For much of Cuba’s colonial period, prevailing policies governing women’s reproduction generally aimed to increase the population by encouraging women to bear children and discouraging fertility-control strategies. Yet, the rise of sugar and slavery at the turn of the nineteenth century brought race to the very center of elite discussions of women’s reproduction, as the island transformed from a predominantly white settler colony to a predominantly Black slave society. In this context, a fundamental conflict arose between Cuban intellectuals’ interest in preserving the island’s Hispanic identity, and Cuban planters’ unquenchable demand for enslaved labor. The island’s demographic shift reinforced measures aimed at maximizing white women’s reproduction. However, approaches toward Black women’s fertility hinged on their legal status. Whereas Cuban elites, including jurists, philanthropists, and physicians, sought to curtail the fertility of free women of color, they attempted to increase enslaved women’s fertility, especially following the introduction of restrictions on the slave trade after 1817. Despite these opposing reproductive objectives, elites exploited the reproductive labor of women of African descent—in a broad range of legal statuses—employing them to provide humanitarian treatment for white women and to preserve white infant life.