Midwife Nikki Helms has been caring for families and babies for years and now, with the help of local communities and friends, she’s opening her own birth center where she’ll continue providing quality midwifery care to families to underserved communities.
Nikki has provided midwifery care to families in San Diego, CA for over 15 years and emphasizes the importance of providing families in difficult and different circumstances with access to midwifery care. She provides in-home childbirth education and newborn care classes for families in all birth settings. Now she’s focused on serving more families with a brand new birth center in Clairemont, San Diego.
She didn’t realize how word would spread about her GoFundme and that her friend played a big role in reaching out to people using social media. “When I started it with an angel investor, it was just a little thing,” she says. “I had an angel investor who was willing to help match what I’d contribute to a new birth center, and so I figured I’d start a Gofundme.”
She says she was surprised at the number of people who were willing to help and because people in the community were quick to provide support, 36 hours later Nikki’s fund was almost fully financed. “I’ve just been kinda doing my thing, and it’s amazing that people are so supportive.”
A Birthplace Supporting Community
Nikki is continuing to fundraise so that she can develop plans for the birth center and build a space where families can birth safely. One aspect of the new birth center that Nikki says will be central to the philosophy at the center is a comfortable and communal feel which will allow families to feel at home with their midwife.
Nikki maintains close relationships with local midwives who can also be hired on to attend births at the center as needed. She says one of her clients expressed a desire to have an all Black midwifery team and Nikki was able to make it happen. Nikki says she feels empowered and encouraged by having a team of midwives who are helping her navigate the process of launching the birth center and growing her business.
There will originally be two birthing rooms in the center with two to three treatment rooms as well as a classroom where families can learn more about health, pregnancy, birth and more. “It really will be a community space where families can come and gather and take a yoga class or even attend a poetry reading. I really want it to be a community-based space.” she says.
Plans for the Future
Lately Nikki has been doing a lot of family-building and at-home inseminations which she will continue to do as the new birth center is built and once it’s up-and-running. She recently organized a class so that local midwives could certify themselves and provide the service to families. With a tentative start date, families in the San Diego area could meet with Nikki in the new birth center as soon as the 1st of 2021.
Nikki is still receiving support from the community through donations and even hand painted furniture. She’s also on the lookout for groups that are able to make ongoing contributions of diapers, and other resources for families. She says families that connected with her years ago have been contacting her about how they can help and that she’s grateful to be able to make a positive impact in families lives. “I’ve had people say you taught our newborn care class six years ago, and we’ve never forgotten. It’s great that it makes a difference for people,” she says.