Low-Intervention Birth Plan

If you want an unmedicated, or natural birth experience, work with your Essentia maternity care provider to create a low-intervention birth plan. You can trust that your care team will respect your preferences, and follow your birth plan as closely as possible while keeping you and your baby's health our top priority. We will encourage you to move around throughout labor with only occasional monitoring.

Is Low-Intervention Right For Me?

Ask your Essentia maternity provider about a low-intervention birth plan if you:

  • Are carrying a single baby
  • Have a healthy pregnancy with no complications
  • Don’t have a chronic health condition

Medical Insight: Birthing Choices for Expectant Moms Video Transcript

Text, Medical Insight.

SPEAKER: Welcome to Medical Insight, a weekly health care feature brought to you by the experts at Essentia Health. Here's your host, Kim Kaiser. KIM KAISER: When it comes to planning for the birth of their babies, many expectant mothers have specific goals and wishes for their birth experience. In today's Medical Insight, Essentia Health obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Andrea Wahman explains how patients at Essentia Health can decide what kind of birth experience is right for them. ANDREA WAHMAN: We've made a lot of really great changes in the last year for what options women who are pregnant can have in labor.

Doctor sitting in chair in nursery.

We've developed a low intervention pathway for people who want to have a more natural delivery in the safety of a hospital. So they can be in the hospital, but not have to be hooked up to an IV or continuous monitoring. KIM KAISER: A low intervention birth means less frequent fetal monitoring and encouraging women to move around as much as possible during labor. ANDREA WAHMAN: So after I've met with them a few times, have gotten to know them a little bit. If they're not a really high risk patient, I generally will just ask if they're interested in trying for a natural delivery in the safety of a hospital.

Doctor holds baby.

And some people are just sure that they want an epidural, and they don't want to do that, and we really support that, as well. But for the patients who want to be less interventional and more natural, we ask them about that. KIM KAISER: At Essentia Health, patients are able to meet with a midwife and their physician in alternating appointments. It's all about choices and knowing that as a patient, your care team is here to support you. ANDREA WAHMAN: Labor is unpredictable. But there are a lot of things that we do have some control over, and it's been really wonderful to work along with patients, talking to them about what it is that they would like. KIM KAISER: For Medical Insight, I'm Kim Kaiser. SPEAKER: To learn more about this topic, call our experts at 783-3107, or log onto www.essentiahealth.org.

Essentia Health, 218-786-3107

Low-Intervention Maternity Services

The Birthplace at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, MN offers a low-intervention pathway for healthy pregnant women who are a low risk for complications, by partnering with the Obstetrics & Gynecology department at Essentia Health Duluth Clinic.

Our pathway focuses on natural, individualized, family-centered care. We partner with you in planning all aspects of your birthing experience. 

Risk Screening

Screening is an essential part of providing safe care to patients seeking this pathway. Talk to your Essentia maternity provider to determine if you're a good candidate.

Prenatal Care

We take a unique team approach to prenatal care. Your first visit is with your obstetrician. The rest of your visits will be varied between your obstetrician and midwife, based on where you are in your pregnancy.

The midwife and OB/GYN team focus on pregnancy as a normal, physiologic event in a woman’s life and screens for problems along the way.

Our midwife visits focus on meeting the individual needs of each woman and family. Special attention is given to nourishing the mind, body and spirit. Education is focused on nutrition, exercise and the physiologic and emotional changes that occur during pregnancy.

Our Services

  • Prenatal class on low-intervention birth
  • Prenatal education in visits that allow plenty of time for your questions
  • Prenatal visits with the medical expertise of an obstetrician
  • Education and counseling in nutrition, exercise, physiologic and emotional changes
  • Assistance in developing a personalized birth plan
  • Holistic support in labor and delivery
  • Breastfeeding education, assistance and encouragement
  • Postpartum care and family planning

Delivery - What to Expect

The Birthplace has private rooms with bathrooms, tubs and showers. To promote comfort during labor, we encourage women to monitor their own nourishment by drinking plenty of water and eating light snacks as needed. 

We promote the use of birthing balls, hydrotherapy and we welcome doulas. We also utilize other holistic modalities to increase comfort. Our goal, like yours, is a peaceful transition to motherhood. Immediate skin-to-skin contact and rooming in with your baby are encouraged. If you baby needs help after birth, you can feel safe knowing the region's only neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is right down the hall. 

Contact Us

Learn more by calling 218-786-3800.

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