Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the MN Birth Center
Is Minnesota Birth Center licensed and accredited?
Minnesota Birth Center is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health and has been nationally accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers since 2012.
Is it safe to labor and give birth in a freestanding birth center?
Studies have shown that for healthy, low-risk women, giving birth at a freestanding birth center is as safe as giving birth in the hospital. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agrees. A study released in November 2011 involving over 64,000 women in England found that “for planned births in freestanding midwifery units…there were no significant differences in adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned birth in an obstetric unit”.

Healthy women giving birth in a birth center avoid the routine use of advanced technology and interventions that may not be most appropriate for normal physiologic birth. Women giving birth at Minnesota Birth Center receive skilled, continuous care and labor support from Certified Nurse-Midwives and Registered Nurses. Research has shown that continuous labor support decreases the need for epidural anesthesia, medical interventions, and cesarean sections.

View the most recent study on birth center safety and outcomes in the US published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health.

Who provides care at Minnesota Birth Center?
Minnesota Birth Center offers comprehensive prenatal care by Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs). Our CNMs are Registered Nurses licensed by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and accredited by the American Midwifery Certification Board. CNMs have advanced training and graduate education in midwifery and are experts in normal pregnancy and birth. The CNM scope of practice includes all prenatal, labor and delivery cares as well as life-long gynecological care. During labor and delivery, midwives are aided by Birth Assistants who are Registered Nurses (RN). Registered Nurses are licensed through the Minnesota Board of Nursing.
Is care at Minnesota Birth Center covered by insurance?
Minnesota Birth Center is in-network with all major insurers in Minnesota.
Who can give birth at Minnesota Birth Center?
Minnesota Birth Center specializes in normal physiologic birth. While this list is not exhaustive, these conditions are incompatible with care at Minnesota Birth Center:

  • Heart disease
  • History of embolus or clotting disorders with pregnancy
  • Symptomatic congenital heart defects
  • Kidney disease
  • Current or untreated drug or alcohol addiction
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Gestational Diabetes requiring medication
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Essential hypertension (BP greater than 140/90)
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis
  • Marfan’s Syndrome (including family history of first degree relative)
  • Epilepsy
  • Hemoglobin less than 10gm
  • Previous Rh sensitization
  • Declining or refusing 1 hour gestational diabetes screen or 3 hour gestational diabetes test
  • Active tuberculosis
  • More than two previous c-sections
  • Twins
  • Planned breech birth
  • History of preterm birth < 34 weeks
  • History of lupus
  • Grandmultip (6 or more babies)  – will consider on case-by-case basis
  • Gestation of more than 22 weeks with no prenatal care
  • Primigravida (first time mom) pre-pregnancy BMI > 36
  • Multigravida (mom with at least one child) pre-pregnancy BMI > 40
  • Active anorexia or bulimia within the last year
  • Gastric bypass
  • Lap bands – will consider on case-by-case basis

We do not consider age or IVF/ART, to be risk factors.
If you’re currently with another provider for your prenatal care but are considering a transfer to MBC, please decide before 34 weeks.

Are lab and ultrasound services available at Minnesota Birth Center?
Routine prenatal labs are drawn at Minnesota Birth Center and are processed by Quest Laboratory. Minnesota Birth Center provides early pregnancy scans (if determined to be medically indicated) and 20-week scans in our clinic.

Genetic testing, perinatal consultation, and high level ultrasound services are available to our families through Associates in Women’s Health.

What is the Minnesota Birth Center's approach to Ultrasound?
MBC’s providers (Certified Nurse-Midwives, RNs, Sonographer, Medical Director) are committed to practicing evidenced-based, financially responsible care and will only assess, test, and treat when medically indicated.

If indicated, an early ultrasound will be performed or referred to an outside facility depending upon provider availability.  We require a twenty week anatomy scan, which are offered in-house and performed by our Sonographers.  Additional ultrasounds may be recommended based upon other factors.

Who will attend my birth?
Continuous labor and delivery support is provided by a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) aided by a Birth Assistant who is a Registered Nurse (RN). CNM Fellows may also assist at births. Doulas, friends, family members, and other support persons chosen by the laboring mother are welcome to attend births at Minnesota Birth Center.
What happens if I need to transfer to the hospital during labor?
There are times during labor and birth when a transfer to the hospital may become necessary or something you choose. Our certified nurse-midwives have admitting privileges at Abbott Northwestern and United Hospitals. For non-emergent transfers, your midwife will continue care at the hospital. In case of emergency, care is transferred to the backup physician group. We recommend our families pre-register with Abbott Northwestern or United Hospitalist to expedite admission should a transfer occur. Both Minnesota Birth Center locations are minutes from a hospital, making transfers safe and seamless.
Is medication available at Minnesota Birth Center?
Emergency medication and equipment such as IVs and oxygen are available at Minnesota Birth Center. We do not offer epidurals or pharmaceutical pain relief.
What comfort measures are available during labor and delivery?
Minnesota Birth Center specializes in natural birth. We offer a wide variety of comfort measures including:

  • Nitrous Oxide for pain relief
  • Water birth in our large labor pools
  • Use of birth balls and birthing stool
  • Freedom of movement
  • iPod dock for soothing music
  • Aromatherapy using Wyndmere essential oils
  • Ability to eat and drink at will
  • Continuous labor support from your midwifery team

What happens after my baby is born?
Your baby will be placed in your arms for immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth. We offer house-made herbal bath and homemade bread with local honey to each postpartum mother. Your midwife team will assist you with breastfeeding while continually monitoring your and your baby’s health during the immediate postpartum period. Families stay at the birth center an average of four hours after birth. Our Early Discharge class thoroughly equips families to care for their babies and selves postpartum. After birth, you will leave the birth center confident and comfortable in caring for your baby at home.

Mothers and babies will receive a postpartum home visit with a nurse 24-48 hours after birth. During this visit the nurse will perform the newborn hearing and metabolic screen and assess mother’s physical and emotional well-being. At 1-2 weeks postpartum mothers are able to schedule an office visit with a midwife or a home visit with a RN. At 6 weeks postpartum mothers come in to the birth center for a visit with a midwife.

What pediatric care services are provided by Minnesota Birth Center?
Minnesota Birth Center participates in the Minnesota Department of Health Newborn Screening Program. This essential service provides screening for 50 diseases, as well as newborn hearing screening. We do not offer any other pediatric services.
How do I transfer my prenatal care to Minnesota Birth Center?
MBC welcomes transfer of care up to 34 weeks, provided we can accommodate your due date. Attendance at an MBC Orientation is required in order to establish care (schedule an Orientation here). If you are 32 weeks or beyond, please call our Front Desk to verify availability and arrange to speak with the Clinical Director for a Phone Orientation to determine eligibility for care. All transfer clients, regardless of gestation, must have records from the current pregnancy transferred to our offices. Medical records can be transferred using the Release of Information form below and faxed to (612) 224-9622.

Release of Information (PDF)

Can I return to Minnesota Birth Center for my Well Woman care?
Yes! Our midwives offer lifelong Well Woman care services, including:

  • Annual exams
  • Pap smears
  • STD screening
  • Preconception counseling
  • Family planning and contraceptive care