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Birth Center FAQ's

 What is a birth center? 

A birth center is a home-like place where midwives provide prenatal, birth, and postpartum 

care. Birth centers are freestanding and not in hospitals. Community birth centers provide safe, culturally-reverent, midwifery-led healthcare for all.(1) 


Are birth centers safe? 

Research shows that 80% of people giving birth in the United States could safely give birth in a birth center.(2) Birth centers are a safe choice for low risk pregnancy and an essential part of an integrated health system. 


Are birth centers accredited? 

Birth Detroit will participate in the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC) accreditation process. Continuous learning, quality improvement and the pursuit of excellence are among our highest priorities.(10) 


How are adverse outcomes avoided? 

Birth Detroit is committed to safety, accountability and best practice. Adverse outcomes are avoided by ongoing risk assessment and adherence to eligibility criteria, as well as the use of evidence-based protocols for comprehensive perinatal care and strong transfer partnerships. Clients requiring interventions not appropriate in a birth center are transferred to the appropriate level of care in a timely manner.(2) 

How do birth centers advance racial justice? 

Community birth centers, especially those led by Black, Indigenous, people of color provide safe, culturally-relevant care to meet the needs of communities of color facing high maternal and infant mortality rates and perinatal clinic and hospital closures nationwide. Community birth centers like Birth Detroit are designed to honor cultural and spiritual traditions, reflect stories and dreams, and heal the frustrations and traumas of people and families who are not usually centered in the design of healthcare spaces.(1) 


How do birth centers improve public health? 

Birth centers can improve public health outcomes. 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. A 2022 study suggests that culturally affirming care provided by Black, Indigenous, people of color led birth centers benefits all birthing people – regardless of race and can be protective for Black birthing people. (11) The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid study also found that birth center participants achieved better birth outcomes at a 21% lower overall cost.(9)


How do birth centers enhance health systems?

“Collaboration within an integrated maternity care system is essential for optimal mother-baby outcomes.” (12) Community birth center care offers options not typically available in other settings such as longer perinatal visits, extensive comfort measures, companions of choice, earlier discharge and home visits that provide birthing people with more freedom and autonomy over their birth care.(13) Birth center care provided by certified nurse midwives (CNMs) and licensed midwives (LMs) also helps address the increasing shortage of maternity care providers in the U.S.(5)


How do birth centers work with hospitals?

Freestanding birth centers are partners in integrated health care systems. The Birth Settings in America report states that “integration creates a single, coordinated, high-functioning system and is an important driver of safety,” and that the integration of midwifery into a state’s maternal care system can improve maternal and newborn health outcomes.(6) Birth Detroit will provide community-based prenatal and postpartum care with the option of a birth center birth, and will work to partner with local hospitals to uphold birthing people’s right to “respectful, safe, and seamless consultation, referral, transport and transfer of care when necessary”.(12) Birth Detroit estimates seeing up to 500 birthing people annually for perinatal care, with potentially 100 birthing 

people choosing the option of birth center birth. 


How do birth centers work with insurance providers? 

Most major private insurance companies contract with birth centers.(7) Medicaid is required to cover birth 

center care in states that license birth centers (8). The state of Michigan is 1 of only 9 states that currently do not license birth centers. Birth Detroit is working to build relationships with all Michigan payors.


Sources Cited:

  1. Birth Center Equity -

  2. Stapleton SR, Osborne C, Illuzzi J. Outcomes of care in birth centers: demonstration of a durable model. J Midwifery Womens Health.2013;58(1):3–14. doi:10.1111/jmwh.12003.

  3. American Association of Birth Centers. (2017). Standards for Birth Centers. Available from:

  4. Vedam S, Stoll K, MacDorman M, Declercq E, Cramer R, Cheyney M, Fisher T, Butt E, Yang YT, Powell Kennedy H. Mapping integration of midwives across the United States: Impact on access, equity, and outcomes. PLoS One. 2018 Feb 21;13(2):e0192523. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0192523. PMID: 29466389; PMCID: PMC5821332.

  5. National Association of Certified Professional Midwives. Improve Birth Outcomes in the U.S. by Growing the Midwifery Workforce. Available from:

  6. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2020. Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice .Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

  7. American Association of Birth Centers. (2016). Available from:

  8. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. (2016, April 26). RE: FQHC and RHC Supplemental Payment Requirements and FQHC, RHC, and FBC Network Sufficiency under Medicaid and CHIP Managed Care. Available from:

  9. Hill I, Dubay L, Courtot B, et al. Strong start for mothers and newborns evaluation: year 5 project synthesis, Vol 1. Updated 2018. Accessed April 15, 2020.

  10. Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers. Available from: Accessed May 28, 2020.

  11. Almanza, J.I., Karbeah, J., Tessier, K.M. et al. The Impact of Culturally-Centered Care on Peripartum Experiences of Autonomy and Respect in Community Birth Centers: A Comparative Study. Matern Child Health J 26, 895–904 (2022).

  12. Hays, K., Denmark, M., Levine, A., de Regt, R. H., Andersen, H. F., & Weiss, K. (2022). Smooth transitions: Enhancing interprofessional collaboration when Planned Community Births Transfer to hospital care. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, 67(6), 701–706. 

  13. National Partnership for Women & Families. (2022, April). Improving Our Maternity Care Now Through Community Birth Settings.

Birth Detroit Care FAQ's


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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