Midwife Faisa Farole Opens Washington’s First Black-Owned Birth Center To Fight Maternal Health Crisis

by Gee NY

Midwife Faisa Farole from Seattle, who is of Somali descent has recently opened Washington’s first Black-owned birth center.

The center, which burst to life in November, will help to decrease issues surrounding childbirth and maternal health within the Black community.

The licensed midwife opened the Federal Way Birth Center in the Seattle suburb to diversify birthing options and provide comprehensive maternal care to pregnant patients.

The birth centre, spanning 3,000 square feet, features three fully stocked birth suites, exam rooms, and teaching areas. While not a full-scale hospital, the facility is equipped with essential medical supplies, including oxygen, IVs, and medicines, ensuring a safe environment for expectant mothers.

Farole, who is of Somali descent, highlighted the historical significance of the Federal Way Birth Center in an interview with The Seatle Times, stating:

“It’s historic, but it’s also sad there haven’t been any others in the past, considering Black and brown women’s status in this maternal health crisis.”

The midwife’s concern addresses the alarming maternal mortality rate among Black women, which is three times higher than their white counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s 2021 report.

Farole believes that increasing the presence of midwives during deliveries can contribute to lowering this statistic, especially in light of hospital cuts in labor and delivery departments and systemic healthcare gaps in ethnic neighborhoods.

Despite progress, Farole acknowledges the persistent stigma against doulas and midwives and their effectiveness in ensuring safe and healthy births compared to traditional medical providers. Washington has taken steps to address this by allocating financial and training resources to increase the number of out-of-hospital birthing professionals.

Citing research from the National Library of Medicine, Farole contends that midwifery is a key factor in improving outcomes for expectant mothers of color.

She envisions the Federal Way Birth Center as a hub for education, empowering mothers to advocate for themselves and their families while contributing to advancing Black women’s maternal health.

The opening of the Federal Way Birth Center represents a significant step toward addressing racial disparities in maternal health and fostering a more inclusive approach to childbirth in Washington.

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