Improving Our Maternity Care Now Through Community Birth Settings

April 2022
Maternal Health

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Research shows that care provided in community birth settings can make a concrete difference in improving maternity care quality and producing better outcomes, including for People of Color.

Care in birth center and planned home birth settings that is led by Black, Indigenous, People of Color is a crucial approach for meeting the needs of communities affected by structural racism and other forms of discrimination.

This report outlines the evidence that supports the unique value of community birth settings across different communities, the safety and effectiveness of care in these settings in improving maternal and infant outcomes, the interest of birthing people in use of birth centers and home birth care, and the current availability of, and access to, community birth settings care in the United States.

We also provide recommendations for key decisionmakers in public and private sectors to help support and increase access to care in community birth settings.


We are honored to collaborate with the following partners on this report:


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Editor’s note: We recognize and respect that pregnant, birthing, postpartum, and parenting people have a range of gender identities, and do not always identify as “women” or “mothers.” In recognition of the diversity of identities, this report gives preference to gender-neutral terms such as “people,” “pregnant people,” and “birthing persons.” In references to studies, we use the typically gendered language of the authors.