Louisiana’s first Black-owned, free-standing birth center will be coming soon, according to a May 5 Facebook post shared by a woman who is identified on the page as a certified professional and licensed midwife named Shatamia Webb. The Baby Catcher Birth Center is Webb’s business and vision. Typed letters sprawled across the bottom of a photo where Webb was standing on the porch stated that it would be coming soon. Additionally, Webb referenced her midwifery sisters and said that her story as a midwife will continue.
“Little ole me did a pretty big thing… I now OWN the 1st Black-Owned Freestanding Birth Center in the State!! I couldn’t think of a better day to announce this (International Day of the Midwife),” Webb said on The Baby Catcher Birth Center’s Facebook page. “I’m excited, humble, and sooo very nervous as I bring this to the community.”There
KATC News reported that the new business opening in Lafayette will officially open at the end of July. In the interview, the Lafayette native said that one of her biggest fears when giving birth was going to a hospital, but not coming out. In response, Webb opted to have both of her children at home. For four years, she has been doing home births as a midwife.
“The center has two suites for two families, and is located near Lafayette General just in case there are any complications, Webb says, something African American women are three times more likely to see during childbirth, the CDC report,” according to KATC News.
Fox 15 stated that Webb wanted to offer more personable care to mothers.
“I wanted to provide another option for women that didn’t want to go into the hospital and that wanted something different,” Webb said in the interview. “I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything different. I know women need this.”
Black midwifery can be traced back to West Africa, where it is a part of the culture and has spiritual undertones relating to nature and the earth, according to Medium.