“The statistics show that maternal mortality affects those of us in this community the most. Mortality rates are much higher for African American mothers than for any other nationality and so with this neighborhood being predominately black, why wouldn’t a center be here? Why wouldn’t we raise more awareness around it so that as women become mothers, they know they have other options outside of going straight to a hospital?” - Rachel Curry
Rachel Curry knew she made the right decision when she decided to have a natural birth at Community of Hope’s Family Health and Birth Center (FHBC). Rachel, who is originally from Pittsburg, PA, made the District her home a little over 10 years ago, met her now-husband, and married in 2018. Even before marriage, the couple had always discussed their hopeful desire to expand their family. “We had been dating for 8-9 years before getting married. But we knew we wanted to have a big family.”
Rachel and her husband found out they were pregnant two months after they said, I Do! “I put the sonogram in his birthday card. Catching his reaction was priceless.” Rachel transferred to Community of Hope from another health practice in 2019. It was imperative to Rachel that her medical team listen to her.
“I told myself, I was going to give Community of Hope a try, and sure enough, it was the best experience. I wanted to be advocated for. And I felt like if I stayed with any other hospital in the area, I was just going to be another number.” At FHBC, she wasn’t just a number. She received quality, supportive care leading up to her baby’s delivery. She participated in Community of Hope’s CenteringPregnancy® group where she was able to learn about labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and basic newborn care. Groups are designed to be interactive learning with fun discussions in a relaxed setting for pregnant moms due around the same time as each other.
“Centering was amazing - I loved that! You kind of get on an island of your own if you don’t know other pregnant women at the same time as you. So, it was nice to be able to bounce certain ideas off of other moms or understand what they’re going through and then realize, “Oh, I’m experiencing that too and I’m not crazy. This is normal.” With the support from her family, midwife, and doula, Rachel had a natural birth and delivered a healthy baby boy. The birthing experience only further increased Rachel’s confidence and left her empowered to do it again someday. “Even to this day, I’m like ‘wow!’ I really can’t put my birthing experience into words. I felt invincible. And even still to this day, I still do. I can do anything.” After delivering her baby, Rachel was able to participate in a post-partum pilot group designed to mimic the structure of the CenteringPregnancy® group and support moms post-delivery.
“I cannot speak highlight enough about Community of Hope. It’s been a great experience from beginning to end.”
If you want to learn more about Community of Hope’s birthing services, supportive programs and wellness education, please visit our website.