About Us

The River Valley Birth Center Story

About Us

As the only licensed birth center in southern Minnesota, the care provided by River Valley Birth Center is unique. We are a freestanding birth center that is fully accredited through the Commission for the Accreditation for Birth Centers and licensed by the Minnesota Dept of Health as a birth center. We understand that many hospital facilities are choosing to use the term “birth center” to label their birthing area which can be confusing for the consumer, but Minnesota statute 144.615 defines “birth center” as: “a facility licensed for the primary purpose of performing low-risk deliveries that is not a hospital or licensed as part of a hospital and where births are planned to occur away from the mother’s usual residence following a low-risk pregnancy.”

As an accredited and licensed birth center, River Valley Birth Center maintains a great level of accountability to each organization we work with and are credentialed through, as well as to the families we serve. This allows for families to feel comfortable moving through their pregnancy journey while understanding we are held to the highest possible standards when it comes to providing out-of-hospital birth. Our care focuses on informed consent and shared decision making, which best occurs when a person feels safe and cared for.


We have been accredited and licensed since 2014. River Valley Birth Center established a way to provide care to many who are "at-risk" or underserved due to our geographic location and lack of maternity care options surrounding the area and so in 2015 we became an Essential Community Provider, as designated by the Minnesota Department of Health. Our facility remains the only facility in our county in which women can birth. Our neighboring counties of Sibley and Le Sueur do not have these services at all within the county. We remain mindful of the challenges faced by many families in Greater Minnesota of finding maternity care that is close to home and it is with humility and gratitude that we offer our services in our community.

Our team of providers is compiled of 2 midwives who are Certified Professional Midwives and licensed by the Board of Medical Practice and 1 midwife who is a Certified Nurse Midwife and Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner. CPM/LMs have a very specific scope of practice for providing care in a community setting for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. A CNM/APRN has a larger scope of practice that includes providing wellness visits, prescribing medications and birth control, and navigating the health changes that come through a lifetime from the start of menstruation through menopause.

Our Team

Erika Urban, CPM, LM

Midwife and Owner

Rebeccah Hazel, CPM, LM

Midwife

Catherine Mascari, CNM, APRN

Midwife

Juana Arias

Administrative Assistant and Birth Assistant

Joe Urban

Information Technology/Maintenance

Owner

Any collection of the Urban kids

Can be spotted doing yard work, painting, or doing laundry. Living their best lives working for the family.

Our History

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.