It is our goal to provide midwifery care through true informed consent and shared decision making. This means we work as a team to share information and create a plan for each individual that best fits their unique experience. No two pregnancies or births will be exactly alike and because of that, the explanation of services is generalized for information purposes and does not fully reflect the flexibility and individualization provided during a course of care.

Prenatal Care

It all starts with prenatal care.

When you establish care with River Valley Birth Center, we will begin our journey working together. River Valley Birth Center is offering a hybrid model of care for prenatal visits consisting of a blend of virtual and in-office visits. This model is high-flex, allowing for us to provide both routine informed consent discussions and education on a consistent schedule using a convenient virtual format, while allowing for maximum flexibility for providing in-office examinations and procedures when they are actually needed by an individual. Individualized care that is low in unnecessary interventions is what the midwifery model of care is all about!

Your first visit with us will be a virtual or telehealth visit to review your health history together and create a plan for an examination in the office, lab work, and if an ultrasound would be appropriate. If you are transferring into our care from another provider, we will want to also review their records. At the end of each visit we will schedule your next visit with one of our midwives with the timing and method (virtual or office) of that visit being based on your pregnancy.

While we customize care for each individual, a good framework we use for visits includes appointments every 4-6 weeks in early pregnancy and then visits move closer together during the 3rd trimester, occurring every 1-2 weeks. Clients may also schedule additional visits if a new need or concern arises.

We can and do order lab work and ultrasounds. We can provide you information during your prenatal visits about the tests and our recommendations as well as answer any questions you might have. Lab work and ultrasounds are billed directly to your insurance by the performing locations.

Labor and Birth with River Valley Birth Center

The amazing everyday miracle.

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 and we also have bluetooth speakers available so that you can listen to music of your choosing. 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.

We encourage you to move as you desire in labor. Choose the positions that work best for you! You may labor in water, using the tub or the shower. We don’t mind if clients want to walk the stairs or take a walk around the block and then rest whenever it is needed. For pain relief options here we have the use of water (tub or shower) and nitrous oxide.

Your care will be provided by the small team of people you have gotten to know during your prenatal visits. Since we will also know you, we will understand your wishes for your birth. We will continue to provide care with informed consent for any decisions that need to be made during the birthing process. Should you desire to hire a doula, we will happily welcome them to the birth center.

After you give birth, you will be encouraged to eat and rest for a few hours before you head home to rest. During this time we will provide immediate postpartum care, newborn care, and perform a newborn examination. We encourage skin-to-skin bonding and establishing breastfeeding during this time. Babies stay with their parents until discharging from the facility (no separation of mom/baby). After a few hours of stable vitals and good health, we will be able to discharge you so you may return home. Early discharge to home from a freestanding birth center is safe and many families enjoy returning to their own environment to rest and connect with family.

Like everything you read, but really have your heart set on a home birth?

We do offer a limited number of home births as well. Our birth center bloomed out of a home birth practice, so we have always had a soft spot in our hearts for them!

It is important to us to be transparent that home birth is not covered the same by health insurance as birth center birth. Many plans specifically exclude home birth from coverage, even with in-network providers. We encourage you to look into your health insurance coverage so there are no unpleasant surprises. This is not to discourage anyone, but is part of that informed consent we are always talking about.

Postpartum Care

A transition time. The 4th trimester.

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 pretty shortly after the birth, usually at approximately 24-48 hours after birth. We time this visit so that we can complete all the newborn screenings that have to be done within a certain window of time. During this visit we will see how your first night with baby went, assess breastfeeding, postpartum bleeding, take vitals, and answer any questions you may have. We will then continue to schedule visits to provide care for the first 4-6 weeks following the birth.

Newborn Care

We really like providing care to these guys.

Your baby gets care in first few hours of life 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. When appropriate, you and your baby will be discharged to home with a plan in place for our next visit together. Prior to discharge, we will have you provide us with the information needed so that we can file for the birth certificate and social security number for your new family member.

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 first follow-up visit after the birth (typically scheduled for 24-48 hours after birth).

We recommend that families additionally schedule the newborn with their pediatrician or family practice provider in that first week of life to establish care. We will continue to follow the baby for the first 4-6 weeks of life as well.

Wellness Exams/Annual Visit

Don't you forget about us

Maybe you are done adding to your family or you just need a little break. Don’t let that keep you away from your favorite birth center! Certified Nurse Midwives can provide care outside of pregnancy and birth. We have a CNM available a few times a month to provide additional care. Catherine Mascari, APRN, CNM can provide the following services:

  • Annual exams and wellness care

  • Pap testing and labs

  • Breast examinations

  • Birth control consultations and prescriptions

  • Treatment of menstrual problems

If you would like to be seen by our CNM, please call to schedule a visit: 507-934-1565

Insurance Accepted!

River Valley Birth Center is in-network with most insurance plans.

We also accept Minnesota Health Care Plans which includes Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare.