The Birth Place at Windom Area Health is committed to making women champions of their birth experience. We provide state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, as well as resources and support to help each woman make informed decisions regarding her care.
Birth Place Services
The Birth Place staff is committed to your comfort. Our services are designed to enhance your birth experience, and include:
- Individualized Pain Management Plans
- Intraspinal Anesthesia available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Lactation Counselor - offers support to breastfeeding mom. A Lactation Counselor will meet with every breastfeeding mother during her stay at the hospital for assistance with the early stages of breastfeeding. She will also call the breastfeeding mother after the baby is home to offer support and answer questions.
- Great Beginnings - Complimentary check-ups for mom and baby. (See tab)
- Neonatal Screenings - One in a thousand babies in Minnesota who seem healthy at birth have a hidden disease. Minnesota state law (144.125) requires screening ALL newborns between 24-48 hours after birth, to ensure the health of all infants born in our state. This neonatal screening provides information on more than thirty-five rare diseases. If any of these diseases are found and treated early, serious problems may be prevented. While neonatal screening is crucial to a newborn's health, parents may sign a waiver to opt out of the screening.
- Newborn Infant Hearing Screenings (See tab)
- Safe Place for Newborns Program (See tab)
- Tours Available!
Birth Place Staff
The Birth Place Nursing Staff and Care Providers are highly trained specialists who are dedicated to the health of you and your baby. To enhance the care and safety of your family, the Birth Place staff holds the following certifications:
A Lactation Consultant will meet with every breastfeeding mother during her stay at the hospital for assistance with the early stages of breastfeeding. She will also call the breastfeeding mother after the baby is home to offer support and answer questions.
Birth Place Classes
The Birth Place understands that the many choices involved in pregnancy and childbirth can be overwhelming. Helping you to make informed healthcare decisions is our priority, which is why the Birth Place is committed to providing education, resources and support to expecting parents. Because having a child is a family event, both Moms and Dads are encouraged to attend our educational sessions. Our education and support series are all taught by certified Registered Nurses.
Prenatal Education Series
This is a 4-week program (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings)covering labor and delivery patterns, possible unexpected outcomes, pain management techniques, breastfeeding, the importance of nutrition and exercise, and tips on caring for a newborn.
The Prenatal Education Series is taught by a Registered Nurse who has been educated through the Sanford Prenatal Center. The series educates parents on what to expect during the birthing experience and how to care for a child. Classes cover a variety of topics including nutrition, stages of labor, breathing techniques, cesarean births, birthing complications, breastfeeding, the importance of exercise, a tour of the Birth Place, and basic safety and child care issues. To register or for more information, contact 507-831-2400.
Childbirth Refresher Class
A one-night class for parents who have already experienced the birth process, or for those who are new to the Birth Place. The class reminds parents of labor and delivery patterns and pain management techniques.
This is a two-hour program for parents considering breastfeeding for their newborn. Topics of the class include the benefits of breastfeeding, various holds and latching tips, pumping basics and breast care. Dads are encouraged to attend this course, which is taught by a certified Lactation Counselor. Click here for dates and more information.
**Classes are subject to cancellation if attendance levels are low.**
Birth Place Facilities
The Birth Place is a separate wing of our inpatient unit, dedicated to the birth and care of your new addition. The Birth Place patients enjoy modern day comforts and conveniences in our family-centered facilities, including:
- Spacious, private Labor and Delivery rooms with whirlpool tubs
- Private Post-partum rooms, each with bathroom and whirlpool tub
- Each room includes sleeping accommodations for dads
- Family room for Birth Place visitors
- Locked and monitored Newborn Nursery
- Cuddles, a security system for your baby
- Nurses Station at nursery for enhanced care
- Outdoor courtyard
Windom Area Health offers complimentary follow-up appointments to all moms and babies that deliver at The Birth Place. The appointments, called Great Beginnings, will be scheduled sometime within the first week of discharge from the hospital and will be considered an extension of the hospital stay. Appointments will generally take 20-60 minutes and be held at the hospital. A registered nurse, who is also a lactation consultant, will provide an exam for mom covering delivery follow-up, breastfeeding assistance if needed, and wellness screenings. Baby’s exam will cover weight, feeding, cord condition, jaundice, and other assessments.
The exam is not meant to replace the follow-up that will be scheduled with the primary care provider, but to be a bridge to ease the transition with a new baby.
Our lactation counselors have explained a few of the reasons parents should opt to schedule the appointment. “While it’s often intimidating to leave the house the first week, it’s a great, safe opportunity to venture out. Some babies don’t show signs of jaundice until after discharge and this is appointment offers ideal timing to check to make sure baby’s levels are safe. Also, breastfeeding issues often present themselves the first week and if we can help mom overcome them, it will help set the course for a successful feeding future.”
Newborn Infant Hearing Screenings
Windom Area Health is pleased to announce newborn hearing screening is now being performed on all babies born at Windom Area Health. Newborns will undergo a screening process, which is part of the “standard of care” received (like a PKU test for newborns). This test is performed while infants are sleeping to get the most accurate results.
To test the baby’s hearing earphones are placed over the baby’s ears and an adhesive-back sensor is attached to the forehead. The screener sends a series of soft clicking sounds to the baby’s ears through the earphones. Sensors pick up the response from the baby’s brain and send it to the ALGO (Auditory Brainstem Response technology) screener, where it is analyzed automatically for immediate results.
Babies will receive a grade of “pass” or “rescreen”. Babies that pass the test should not have hearing problems. It is still important to watch for hearing or speech and language problems. If a child has any risk factors, which include, but are not limited to:
- Family history of childhood hearing loss
- The infant has a syndrome
- The infant becomes sick with bacterial meningitis
- The infant receives a head injury with a loss of consciousness or skull fracture
- The infant has ongoing ear infections for at least 3 months
- The infants’ parent/caregiver is concerned about hearing, speech or overall development
Babies that need to be “rescreened” will be referred to an audiologist before the baby is 3 months of age. This does not necessarily mean that the baby has a hearing problem, but the baby does need to have their hearing evaluated to determine hearing ability. Often times babies with normal hearing need to be rescreened when the ear canal is blocked with birth residue (vernix), fluid in the middle ear or simply because the baby was too fussy during the test to achieve satisfactory results.
Babies that were born at Windom Area Health prior to implementing the newborn hearing screening or in hospitals without this technology should seek medical advice from their family physician. Screening can be done on an outpatient basis with a physician’s referral. Accurate tests can only be performed on babies under 6 months of age.
Caregivers should watch for the following hearing and speech development milestones as their children grow and develop. If you suspect there is a problem, contact your pediatrician or family physician immediately.
Birth to 3 months
- Recognizes and quiets to parent’s voice
- Startles to loud sounds
3 to 6 months
- Awakens to sounds or speech
- Turns towards interesting sounds
6 to 12 months
- Understands first words such as “da-da” or “ma-ma”
- Responds to names of favorite toys by pointing to them when asked
- Responds to sounds coming from far away
12 to 18 months
- Says first words such as “da-da” or “ma-ma”
- Responds to names of favorite toys by pointing to them when asked
- Responds to sounds coming from far away
18 to 24 months
- Has a vocabulary of approximately 20 words
- Speaks two-word phrases
- Understands simple “yes” and “no” questions
- Refers to self by name
- Follows simple directions
24 months to 3 years
- Has a vocabulary of approximately 270 words by 24 months, 1000 words by 3 years
- Wants to speak, to communicate needs, wants and experiences
- Speaks simple sentences
- Recognizes different sounds
- Understands most of what is said to him or her
Because hearing impairment has no visual indicators, early detection is very important. In the United States 24,000 children are born every year with a hearing impairment. Although hearing impairment is far more common than many conditions typically screened in newborns, such as PKU, Hypothyroid, Hemoglobinopathy and Cystic Fibrosis, less than 15 percent of newborns in the U.S. are screened for hearing impairment at birth. This standard testing is critical in detecting hearing impairment.
Windom Area Health is fortunate to be able to offer this technology to patients. A number of generous contributors enabled Windom Area Health to receive this technology, including the Minnesota Lion's Club, which matched donations from the following: Eagles Jimmy Durante Grant, Windom Area Shriner Club, Windom Area CB Club, Windom Eagles Auxiliary, Windom Lion's Club, Masonic Lodge- Prudence #97, Windom Workers 4-H Club, and tips earned at the Ducks Unlimited Banquet.
For additional information about newborn hearing screening, contact Windom Area Health (507) 831-2400.
Safe Place for Newborns Program
Windom Area Health is a Safe Place for Newborns hospital. This program allows a mother to anonymously leave her unharmed newborn, up to 72 hours old, with a hospital employee at any hospital in Minnesota. No police will be called, and the mother's identity will not be questioned.
Any newborn brought to the hospital under the Safe Place for Newborns program will be cared for and provided any necessary medical services until placement in foster care is arranged.
For more information:
Email: [email protected]
Toll-free Crisis Line: 877-440-2229