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Owatonna Hospital

Birth Center & Nursery Services

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A young hispanic woman cradles her newborn baby against her cheek and smiles

To schedule a tour or for more information, call

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We see a lot of babies and births each year – 600 annually at Owatonna Hospital. Our staff has decades of experience helping babies and their families get started.

Welcoming a baby into the world is an exciting time for many families. We offer care for pregnancy and childbirth and work with you to make your birth personal and comfortable.

At Owatonna Hospital, moms and families can enjoy the new amenities in our new Birth Center.

Labor and delivery

You will experience labor and delivery in a comfortable, home-like private suite. Each labor and delivery room features a TV, CD player, sleeper chair, telephone, bathroom with shower and Jacuzzi tub and equipment needed for your birth, such as fetal monitor to measure your contractions, the baby's heart rate and other vital signs.

The Birth Center at Owatonna Hospital also offers integrative therapy services to new moms before, during and after delivery. These services include aromatherapy, massage therapy, guided imagery and breathing techniques. Lavender oil is being used for postoperative pain and to increase comfort. The other oils used are mandarin, ginger and sweet marjoram, and are given as inhalers or topicals.

If you require delivery via cesarean section, we have a dedicated operating room. Visitors are welcome in your labor room at any time.

Birth Center photo tour

To schedule a tour or for more information, call

The birth center tour is for parents and families who plan to give birth at Owatonna Hospital. The tour includes how to get to the Birth Center on the second floor, as well as a glimpse into our birth rooms, labor areas, postpartum rooms and nursery.

Before taking a walking tour of the Birth Center, you can take a pictorial tour by selecting the Photo Gallery images below:

Private post-partum rooms

Interior of a post-partum room. Photo courtesy of Owatonna People's Press

To schedule a tour or for more information, call

After you deliver your baby and a short observation time, you and your baby will move to our private mother-baby care rooms complete with a refrigerator and microwave for you and your families’ needs. The mother-baby rooms also feature a sleeper chair, telephone, TV, CD player and full bathroom.

Our private room maternity and mother-baby care area provides mother-baby nursing. Your baby has been close to you for many months and thrives on the security of your familiar presence. Caring for your baby in your room gives you a wonderful opportunity to get to know your baby’s unique personality and to learn about or review infant care and feeding.

Your nurse provides care for you and your baby in the comfort of your room. Breastfeeding and baby care is offered 24 hours a day by our highly trained staff. A lactation consultant is available to assist you with breastfeeding. Expert guidance from our staff is available throughout your stay.


Newborn hearing and metabolic screens are done prior to discharge to assure your baby has a healthy start.

Car seat inspections

Car seat technicians are available to help ensure your infant car seat meets all the standards, as well as show you how to buckle your infant into the car seat properly prior to the delivery of your baby. Car seat technicians’ availability is limited so be sure to inquire ahead of time.

Room service

Available Monday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., patients dial 72111 from their hospital phones to place their orders. Room service offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, beverage and la carte options ranging from scrambled eggs and bacon to a full-service pasta bar.

Options also include choices for patients on a clear liquid diet and full liquid diet, but patients on a modified or restricted diet will be able to make selections with the support of their care team and dietary staff. Food is delivered to the patient’s bedside in 30 to 45 minutes, prepared to the patient's specifications.

Breastfeeding support for new moms

Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience for both mother and baby, and many new mothers look forward to bonding with their newborns through it.


Breastfeeding your baby

This free class covers breastfeeding topics including normal feeding patterns, pumping and storage, returning to work, etc.

In addition to the emotional benefits of this experience, research shows breastfeeding can lower a baby's risk for:

  • ear and upper respiratory infections
  • allergies
  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • chronic conditions in adulthood, including diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.

"While breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's not for everyone," said Laurie Ridgley, RN, nurse manager of the Owatonna Hospital Birth Center.

The decision to breastfeed or bottlefeed is personal, Ridgley said. "Our staff is happy to support whatever feeding method you choose."

The Birth Center now has three certified lactation counselors (CLC) who can help mothers who choose breastfeeding.

"We show you how to get started and how to best position your baby," said Trisha Wencl, RN, CLC, at Owatonna Hospital.

CLCs can help with any problems you may have, such as difficulties latching on, painful nursing, low milk production or if your baby is not gaining enough weight. Three nurses are CLCs, but everyone on staff at the Birth Center has been trained in assisting new moms with feeding.

"We've standardized the education for all our nurses so that any one of them can help you with whatever feeding method you choose," Ridgley said.

Birth Center nurses can also help moms who choose to bottle-feed with proper mixing and handling. Nurses are available to provide education and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"New moms take comfort in having someone who can help them immediately after birth," Ridgley said.

Source: Healthy Communities Magazine, fall 2012 issue
Reviewed by: Healthy Communities Magazine, fall 2012 issue
First Published: 10/10/2012
Last Reviewed: 10/01/2012

Owatonna Hospital childbirth classes

For more information on any of these classes call

Community Education at 507-444-7900.

The Owatonna Hospital Birth Center offers an extensive education program for new moms and refresher courses for those who have children.

Some of the childbirth classes offered at Owatonna Hospital include:

Amazing Newborn Clinic

This is a weekly free clinic for newborns and their parents where questions and concerns can be addressed by a nutritionist, lactation specialist and nurse. Babies are weighed and parents' questions and concerns are addressed. Drop in anytime the clinic is open.

Birth, Babies & Beyond

This class focuses on preparation for labor, birth and early parenthood. Sessions are led by health and education professionals and include breathing and relaxation techniques, common discomforts and relief for the last weeks of pregnancy, a tour of the Owatonna Hospital Birth Center, normal birth procedures, characteristics of newborn care, parenting in the first weeks and more!

Birth, Babies & Beyond - Refresher

Fee of $30 for review of the first two sessions. Call 507-444-7900 for more details.

Breastfeeding preparation

This class focuses on newborn feeding patterns, how to telll if your baby is getting enough milk and common issues and lifestyle changes.

Visiting guidelines

Sharing the birth of your baby can be an exciting time for you, your family and friends. The Birth Center at Owatonna Hospital is a family-centered care unit and we are interested in supporting your wishes to have visitors come see you and your baby in your private room.

The Birth Center is a locked unit for the safety of all newborns. The intercom located to the left of the entrance doors provides voice communication with the nursing desk. All visitors need to request access to enter the unit.

The average length of stay in the Birth Center is two to three days. This time goes by quickly. You will be recovering, learning about your baby, and talking with your health care team. For these reasons, the Birth Center has created the following guidelines for visitors.

Labor room visiting

Visitors designated by the patient are limited to a maximum of two.

Only one person designated by the mother is allowed to visit for one hour after the birth of the baby. The health care team needs time to assess both you and your baby. This is also a special time for your new family to bond.

Postpartum room visiting

Visiting hours are between 10 a.m. -1 p.m. and 3 - 8 p.m. Visitors allowed at this time are designated by the mother.

The time between 1 - 3 p.m. allows new mothers to rest and be alone with their newborn. No visitors are allowed at this time except the baby’s father or the mother’s significant other.

Mothers who deliver by cesarean birth will recover in their post-partum room. No visitors are allowed during the initial two-hour recovery time except one person designated by the mother.

Siblings cannot stay overnight in the mother’s room. All visiting children must be supervised by an adult other than the new mother/patient.

The number of visitors in a room is limited to five. A large gathering of visitors can cause added noise and be upsetting to other new mothers. Visitors can wait in the waiting area outside the unit and take turns visiting in your room.

There may be a medical situation that might limit or prevent visiting. We ask for patience and understanding if this occurs.

Newborn nursery

No visitors are allowed into the newborn nursery except for the mother and her designated visitor. With medical staff approval, grandparents may be allowed on a rotating basis.