“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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Why 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.
- 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.
- MMBB will send you paperwork along with a blood draw kit. A blood draw is required to test for communicable illnesses like HIV.
- 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.
- 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!