Manassas clinic serves immigrant population, battles for midwives’ rights

Below is an excerpt from my final project for my community reporting course with Prof. Angie Chuang:

When undocumented workers Miguel and Norma first migrated from Monterrey, Mexico, to the United States with their two children in 2003, their only experiences with prenatal care and birthing was in hospitals.

Now, as the couple, whose last names have been omitted to because of their immigration status, look toward welcoming twins in June, they find themselves in unfamiliar territory, and not just because they don’t speak English.

Miguel and Norma are part of a growing movement in the country to rely on midwives for health care during and after pregnancy and childbirth.

Despite cultural and economic differences though, the pair seem split in their approach to the new experience.

Midwives “don’t really exist where we’re from,” Miguel said. “You can’t really compare them. This is a clinic. It’s not a hospital.”

But that doesn’t really matter to Norma, because she feels comfortable with her caregivers.

“It would be better if they could actually come to the birth,” she said.

Norma’s concerns underscore the battle currently being fought by the Manassas Midwifery and Women’s Health Center, a non-profit clinic that caters to uninsured or underinsured patients.

Click here to read the full article and watch the videos

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