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Delivering at Altru Family Birthing Center

Labor & Delivery

As your due date approaches, it’s time to prepare for the labor and delivery of your baby. Altru Health System’s Family Birthing Center provides a variety of labor and birth services so you feel prepared and at ease throughout the process.

Register for your delivery:

  • Sign into your MyChart account
  • Click on Menu, then under the Find Care section, go to Register for My Delivery

You will be prompted to fill out a prenatal history, as well as any specific plans for your birth experience, even if they aren't finalized. Please complete this before your hospital admission.

Please schedule a childbirth education visit if:

  • You are a new mother
  • You have a birth plan or anticipate the need for discussing your birth plan
  • You have had a difficult delivery in the past
  • You want to speak with an OB/GYN health coach before your delivery

Once your delivery registration is complete, MyChart message will be sent to you with information regarding:

  • How to prepare for your baby's birth, what to expect during your labor, and the post-delivery care you will receive
  • Pain management options or techniques to utilize without medications, if you desire
  • Customized plans based off your preferences for your delivery, infant care, and breastfeeding
  • Our infant security measures to keep you and your baby safe

After you have reviewed the information sent to you, a childbirth education visit can be scheduled if you have further questions or concerns. This may be scheduled by replying to the MyChart message or contacting our OB/GYN health coach at 701.780.6900.


There are two main types of delivery:

Vaginal Birth

Labor for a vaginal birth consists of three main stages.

  1. During the first stage, you will begin to experience contractions and your cervix will dilate to prepare for birth. Your physician will monitor the position of the baby at the hospital. The first stage of labor is the longest.
  2. The second stage is the actual pushing and delivering of your baby. You will get in a comfortable position and alternate between periods of pushing and resting between contractions.
  3. The third and final stage is the delivery of the placenta, that gave your baby nutrition and oxygen in the uterus.

Some women choose to have an unmedicated birth. This means going through labor without use of pain medications and with limited use of artificial medical interventions. For women who want pain relief during labor, we offer many safe interventions. You can meet with a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) while in the hospital to review the epidural option, if desired.

Cesarean Birth

A cesarean birth, or C-section, may be best for you and your baby depending on your circumstances. Our skilled obstetricians will discuss this with you should it be necessary. Our surgical suite is located close to our Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and conveniently adjacent to your private labor room.

We offer several choices to help make this a special birth experience for you and your partner:

  • Your partner may be present with you after your anesthesia is initiated.
  • A clear viewing drape is available so that you can see your baby’s birth if you desire.
  • Skin to skin can be an option in the operating room and/or recovery room if it is safe for you and baby.
  • A private post-anesthesia room is available for you and baby to get to know each other while being cared for by an experienced perinatal nurse during your golden hour.

A highly skilled group of professionals with expertise in the perinatal specialties will be available just for you and your newborn during your birth experience. They will continue to care for you during your post-anesthesia recovery and check on you during your stay.


Postdelivery is a time to celebrate your new baby. It’s also the time for a mother to regain her strength after labor and for parents to learn how to take care of a new addition to the family. Our perinatal nurses provide postdelivery care that includes breastfeeding support, continued monitoring and coordination of care and medications.

Specialty Services

Altru offers the following specialty services for you, your loved ones and baby:

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

Within Altru’s Family Birthing Center is the NICU. The NICU is a 16-bed, Level III nursery specifically designed to care for critically ill or premature infants.

Experienced physicians use the latest technology to provide specialized care to those in need. Working in collaboration with providers throughout Altru and Mayo Clinic, our NICU providers make decisions in the assessment, diagnosis and management of the healthcare needs of neonates and infants.

Our full-service neonatal transport team is available round-the-clock to move infants requiring intensive care services to and from Altru Health System.

Spiritual Care

We realize that childbirth is a memorable and spiritual experience for many. Because of that, a trained chaplain from Altru’s Spiritual Care is available 24 hours a day to provide support to you and your family. Additionally, access to the chapel, located on the second floor of the hospital, is available for prayer, meditation and quiet time for families.

To contact Altru’s Spiritual Care or members of the pastoral services staff, call 701.780.5300 (between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.) or 701.780.5000 (after hours). Your nurse is also available to coordinate a chaplain visit.

For more information about preparing for labor and delivery at Altru’s Family Birthing Center, call 701.780.5480 or 800.732.4277.


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