New birth center to open on Chicago’s South Side as Pritzker touts proposed maternal health spending

New birth center to open on Chicago’s South Side as Pritzker touts proposed maternal health spending

By DILPREET RAJU
Capitol News Illinois
draju@capitolnewsillinois.com

State and community leaders on Monday celebrated the planned opening of a new freestanding birth center on Chicago’s South Side while emphasizing proposed maternal health spending increases in Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget.

The nonprofit Chicago South Side Birth Center will mark the city’s second active midwife-led birth center, but the first for the South Side. Advocates say the Black-led center offers safe birthing alternatives in a medically underserved area of the city. 

Jeanine Valrie Logan, a midwife and leader at the Chicago Beyond philanthropic organization that helped launch the birth center, said the push to create more options for family planning would have been impossible without a 2021 law that increased to 17, from 12, the number of birth centers allowed in Illinois.

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton said facilities like the South Side Birth Center are important in the Black community. She discussed how she — and now her grown daughters — have serious hesitations with trusting medical caregivers, especially while pregnant. She shared a story of being called “sweetheart” by a doctor who was giving her a prenatal ultrasound.

“This is personal to me. All these years later, we still haven’t figured out how Black women can have safe pregnancies, birthing experiences and a healthy first year postpartum,” Stratton said.

Last year, the Illinois Department of Public Health found over 90 percent of all deaths for those pregnant or within one year of pregnancy were potentially preventable from 2018 through 2020. That same study, the “2023 Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report,” also found Black women were two times as likely two die to from pregnancy-related conditions when compared to white women over the same timespan.

 

 

Logan emphasized how freestanding birth centers, where midwives are available to care for pregnant mothers in place of doctors, will transform maternal care for long underserved communities.

It aims “to create a space that will change how people receive reproductive health care,” she said.

Sen. Lakesia Collins, D-Chicago, shared her experience of finding a midwife and doula, both of whom positively shaped her delivery and newborn experience.

“It was one of the best choices I could have ever made in my life … and the care for the mother and then the child all at the same time, and then postpartum care, it really saved me,” Collins said.

Pritzker said Illinois must start acting on maternal health issues. 

“Unfortunately, our nation is failing mothers and mothers-to-be on nearly every metric,” he said. “We have so much to do but imagine what this will look like when it’s completed.”

“The center is intended to offer a full spectrum of reproductive care from contraception to STI screenings and abortion to prenatal birthing and postpartum care, serving as a model for how Illinois can decrease Black maternal mortality,” he added.

Starting this year, for the first time in Illinois history, doulas, midwives and lactation consultants are being recognized as Medicaid health care providers, expanding who can receive their services, he said.

Pritzker also continued to promote his proposed budget, highlighting the Illinois Birth Equity Initiative — a multi-pronged proposal aimed at promoting infant health while reducing the number of maternal and infant deaths.

He proposed allocating $5 million to a home visiting program for new parents and over $4 million to IDPH to create a statewide maternal health plan and distribute grants to community-based reproductive health care providers.

 

State Rep. Lakesia Collins, D-Chicago, speaks at an event announcing the planned opening of a birth center on the South Side of Chicago Monday. (Credit: Illinois.gov)

 

Pritzker highlighted other measures from his budget aimed at new parents, including a $1 million pilot diaper distribution program, operated through the Department of Human Services, and $12 million to create a tax credit aimed at low-income families with children younger than age three.

The preterm birth rate in Illinois, one of the leading causes of infant death, has increased over the past decade, according to March of Dimes, a nonprofit aimed at improving the health of babies and mothers in the U.S.

Their latest report card for Illinois gives the state a D+ preterm birth grade for a preterm birth rate of 10.6 percent which, based on preliminary numbers, equates to about 13,000 preterm births for 2022.

The Chicago South Side Birth Center will open in the former site of the Morning Star Bible Baptist Church, just a few miles south of the South Shore neighborhood.

No date was announced for the birth center to open.

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to hundreds of print and broadcast outlets statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, along with major contributions from the Illinois Broadcasters Foundation and Southern Illinois Editorial Association.

Leave a Comment





Local News

New Trinity Christian men's basketball coach Jordan Mast led Antelope Valley to the NAIA Tournament this season. Photo courtesy of Trinity Christian College Department of Athletics

Trinity Christian College names new hoops coaches

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Trinity Christian officials were busy on April 11 ushering in new eras for its basketball programs. Trolls Athletic Director Wendy Reid announced that Jordan Mast is taking over the men’s basketball program, while Jasmine Porter has been named women’s hoops coach. Mast comes to the school in Palos Heights…

Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson rakes a soggy mound during a game against Evergreen Park on April 12. The longtime Rams coach is retiring after this season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Reavis baseball coach and Hall of Famer Don Erickson to retire after season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent A deal is a deal. Longtime Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson has said he would retire after his son, Sam, graduates from high school, so he can watch Sam play in college. Erickson doesn’t get to many of his son’s high school games because Sam plays at Downers Grove…

The Worth Public Library, 6917 W. 111th St., has a free Seed Library available to patrons. (Supplied photo)

Worth Library offers seeds for free

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White A seed library collects and stores seeds and shares them with members of the community for free. Similar to a normal library, gardeners borrow seeds from the seed library at planting time. At the end of the growing seasons, they save seeds from the plants and return a portion of…

Oak Lawn Mayor Terry Vorderer joins Girl Scout Gold Award winners (from left) Maddie DeBleyzer, Aine Kelly and Lilly O'Dea during the village board meeting on Tuesday night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizza eyes May opening in Oak Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Paisans Pizzeria is a step closer to opening in Oak Lawn with the approval of a liquor license for the establishment that will be part of the Stony Creek Promenade. Plans for the restaurant were originally approved at an Oak Lawn Village Board meeting in March of 2022. Tom Phelan,…

Palos Park resident Nick Hoffman said his patience is wearing out with noise and parking problems caused by the Palos Islamic Center.

Palos Park residents, mosque reps discuss noise issues at council meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva What could have been an explosive situation was actually quite civil. Some Palos Park residents were angry about loud activity and behavior of some members of the Palos Islamic Center the past two years and sounded off at the April 8 village council meeting. Fresh on their minds was noise…

The Obbie’s Pizza sign will remain a familiar sight on Archer Avenue. Taking time out for a photo are new owner John Caputi; his son, Giovanni; and Obbie’s longtime managers, Jim Triak and Jeff Twaragowski. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Comings & Goings: Obbie’s Pizza to stay ‘unique and delicious’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Archer Avenue’s long-time king of pizzerias will continue to rule. Same recipes at Obbie’s Pizza, 6654 W. Archer. Same pizza and ingredients. Same pasta, broasted chicken, shrimp, perch, Italian beef/sausage/meatball sandwiches, sides and pop. Same seasoned, Middleby Marshall pizza oven built in 1947—the type of pizza oven every restaurant owner…

stickney health district logo

Stickney Public Health confirms measles case in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Public Health District has confirmed that a person with measles related to the ongoing situation in the City of Chicago was at the Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave. in Bedford Park on Friday, March 22, roughly between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. Anybody who…

Endless Summerfest in La Grange’s Gordon Park will not be held this year, sponsors have announced. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

La Grange cancels Endless Summerfest over higher costs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It turns out the summer is not endless, at least not in La Grange. Endless Summerfest, a three-day event held the first weekend in August at Gordon Park for many years, will not be held this year. The cancelation was announced Tuesday in a joint new release from the La…

regional orland park police logo

Midlothian man arrested for Orland Park carjacking

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom wire reports The Orland Park Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in a vehicular hijacking that occurred on the evening of April 3. Shawn Flores, a 44-year-old Midlothian resident, faces charges following his apprehension on April 4. The incident began when a male victim was forcibly removed from his vehicle…

big PoliceLights1

Blotter: Evergreen Park police issue scam alert

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Evergreen Park Police Department is warning the public of an ongoing scam where a caller claims to be an Evergreen Park Police Officer, and instructs the individual to send money in order to avoid criminal charges. In some versions of this scam, the offenders tell individuals they missed a court date related…

Neighbors

New Trinity Christian men's basketball coach Jordan Mast led Antelope Valley to the NAIA Tournament this season. Photo courtesy of Trinity Christian College Department of Athletics

Trinity Christian College names new hoops coaches

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Trinity Christian officials were busy on April 11 ushering in new eras for its basketball programs. Trolls Athletic Director Wendy Reid announced that Jordan Mast is taking over the men’s basketball program, while Jasmine Porter has been named women’s hoops coach. Mast comes to the school in Palos Heights…

Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson rakes a soggy mound during a game against Evergreen Park on April 12. The longtime Rams coach is retiring after this season. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Reavis baseball coach and Hall of Famer Don Erickson to retire after season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent A deal is a deal. Longtime Reavis baseball coach Don Erickson has said he would retire after his son, Sam, graduates from high school, so he can watch Sam play in college. Erickson doesn’t get to many of his son’s high school games because Sam plays at Downers Grove…

The Worth Public Library, 6917 W. 111th St., has a free Seed Library available to patrons. (Supplied photo)

Worth Library offers seeds for free

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White A seed library collects and stores seeds and shares them with members of the community for free. Similar to a normal library, gardeners borrow seeds from the seed library at planting time. At the end of the growing seasons, they save seeds from the plants and return a portion of…

Oak Lawn Mayor Terry Vorderer joins Girl Scout Gold Award winners (from left) Maddie DeBleyzer, Aine Kelly and Lilly O'Dea during the village board meeting on Tuesday night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Paisans Pizza eyes May opening in Oak Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Paisans Pizzeria is a step closer to opening in Oak Lawn with the approval of a liquor license for the establishment that will be part of the Stony Creek Promenade. Plans for the restaurant were originally approved at an Oak Lawn Village Board meeting in March of 2022. Tom Phelan,…

Palos Park resident Nick Hoffman said his patience is wearing out with noise and parking problems caused by the Palos Islamic Center.

Palos Park residents, mosque reps discuss noise issues at council meeting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva What could have been an explosive situation was actually quite civil. Some Palos Park residents were angry about loud activity and behavior of some members of the Palos Islamic Center the past two years and sounded off at the April 8 village council meeting. Fresh on their minds was noise…

The Obbie’s Pizza sign will remain a familiar sight on Archer Avenue. Taking time out for a photo are new owner John Caputi; his son, Giovanni; and Obbie’s longtime managers, Jim Triak and Jeff Twaragowski. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Comings & Goings: Obbie’s Pizza to stay ‘unique and delicious’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Archer Avenue’s long-time king of pizzerias will continue to rule. Same recipes at Obbie’s Pizza, 6654 W. Archer. Same pizza and ingredients. Same pasta, broasted chicken, shrimp, perch, Italian beef/sausage/meatball sandwiches, sides and pop. Same seasoned, Middleby Marshall pizza oven built in 1947—the type of pizza oven every restaurant owner…

stickney health district logo

Stickney Public Health confirms measles case in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Public Health District has confirmed that a person with measles related to the ongoing situation in the City of Chicago was at the Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave. in Bedford Park on Friday, March 22, roughly between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. Anybody who…

Endless Summerfest in La Grange’s Gordon Park will not be held this year, sponsors have announced. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

La Grange cancels Endless Summerfest over higher costs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It turns out the summer is not endless, at least not in La Grange. Endless Summerfest, a three-day event held the first weekend in August at Gordon Park for many years, will not be held this year. The cancelation was announced Tuesday in a joint new release from the La…

regional orland park police logo

Midlothian man arrested for Orland Park carjacking

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom wire reports The Orland Park Police Department announced the arrest of a suspect in a vehicular hijacking that occurred on the evening of April 3. Shawn Flores, a 44-year-old Midlothian resident, faces charges following his apprehension on April 4. The incident began when a male victim was forcibly removed from his vehicle…

big PoliceLights1

Blotter: Evergreen Park police issue scam alert

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Evergreen Park Police Department is warning the public of an ongoing scam where a caller claims to be an Evergreen Park Police Officer, and instructs the individual to send money in order to avoid criminal charges. In some versions of this scam, the offenders tell individuals they missed a court date related…