What We Do

Holistic Birth Collective promotes and advocates for access to midwife-led continuity of care models among unjustly served communities, to increase the racial diversity of Certified Professional Midwives in Illinois, and to raise awareness about obstetric racism. We believe midwives, when empowered to work in community-based settings, foster health and life in the Black community at large and are a solution to dismantling the structural and medical racism that has been killing Black mothers for more than a century. We know that Black women are not broken; the system is broken.

We will not tolerate a discourse that pathologizes Black women. Organizations pitching policy interventions that focus on giving Black mothers “education” on making “healthy choices” might be well-intentioned, but they’re missing the point. We need to get to the structural and cultural root of the problem that is killing Black women – obstetric racism.

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Our Four Pillars

  • Deinstitutionalize Reproductive Health

    Facility-Centered care is not patient-centered care

  • Invest in Community Midwifery

    A midwife in every neighborhood would provide better birth and health outcomes

  • Deinstitutionalize Reproductive Health

    Facility-Centered care is not patient-centered care

  • Invest in Community Midwifery

    A midwife in every neighborhood would provide better birth and health outcomes

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    Black/African-American mothers express greater interest in having planned home births than any other racial/ethnic group in the United States (see: the Listening to Mothers Surveys from 2013 and the California-specific iteration from 2018). And yet, Black mothers are significantly less likely than white women to have access to planned homebirth.

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    Our Mission

    Holistic Birth Collective’s work confronts health inequity related to pregnancy, childbirth, and the extended postpartum duration. HBC is a disruptive force in the reproductive health space that educates, agitates, and organizes to shift the power to maintain health towards communities rather than state-run institutions.

    We work in solidarity with Illinois’ radical Black birth worker community and commit to amplify their power through administrative advocacy. HBC’s data activism challenges public health departments to move beyond intrusive surveillance of atomized “risk factors” and instead interrogate racist harm and gender-based violence embedded within our healthcare delivery system.

    We collaborate with partners in the clinical and public health sectors to build the infrastructures necessary to make safe, trauma-informed, dignifying maternity care the norm so that our healthcare system equitably maintains the safety, dignity, and joy of all pregnant and birthing families.

    Our current priorities are to increase access and availability of midwife-led continuity of care models among unjustly served communities, to grow the number and racial diversity of Certified Professional Midwives in Illinois, and to raise awareness about obstetric racism.

    Core strategies: Data Activism, Radical Innovation to Reimagine Perinatal Healthcare Delivery, Design Justice Praxis, and Administrative Advocacy

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    Take Action

    Join our mailing list to get updates on what we’re doing, where we are and how you can take action alongside us!

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    Initiatives

    Visit our “Initiatives” page to keep updated on how we’re changing structures of systematic racism.

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    CPM Awareness

    Visit our “About Midwifery” page to learn history of Midwifery and what it looks like today.