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Authors

  1. Welch, Leseliey MPH, MBA
  2. Branch Canady, Renee PhD, MPA
  3. Harmell, Chelsea MPH
  4. White, Nicole BS, CPM
  5. Snow, Char'ly MSN, CNM
  6. Kane Low, Lisa PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN

Abstract

Purpose: While favorable outcomes of birth centers are documented, Black-led birth centers and maternal health models are rarely highlighted. Such disparities are manifestations of institutional racism. A nascent body of literature suggests that culturally affirming care provided by Black-led birth centers benefit all birthing people-regardless of race. Birth Detroit is one such maternal health model led by Black women that offers a justice response to inequitable care options in Black communities.

 

Methods: This article describes a departure from traditional White supremacist research models that privilege quantitative outcomes to the exclusion of iterative processes, lived experiences, and consciousness-raising. A community organizing approach to birth center development led by Black women and rooted in equity values of safety, love, trust, and justice is outlined.

 

Results: Birth Detroit is a Black-led, community-informed model that includes integration of evidence-based approaches to improving health outcomes and that embraces community midwifery prenatal care and a strategic trajectory to open a birth center in the city of Detroit.

 

Conclusion: Birth Detroit demonstrates the operationalization of a Black feminist standpoint, lifts up the power of communities to lead in their own care, and offers a blueprint for action to improve inequities and maternal-infant health in Black communities.