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  • Writer's pictureJulie Quiroz

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The first time I visited a community birth center I cried.


I didn’t cry when I saw the beautiful sparkling clean birthing rooms that filled me with tranquility and joy.


I didn’t cry when I met the midwives whose deep expertise and kindness made me feel so safe, so listened to, and so respected.


I didn’t cry when I met the doulas and administrative team who wrapped me instantly in love and support.


What made me cry was the area beyond the birthing rooms, where people who have just had their babies are welcomed for postpartum support with breastfeeding, infant care, emotional challenges, and community.


I’ve recently had the honor of interviewing Black and Latina women who have had their babies in community birth centers led by Black and Latina women. They spoke of how much it meant to them to receive care in their own community, protected from medical systems and institutions known for poor perinatal outcomes in communities of color. 


One woman spoke passionately about her postpartum care. When people think of birth centers they think about birth, she said, but the biggest surprise, and the hardest part, is when you bring your baby home. That’s when I needed my birth center the most.


As we finished the interview she hugged me and asked me to please make sure that her message to other new parents, and to the world, was clear.


I hugged her back with all my might, because I felt her message so deeply in my own heart. 


My daughter’s birth was unforgettably wonderful and empowering, as I wrote about in this blog.


Those days and months after bringing her home were a time of extraordinary wonder, bonding, and joy. My earliest days with my baby filled my soul and transformed me. I am forever imprinted from that time with what it means to love, what it means to care for another human, what it means to be human.


And that postpartum time was hard. 


Like so many birthing people in our fragmented world, I had to piece together the village I needed to raise my daughter. And, like so many women, I needed to leave behind a verbally abusive and sometimes threatening partner in order to create the beautiful life my daughter and I have had.


My first visit to a community birth center came 21 years after my daughter was born. As I walked in, all the heart-opening love and joy I felt at becoming a mother gushed forth. And, in a tiny corner of my heart, I still carried the complexity of my postpartum experience. 


On my first visit to a community birth center I cried with joy to see Black and Brown birthing people receiving the expert midwifery-based postpartum support they need to care for themselves and their babies, and to feel safety, abundance, and liberation in every area of their lives.


Now I want that, and more, for every birthing person, every community, everywhere.



Please join with me to

Grow Birth Centers Grow Community



Click below to discover the true history of midwifery in our gorgeous 4 minute video.




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