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Your pregnancy journey

Start your journey with us

Labor & Delivery

When you give birth at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, you have options for the type of labor and delivery you want. Our recently remodeled Labor & Delivery and Postpartum Units are designed to create a safe, personalized and family-centered experience. You can discuss the options below with your provider and decide which is best for you when you develop your birth plan. Our amenities and specialty services are designed to make your stay as convenient and comfortable as possible.

Your hospital stay

Labor & Delivery suites

Our Labor & Delivery Suites are for low- to high-risk pregnancies. They are equipped to provide needed medical care if complications develop.

Each spacious suite is furnished with a shower and whirlpool tub to promote relaxation during labor, pullout sofa sleeper, glider chair, Wi-Fi Internet access, television, on-demand movies, sound system and dimmable lights.

You will labor, give birth and recover in a Labor & Delivery Suite. After delivery and recovery, you and your baby will move to a private postpartum room in our state-of-the-art hospital. Here, your family will enjoy home-like decor and comforts.

Labor & Delivery Suites Labor & Delivery Suites

Water birth

Women looking for a more natural birthing option in a safe environment should consider water birth at Gundersen Health System. This option is available to women with low-risk, uncomplicated pregnancies. Check with the hospital you plan to deliver at, as not all locations offer water birth.

Being surrounded by warm water offers many benefits including:

  • Less pain
  • Easier to relax between contractions
  • Better coping with the next contraction
  • Helps move labor along
  • Warm water makes skin stretch better for less tears
  • Baby has a gentle and safe transition into life

Medical monitoring is kept to a minimum during labor and delivery. An epidural is not available during water birth.

Women, who are having a normal, healthy pregnancy and want a water birth, should talk with their care provider. You must meet certain conditions to be eligible.

Gundersen offers water birth in La Crosse, Tomah and Viroqua. You can learn more about water birth at our prenatal childbirth classes. For questions, please talk with your obstetrician, nurse midwife or family practice doctor.

"I enjoyed relaxing in the comfort of the water. It kept my mind occupied and I was able to "listen" to my body."

"It was easier to change positions and it helped me manage my back labor."

"Being in the water is a great feeling. The pain is completely different and it seems to speed things up for me."

Water birth resources

Birth center

Women who want a natural childbirth experience have the option of using our Birth Center. This spacious room includes a birthing tub and provides a setting for a more home-like, low-intervention childbirth.

Surgical suites for cesarean birth

Our Labor & Delivery Unit features state-of-the-art surgical suites for cesarean birth or complicated deliveries, including private recovery rooms.

A cesarean birth may be the right choice if:

  • Your baby is too large to pass through your pelvis.
  • Your baby becomes distressed during labor and needs to be delivered right away.
  • The placenta is beneath your baby or covers all or part of your cervix.
  • The placenta has detached from the wall of your uterus.
  • Your baby is not head down and ready for normal birth. He or she would be born buttocks or feet first.

You may know ahead of time that you need a cesarean section. Sometimes a birth you think will be vaginal can turn into a cesarean delivery. You may have to make that choice to protect yourself or your baby. Your doctor or nurse midwife will explain your options at the time.

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)

Some women who have had a cesarean birth in the past may deliver vaginally. Discuss this option with your doctor or midwife.

Looking for more? Be sure to reference our pregnancy e-books and app.

what to expect

We've taken steps at all our locations to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here's what to expect when you visit us.

Stay safe