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Your Delivery Experience

Every labor and birth is unique, so whether you are a first time mom or have delivered multiple babies, you may still wonder, “Is it time to go to the hospital?” Grand Itasca Labor & Delivery nurse, Emily Meyer, explains the signs of labor and what to expect when you arrive at the hospital.

  • June 28, 2021
  • By Staff Writer

Signs of Early Labor

Signs of early labor include contractions that are becoming regular and increasing in intensity. If you feel contractions, a tightening of the uterus that feels like cramping or pressure, start to monitor the timing. Keep track of how long the tightness lasts as well as how much time is between each contraction. Count the time between contractions from the start of one to the start of the next.


If there is no pattern or they go away when you rest or start moving, it is likely false labor.


If regular contractions have lasted more than an hour and the tightness lasts 30 seconds or longer, it is likely that you are in labor. This stage of labor is the longest. It is best to stay home and stay comfortable until your contractions come every 3-5 minutes and last at least 45-60 seconds each.


If your water breaks that is a sign that baby will be coming soon, and you should go to the hospital.


If at any time you have questions about labor signs you can call the Women’s Health & Birth unit 24/7 to talk to one of our labor and delivery nurses, 218-999-1400.

Arriving at Grand Itasca

When you arrive at the hospital, you should enter through the emergency department doors. The registration staff will direct you to the Women’s Health & Birth unit. You can bring your support person as well as anything you may want to have during your stay. The most important thing to bring with you is your car seat. Don’t stress about bringing baby supplies, there are many available to you at the hospital such as blankets, pacifiers, diapers, wipes, breast pumps, and formula.


You may want to bring your birth plan, if you have one, and the nursing staff will review it with you at admission. Our staff are here to support you, honor your choices and make the experience as comfortable as possible. It is also important to remember to stay flexible because a safe mom and baby are the number one priorities.    

After Your Baby is Born

After your baby is born, we recommend rooming-in which means the baby stays in the same room as their mother rather than spending time in the nursery. Babies can recognize your heartbeat, voice and smell, making them more at ease when they are near you. Rooming-in supports bonding and breastfeeding success. Also, studies show moms will sleep better and leave more confident in their care abilities after rooming-in with their newborn. Our nursing staff will do all your cares in the room and help with any newborn care questions you may have.


You can expect to be in the hospital for at least 24 hours for education, breastfeeding, and monitoring.

If you’ve had a c-section, you may stay 2-3 days depending on how mom and baby are recovering.  


Hear more from Emily Meyer, Labor and Delivery Nurse at Grand Itasca