direct entry (DEM) and traditional midwives (TM), a handful of certified nurse midwives (CNM), and some unlicensed midwives who have been trained through traditional apprenticeship and choose not to obtain certification or licensure through the state. I am not aware of any physicians or OB/GYNs who attend home births. In Minnesota, licensed homebirth midwives can attend twin and breech births even though birth center midwives cannot.
Pros of a home birth
Home vs. Birth Center vs. Hospital:
Which is the Right Choice for Me?
There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of birth location. Ultimately, what is right for you will depend on your birth preferences and philosophy, your past birth experiences, your goals, and any medical conditions you have. Many families also need to consider distance and insurance coverage.
My philosophy as a Milaca birth doula is that each family will ideally birth where they are most comfortable and where their goals will be best supported. This will look different for each family and even from one child’s birth to another. There’s really no right or wrong answer – you should choose what is best for you, your baby, and your family.
How Can a Doula Help Me?
We can explore your options and discuss your goals. I can share my experiences at different birth locations in our area and make suggestions on what may be a good fit for you. I always encourage families to tour multiple birth locations so they can discover which feels right.
I’m a holistic birth doula near Princeton who attends births at hospitals, birth centers, and at home. Although many families hire me because they want support for their natural birth goals, I am ready and able to support you in whatever your goals are and have experience with inductions, epidurals, and c-sections. I want you to have the kind of birth that is right for you!
My doula care will look different in each place based on the circumstances, your goals, and your provider, but will always include:
Physical support: Assisting you with various positions through labor and birth, coaching you through contractions, counter pressure and massage.
Emotional support: Verbally encouraging you, listening to you, empathizing with your needs and helping you find solutions.
Informational support: Helping you get the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your baby.
Advocacy: Supporting your communication with your provider and working to ensure that your preferences and wishes are respected – as well as guiding you in doing this for yourself.
If you’re ready to learn more about birth doula services in east central Minnesota, reach out to schedule your free consultation! I’d love to chat with you and answer all of your questions!
Holistic Christian birth doula and placenta encapsulation professional serving Mora, Pine City, Cambridge MN, Isanti, Rush City, North Branch, Wyoming, Forest Lake, Zimmerman, Princeton MN, Milaca, St. Cloud, Little Falls, Garrison, Isle, McGregor, Moose Lake, Sandstone, Hinckley, Finlayson, Danbury, Siren, Grantsburg, and the surrounding areas in east central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.
Call or text me: 612-437-8588
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Professional photo credit: Melissa Rose Photography MN & Chelsea Bootsman
Thank you to the families who have graciously allowed me to share their photos!