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Obstetrics

Ease the cares of pregnancy, childbirth and infancy when you choose an experienced, nearby family doctor and hospital. You are assured, with only rare exceptions, that the same doctor you have chosen to follow every detail of your pregnancy will be at hand when it is time to deliver your baby.

RiverView offers you a comfortable bedroom suite with a private bath for your labor, delivery and remaining stay. You will have a private nurse while you are in labor, so she won't be summoned away when you need her most.

In the days and weeks following delivery, your hospital nurses and physician are prepared to guide and care for your new family. It's why RiverView is a great place to begin new life.

The big day (or night)

Your doctor will advise you when it's best to come to the hospital. One clear-cut rule is to come in if your water breaks, even if you aren't having contractions. When you arrive, your obstetrics nurse will help you get comfortable and manage contractions. She watches your condition and carefully monitors the baby's heartbeat. When your physician is not present, your nurse will keep him or her posted of your progress.

Your own physician, who has cared for you throughout pregnancy, will be your guiding hand during delivery. The only exception is when your doctor is out of town. Another family physician with OB services from RiverView Hospital would then perform the delivery.

Pain management

They don't call it labor for nothing. Having a baby is hard work, and part of that work is getting through the pain. There are more ways than ever to manage that pain, and you don't have to choose just one. Your RiverView care team will work to make your labor and delivery as comfortable as possible.

Breathing and relaxation techniques are important during labor, as well as other natural, medication-free options. For pain medication, the RiverView anesthesiology team is always available with a variety of options during labor and recovery. 

The golden hour

Once that little bundle of joy makes its way into the world, the golden hour begins. Those 60 minutes after birth are very important for bonding between mother and baby. Research shows that breastfeeding and bonding are improved when there is skin-to-skin contact early on.

The American Academy of Pediatrics statistics state that babies who are held skin-to-skin immediately after birth have more stable heart rates and respiratory rates, they maintain stable body temperature and glucose levels, and they also cry less and secrete less stress hormone. These babies breastfeed sooner, longer, and more effectively and exhibit more optimal sleep patterns and growth patterns. Mothers report a sense of safety and security and exhibit greater mothering behaviors when holding their newborns this way. Keeping mother and baby together and in close contact after birth is a win-win situation for everyone.

Gentle cesarean

RiverView was one of the first hospitals in the region to start keeping mother and baby together after a cesarean. The OB Unit worked with RiverView's Surgical Services Team to ensure that mothers who deliver via cesarean section get to enjoy the same closeness with their newborns. Instead of being separated after the procedure and during the recovery period, mothers delivering at RiverView can keep their newborn with them from birth through recovery on the OB Unit.

Aditionaly, RiverView introduced a two-ply blue and clear surgical drape that allows families to, at the time of baby's birth, see the baby immediately. The baby is now in view from the time of birth until mom gets to hold baby for the first time. Mothers who deliver via cesarean are also able to enjoy the same bonding and physiologic benefits of immediate skin-to-skin care and early breastfeeding that is enjoyed by mothers who deliver vaginally.

Rooming-in

No longer is it the case that a family's first night alone with the new baby is after returning home from the hospital. The Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend a 24-hour rooming-in setup. Rooming-in is the practice of keeping mother, baby, and family together in the same room after the birth of their baby and through the remainder of the hospital stay. Newborns only leave their mothers and go to the nursery for procedures or if needing specialty observation.

Safety features

On the long list of items that ensure the safety of each mother and child, RiverView has implemented the policy of not allowing any inductions or scheduled cesarean sections prior to 39 weeks, unless medically indicated. RiverView's cesarean rate is currently the same as the national average, 32 percent, although it's usually below the national average.

Once the baby is born, routine congenital cardiac screenings are conducted to identify problems as early as possible so proper treatment can begin. As required by the State of Minnesota, newborns are screened for treatable genetic conditions through a blood spot panel, congenital heart defects through pulse oximetry screening, and for hearing deficits through hearing screenings.

Childbirth classes

Taught by the same women who assist with deliveries (and stay informed on every new birthing development), childbirth classes will give you more guidance and another chance to learn practical tips.

Topics covered include:

  • Labor and delivery techniques.
  • Prenatal care.
  • Infant care.
  • Breastfeeding.
  • CPR.

Free childbirth classes are held four times a year. Each series includes four weekly classes. Just call the hospital to register at 218.281.9300 or 800.743.6551, ext. 9300. Tours of RiverView's private delivery suites are provided as part of our childbirth classes.

RiverView continues to upgrade inpatient rooms with funds donated by the RiverView Auxiliary to make each room as comfortable and aesthetically pleasing as possible. A gift package is also given to each baby born at RiverView by the Auxiliary with many keepsakes to mark the joyous occasion.

The RiverView Foundation is also a partner in assuring each family is comfortable. Through the Foundation, rocking chairs have been donated and projects incorporated like the baby blanket program in which each baby born at RiverView is given a handmade blanket sewn by RiverView volunteers. The blanket program is made possible in memory of caring mothers Irene Noesen and Cheryl Steinbrink.