Meet Racha Tahani Lawler-Queen, a fourth-generation midwife turned entrepreneur who founded Gather Grounded Midwifery, the first and only Black-owned birthing center in the state of Virginia. The newly opened facility is designed to be a welcoming haven for expanding families.
“I got on a Zoom call with Black birth workers in RVA and they were just telling me about what they were facing in regards to the lack of representation in birth, especially out of hospital birth,” Lawler-Queen told WTVR.
With the community’s support, Lawler-Queen initially planned to transform a Richmond home into a birthing center. However, she faced challenges with city permits that restricted the center’s growth in the area. Determined to make a difference, she found a new location in Chesterfield County, Virginia, officially opening its doors in August.
Gather Grounded Midwifery offers intentional spaces for expectant mothers, featuring a family room and birthing room that accommodate diverse families. Lawler-Queen emphasized the importance of families having care that reflects and supports their unique identities, allowing them to experience pregnancy without fear or unnecessary interventions.
“It’s meant to feel like a place where people see themselves, they feel seen, they feel safe,” she said.
With over $30,000 raised on the birthing cottage’s GoFundMe page, Lawler-Queen acknowledged the diverse support, including money, art, toys, and diapers. She credits the community’s enthusiasm for the center’s success, emphasizing that it enables her to support families during one of their most significant life moments.
“It really gives them even more power and a greater voice and provides them an opportunity without fear to birth in freedom to give birth in a way that affirms them and their family and how they want to move forward after they have this baby,” she said.
Learn more about the birthing center via its official website at GatherGroundedMidwifery.com
Also, be sure to follow them on Instagram @GatherGroundedMidwifery