Around the world, birth is commonly viewed as a normal biological process rather than a medical intervention, and birth centers are much more commonly used outside the US. In New York State, however, we lack free-standing birth centers. High out-of-pocket costs of homebirth and difficulties with insurance coverage for out-of-network midwives effectively limit most births to hospitals. And while birthing in a hospital is a valuable option, it can often be intervention suggestive, center the medical provider more than the patient, and adhere strongly to protocols that are not always individualized or evidence-based.
We see birth differently (read our core values) and are committed to creating a space for families who want a more holistic, natural, and safe experience of childbirth. We are entering a phase of our development where we will have a greater opportunity to reach families throughout the Bronx borough in May 2022! Our approach in providing individualized care throughout pregnancy, labor, and birth reduces maternal and infant stress, provides family support beyond what is traditionally available, and uses the skills of generations of midwives, doulas, and community birth workers from whom we’ve developed our expertise. Our goal is to create a sanctuary that offers personalized loving support for the planning, expectant, and newly blossomed family.
The Birthing Place will expand the very limited options available for parents who seek safe alternatives to hospital births. Our birth center will eventually be located in the Riverdale area of the Bronx, and easily accessible from key neighborhoods heavily impacted by limited quality healthcare; yet for now, we provide virtual education, and we are entering a new phase, expanding our offerings to include in-person community outreach and program activities to best set families up for success - wherever their birth location may be. We are proud that The Birthing Place is made up of multicultural and multilingual professionals, in order to best serve families and their unique wishes and needs within our culturally diverse borough. Access to quality maternal care is of particular concern for our underserved communities, who suffer most from racial disparities in the healthcare system. Many states that successfully integrate birth center care do so much better, and meanwhile NY State ranks 30th in maternal morbidity outcomes in the country, and has the country’s 11th highest C-section rate. How can we change these striking numbers?
Midwifery-led, free-standing birth centers are statistically proven to experience fewer complications and require fewer medical interventions than in-hospital births. The Birthing Place is in a unique position to change these outcomes and improve the health disparities of our most marginalized families, and we are on our way! After working hard to SUCCESSFULLY pass New York legislation (A259a/S1414a) which supports the vital option of Midwifery Birth Centers, the time is NOW to change birthing in NYC; we aim to be a leading example of what is possible for the future of maternity care.
We launch the next phase of our model in May 2022 with The Womb Bus, our mobile health & wellness hub, where we provide perinatal education, reproductive & nutrition counseling, and a wide range of program activities, as well as increased access to supplementary bodywork modalities (such as chiropractic care and acupuncture) to historically underserved neighborhoods. Utilizing our community of passionate birthworkers, we'll provide special attention to Bronx neighborhoods known to have high need for improved maternal and infant care. The Womb Bus has been up-fitted, and we are currently on-boarding collaborative providers/ collectives/ organizations who already address a variety of important needs (e.g., well-person counseling, physical therapy, massage, mental health support, healing art, and lactation). The funds you help us raise for The Womb Bus ensures our team the ability to take significant steps forward to bring the greater vision of The Birthing Place to fruition!!