Birth center aimed at Black infant, maternal mortality among Cuyahoga County social services requests in Ohio capital budget

Birthing center

The total project cost of the birthing center will be around $8 million. Birthing Beautiful Communities is asking for $2 million in state funding, said Jazmin Long, the organization’s executive director.

“There are numerous studies that show that birth center births with culturally relevant and competent care is a major way to reduce infant death,” she said.

Birthing centers are staffed by midwives, not obstetricians and gynecologists. Birthing Beautiful Communities wants to offer a more natural setting than a hospital, such as having bathtubs, birth balls and birth coaching services. Birth centers generally don’t administer medication to patients, except for laughing gas, Long said.

Currently, Birthing Beautiful Communities offers labor and delivery doulas for hospital births and will continue to offer that service once the birthing center is constructed for patients who prefer a hospital setting.

The nonprofit is in the process of buying property on Chester Avenue in Cleveland. Construction of the birthing center is expected to begin soon after, Long said, with the goal of finishing by the fall of 2023.

“We hope in the first year to deliver 100 babies and grow to serve more clients,” she said. “We’ll be providing wellness care, so basically Pap smears and things like that.”