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Birth Center



1. What is a birth center?

A birth center is a home-like place where midwives provide prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. Research shows birth centers are safe choice for low risk pregnancy; and that people who have birth center care have good birth results and good birth experiences at lower costs. Birth centers are freestanding and not in hospitals. Read more about birth centers here. Community birth centers provides safe, culturally reverent midwifery-led maternal health care for all. 

2. What is a midwife?

A midwife is a health provider trained to provide safe, nurturing, hands on care to families before, during and after birth. Midwives can be certified nurse midwives (CNMs), certified professional midwives (CPMs), or licensed midwives (LMs). 

The midwifery model of care honors pregnancy and birth as normal life events, and uses medical intervention for potential health problems. Midwives work to build trust and partner with birthing persons and families to provide personal care based on the best research. Midwifery care supports people in making smart health care decisions, considers the culture of families and communities,  and helps create good birth experiences. Learn more about the spirit of midwifery care 

3. Are birth centers safe?

Research shows that 80% of people giving birth in the United States could safely give birth in a birth center. In many countries with better birth outcomes than the United States birth center care is a part of the health system.

4. Does health insurance cover birth center care?

Most major health insurers cover birth center care. In a national survey of birth centers, these insurers included companies such as: Aetna/US Healthcare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, TriCare, and Humana to name a few. 

5. Does Medicaid cover birth center care?

In states that license or recognize freestanding birth centers, Medicaid is required to cover birth center care.


6. Will there be certified nurse midwives (CNMs) or licensed midwives (LMs) practicing in the birth center?  What’s the difference?

Both certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and licensed midwives (LMs) will provide care in the birth center. Both CNMs and LMs train in accredited midwifery programs. The difference is CNMs are trained in both nursing and midwifery. To read more about midwives see Midwives Alliance of North America and American College of Nurse Midwives.


7. Are there other birth centers in Detroit or in Michigan?

There are more than 384 freestanding birth centers in the United States. There are six in Michigan: Family tree Midwifery ,  Gentle harbor midwifery, Modern Day Midwifery  Nine Short MonthsSimply Born and Transitions women's wellness.  Birth Detroit will be the first freestanding birth center in Detroit. Read more about birth centers here.

8. Why a birth center in Detroit?

Birth center care improves birth outcomes, increases satisfaction – and, if it is culturally responsive, can make a life or death difference for people of color by reducing disparities in care. Yet communities of color are least likely to have access to birth center care. Of the more than 384 birth centers in the United States, less than 5% are owned or led by Black, Indigenous and people of color. There are no Black-led birth centers in Michigan, and there are zero birth centers in the city of Detroit. Detroiters deserve the option of birth center care.  

9. Why a birth center now?

In fall 2018, a new government report recommended birth center care. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), a branch of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), recommends freestanding birth centers to help improve birth outcomes. The report shows that preterm birth, low-birth weight and cesarean section rates are all lower in freestanding birth centers. 

Directly from the report, “Women who received prenatal care in Strong Start Birth Centers had better birth outcomes and lower costs relative to similar Medicaid beneficiaries not enrolled in Strong Start. In particular, rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, and cesarean section were lower among Birth Center participants, and costs were more than $2,000 lower per mother-infant pair during birth and the following year. These promising Birth Center results may be useful to state Medicaid programs seeking to improve the health outcomes of their covered populations.”


10. Do birth centers work with hospitals and other healthcare providers?

Freestanding birth centers are partners in integrated health care systems. Birth Detroit will provide community-based prenatal and postpartum care with the option of a birth center birth, as well as well-woman care. By providing easy access, culturally-responsive care to birthing persons and families, Birth Detroit aims to help improve overall outcomes and be a valuable partner in Detroit’s maternal child health system.

Birth Detroit Care


1. Who is Birth Detroit Care for? 

Birth Detroit Care is for every birthing person with a low-risk pregnancy. During your first visit, the Birth Detroit care team will talk with you about your health, your pregnancy, your goals for your care, and help determine whether or not community based midwifery care is right for you. If more specialized care is needed, we will refer you to an appropriate trusted healthcare provider. No one will be turned away. 


2. What is Birth Detroit Care?

Birth Detroit Care is a community-based maternal health practice, offering prenatal and postpartum care by midwives, as well as childbirth education and postpartum support. Birth Detroit Care is patterned after the JJWay® maternal health model Easy Access Clinic™, which centers access, connection, knowledge and empowerment as keys to a healthy pregnancy, healthy birth and healthy baby. Birth Detroit provides safe, quality, loving care through pregnancy, birth and beyond. 


3. What is a midwife?

Midwives are healthcare providers trained to provide safe, nurturing, hands on care to birthing people before, during and after birth. Midwives approach pregnancy and birth as normal physiologic life events. They provide full spectrum prenatal, postpartum, and interconception care, and focus on building trusting relationships, meeting your educational needs and being a partner to you and your family during your pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey. 


4. What can I expect in my prenatal and postpartum care?

Birth Detroit Care offers telehealth and in-person prenatal and postpartum care visits. Our team looks forward to connecting with you and your family to provide warm, personalized, respectful care, including confirmation of pregnancy, prenatal screenings and labs, ultrasound, education and shared decision making, nutrition and breastfeeding support, labor preparation and warm referral to a trusted provider for your baby’s birthday, and postpartum maternal infant-health and breastfeeding support check-ins.


5. What other support does Birth Detroit Care offer?

Your pregnancy and postpartum journey can be up to 120 days (if you include the postpartum fourth trimester). Birth Detroit Care is here for you for the journey. In addition to prenatal and postpartum care, Birth Detroit offers childbirth education and postpartum support.


6. Is Birth Detroit Care covered by insurance?

Birth Detroit Care accepts insurance, and no one is turned away for not having insurance. We are a new community-based maternal health practice working to build payor relationships. Birth Detroit Care is generously funded as an innovative and promising community maternal health model by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and individual donors.

7. Where is Birth Detroit Care located?

Birth Detroit Care is located on Detroit’s northwest side in Brilliant Detroit’s Fitzgerald House. The address is 16919 Prairie Street, Detroit, MI 48221. Birth Detroit is proud to be in partnership with Brilliant Detroit who is dedicated to building kid success, families and neighborhoods where families with children 0-8 have what they need to be school ready, healthy and stable.


8. Is the Birth Detroit Birth Center open?

No, our birth center is not open yet. Birth Detroit Care offers prenatal and postpartum care only. Birth Detroit is actively fundraising to open the birth center and will launch a capital campaign in 2022. Anticipate birth center birth to come by 2023. If you would like to join us in planning and fundraising for the birth center, please see our Get Involved page or email us at


9. Why Birth Detroit Care now?

In 2018-2019, we asked in our community survey if you thought a birth center was a good idea for your community and got a resounding YES! We also heard that you wanted more time in prenatal visits, quality childbirth education, postpartum support and a partner that treats you as a partner, involves your partner, and respects your race, culture, language, gender identity, attractional orientation and life experiences. We heard that you want community midwifery care now. So, we are offering Birth Detroit Care now, while we plan for the birth center to open in the next couple years. 

In Partnership With

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