Obstetrics/Pregnancy Care/C-Section

RC Hospital & Clinics Maternity Care Team focuses on the comfort and well being of women and their families.

RC Hospital & Clinic’s knowledgeable staff provides individualized care to families throughout their pregnancy journey in a warm and caring environment.  Patients and visitors will feel embraced by our professional care team and comfortable atmosphere while we prepare you to welcome your new addition!
Educational classes to prepare you for childbirth are available to you and your partner, as well as breastfeeding support groups and sibling classes.
Each expectant mother receives one-to-one care throughout labor. Our care team does their best to ensure your wishes for giving birth are met. Anesthetists are on-call 24 hours a day to provide pain relief, if you choose.
We offer complete women’s health and surgical services. Consult your physician.



The calculator on this page can help you figure out when you might expect your baby to arrive. This will give you an approximate date. As part of your antenatal care, your provider will also offer you an ultrasound that will give you a more accurate date for the birth of your baby.
Pregnancy normally lasts 37 – 41 weeks from the first day of your last period. To find your due date, click the link below.
Pregnancy Calculator


 At the start of your pregnancy you will see one of our Family Practice Providers to confirm your pregnancy and discuss the plan of care throughout your pregnancy. Our clinic staff and OB staff work as a team to provide you and your family with individualized care throughout your pregnancy journey.

First Trimester - Months 0 to 3 • Weeks 1 to 13 [+-]

Things your provider may discuss during your initial visit

  • Supplementation with folic acid. This is very important for the development of a healthy fetus, as it can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs), such as spina bifida
  • Lifestyle, exercise, stopping smoking, alcohol and drugs
  • Nutrition and diet
  • Your medical and personal history
  • Early ultrasound scan to determine when your baby is due
  • Antenatal screening tests, including combined screening for Down’s Syndrome
  • Arrangements for blood tests
  • Chlamydia screening
  • The health and benefits of breastfeeding
  • She/he will ask to measure your height and weight, calculate your body mass index (BMI), read your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
  • It is recommended that all women are offered a test to measure carbon monoxide levels. Women who smoke have higher levels and will be offered smoking cessation referral

If any pre-existing risk factors are identified at your appointment, your provider will discuss this with you and provide the necessary care throughout your pregnancy.

What To Expect At Clinic Visits [+-]

8-12 weeks – Initial Labs, Physical Exam, Dating Ultrasound

16-20 weeks – Quad Screen and Ultrasound

24-28 weeks – Glucose Screening: at this time, your clinic nurse will coordinate with the labor & delivery staff to schedule a tour and initial breastfeeding education.

28-36 weeks – TDAP Vaccine, GBS Screening and Rhogam if needed

32-36 weeks – Visits every 2 weeks

36-40 weeks – Weekly visits

Every pregnancy and every patient is unique – therefore, additional testing may be done throughout the pregnancy. Our providers will work closely with you and your family on an individual basis. Close communication is maintained with our Maternity Care Team.

Medications Safe to Take During Pregnancy [+-]

*Please Inform Your Doctor of All Medications – Over-the-Counter, Prescription and Herbal*

Second Trimester - Months 4-6 • Weeks 14 to 26 [+-]

  • Discuss and meet with lactation consultant about breastfeeding
  • Take childbirth classes
  • Ultrasound
  • Morning sickness may lesson
  • Increased weight gain
  • Likely start to notice fluttering movements
  • May experience dry skin
  • May experience leg cramps
  • Practice relaxation techniques

Your Maternity Care Team [+-]

Your care team consists of family practice physicians, experienced clinic nurses, experienced obstetric nurses, certified registered nurse anesthetists, lab team, dietary team, diabetic clinic and public health.

Dental Procedures In Pregnancy [+-]

Continue regular checkups with dentist. Here are a few tips:

  • May use local anesthesia without epinephrine
  • May use Tylenol ES
  • No valium, floxins or tetracyclines
  • Antibiotics including ampicillin, penicillin, and erythromycin are safe
  • Dental x-rays are safe, if patient’s abdomen is shielded

Third Trimester - Months 7-9 • Weeks 27 to 40+ [+-]

  • Discuss birth plan with your physician
  • Prepare your labor bag & suitcase
  • Meet with lactation consultant
  • Have plan prepared for other children
  • Increased fatigue
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Increased backaches
  • Constipation
  • Swollen ankles/feet and fingers

Concerns During Pregnancy - Who Do I Call? [+-]

Walk-In Clinic is available Monday – Thursday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Olivia Clinic call 800-916-1836  or  320-523-1460

Hector Clinic call 320-848-6294

Renville Clinic call 320-329-8395

  • Not Feeling well
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Discomfort passing urine
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

Emergency Services is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

RC Hospital Telephone  call 800-916-1836  or  320-523-1261

  • Trauma
  • Abdominal pain
  • Waters breaking
  • Reduced fetal movements
  • Bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headaches
  • Sudden onset of swelling
  • Redness/tenderness/swelling in legs

Where Do I Go?

  • OB clinic visits patients will present to the main entrance and register at the Registration Desk (Please arrive 15 minutes early)
  • Emergencies and Labor & Delivery patients should present to the ER entrance. The Ward Secretary will buzz you in and assist you with registration.
  • Clinic patients coming over to the hospital for Outpatient Services such as injections or Non-Stress Tests, please register at ER Ward Secretaries desk.


  • Clinic patients may park in the main parking lot
  • ER and Labor & Delivery patients may park in ER parking
  • Visitors may park in the main parking lot
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Optimal Birthing Experience [+-]

To provide you with the optimal birthing experience, you will labor, deliver and recover in your own private suite with all of the comforts of home. Pain management options are available to you for your comfort. Our Labor & Delivery Suites feature a glider chair, couch, telephone, DVD player, massage pads, full bathroom with whirlpool and shower, music options, comfort lighting, as well as, equipment for your birth, such as OBIX fetal monitoring system, birthing bars and birthing balls.

We encourage the opportunity for your baby to experience the benefits of skin-to-skin contact and early attachment by your baby rooming in. Some of the benefits for baby include easier breathing, stable blood sugars, natural progression towards breastfeeding and warmth. While together, you will quickly learn your babies needs and how best to care for, soothe, and comfort your newborn.

One to one nursing care is provided for you and your baby 24 hours a day. Breastfeeding and baby care is offered, as well as lactation consulting throughout your stay.

Circumcision [+-]

Circumcision is available for male infants, if the parents choose.

Stages of Labor [+-]

  • First Stage – The time of the onset of true labor until the cervix is completely dilated to 10 cm
  • Second Stage – The period after the cervix is dilated to 10 cm until the baby is delivered
  • Third Stage – Delivery of the placenta

Latent Phase of Labor [+-]

What is ‘the latent phase’ of labor?

The latent phase is the beginning of the first part of your labor. It is a period of time that will not necessarily be continuous and is unique to each woman. Some women will have backache and cramps or have bouts of contractions that may last a few hours which then stop and start up again the next day. This is perfectly normal. The duration of the latent phase of labor can be variable. It may last for 24 hours or more and can be tiring for you. It helps if you can stay as relaxed as possible during this part of your labor and remain at home in comfortable surroundings as long as you can.

What is happening during the latent phase of labor?

Your contractions may feel uncomfortable but they may not be regular. They may be sharp but short lasting. This is normal. Sometimes they stop and start, last for 30 – 40 seconds and may continue for several hours. This is normal. The neck of the womb (the cervix) has been long and closed during your pregnancy. These first contractions, along with the Braxton-Hicks contractions that you may have already experienced, help to soften the neck of the womb and prepare your body for active labor.

How long does the latent phase last?

This phase can take from six to ten hours to up to two to three days, although it is often shorter for second and subsequent babies. Of course, it could be much shorter, sometimes barely an hour. Nobody knows for sure why there are such big differences in labor duration between individuals.

Sometimes the latent phase tends to blend into the first stage of labor and the woman does not experience anything specific to signify onset of true labor.

How can I help myself through early labor?

There are many ways of helping yourself to cope through these first hours of the latent phase of labor.

  • It is important to try and remain relaxed.
  • Keep your breathing deep, steady and slow during a contraction. This will prevent you from using extra energy. Once the contraction is wearing off, close your eyes and allow your body to rest before the next one.
  • Take a warm bath or shower, at regular intervals. You may find the warmth of the water soothing and relaxing.
  • Ensure you maintain your energy levels by eating small, light meals containing carbohydrates.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Isotonic or sports drinks are a good way of boosting energy levels and keep you hydrated especially during the early stages of labor.
  • Remaining upright will assist gravity and help your baby to descend into the pelvis.
  • Rocking your pelvis and swaying your hips can also assist you.
  • Alternate active upright positions with resting, lying on your left side if you feel you need to rest.
  • If you have access to a birthing ball, use it regularly as this too can alleviate any discomfort.
  • You may want to call your birthing partner for added support during this time.
  • It will be helpful if your partner massages your back to help with any backache and help you to    relax and support you in any alternative positions that you may adopt.
  • Your birthing partner can also make other family members aware of the latent phase of labor and encourage them to give support rather than raise concerns.
  • If you intend to use approved alternative therapies then you can use these now.

Screenings [+-]

Critical Congenital Heart Disease screening, Metabolic Screening and Hearing Screening are done prior to discharge to assure your baby has a healthy start.

What To Bring [+-]

  • Favorite pillow
  • Robe, slippers, going-home clothes
  • Cards/games
  • Lip gloss/balm
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion, oils, shampoo/conditioner)
  • Focal point (picture, locket, stuffed animal)
  • Favorite music
  • Phone numbers
  • Baby book
  • Nursing bras
  • Money for cafeteria
  • Food/beverages from home can be stored in the OB Refrigerator
  • Car seat
  • Baby clothes and blanket

Signs of Labor [+-]

If your pregnancy has been uncomplicated and you are having a hospital birth, it is advisable that you stay at home for as long as possible during the early stages of labor, as long as your baby is moving and you are coping with the contractions. Evidence suggests that your home environment will encourage you to remain relaxed and therefore more able to cope with the pain. Remember to continue to eat light and drink during this time.

Please telephone RC Hospital & Clinics if:

  • you think your waters has broken
  • your contractions are becoming more painful and regular and you need support
  • you have experienced any blood loss
  • you have any concerns about the movements of your baby
  • you have any other concerns

The provider will then be able to help you decide whether you can stay at home or need to be examined in hospital.

If you go beyond your expected date of delivery (EDD) by more than seven days and have a normal pregnancy, with no complications, your provider will discuss your options, including induction of labor with you.

Labor Worksheet [+-]


RC Hospital & Clinics has created a Labor Worksheet to help you track when labor starts with a What To Bring checklist for the Hospital.

Candlelight Dinner [+-]

A special candlelight dinner is provided to mom and one additional guest the evening after you delivery.

OB Visitors [+-]

OB Visiting Hours

  • Family members and significant others are welcome to visit at any time. We allow OB patients to pick their quiet time and ask that visitors check in with nursing staff before entering the patient’s room.
  • We recommend patients take this time to rest and bond with their baby and family
  • OB and Nursery visits for the general public are from 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

OB Visiting Regulations

  • OB is a locked unit. Visitors will need to be buzzed in and out by selected staff. There is a phone by the nurse’s station to call staff for assistance.
  • We ask that patients discuss their plan for visitors with family/friends prior to delivery and to limit the number of visitors throughout the day.
  • Our family lounge is set up for visitors
  • Healthy children under the age of 12 may visit and must be under the direct supervision of a responsible adult.
  • Visitors should be free of communicable infection or disease

Patient Gifts

  • Visitors should check with the nurse before bringing gifts of food or drink to patients.

Braxton Hicks Contractions [+-]

What are Braxton Hicks Contractions?

Braxton Hicks are tightening of the muscles of the uterus which last for 30 – 60 seconds and may be several times an hour, several times a day. They may be more noticeable towards the later stages of your pregnancy.

How can I tell the difference between Braxton Hicks and real labor contractions?

Labor contractions are usually noticeably longer, more regular, increase in frequency and are generally more painful than Braxton Hicks contractions.

During Delivery [+-]

  • Birth Partners can be anyone you chose, significant other, relative or close friend
  • Talk to your partner beforehand about the type of birth you would like so they are able to support you and your decisions
  • We recommend a maximum of two birth partners, other family and friends are welcome to wait in the family room
  • Birth partners can keep you company, hold your hand, give sips of water, massage back/shoulders, assist with breathing and may be able to cut the umbilical cord
  • You and your baby will monitored throughout labor with electric fetal monitoring and intermittent auscultation
  • Keep moving – your position can make a difference, walking, kneeling, rocking, squatting
  • Whirlpools are available for relaxation/comfort
  • Variety of Pain management options are available, IV medication, Epidural and relaxation options
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Skin - To - Skin [+-]

All mothers should have a period of uninterrupted skin-to skin contact with their baby after birth, at least until after the first feed and for as long as they wish.

All mothers will be encouraged to offer the first feed in skin contact when the baby shows signs of readiness to feed. Mothers and babies who are unable to have skin contact immediately after birth are encouraged to begin skin contact as soon as they are able, whenever or wherever that may be. For those mothers who chose to bottle feed, skin contact remains an important way to support the bonding process and therefore offering the first feed in skin contact is encouraged.

There is a growing body of evidence that skin-to-skin contact after the birth helps babies in many ways. Skin-to-skin contact has been shown to provide the following benefits:

  • calms and relaxes both mother and baby
  • regulates heart rate and breathing in the baby
  • stimulates digestion
  • regulates temperature
  • enables colonization of baby’s skin with mother’s friendly bacteria, thus providing protection against infection
  • stimulates feeding behavior
  • stimulates the release of hormones to support breastfeeding and mothering
  • helps preterm babies to be more stable, maintain their temperature, fight infection, grow and develop better and be discharged from the hospital sooner

Babies’ instincts after birth will drive them to follow a unique process which leads to a first breastfeed. If they achieve this successfully it is very likely that they will recall this at subsequent feeds, making them significantly easier.

After birth, babies who are placed skin-to-skin on their mothers’ chest will:

  • initially cry briefly – a very distinctive birth cry
  • then they will enter a stage of relaxation, recovering from the birth
  • then the baby will start to wake up
  • then begin to move; initially little movements, perhaps of the arms, shoulders and head
  • as these movements increase he/she will actually start to crawl towards the breast
  • once he/she has found the breast and therefore his/her food source, he/she will tend to rest for a little while (often this can be mistaken as the baby being not hungry or not wanting to feed)
  • however, after his/her rest, he/she will become familiar with the breast, by nuzzling, smelling and licking before he/she finally attaches
  • once he/she has suckled for a period of time, he/she will come off the breast and fall asleep

All babies will follow this process, providing it is not interrupted by anything, such as taking the baby away to be weighed, or the mother going for a shower. Interrupting the process before the baby has completed this sequence, or trying to hurry him/her through the stages, is counter-productive and may lead to problems at subsequent breastfeeds.

Feeding Your Baby [+-]

We believe that breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, and we recognize the important benefits that breastfeeding provides for both you and your child. Our staff will offer support and guidance in the early days. Ask your provider about the information and support available, and our parent education classes.

If you have made an informed decision to formula feed your baby, you will be given the appropriate care and support.

Hepatitis B Honor Roll [+-]

Hepatitis B Vaccine Birth Dose for All Newborns

RC Hospital & Clinics is listed on the Hepatitis B Honor Roll. This honor roll recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage rates for administering hepatitis B vaccine at birth.

Vitamin K [+-]

RC Hospital & Clinics in line with the Department of Health guidelines, recommend that all babies are given vitamin K at birth to avoid the rare but serious condition known as ‘vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB). This was previously termed ‘hemorrhagic disease of the newborn.

Vitamin K is usually given by an intramuscular injection (IM) soon after birth.

Please ask your provider for more information.

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What is a safe place? No judgement. The Safe Place for Newborns law provides a safe and anonymous alternative for mothers to safely give up their newborns.

RC Hospital & Clinics is a designated Safe Place for Newborns.

OB Team

Benjamin Linder, MD

Mark Ahlquist, MD

Carin Martinson, MD

Naomi Freyholtz, RN, IBCLC

Tracy Prokosch, LPN

“Induction of Labor, Dr. Martinson and all of the nurses were great! Kind, helpful, and a great experience all around.”

~Molly Sparks, Belview

“I came to give birth to my daughter. The OB nurses here are very caring and supportive. Dr. Linder and staff explained everything and helped me through the very emotional experience. My stay was very pleasant and I would recommend to anyone to come here and have a baby. Thank you all for being amazing! You guys are the best!”

~Jena Torkelson, Bird Island

“We came in to deliver our second child. Everything happened the way we were told it would. Our care was great with all staff involved. We felt cared for. My needs and wants were always heard and everyone did their best to make things right for me.”

~Mary Jo Lamb, Hector

“I had a very good experience and stay at RC Hospital. Had an unexpected delivery and everyone has been great. Staff is super friendly and very helpful!”-

~Jenny Alterhofen, Olivia

“Was great. Nurses and doctor were here the whole time. Checking on us periodically, keeping a close observation on us. Our birthing experience was great, nurses and doctor were all ready to go when the time for our baby boy to come.”

~Laura Frank, Hector

“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. All of the nursing staff and providers were very professional and were quick to act in an emergent situation. I felt very safe and taken care if before, during, and after labor.”

~Amanda Erickson, Sacred Heart

PHYSICIANS & Providers

RC Hospital & Clinic’s team consists of some of the finest physicians and providers in Minnesota dedicated to excellent patient care and outstanding health education. You can expect the same excellent RC Hospital & Clinic’s care you have come to trust, along with extra time and attention you want from your doctor during the visit.


RC Hospital & Clinics’ specialty providers are a team of more than 20 physicians dedicated to providing you and your family with patient-centered, comprehensive, coordinated, and accessible care.

Audiology (Hearing)

  • Kristen Benjaminson, AuD

  • Rebecca Thiesse, AuD


  • John Bernhardson, MD

  • Jacob R. Dutcher, MD

  • Bernard R. Erickson, MD

  • John Mahowald, MD

  • Jamie M. Pelzel, MD

  • Wade T. Schmidt, MD

  • Daniel J. Tiede, MD

  • Jay H. Traverse, MD

  • Howard Zimring, MD

General Surgery

  • Jared Slater, MD, FACS


  • Bryan Rolph, MD

  • Erin Osmundson, PA-C

Orthopedic Surgery

  • Peter Sanders, MD

  • Matthew Bennet, PA-C

Otolaryngology (ENT)

  • Martin Janning, MD


  • Lee L. Cafferty, MD

  • Kent Donelan, MD

  • Leah Dvorak, MD

  • Raquel Walsh Jahnke, MD

  • Steven Vanderwerf, MD

Podiatry and Foot & Ankle Surgery

  • Bruce Neumann, MD


  • Services provided by Suburban Imaging.

Sleep Studies

  • Martin Janning, MD


  • Kenneth Shea, MD

  • Muhammed Suri, MD, MBBS

  • Vikram Jadjav, MBBS


  • Neil M. Skemp, MD