We’re celebrating National Midwifery Week by honoring the midwives at Alameda Health System (AHS) who deliver excellent women’s health care, bring new life into our community daily, and promote a lifetime of wellness by eliminating health disparities from day one.

AHS’s Family Birthing Center is the birthplace of 245 babies so far this (fiscal) year and is a center for excellence in patient-centered, culturally sensitive care. AHS is also home to BElovedBIRTH Black Centering, a prenatal and postpartum program that honors Black mothers and birthing people. Rooted in birth justice, BElovedBIRTH works to prevent racism from harming the health of our patients in pregnancy and beyond. It’s delivered by a team of Black midwives, family support advocates, doulas, lactation specialists, psychologists, artists and more.

“We’re having traumatic birth experiences, not because there’s anything wrong with Black women or birthing people, but because there’s something wrong with our society. Racism is causing these preventable pregnancy complications,” says Jyesha Wren, AHS midwife, co-founder and program director of BElovedBIRTH Black Centering.

According to the California Department of Public Health, Black moms in the Bay Area are three to four times as likely to die from childbirth than their white counterparts, and Black babies are two to three times more likely to be born too soon or too small, or to die before their first birthday.

BElovedBIRTH Black Centering is a prenatal and postpartum care program by, for, and with Black people developed in partnership with Alameda Health System and the Alameda County Public Health Department. Learn more here.