River Valley Birth Center is committed to offering a wide variety of services that meet the needs of families in the local area. We offer full-scope prenatal and postpartum care as well as care during the labor and birth process either in your own home or in our lovely facility, located in Saint Peter.
We offer a variety of classes and workshops with the sincerest of hopes that we will be a community resource.
The first step to begin care at River Valley Birth Center is to come to a group tour/orientation session. These sessions are free and no-obligation. You will get to see our facility and meet some of our lovely staff to get a sense for what your care will be like. You will get all the paperwork you will need to fill out to start care and be able to ask all of your questions! Bring your partner!
We should start by mentioning that the prenatal care you receive at River Valley Birth Center is a unique experience! Appointments are never double-booked, so your wait time will always be minimal or non-existent. We set aside 30-45 minutes of time for just YOU so that we may discuss any concerns and health advice. Prenatal visits are conducted by the very midwives who will be oncall for your birth. This continuity of care is a pleasant experience, but can also assist in the best and most careful screening of each woman during the prenatal time.
Appointments are scheduled by each client in our online scheduling system so that you can find the appointment time that works best for your family: Prenatal visits will be held every 4 weeks until 32 weeks of pregnancy, every 2 weeks from 32-36 weeks, and then weekly until your baby is born. All appointments are held in our birth center, so that you may begin to feel right “at home” in our facility prior to the birth. Children are welcome to accompany you to your visits and be active participants!
We do also offer prenatal care to low-risk women who desire a hospital birth. In these cases, we will provide you with the same, amazing, individualized services and then transfer your care to your chosen provider at 36 weeks. Don’t have a chosen provider, but want a hospital birth? We will refer you to our favorite practices! Some women desire this option because they desire a hospital birth, but they still want more time with a provider during care. You get to benefit from being involved in decision making and getting true informed consent through the course of your pregnancy.
LAB WORK AND ULTRASOUNDS
At River Valley Birth Center, we recognize the value of routine lab work and prenatal ultrasounds and want to be sure that you have all these things offered to you and accessible. We can make arrangements for you to receive these services as part of your routine care. In our practice, these things are generally handled in a way that provides full informed consent. We set aside additional time at appointments to discuss the value of these assessments, alternatives, pros and cons, and what it is that you want. If you are transferring into our practice and have already had labs and/or ultrasounds, you can have all labs and ultrasounds sent into us so that you don’t need to have them done again. Lab work and ultrasounds are billed to you/your insurance directly from the provider of the services.
“Do you do waterbirths?” is a common question. The answer is, “YES!”
If you are interested in having your baby in water, we will be happy to help make that happen! Our facility is equipped with a hot water system that runs off our boiler. This system can make sure that we have as much hot water as any laboring woman could ever demand! We also have deep tubs that women can soak in through labor and birth in quite easily. It is also ok if you are not sure if you will want to birth in the water or not, it is simply an option that is available to you, but not one that you are locked into.
OUR BIRTH CENTER
We want people to see our birth center as their home away from home when they are in labor! When you are admitted to River Valley Birth Center in labor, you will be given a private room with your own bathroom. You will also have access to a full kitchen and you may walk around the facility as much as you wish. We encourage women to eat and drink in labor, so bring your favorite foods (although we stock a few snacks for those who forget or leave home in a hurry)! Each room has a radio with an AUX port so that you may listen to your own music during labor. You will have a queen sized bed to rest on during labor and postpartum and this bed has high quality sheets! We really want you to be comfortable.
Midwives in freestanding birth centers have excellent safety records while also having low rates of interventions. For information on the safety of birth centers, click here for the AABC study.
After you give birth, you will be encouraged to eat and rest for a few hours before you head home to finish recovering. We will begin your postpartum care at this time!
After you have been discharged from River Valley Birth Center, you will continue to see a midwife for postpartum care for the first 4-6 weeks after the birth. The first postpartum visit will take place in your own home! After the initial postpartum visit, families are encouraged to continue to come to the birth center for follow-up care. These visits will be spent checking to see how you are healing from the birth, doing a weight check on your baby, assisting with breastfeeding and babycare questions, and giving referrals to any additional services that you may need.
Your baby gets care in the immediate postpartum time from a midwife. This care includes a full newborn exam and availability of antibiotic eye ointment and Vitamin K (all newborn procedures can be declined by a family). Your baby will be carefully assessed during your entire stay at River Valley Birth Center.
We offer the Minnesota Department of Health Newborn Metabolic Screening, Newborn Hearing Screening, and screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease through pulse oximetry readings at the follow-up postpartum visits. We will also provide you with a referral to a pediatrician or family practice doctor, if you do not already have one picked out.
We will handle filing the birth certificate and social security card.