Birth Centers Are Crucial for Communities of Color, Especially in a Pandemic
We must act quickly to fortify established birth centers, and make birth centers a real option for birthing people in every city.
“Is your birth center open?” the worried voice said on the phone.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have received a growing number of calls like this. These callers, often people far along in their pregnancy, want a safe place to give birth, somewhere that is not a hospital overwhelmed with COVID-19. What they seek is the safety of a freestanding birth center, a homelike facility where prenatal, labor, birth, and postpartum care is provided in the midwifery and wellness model. But right now, our heartbreaking answer to each caller in Detroit and Boston, where we are raising funds to open birth centers, is “No, not yet.”
In the coming six weeks, roughly 400,000 babies are expected to be born in the United States, based on 2018 numbers. But in communities across the country, people—especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)—have little to no access to birth center care. As a result, they are being subjected to a health-care environment that pits their human right to birth in a trauma-free setting against a flailing system’s response to a global crisis. We, the leaders of Neighborhood Birth Center (Boston) and Birth Detroit, have been working to ensure that birth centers are a real option for pregnant people in our communities, and to develop a birthing infrastructure that transforms the culture of birth for generations to come.
NH Birth Center BLOG
This blog has contributions from Doula's and Midwifes from the North Houston Birth Center, along with articles from other medical personnel from different websites with their credit and link at the bottom of each article.