Thank you for your interest in learning more about FPCN’s Family Health and Birth Center project. FPCN staff have been working alongside partners from Penn’s School of Nursing and other engaged community members to open what will be Philadelphia’s only birth center, offering women and families more choices in childbirth options.

A birth center is a free-standing facility for childbirth in a home-like setting where care is provided by midwives.

The center will also be combined with a family health center offering a range of healthcare services to people of all ages.

An interdisciplinary staff team at FPCN’s Family Health & Birth Center will provide educational and wellness programs as well as tailored physical and behavioral healthcare to ensure that pregnant individuals and families receive the support, attention and information they need. The midwifery model of care offered in a birth center setting provides pregnant individuals a family-centered, holistic and wellness-focused approach to pregnancy and birth, which is associated with improved health outcomes and increased patient satisfaction.

Importantly, studies show promise for the role of birth centers in protecting against racial disparities and leading to improved maternal and infant health outcomes. The Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative gave 27 awardees grants to offer enhanced prenatal care services to Medicaid beneficiaries in over 200 care sites across the country; care sites included 47 birth centers. The initiative demonstrated that women who receive prenatal care at birth centers had better outcomes and lower costs than others with similar risk profiles, regardless of where they ended up giving birth. Women receiving care at birth centers had the lowest risk of preterm birth and low birth weight babies, as well as the lowest c-section rate.  Researchers also found that birth center care was associated with a reduction in racial/ethnic health disparities. You can read more about the Strong Start Initiative and findings here. 

FPCN’s Family Health & Birth Center will be part of an important effort to offer more choices in childbirth, including to economically disadvantaged Philadelphians, helping to ensure a healthy start for families. Given the lack of diversity in maternity care and childbirth options for Philadelphians and the city’s poor maternal and child health outcomes that disproportionately affect people of Color, it is time for our city to welcome a different model of care that has a proven track record.

Philadelphia is one of the largest cities in the country without a birth center.

Integrating midwifery-guided maternity care has been shown to lead to positive outcomes for mothers, babies and families at a high value. Birth center care is “high touch” and “low tech.” Few interventions are used while attentive, compassionate care is provided that supports birth as a normal physiologic process and emphasizes education, wellness, and self-reliance in prenatal care and the birth experience, ultimately delivering care at a lower cost.

The birth center model, combined with a primary care center, is well-equipped to ensure that whole families have access to a range of services to help them remain healthy.

  • offer a safe, loving and supportive environment to all people,
  • deliver culturally-competent care,
  • honor people’s voices and experiences,
  • treat people as the experts of their own bodies, and
  • ‘wrap our arms’ around people with the right services delivered by compassionate staff.
  • primary care
  • dental care
  • physical therapy
  • chronic disease self-management support
  • prenatal care
  • birth services
  • post-partum care
  • on-call midwife attention
  • mental health counseling and education,
  • drug and alcohol treatment, and
  • parenting education
Two FPCN staff members with a baby.

If you would like more information about FPCN’s Family Health and Birth Center project; our project partners and their roles; the midwifery model of care; and/or our fundraising effort, goal, and naming opportunities, please contact FPCN Founder Donna Torrisi at dtorrisi@fpcn.com or the Family Health and Birth Center Director LaQuesha Garland at lgarland@fpcn.com

FPCN has over 26 years of experience

…providing comprehensive healthcare services to Philadelphians from all backgrounds and circumstances. Our project team is excited to expand the breadth of our services, adding on to our current prenatal care program to include birth services in a birth center to those who are eager to experience that model of care.