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Labor and Delivery

labor and delivery mom and baby

How do I know if I am in labor?

Each labor experience is different. It may start with your water breaking. Or, you may have a daylong backache that turns into contractions. Contractions could also start suddenly. Learn more about the signs of labor and early labor. 

If you think you are in labor, call your doctor or midwife. They can answer any questions about when you should come to the hospital.

Beginnings app: Use your iPad®, iPhone® or iPod touch® to time and record contractions with the Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond mobile application. Download the app »

Delivering at The Mother Baby Center

You're in labor! Take a breath...we've got you covered.

  • A dedicated entrance to The Mother Baby Center is located on 26th Street, between Elliot Avenue and Chicago Avenue. Turn right into the entrance and follow the roundabout to the front doors of The Mother Baby Center.
  • If parking, we recommend you park in the ramp located on the east side of The Mother Baby Center. Take the stairs or elevator to the skyway level (level D). Walk through the skyway and then follow signage directing you to The Mother Baby Center.

Stages of labor

There are three stages of labor. During the first stage, the cervix thins and dilates and contractions begin. The second stage involves pushing the baby through your birth canal. The third stage is the shortest and easiest – cutting the umbilical cord and expelling the placenta. Learn what to expect during each stage of labor.

About your Delivery

The Mother Baby Center is a comfortable and soothing place to deliver your baby. Our team will comfort and support you through labor and the birth of your child. We also invite your husband or partner to participate in this miraculous process.

After you explore the childbirth options available at The Mother Baby Center, we encourage you to state your preferences in a birth plan. This will help us understand your individual needs and preferences.

  • Traditional birth or vaginal childbirth, begins with labor to coax the baby through the birth canal. Learn what to expect during a  traditional birth.
  • Cesarean birth (C-Section) may be planned in advance or recommended as an emergency procedure if your health care provider determines that the health of you or your baby is at risk. Learn what to expect during a Cesarean birth.
  • Midwife birth involves a certified nurse midwife, a registered nurse with advanced training in midwifery. A midwife can provide care throughout pregnancy, childbirth and after childbirth. Currently, a midwife birth is available at the following locations and provided by independent, non Allina Health providers. 
    The Mother Baby Center at Abbott Northwestern and Children's – Minneapolis:  612-775-5500 
    The Mother Baby Center at United and Children's – St. Paul: 612-241-6290 
  • Doula birth involves a doula, or birth assistant that the mom or family has previously coordinated to accompany them. A doula is specially trained to guide you through labor with relaxation and breathing exercises, massage, words of encouragement and other comforting measures. A doula can also work with your husband or partner to encourage involvement and to create a warm and positive experience. A doula does not replace your health care provider, nurses or other medical staff.
  • Water birth is the process of giving birth while immersed in a tub of water. Water birth is available to women who meet certain criteria and sign consent forms that are provided to health care providers and midwives. During labor, the mother is in a cushioned tub of warm water that can help her relax and manage pain. At birth, the newborn is lifted out of the water. Learn more about water birth delivery. Water birth delivery is available at:
    The Mother Baby Center at Abbott Northwestern and Children's – Minneapolis: 612-775-5500
    The Mother Baby Center at United and Children's – St. Paul: 612-241-6290