A Guide to Choosing Where to Have Your Baby

Deciding where you want to be when you meet your baby for the first time is a pretty big deal. Here are some of the main things to consider.

Where is the best place to give birth

The setting you want

 Most women have their babies at hospitals. The other possibilities are a birth center or your home. The most important factor is your safety and the baby's. A hospital  has all the experts and services you might need. Birth centers aren’t allowed to do some of those things. A home birth can be considered if your pregnancy has been properly monitored and deemed very low risk. 

Who will help you deliver?

The options are a certified nurse midwife, your family doctor or an OB-GYN doctor who specializes in women’s health. If you’ve already chosen a doctor or midwife, you’ll need to choose among the places where they have credentials to deliver. But you can also do it the other way around. You can pick the place you want to go, then choose a doctor or midwife who delivers there.

“You watch the movies and they make it seem like babies are born in mere minutes,” said nursing leader Dar Spiegelberg of Fairview. “But it’s the greatest marathon the body can ever run. It’s heroic. At the hospital, you have the coaching and support to run that incredible journey.” 

Don’t forget to check what hospitals and providers are in-network for your insurance.

The experience you hope for

You want to feel in control of what happens when giving birth, right? So wherever you go, you can decide whether you want pain relief or if you’re OK with certain procedures. You can decide to labor in a tub of nice warm water, walk the halls, perch on a birthing ball or even hang out in a sling.  

At The Birthplace at Fairview, doctors aren’t going to just keep you confined to a bed or keep you from having a natural birth.

“We wait until the body is ready to give birth, rather than forcing it. That natural, physiological birth is how we as labor nurses are trained. I don’t know it any other way,” Spiegelberg said. “That’s the philosophy of The Birthplace, very much letting the women’s body dictate the pace of when we’ll deliver.”

Who will be with you?

Make sure you know the policy for who’s welcome to support you during labor and delivery. At The Birthplace, it can be any family member, friend or doula. “As long as the nurse and provider can get in there, fill the room!” Spiegelberg said.  “It’s your birth experience. We’re just here to facilitate that.”

Your options for managing pain

The good news: There are more than ever. Find out what’s offered or even possible at the place you’re considering. Experienced hospital labor nurses know all kinds of ways to help you cope, like the best yoga positions! Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is an increasingly popular offering at The Birthplace. And remember that if you choose a birth center instead of a hospital, getting an epidural there is not allowed.  

How much help you want or need

If you’re a first-time mom, you’ll need help with more than just bringing the baby into the world. At any hospital you’re considering, ask what kind of help you’ll get with breast-feeding and find out what pediatricians you can pick from. If you have a high-risk pregnancy because of your age, health or other factors like a history of delivering prematurely, learn about the hospital’s NICU or neo-natal intensive care unit in case your baby will need it.  

The amenities you’re looking for

A modern maternity suite at a hospital “is a lot like a hotel room,” Spiegelberg said. “I think of the amenities like you have on vacation. You have the large tub, the large bathroom, the refrigerator, the surround sound system so you can play soothing music and the lounge where the family can wait.”  The best way to decide where to have your baby is to tour the hospitals you’re considering and see for yourself.

We can’t wait to meet you and your growing family! Book a tour now at The Birthplace at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming or Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton.  

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