How can physical therapy benefit moms?

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How can physical therapy benefit moms? That is an excellent question, and Tri-County’s physical therapy team is here to answer it! Pregnancy is one of the toughest challenges a woman can face. It comes with many rewards, but it undeniably strains the body. Working with a dedicated team of physical therapists can make the journey to motherhood so much easier.

“Women’s Health physical therapy is focused on caring for you during both your pregnancy and post-partum journey. In physical therapy, we can help reduce pain, improve mobility, prevent injury, and keep you feeling strong during pregnancy and get you back to doing the things you love postpartum.” – Kayli Mollberg, DPT

For the expecting mother, we offer these services:

  • Mobility maintenance
  • Body mechanics training to reduce strain on the neck and lower back
  • Pressure management to reduce the risk of urinary leakage or prolapse
  • Core engagement to support a growing belly and improve recovery after giving birth
  • Early education on postpartum precautions
  • Proper breathing techniques
  • Aquatic therapy for reduced pressure through joints

Postpartum care

Our care doesn’t end after pregnancy. The body still has much healing to do, and physical therapy at Tri-County Health Care can assess and treat a wide range of issues stemming from pregnancy and delivery. Additionally, postpartum services include:

  • Early postpartum mobility management
  • Pelvic floor activation for improved strength and preventing incontinence and prolapse
  • Postural education and body mechanics
  • Reestablishing coordination of breath control and muscle activation
  • Scar tissue mobility (grade 1-4 tearing)


Some mothers experience issues with bladder and bowel control during and after pregnancy. This is a problem that many find too difficult or embarrassing to discuss but should be addressed by the proper care team. Physical therapy is once again here to help. They have several techniques and exercises that can alleviate and, in some cases, completely stop the problem. Remember, incontinence is not a normal condition for any age group, so make sure to seek help from trained specialists if you suffer from these issues.

To better understand incontinence, please watch the video below. It provides valuable and fascinating information on how the human body processes waste.

How can physical therapy benefit moms? Of course, the answer is at Tri-County Health Care. For more information on physical therapy, please visit For scheduling an appointment, please call 218-631-3510. Remember to follow Tri-County Health Care on social media for regular updates.

Obstetrics and making birth special

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“I have always wanted to help people,” said Sarah Riedel, Obstetrics Supervisor at Tri-County Health Care. Sarah is the first point of contact for expecting mothers at Tri-County Health Care. She and her staff work around the clock to elevate birth from just another medical procedure to a special moment parents will look back on for years to come. Her job is about genuine care and a passion for the miracle of life.

For Sarah, she wanted to be a nurse from the age of ten. After becoming an LPN, she worked in postpartum care. It didn’t take too long for Sarah to set her sights on the OB department. At the time, she had a friend who worked in obstetrics, and she recalled thinking it was the ultimate job. “I wanted to see what happened down that hallway,” remarked Sarah.

Sarah Riedel has been working in obstetrics for years and has helped deliver hundreds of babies.

Sarah Riedel, RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST

What to expect

Sarah has been in the obstetrics department ever since. She has been at Tri-County Health Care for almost three decades and has personally observed the evolution of delivery. Over the years, this delicate process has become even more efficient. Sarah and the rest of the OB staff strive for every delivery to be special, but sometimes nerves find their way into the delivery room. Sarah breaks things down into just a few steps.

  • The day is finally at hand. The contractions are setting in, or maybe your water has broken. Remain calm and call ahead to the OB nurse at 218-632-8770. Once pertinent information is gathered, it’s time to head to the hospital.
  • A room is promptly prepared, and the registration staff is alerted about your arrival.
  • Once you arrive, you will be placed on a fetal monitor. More information is gathered about the health of the mother.
  • Vital signs are checked next. This isn’t done right away because often, people are a little stressed from the initial rush of getting to the hospital.
  • A sterile vaginal exam is conducted to see how far dilated and effaced the patient is. The baby is also checked to make sure its head is down.
  • The provider will order further observation, send the patient home, or the birthing process will start.

Advice from Sarah

Navigating pregnancy can be hard but it doesn’t have to be so nerve-inducing. Sarah wanted to share some of her special tips for expecting mothers.

  1. Stay off the internet unless it’s a reliable source. Internet surfing sessions don’t usually lead to enlightenment, so close the browser unless you absolutely need information and get it only from trusted sources.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are no dumb questions. Ask questions often and seek out information when needed. Prenatal education nurses are a great resource.
  3. Read through all documents and literature the OB staff gives you. These are prepared to help you through delivery and often answer many questions while putting you at ease.
  4. Don’t let the negative experiences of others affect your birth. Your birth is your own and you largely decide how well it will go.

Tri-County Health Care obstetrics OB birthing services WadenaWhy choose Tri-County Health Care?

Tri-County Health Care goes above and beyond in every aspect of care, but obstetrics is even more special. According to Sarah, Tri-County Health Care has the best technology and providers around. Nothing beats the personal touch and in the small community of Wadena. Sarah and her staff usually know each patient before they walk through the door because they are so involved in the pregnancy. This builds an environment of personalized trust. Sarah and her team are so good at what they do; they have patients consistently coming back even after moving out of state. Tri-County Health Care even provides services like a Certified Nurse Midwife, water births, and TOLAC’s (Trial of Labor After Cesarean).

Tri-County Health Care has a Prenatal Education Department with OB nurses who will meet with you regularly throughout pregnancy. Patients have an initial meeting then meet with a nurse at 20, 28, and 36 weeks.

Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies

Tri-County Health Care has been working with Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies past year. Through this partnership, a milk depot opened. This service allows mothers with an abundance of milk to help families in need. The process is outlined below.

  1. Mothers can contact the Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies via phone at 1-763-546-8051. Over the phone, complete a quick screening to get things started.
  2. MMBB will send you paperwork along with a blood draw kit. A blood draw is required to test for communicable illnesses like HIV.
  3. You can schedule your blood draw at any Tri-County clinic. This is a free blood draw. You should make your appointment in the morning so your blood can arrive at MMBB by the end of the same day for processing.
  4. Once you become an approved donor, you will get a donor number and you can schedule a time to bring in the donation—Call 218-632-8741 to schedule delivery. The donor number on transport bags is required.

In 2020, Tri-County Health Care collected  5,080 ounces of milk. This milk is pasteurized at the milk bank, then sent out to hospitals and NICUs. It is available in the metro to purchase for personal home use. A typical feeding for a premature baby is 1/3 of an ounce or less, so donations from Tri-County have provided over 15,000 feedings to date!

To learn more about obstetrics and birthing services, please visit Call 218-631-3510 to schedule an appointment and follow Tri-County Health Care on Facebook for regular updates.

Charles Carlson: Helping the heart

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“Tri-County saved my baby,” uttered Katarina Carlson during an interview about her experience at Tri-County Health Care. Katarina and her son Charles are no strangers to hospitals and clinics. Her journey through childbirth was fraught with stress, fear, uncertainty, but also hope. It’s American Heart Month and Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week (Feb. 7-14), so we felt Katarina’s story would have a powerful effect on expecting mothers while spreading awareness about heart defects in young children.

Charles lost oxygenated blood flow to the lower part of his body.

In May 2019, Katarina Carlson gave birth to her son Charles at Tri-County Health Care. Katarina experienced no difficulties. Charles was a healthy and happy little boy. It was a joyous time and Katarina was excited to finally hold her baby boy. Soon the family would be able to say goodbye to the staff that made her birth so easy and bring Charles to his new home.

The beginning

After some mom time, Charles was taken for evaluation and testing, a common practice for every newborn. Although the birth had gone well, something was off. The oximetry results seemed a little concerning. Not wanting to alarm Katarina, the medical staff were quick to troubleshoot the situation. They hoped it was simply an error or an issue with the equipment monitor. Heidi Olson, M.D., inspected the data thoroughly. She knew something was amiss; the numbers didn’t sit well with her. Before sending Katarina home, she insisted on running another oxygen test. The data indicated something was not right, which sent nurses and OB staff rushing to discover what was wrong with baby Charles.

As the tension ramped up, Charles’s lower extremities started turning blue. He was losing oxygen to the lower portion of his body. This caused a flurry of doctors and nurses attempting to diagnose the issue. The stress and fear quickly set in for Katarina. She couldn’t bear to see the doctors running to the nursery. “I was in full-blown panic mode,” said Katarina. She was three hours away from discharge. If Dr. Olson hadn’t called for further testing, she would have been on her way home. If it weren’t for Dr. Olson’s suspicion, Charles could have died.

Charles was air lifted to Fargo for further testing.

“We could have taken him home and lost him,” said Katarina.

Flying out

The complications suffered by Charles were beyond serious. It was obvious he was only getting blood flow to his brain. Charles needed to be moved to a bigger hospital as quickly as possible. In 10 minutes, a medical chopper from Fargo was en route to Tri-County Health Care. When the chopper team arrived, Charles was attached to breathing equipment. The chopper crew had to re-soften his umbilical cord so they could insert an IV. The chopper ascended from the hospital. Katarina and her family raced to their vehicle so they could follow the helicopter to Fargo.

After arriving in Fargo, she sat down with a cardiologist that explained the situation. They discovered Charles had an interruption of the aortic arch. This is a rare congenital heart condition when the aorta doesn’t form correctly. The aorta delivers oxygenated blood throughout the body. Still, when a baby suffers from an interruption of the aortic arch, the aorta is divided so blood cannot flow to the lower portion of the body.

Katarina was informed that Charles would require open-heart surgery. “I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard,” explained Katarina. Her birth went from pleasant to a nightmare in the blink of an eye. Katarina boarded a jet. She and Charles were headed to Masonic Children’s Hospital. This moment would be the starting point to months of hospital visits and more surgeries. In total, Charles would receive 8 surgeries.

Surviving and thriving

Charles survived. With the help of modern medicine and a litany of doctors and nurses, Charles is now a happy three-year-old boy. He still has medical problems associated with his heart defect but he’s doing better than ever. He is thriving but still requires care and outpatient therapy.

“The love I felt from all these strangers made me feel like my son was going to be taken care of,” said Katarina. Katarina adamantly believes that Tri-County Health Care and its gifted staff saved her son. She was incredibly grateful for Dr. Olson. They continue to utilize her as the primary care provider for Charles.

Charles is doing better than ever!