River Valley Birth Center was started in 2014 by Erika and Joe Urban. Erika became a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) in 2009 and started Urban Birth, a midwifery practice for families seeking home birth. Desiring to provide families with an additional option for their maternity care, she began the process of planning River Valley Birth Center. A licensed birth center would allow more families to access the individualized care experience of a small midwifery practice because of more coverage by health insurance, including Medicaid.
In 2011 the budgets, spreadsheets, and workshops started so that our planning could be thorough. The timing felt right in 2013 to start moving forward, but it wasn't going to be fast as there was zoning that would need to change and good old fashioned business loans that would need to be requested. We spent that year getting others, who often knew nothing about midwifery care or the importance of community birth to see our vision both in our passionate ideas and in the math and projections found in our business plan. Our community in St Peter was receptive and supportive, which made us even more certain that this was the right location.
When looking for the perfect property for a birth center, there weren't an abundance of options. St Peter had nothing available at that time for commercial property, so we focused on residential options. Coming from a home birth practice, Erika loved the idea of a space that felt warm and inviting... like a Bed & Breakfast for birth. The perfect option was a house the Urban family had rented in 2011-2012 and where their 4th child had been born at home. So, an offer was made and an agreement was set and closing occurred in February 2014 and renovations began the same day.
After years of planning and work, River Valley Birth Center became accredited and licensed in June 2014 and we welcomed our first babies into the space in July 2014.