Restricted COVID-19 Visiting Guidelines: Starting March 13, we have updated visiting guidelines to protect all patients, visitors and staff due to COVID-19, coronavirus.

If you're visiting mom and baby at The Mother Baby Center: Review Allina Health's guidelines

If you're visiting baby in the neonatal units: Review Children's Minnesota guidelines

Learn more about COVID-19 and pregnancy: The Mother Baby Center COVID-19 Information


Is today the day? Every mom has a different labor experience—some start with your water breaking, you may have a daylong backache that turns into contractions, or contractions could just start suddenly!

How Do I Know If I’m In Labor?

There are a lot of different signs that you could be in labor, some more obvious than others. If you think you’re in labor, call your doctor or midwife. They can answer any questions about when you should come to the hospital.


  • Vague, nagging backache causing restlessness and a need to keep changing positions
  • Several soft bowel movements, sometimes with a ‘sick’ feeling in your stomach
  • Cramps that feel like menstrual cramps; the discomfort may go into the thighs
  • Unusual burst of energy often called “nesting”


  • Slippery mucus discharge from the vagina that is tinged with pink or red blood called “bloody show”
  • Contractions that do not become longer, stronger, and closer together (are non-progressing)


  • Fluid leaking from the vagina that can’t be controlled like the flow of urine, or a gush of fluid from the vagina. There may be the sound of a pop when this happens. This is called “rupture of membranes” or your “water breaking”
  • Contractions that become longer, stronger, and closer together over time (are progressing) felt in the abdomen and/or back

Learn more about how to tell if you’re in labor.

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 more about the stages of labor.


Taking a few minutes to pre-register for your upcoming stay at The Mother Baby Center will help decrease the stress of rushing to the hospital while in labor.



Sometimes babies decide to show up on their own time, much to mom’s dismay. If you’re impatient to meet your little one, learn the truth about inducing labor.