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Healthy Pregnancies and Births Grant Award Announced

The Mayors Office of Women's Advancement and City of Boston Property Management announced the grant will support the Neighborhood Birth Center’s work to provide group-based perinatal support to Boston residents

BOSTON - Wednesday, February 14, 2024 – The Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement (MOWA) today announced that they will award $50,000 to Neighborhood Birth Center through their Healthy Pregnancies and Births Grant (HPB). This grant, funded through the City’s Operating Budget, will help respond to the need for group-based perinatal support while also building capacity to meet the diverse cultural and language needs of pregnant and parenting Boston residents.

“Ensuring that residents have access to support before, during, and after birth is critical for their health and well-being,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “As we work to make Boston a city for everyone, we are excited to invest in organizations that are working to improve birth outcomes and secure reproductive justice for all families.”

According to Boston Public Health Commission's 2023 Health of Boston report on Maternal and Infant Health, Black infants in Boston continue to experience higher rates of low birthweight, pre-term birth, and infant mortality. Studies show that structural barriers, inequities, and racism impact Black maternal and child morbidity and mortality, regardless of income. 

“Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women. I’m thrilled that this grant will help Neighborhood Birth Center help those who face health disparities have better access, especially as the NBC works to open a birthing center in Roxbury in 2025,” said City Councilor Brian Worrell (District 4). “I look forward to doing even more to help close that gap so that all people receive equal prenatal and postnatal care.”

Neighborhood Birth Center is currently offering a slate of workshops in programs in 2024. Neighborhood Birth Center, once open in 2025, will work to offer comprehensive full-scope midwifery care rooted in reproductive justice. Birth centers are home-like environments staffed by midwives where people can receive full-scope reproductive health care, including giving birth, outside of a hospital setting. With plans to open their physical space in Nubian Square in 2025, the Neighborhood Birth Center would be the second birth center in the state and the only birth center in Boston and all of Eastern Massachusetts.

“This grant is pivotal in tackling the persistent disparities in maternal health. We have witnessed the work that Neighborhood Birth Center does, and we cannot wait to see how much more positive impact they'll have in the community,” said Chief of Equity and Inclusion Mariangely Solis Cervera.

With the grant, the Neighborhood Birth Center will design and facilitate 14 public-facing free community workshops for six cohorts of participants. This includes six “Empowered Health'' workshops offered in English, two “Empowered Birth'' workshops in Haitian Creole led by birth guides of the Birth Guides Bridge Builders Program, and six “Postpartum Power” workshops. It will also support five “Empowered Health'' workshops offered to Neighborhood Birth Center’s partner organizations. 

“We deeply appreciate the City’s commitment to advancing the work of Boston’s first community birth center,” said Nashira Baril, Executive Director of Neighborhood Birth Center. “Neighborhood Birth Center is a 40-year old vision of Boston’s midwives, and we know that equitably expanding midwifery is a direct response to the maternal health crisis. We are excited about the community programming we can offer this year through this partnership and we look forward to engaging with City leadership as we prepare to open our doors for clinical care in 2025.” 

This grant is the latest addition to the programs that the Boston Public Health Commission and the City of Boston offer to improve maternal and child health such as Healthy Baby Healthy Child, Boston Healthy Start Initiative, Love for Latch, Father Friendly, and Welcome Family Program

“There are significant racial inequities in maternal morbidity and mortality, premature and low birthweight births, and infant mortality here in Boston,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “This investment is a critical step towards eliminating such racial inequities while improving birth outcomes for all families in Boston.”

To explore additional funding opportunities offered by the City of Boston, visit questions regarding City of Boston grant programs, please email

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