A group of Black women in Detroit hoping to change horrible statistics about birthing Black babies, are opening Detroit’s first birthing center, and it just happens to be Black-owned and operated. Housed in the Petoskey-Otsego neighborhood in northwest Detroit, Birth Detroit Birth Center will be the city’s first stand-alone, pre-natal institution providing more options especially for expecting Black mothers.
The new location for the center is at 8575 Heritage Place and a celebratory community event on Oct. 16 will held to help the organization fundraise. Birth Detroit is a community-based maternal health practice offering prenatal and postpartum care by midwives, as well as childbirth education and postpartum support.
What Is a Birth Center?
A birth center is a home-like place where midwives provide prenatal, labor, and postpartum care that’s typically not attached to a hospital. Research shows that these places are safe choice for low risk pregnancy; and that people who have receive care like this have good experiences at lower costs. Community birth centers provides safe, culturally-reverent, midwifery-led, maternal health care for all. Read more about these places here.
Benefits of Midwifery
With Midwifery Week being the first week in October, BLAC wants to remind people that while mothers do the work of giving back to the next generation, a midwife’s job is to help carry them along during the entire journey. Leseliey Welch, Birth Detroit co-founder and CEO, told the Michigan Chronicle that the idea of the center came from doing public health work in the city for a long time and noticing that outcomes needed to change around maternal health but no one was willing to do anything “drastically different.”
“The benefits of a midwifery model of care had not been highlighted or leveraged in the city and we know the midwifery model of care and the center [would] improve the Black experience and it is a lower cost,” Welch said. “I strongly believe that all people deserve access to all safe birth options. This one is critical and part of the disparities.”
The center also offers telehealth and in-person prenatal and postpartum care visits. They also accepts insurance, and no one is turned away for not having insurance.
“Birth Detroit provides safe, quality, loving care through pregnancy, birth and beyond,” according to its website.
While, the official center is not open yet but is actively fundraising. Get involved; email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicago Defender Managing Editor Danielle Sanders and Black Information Network contributed to this report.