Maternal & Infant Health
Article

The Village of Joy: A new birth for Birthing Beautiful Communities

Taneisha Fair
Associate, Racial Equity
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April 29, 2024
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Birthing Beautiful Communities (BBC) will soon open the only Black-led freestanding birthing center in Ohio under the leadership of its CEO, Jazmin Long in May 2025. BBC offers a doula program uniquely dedicated to supporting Black mothers and infants by addressing social, economic, and structural determinants of health, such as systemic racism, that cause poor birth outcomes. It provides labor support, mental health, transportation and other supportive services to individuals and families throughout pregnancy and up to the first year following childbirth.

Birthing Beautiful Community’s new facility in Hough

The new birth center will be in the Hough community, where BBC’s work first began because it is a neighborhood that is highly impacted with an infant mortality rate that is four times the national rate. Its location will be at the intersection of East 65th Street and Chester Avenue, a site intentionally chosen because of its cultural significance to the community.

This 10,000 square foot facility will offer a more natural birthing experience in a home-like environment. Like other freestanding birth centers, one important feature is holistic care being provided by midwives with the assistance of doulas. Providers at BBC’s freestanding birth center will utilize less medical interventions in the attempt to reduce the chances of using other procedures such as inductions, epidurals, or C-sections that are not always necessary for moms and infants.

Benefits such as improving access to more affordable care and fewer medical interventions can lead to more positive birthing experiences and improved mental health and birthing outcomes for Black women and infants in the community.

Birth centers and hospital partnerships

BBC will partner with hospitals to provide support for women who may eventually need more medical interventions. Other services at the new center will also include pre-and postnatal visits and gynecological care for all women. In addition to the center, BBC has partnered with Village of Healing since the summer of 2023 to offer a 2-year doula-midwife program to explore how combining the benefits of both can reduce infant mortality.

BBC and its collaboration with Village of Healing will allow both organizations to continue the amazing, lifesaving work they do in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio for those who are at the highest risk for maternal and infant mortality. Benefits such as improving access to more affordable care and fewer medical interventions can lead to more positive birthing experiences and improved mental health and birthing outcomes for Black women and infants in the community.

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