OB sneak peek recap

, , , , , ,

The new facility is nearing completion! Tri-County Health Care has begun the process of introducing the community to the building and all it has to offer. At this point, the obstetrics unit is nearly done, with only minor finishing projects left. Tri-County Health Care organized an OB sneak peek and invited guests from all over the region to visit the new birthing suites.

On Nov. 2, 2022, Hard hat-clad patients, old and new, graced the halls of the new facility. They were given a special tour of the new building in addition to a closer look at the birthing suites. Additionally, various providers and nurses acted as tour guides, with each tour ending at the nearly finished obstetrics unit.

The new space

Organizers went above and beyond to show each respective space in the manner it will be used in March 2023. Furthermore, each room was decorated, furnished, and equipped with a bevy of new amenities. Some of these amenities focus on the comfort of quests, others focus on birth efficiency for providers.

The new birthing suites come equipped with a birthing sling mounted to the ceiling. This addition allows mothers to stretch prior to birth. These exercises allow for an easier birthing process with less pressure. Additionally, each room boasts specialized lighting controlled via remote control. This state-of-the-art lighting setup allows providers and guests to direct light to any portion of the room.

Water births at Tri-County

One of the most exciting additions to the obstetrics departments is water births. Three suites will have a full birthing tub. With the new facility, mothers will have the opportunity to opt for a water birth. Mothers often choose this option because of its natural therapeutic properties. Choosing to bring a child into the world while being surrounded by water makes a sometimes-chaotic process much more relaxing for some.

Constructive review

Each tour ended with questions and special gifts from event organizers. Tri-County Health Care remains dedicated to creating an environment that is conducive to care. These kinds of events are key to creating the best possible patient experience. In conclusion, the feedback received from attendees will be used leading up to the opening of the new facility and the OB unit.

For more information about the new facility and other events like the OB sneak peek, visit TCHC.org.

Safety for baby

, , , , , , , ,

Recently, patients completed surveys about their visits to Tri-County Health Care. Mothers took the opportunity to rate their care and share details and stories about the staff of Tri-County Health Care. This story is just one of many examples of the exemplary care commonly associated with Tri-County Health Care. In terms of birthing services, safety for babies is priority number one. Because of this, we are always looking for ways to innovate while providing a comforting environment. 

Safety for baby

My baby was born without my doctor in the room. He came so fast that it required a rapid response, and all available staff rushed to help. A new OB nurse, Salma, helped me deliver my baby before others arrived. She was fantastic and calm throughout the process. My doctor made it in shortly after to finish the delivery. Then a tornado came through town the next night, and we were rushed to safety. It was a very eventful birth and hospital stay!

Safety for baby

In may 2022, a powerful storm passed through Wadena causing massive damage to local infrastructure.

The care I received was top-notch from start to finish. The scheduling staff worked diligently to make my appointments fit into my schedule. The prenatal nurses took excellent care of me during my pregnancy. They ensured that I had all the necessary tests and procedures and prepared me for my preferred delivery experience. The nurses also helped me sign up for prenatal yoga and an aquatics course. They even provided me with a free car seat and assisted in the installation!

All the nurses took amazing care of us, even during the bad storm. In the end, it was a happy and memorable experience. I could go on for days about how incredible all the staff were throughout my journey!

Our mission is to help you

Tri-County Health Care prides itself on providing quality care for everyone, including safety for the mother and her baby. Bringing new life into the world is a cherished duty that our obstetrics staff embraces each day. In conclusion, we thank this patient for her kind words.

If you would like to learn more about our birthing services or schedule an appointment, please call 218-631-3510.


Baby booties and donations

, , , , ,

During a delivery, parents have a million things swirling through their minds. Some are excited, some are scared, and some wonder if they’ll be good parents. In these moments, a little kindness often eases those nerves. Tri-County Health Care and its team of obstetric professionals go above and beyond to ensure the comfort of families during life’s most stressful and beautiful moment, childbirth. Something as simple as baby booties for a newborn can turn anxiety into joy.

Various baby booties.

Many know of the adrenaline rush of childbirth and the fears it can bring. This rush prompts many to make goodwill donations. In early January, the obstetrics department received a rather knitted surprise. Gail Vittetoe, with the help of Shaneen Schmidt, M.D., donated an entire bin filled with handmade baby booties. It’s apparent a skilled crafter took the time to create each individual pair with an artist’s flair.

“I was so surprised to see all the booties! They are so cute and I know expecting mothers will love to see their little ones wearing them. Some of them even have little skates,” remarked Sarah Riedel, OB supervisor. She and her team are very excited to distribute the booties.The baby booties came in several different colors.

There are several different colors and patterns of booties. Some designs look like skates, while others have large shoelaces like plumes. The donation included over a dozen pairs of booties.

How to donate

If you have a similar donation and are wondering how to get it to parents, please contact Sarah at 218-632-8741. She is always looking for simple and sweet items to give to parents on their special day.  Blankets, toys, mittens, baby booties, and clothing are frequently donated to Sarah and her team. Please refrain from donating large or used items. If you have perishable items or diapers, please donate them to the Lakes Area Pregnancy Center so they can be efficiently distributed to those who need them.

Tri-County Health Care would again like to thank Gail and her family for such a gracious donation.

Mothers helping mothers: Janie & Charlotte

, , , , , , ,

Janie Bigelow comes from a family of caregivers and nurses. Her grandmother, Charlotte Schloeder, worked as a nurse in the OB department at Tri-County Health Care before retiring. Her mother is also a nurse. Their dedication to health inspired Jani to care for others, leading her to a career as a nurse in obstetrics, much like her grandmother. Janie’s story is about mothers helping mothers.

Janie and Charlotte

Nurses are known for providing support in all aspects of medical treatment but even nurses need help sometimes. Janie gave birth to Charlotte Lucille Bigelow in December 2019. After her birth, Charlotte was admitted to intensive care due to respiratory stress. Charlotte couldn’t breathe without the use of oxygen. Additionally, Jani had a difficult time producing milk for her newborn daughter. Charlotte needed milk to thrive, leaving Janie in a difficult spot.

Janie and her family needed milk donations after Charlotte was born. She donated milk so other mothers could have the same support she received.

Fortunately, fellow mothers had stepped up and soon Janie received steady donations of milk. “We relied on others for the nutrition she needed to grow and remain healthy during our stay in the NICU,” said Janie. “Now I know how much blood, sweat, and tears go into pumping and I will forever be grateful for what we received for our baby Charlotte,” said Janie.

Janie didn’t give up. She was determined to produce milk for Charlotte. With encouragement from her family and friends, she went on to produce enough milk. She produced so much that she had a surplus. This milk couldn’t go to waste, especially after she received so much help from others. Janie has been donating her milk in the hopes that she can extend her care as others had done. At this time, Janie has donated 1,200 ounces and she hopes to donate even more after she gives birth to her second child in November 2021.

“I am just so happy to be able to donate back to other families. It makes my heart happy knowing there are babies who are thriving because they received donated breast milk. I had other moms help me out when I struggled and now I can help too!” – Janie Bigelow

Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies

Labor and Delivery Supervisor Sarah Riedel manages milk donations in partnership with Minnesota Milk Bank for Babies. The Golden Valley-based organization provides donated milk to mothers in need. Tri-County Health Care is a donation site and Sarah is an Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. Since the start of the milk depot, Riedel has overseen donations from all over Minnesota.

How to donate

If you find that you’re producing excess milk, please consult a doctor before donating. Then contact a donation site like Tri-County Health Care. After filling out the paperwork, a representative from the milk bank will contact you for a phone screen. From there, you will provide health history information and go through testing. After approval from the milk bank, you will be given a donor number. This donor number needs to be placed on the milk container. The last step is to schedule a date with a drop-off site.

To learn more or donate milk at Tri-County Health Care, please visit our Milk Depot page or contact Sarah Riedel at 218-632-8741.

Obstetrics and making birth special

, , , , , ,

“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 TCHC.org. Call 218-631-3510 to schedule an appointment and follow Tri-County Health Care on Facebook for regular updates.

Finding the Right Obstetrics Provider to Deliver Our Baby

, , , , , , , ,

By: Lonna Dille, Licensed Social Worker – Medical Social Services

Finding a medical provider was never really a difficult task, but I found that choosing an OB provider was daunting! I had previously been receiving care at another facility, but when I started working at Tri-County Health Care in September, 2014, I knew I wanted to receive my OB care at Tri-County. The nurses and doctors here made that decision very easy for me! Yet, after working with all the wonderful doctors, how on earth do I decide on just one?! I knew all of the providers had great qualities, but I had to decide who was the best match for me, my personality, my family and whose style I thought would best motivate and encourage me. I knew I needed someone down-to-earth, kind, but who was also going to be straightforward. I chose Laura DuChene, MD.

My husband and I were very excited to start a family, but it was a roller coaster of emotions because we miscarried our first child. Even though we were very excited to try again I was nervous about the possibility of miscarrying again. However, when we found out we were expecting we were ecstatic!! We told our families at Christmas (a memory I very much cherish) and asked them to support us in our new adventure, but also asked that they not share the news until we were “safe to tell”. We did this knowing that if we were to miscarry again, we would have the support of our families rather than feel isolated and alone. We didn’t tell our friends, extended relatives, etc. until I was about 17 weeks along in my pregnancy.

I will admit that my anxieties about miscarriage got the best of me. Poor Dr. DuChene! I am certain my questions and concerns were incessant, but she didn’t mind once. When I was working one day, I actually fainted on the inpatient floor and the nurses brought me to her and she made room in her schedule immediately for me. I could’ve seen another medical provider in the emergency department but she made it a priority to see me! Another thing I loved about Dr. Duchene was her advice. It wasn’t just clinical advice, it was things like letting me know that Target had great maternity clothes and the comfiest maternity jeans! She is a mother of three, so she shared some great tips with me! She was also amazing through labor. I had no idea what I was doing (like any first time mom). Of course I got advice from friends and family who tried to explain what labor was going to be like, but its pretty hard to remember in the craziness! Her instruction was always helpful and well-articulated. She was so encouraging, and I remember she called me a “champ” during labor and I just remember thinking yes, I CAN DO THIS!

Baby Dille with hat from DuChene

Easton shows off his fire department hat knit specially for him by Dr. DuChene.

My husband and I are both firefighters and EMT’s for our local fire department, in Motley. He tried to come to as many appointments as he was able. The couple of times that he came with she made sure to include him in the appointment. In our conversations we spoke of our work with the fire department. We didn’t know the gender of the baby, but we had a firefighter onesie to take our baby home from the hospital. The day after I delivered Easton, Dr. DuChene came to do her rounding and she hand delivered us a FD (fire department) hat that she had personally knit for him. My husband and I were so touched! Not only did she take the time to knit our precious baby a hat, but she remembered that we were fire fighters and that we had decorated his nursery in a fire department theme!

Once we were home, the home visit from the TCHC nurse was a godsend! She was so helpful and supportive! Seriously, the nursing staff at TCHC is so caring and compassionate. They went above and beyond to care for Easton, my husband and I!

At the end of the day you need to be happy with the provider you choose. We have great providers to choose from at Tri-County Health Care, as I and many other will vouch for! My husband and I did not care what gender our baby would be, we just prayed that we had a healthy, full term baby. When Dr. DuChene delivered us a healthy, baby boy, it was the biggest blessing to us! We are so in love with our precious baby boy, and we are so thankful for the amazing we care we received from Dr. Duchene and the nursing staff at Tri-County.

About the Author:IMG_0400_zpsy9lgpmx2
Lonna Dille has been a Medical Social Worker at TCHC since September 2014, providing services to inpatient, clinic, and the emergency department at
Tri-County Health Care. Lonna and her husband Nick have been married four years and now have their son Easton, who is over three months old. Lonna enjoys hunting and fishing with her husband and family, good coffee and shopping. Her new favorite down time is cuddling with her son and husband while watching a good movie.