Black Woman Working to Open Birth Center in Chicago to Cater to Black, Brown Community

Black Woman Working to Open Birth Center in Chicago to Cater to Black, Brown Community

Jeanine Valrie Logan, a midwife at PCC Wellness and founder of the Chicago South Side Birthing Center, is working to open a birthing center on the South Side of Chicago for the community to have access to more Black and Brown support during pregnancy.

“I’ve been a birth worker for maybe 15 years. I started out as a doula,” she said to WBEZ

She shared that there is a limited number of providers of color in the number of spaces where people are having the ideal birth they want, adding that the doulas create a safe space for the birth.

Logan shared her own experience with giving birth and the difficulty finding a Black midwife. “My husband and I were pregnant with our first child,” she said. “I knew we wanted to do out-of-hospital birth,” she continued. Her experience led her to go back to school to become a nurse and midwife.

In an effort to expand the number of birth centers in Chicago, Logan and another midwife worked alongside other advocates and birth center activists to push legislation to have birth centers everywhere, with a special focus on areas where outcomes are worse for Black and brown people.

“Pregnancy and birth and postpartum are all normal parts of people’s lives,” Logan said, adding that people “deserve this high touch, low intervention kind of care.”

“Our outcomes are better in birth centers,” she shared. “There’s totally less rates of maternal and infant mortality. People have better experiences and feel like they’re really taken care of.”

“There’s a research that shows when people are taken care of [by] providers that look like them, their outcomes are even.”

Along with a friend who completed nursing studies with her, Logan found a building last June for their own birthing center on the South Side. They plan to launch officially in winter 2023.