Welcome to WomanCare

WomanCare is an independent midwifery practice providing health care for women of all ages

WomanCare provides prenatal care, homebirth and postpartum care

WomanCare also provides health care for women who are not pregnant: annual exams, birth control, Pap smears, screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, bladder infections and vaginal infections...and more

LeAnn van den Bosch is a midwife who will be there for you and with you. She has more than 30 years of experience in women's health care: welcoming more than 700 babies, providing innumerable exams, diagnoses, prescriptions and hours spent guiding you and listening to your needs. 

WomanCare's office is located in Winona, MN
Please don't hesitate to call or email for more information
phone: 507 450 3422
emial: LeAnn@womancareofwinona.com 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wisconsin home birth: Willis

My midwife recommended that I write out my birth story and my thoughts on my birth. I already have run over it so many times in my head that I am more than happy to oblige.
Monday morning around 3:30am I had started feeling what felt like a menstrual cramp in my  lower back turn into a charlie horse in my stomach and run all the way to the top of my belly. It kept coming every 20 min or so. I started whimpering because it was quite intense. Tom sleepily put his hand on my shoulder trying to comfort me as I started to cry that I wouldn’t be able to do this if this was early labor and it only got more painful from here on out. (As it turns out, these were my hardest contractions to manage. It was only at the very end did I think the contractions were comparable, but it might have been because I didn’t have time to breathe through these early ones and woke up in the peak of the contraction). I decided I was starving so I got up and showered and made myself a protein shake. Then I went back to bed. I had another contraction that Tom tried to comfort me through that ended up with me in the bathroom puking. I text my boss that I wasn’t sure if I would be at work today but not to count on it, then text my midwife that my contractions were 9 min apart and lasting a minute, and then went back to bed.

Rochester, MN home birth: Kyla

It all started one week ago, the morning before her due date. Ironically, I tried not to tell people Kyla’s due date, since it’s so easy to get fixated on that date and feel anxious as it approaches or disappointment as it passes. I woke up around 2 AM on Sunday, March 6th with some cramps and just restlessness. I got up every hour until 8 in the morning and then slept in. Nick and I spent the rest of the day relaxing around the apartment. My mom, my sister Dawn, and nephew Everett came to visit in the afternoon. We got coffee from the coffee shop below our apartment and went for a walk outside. The cramps and frequent trips to the bathroom continued throughout the day, but I was still in denial that this could actually be the start of labor. My midwife LeAnn called me around 6:30 pm and I told her things were fine - no noticeable pattern of cramping, but they were slightly stronger than earlier in the day.

We watched some TV in the evening, then decided around 10:30 we should probably rest just in case we didn’t get a full night’s sleep. I soon realized, sleep wasn’t going to happen at all. Around midnight, I called LeAnn. I told her the cramping was getting stronger. I hadn’t paid attention to the frequency or length because I had been trying ignore them. I guessed that they were close to 5 minutes apart, but would keep closer track and call her in an hour. LeAnn called Amanda our birth assistant and filled her in. I was happy to see her text me and say she could come over whenever. After about 20 minutes I decided I wanted Amanda to come over. My thought was that once Amanda was here, she would know if it’s okay to have LeAnn come or if it was too early still. I decided to move around the apartment, then shower. Amanda arrived at 1:45am. I was just finishing in the shower when she got here and then moved out to the living room to labor. Warm rice socks on my abdomen and moving around seemed to help the most. Amanda told Nick to start blowing up the labor tub. I remember being surprised, thinking we’d have plenty of time to o that later. I don’t remember if we called LeAnn back or if it was Amanda who told her to come, but I knew she was on her way. My doula Mandee had also been called and was on her way.

I think LeAnn and Mandee both arrived sometime between 2:00 and 2:30am. I remember there being a bit of commotion as supplies were brought in, set up, the pool being filled, and pots of water being boiled on the stove. I didn’t mind the busyness and found my own rhythm of labor by focusing on breathing and moving around as I needed to. LeAnn joined me on the floor to listen to baby’s heart rate. Mandee, Nick, and Amanda took turns sitting by me, rubbing my back, and giving me water or ice chips. I retreated to the bathroom a few times on my own. About 4:15am, it was suggested that I go for a walk outside. I was not excited about the idea of this, but I figured since they told me to, I should try. It took me a long time to get my shoes on in between the cramps. Nick, Mandee, and I made our way outside. We walked up and down the alley and I had to hold onto Nick about every 20 feet that we walked. Mandee had her camera along to take pictures and I remember saying, it’s gonna look like our baby was born in the ghetto as we walked past the bar and some dumpsters. We climbed back up the 20 steps to our apartment and I made a beeline for bathroom. I sat on the toilet for just a few minutes, when I heard a “pop”. I made a few moaning and groaning sounds before Amanda peeked her head into check in on me. I told her my water broke and she had LeAnn come in right a way. There was an immense amount of pressure and it felt like the baby’s head was right there. LeAnn took a quick peek and calmly said that I could go into the labor tub now. We made our way to the tub as quickly as we could, I changed into my swimsuit top and stepped in. It was such a relief to be in the warm water. After a few minutes I had a contraction, and I tried pushing a little, but I felt afraid of it. I told LeAnn that I was scared of pushing. She just nodded her head, told me I can do it, and that I didn’t have to do anything until I felt the urge to push again. I leaned my head over the edge of the pool and held onto Nick’s hands. Soon, I felt a contraction and I went ahead and pushed. I remember reaching down and feeling all the hair on her head. At the next contraction, I pushed harder, but I still had the fear that everything “down there” was just going to rip apart. I remember saying a prayer to help me through the pushing and asking God for the strength to deliver the baby quickly. The birth team had me drink some iced and eat a honey stick. What I think was the next contraction, I pushed as strong, controlled, and relaxed as I could and could feel the baby’s head coming down and out. That amount of progress, gave me the motivation to keep pushing and the rest of baby came out! LeAnn and Nick lifted the baby up to my belly and Nick said “It’s a girl!” I couldn’t believe it and asked him a few seconds later if it really was a girl. She had a full head of dark hair and I was so relieved to just hold her in my arms! She was born at 5:24 AM. I couldn’t believe I had done it. We patted her back a little to see if she’d let out a cry for us and she did. A few minutes later I was told I had to get up out of the tub and go to the bed to deliver the placenta. When I stood up, a bunch of blood was running down my legs. It was a bit messy, but everyone helped me over to our plastic covered bed. Baby got to stay right on my chest and about 10 minutes later the placenta came out.

LeAnn monitored bleeding for a while and I just held my baby girl in my arms. Nick got to cut the umbilical cord. After a little bit, baby latched and began to breastfeed. I don’t remember too many of the details after that, but I did get 2 sutures put in for a small tear. The birth team took care of all the clean up and cooked us some food. I was starved and the macaroni and cheese tasted wonderful, even if it was our breakfast. We also had tiramisu in celebration of baby’s official first birthday.

I truly felt that it was the best labor I could have asked for.  I felt so comfortable being in our home with familiar surroundings, candles burning, music playing, and lavender oil diffusing. The birth team worked well together and I felt so comfortable with everyone that was here. I am so grateful that I was able to have the birth experience I always imagined! What an amazing blessing!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Minnesota home birth: Summer

I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to be writing the story of my home birth. I know it's something not everyone gets to experience, no matter how much they may want to. Which is one thing I would advise anyone considering a home birth to think about. Yes, home births are safe when performed by a qualified midwife but even then, there's always a possibility for something to happen that you have no control over. You have to mentally prepare yourself for the worst scenarios. That being said, you then have to put all of those negative thoughts out of your mind when the time comes and just focus on your labor. Trust not only in your body's ability to do what it is made to do, but also your midwife to monitor your labor and step in if need be.
Basically, you better trust the crap out of your midwife! Lucky for us, we stumbled upon LeAnn and had the most perfect home birth experience!
I had been experiencing Braxton-Hicks for a few days but nothing serious. Finally, it's Baby's due date, February 29th. I woke up just before 6 am with contractions. Days before, the contractions came and went and were almost nonexistent by late morning. I was hoping to keep contractions going so I went for a walk around the block a few times while my husband got ready for work and our son (who just turned two on Valentine's Day a few weeks earlier) snoozed in his crib. I loved being pregnant but I was getting anxious to meet our baby, to find out if my son would get a little brother or sister. The morning came and went. My husband checked in on me throughout the day. Around 3 pm I told him the contractions were hanging around but still infrequent. At around 4 pm is when I began to notice the contractions more. I wasn't yet timing them, but I was getting hopeful and decided to call my mom. The plan was for our son to stay with my parents who lived about an hour away.
My mom arrived and my husband came home from work soon after. It was nice to finally have adults around. Although he was the best, cutest distraction, my two year old wasn't a huge help during contractions. My husband started timing contractions and we soon figured out they were about 5 minutes apart. It was almost 6 pm and my mom said to my son, "Time to go! Mommy's going to have a baby!" I remember thinking, "But he's my baby!" After well wishes and hugs and kisses, off they went.

Getting my two year old ready to stay at Grandma & Grandpa's for a few days

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wisconsin home birth: Ruby

The Haas Machine
Monday July 25th 1:30pm: I was cutting up some chicken to make my friend Steph’s famous chicken enchiladas for dinner that night. When I stood up to put the chicken on the stove, I immediately felt a gush of liquids leave my body. At first, I thought I might have peed my pants, but then after going upstairs to change, I noticed that it didn’t have any smell & it was completely clear, which is what amniotic fluid is like.
I first called John to let him know that I thought my water broke & then I called our midwife LeAnn to let her know. She asked me a few questions & then told me to call her back around 3:30 to let her know if more liquid leaked out or if anything changed. I called John back & by that time, he had researched all kinds of websites for me to look at to see if it really was amniotic fluid. I laid down for a bit to rest & then I drove to John’s work to pick him up & called LeAnn as well. She said that she wanted to see me in her office as soon as we could get there, to test if it was amniotic fluid, so we left right away. We got to Winona around 4:30 & had a short chat with LeAnn & then did two different tests, which both confirmed that it was in fact amniotic fluid. My water had broken! We didn’t know any kind of timeline as to when things would start happening, but at that point, I hadn’t had any contractions & was still feeling like my usual self. LeAnn suggested we take the night easy, eat dinner, do our normal routine & try to get lots of rest.
We made a quick stop at the store to pick up some more food (thankfully, I had gone on a massive Woodman’s run earlier in the day, but I still wanted to get a lot of fresh fruit) & then we stopped at a friend’s house to borrow a pump drain for the tub. We were both pretty calm, but excited… we still figured we had tons of time!
We got home around 7:00 & while John went to have a meeting (he was planning who would be taking over his duties at church for a few weeks), I puttered around the house, getting dinner ready & doing some preparations for a birth that week(we seriously thought it would be a couple of days). John came home around 8:30 & we took a short walk to our library to get some movies since we figured we’d need some entertainment that week. Then I helped him drain the birthing tub (we did a test run the night before just to see how long it would take to fill) & finish putting up the fabric on the basement ceiling (I wanted to spruce it up a bit). I think we crawled into bed around 10 or 11. At that time, I had some light cramping, sort of similar to the beginning of my period, but it wasn’t all that painful or consistent, so I didn’t think much of it.
Ruby Enters The World // The Haas MachineBy midnight, I had to get out of bed because I was so uncomfortable. I was still leaking fluid, so I just thought it would make sense to sit on the toilet for awhile. And that’s when my contractions really started! I brought my phone in with me so I could chart the contractions—how long they were & how far apart. I was shocked to see that, for over an hour (from 12-1am) I consistently had contractions that lasted 20-40 seconds every 2-4 minutes. I remembered LeAnn saying to call her when they got to be 5 minutes apart… & they were already 2-4 minutes apart!
At 1:00, I beckoned John into the bathroom & asked him to help me, & then at 1:02am I called LeAnn to share with her the news & we chatted for awhile. She told me to keep doing what I was doing & keep in touch if anything changed. John thought that it would be a good idea to go downstairs at this point & I was hesitant to move, but agreed with him. I had never felt anything so intense in my entire life! John had some friends of ours come & get Hartley at this time, too.

Wisconsin home birth, Silvan's Birth

Silvan’s Birth Story…
For several years before my husband and I even decided on children, I knew that in the event we decided to go ahead with reproducing, I wanted a homebirth. I watched the documentary The Business of Being Born on Netflix, and boy, did it open my eyes. I have personally never been a fan of hospitals to begin with, but after watching that, I just knew that homebirth was going to be the way for me. As long as there were no complications, of course. Luckily for me, my husband, Jake, was fully supportive of this idea.

Fast forward a few years, through the many discussions to finally deciding to try for a baby and taking the leap. A few months after that, we were blessed with a positive pregnancy test.
That’s when the hunt for a midwife began, who was near us, with whom we felt comfortable sharing this life changing experience. I did a few thorough Google searches and my first result was LeAnn in Winona. Only a ½ hour away from our home! There were some others that we interviewed, but LeAnn was the first, and she was most definitely our first choice. She made us feel comfortable in both her knowledge and understanding of where we were coming from, and what we were looking for. It was like talking to an old friend, or family member. She just put us at ease.
I had a remarkably easy pregnancy. I didn’t have any of the typical pregnancy ailments: heartburn, swelling, excessive pregnancy sickness. I definitely counted myself fortunate. Since this was going to be my first child, the closer we got to my “due date” the more we discussed the likelihood that my son would go well past the “due date.” So I was not expecting his sudden arrival 3 days early…
September 18th, 2015 was going to be my last day of work before leave, so I got up as usual and took my 2 ½ mile walk. I wasn’t 5 blocks into my walk when I started having pains. I didn’t think they were contractions because they were centered down in my lower pelvic area, not my entire abdomen, which is what I would have expected. So I powered through them, walking them off as I went about my route. The closer I got to home however, the stronger they became. Still though, I didn’t think much of them. Neither did Jake, when I got home and told him was what happening. But just to be sure, because they were definitely different than what I had been experiencing before and coming at somewhat regular intervals, I called LeAnn before hopping into the shower. She agreed that it didn’t exactly sound like labor and that we would just have to see where things went from there. We said good-bye and I went about getting ready.
The pains continued, getting so much stronger that several times I had to stop and concentrate on breathing through. When I got out of the shower, I vomited. A typical transitional sign. I headed to our bedroom to get dressed but was overcome with another strong pain so I had lay down on the floor and that’s when I noticed for sure that my entire abdomen was tightening with each pain. Again, I vomited.
After a little bit of me trying to get through these “pains,” Jake came upstairs to check on me. I didn’t realize it, but I had been up there for a bit. He asked if I was ok and I remember saying, “I’m trying to be.” I asked for my phone and texted LeAnn to let her know that now I could tell there was tightening and that I had vomited. With that, Jake helped me back to the bathroom so I could use the toilet. I checked and sure enough, there was pink. I looked at Jake and told him that I definitely thought I was in labor now. I texted LeAnn again.
Jake asked if he had time to go grab a coffee, since he had just woken up. I told him that I thought so and he ran off to grab a cup. He wasn’t gone long. Later he told me that he jogged down the block and back to be sure that he was going to be there for me. When he came back upstairs, he calmly suggested that we get down to the bed so if things progressed we would be where we needed to be. I agreed and we started our decent. About ¾ of the way down, my water broke and I was hit with the strongest of (what I now knew were contractions) the pains that I had experienced thus far. I howled and Jake spoke soft, comforting words to me. It was all he could do at the time since we were on our narrow stairway. Once again, I texted LeAnn to now let her know that my water broke. She called back immediately and let us know that she was on the way.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wisconsin home birth: January

January Enters The World

January Enters The World // The Haas Machine
I had a feeling that this baby might be an early one since Ruby was born at 38 weeks, so I did all that I could to prepare for an early birth. I did all the usual nesting-type activities…made bazillions of freezer meals, washed & organized baby clothes & diapers, cleaned everything in (& out) of sight,. I prepared so much that I literally had nothing left to do after 36 weeks. It was my intention that I would have a few weeks to do nothing but relax & enjoy time with our family of three before we became four, but I wasn’t prepared for the waiting to drive me crazy!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Southeast Minnesota Home Birth: Indira

Let me start out by saying the body does amazing things. I truly believe that had I not had issues Thursday late night early Friday morning with our noisy neighbors being up I would’ve gone into labor on Friday instead of Saturday. I told my husband Friday morning to be prepared because I felt labor would start between that day and Saturday. I called my midwife LeAnn Friday night and told her I had been having stronger contractions and wanted to give her a heads up, I believe my body knew just how exhausted it was because right around bedtime Friday night all contractions stopped and I got one of the best night’s sleep I had in a long time. It did help tremendously that my husband went out and warned the neighbors that we would not be having any issues with them being up late and being loud that night.