About Us

The River Valley Birth Center Story

About Us

River Valley Birth Center is unique. 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.” There are 8 licensed birth centers in the state and only 3 are located in Greater Minnesota. RVBC is the only birth center in Southern Minnesota and we have been established in our community of St. Peter since 2014. Our facility is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health.

In addition to holding a state license, River Valley Birth Center is nationally accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers and has held accreditation continuously since we opened in 2014. When a birth center is accredited by the CABC they are held to the highest standards for safety, transparency, accountability, quality improvement, and patient care. CABC accreditation requires extensive reviews and site visits to make sure we are fulfilling every indicator for compliance while providing evidence-based midwifery care.

While birth centers and their staff come in all shapes and sizes, we adore being one of the smallest accredited birth centers when it comes to the size of our staff! We enjoy getting a chance to get to know our clients really well and provide them with continuity of care. We strive to make the practice feel relaxed and personal so our clients never feel like a number. Since there are only 2 midwives it is easy for families to get to know us well, filling them with confidence as they approach the birth time. By limiting the number of clients accepted into care we are able to provide the highest quality of care to each family we serve. Our midwives are both Certified Professional Midwives and licensed by the Board of Medical Practice. CPMs are specifically trained for community birth, providing care in birth centers and home.

Our Team

Erika Urban, CPM, LM

Midwife and Owner

Rebeccah Hazel, CPM, LM

Midwife

Juana Arias

Administrative Assistant and Birth Assistant

She answers the phone, schedules, collects insurance info and documents, sends records, and she assists at births, too! Oh, and she made the mug.

Joe Urban

Information Technology/Maintenance/Owner

Basically, we call him everytime something breaks or doesn't work. He doesn't actually look this crabby in real life.

Urban Kids

Untitled Position

Can be spotted doing yard work, painting, or doing laundry. Family Business= everybody works

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 make this model of care more accessible due to insurance and Medicaid coverage.

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.