A new birthing center founded by a Black woman now resides in Federal Way, WA, a suburb of Seattle.

The Seattle Times reports that licensed midwife Faisa Farole recently opened the doors of the Federal Way Birth Center to the community. The 3,000-square-foot facility was establish to assist Black families by reducing obstacles surrounding childbirth and improving outcomes in maternal health, Farole told the outlet.

“It’s historic, but it’s also sad there haven’t been any others in the past, considering Black and brown women’s status in this maternal health crisis,” she explained.

In June 2023, The Seattle Times published an article citing Washington’s pregnancy-related death rate was a bit above the national average, and doubled that of developing countries including Canada, Germany, France, and Norway.

Farole is hopeful the Federal Way Birth Center will provide a breakthrough in improving that statistic.

“The [research] shows that midwifery is the answer for saving Black lives and giving women satisfactory care that they enjoy being part of, as well,” Farole told the outlet.

The center offers three birth suites equipped with beds, tubs, bathrooms, and exam rooms. Additionally, the center includes resources such as oxygen, IVs, medications, and antibiotics.

For relaxation, visiting families have access to a private place in the back of the center as well as games and cushions. The facility also plans on using the space for support groups and educational classes.

“This is just a drop in the bucket,” Farole expressed, according to The Seattle Times. “I have a lot of plans for the center.”

At the moment, Farole is not delivering babies at the center as she is on standby for the state department of health to issue final permits. She aims for the center to be fully operational by early 2024. For now, the center is being used for prenatal and postpartum visits.