From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report.
Empowering. Life-changing. These are two words women often use to describe natural childbirth. Painful would be a third. But that's a different story.
This story is about midwives in Los Angeles, California. They are trying to bring more women of color into the natural childbirth profession and convince more women to give birth at home.
But the numbers are small.
Only one percent of babies in the United States are born at home. However, interest in home deliveries is on the rise. In Los Angeles, California, for example, some women are choosing to use midwives instead of the usual hospital birth with a doctor.
Midwives are specially educated in childbirth. They begin as apprentices or students and then must pass state-issued tests, or Medical Boards.
In 2012, Jasmine Lavender delivered her second child in a bathtub.
"It was an amazing experience. Very empowering. You know, I encouraged to support other moms to have a vaginal births. It was life-changing, to be honest."
She chose home birth with a midwife because she did not want to repeat the hospital experience she had with her first child.
Ms. Lavender says at that time, the hospital performed an unneeded and hurried medical operation -- a Caesarean section. During the birth she says she felt that her time was running out. And not time on her body's clock but rather on her doctor's clock.
Ms. Lavender's second baby arrived naturally with help from the Community Birth Center in south Los Angeles.
Licensed midwife Racha Lawler established the Center. It provides services to people who might not otherwise receive them. Ms. Lawler says the Center offers some general health services, such as testing for sexually transmitted diseases -- or STDs.
"You know, as a midwife you can draw people's blood and test people's blood and test people for STDs. You can, you know, teach women about how their bodies work in regards to their ovulation and fertility. So why not make sure everyone in the community knows that?"
When the Center first opened, there were about 300 licensed midwives in California. Most of them were white. But Racha Lawler hopes to increase by 100 percent the number of midwives of color. She hopes to do this through reaching out to the community and offering free help for students like Tanya Smith-Johnson.
当该中心首次开放时，加州约有300名注册助产士。其中多数是白人。但劳勒希望有色人种助产士数量能增加100%。她希望通过深入社区并为塔尼娅·史密斯 - 约翰逊（Tanya Smith-Johnson）这样的学生提供免费帮助实现这点。
Ms. Smith-Johnson says women of color have a special need of pregnancy and delivery care.
史密斯 - 约翰逊女士表示，有色人种女性对怀孕和分娩护理存在特殊需求。
"The stats (the numbers) show women of color, we're the ones who need maternity care. Our babies die at rates 3 or 4 times that of white women. And one of the solutions to that is having more women of color tend to women like themselves."
From VOA Learning English, that’s the Health Report. I’m Anna Matteo.