State Policy Lever Checklist: Community-Based Doulas

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Community-based doulas are trained social service professionals who provide non-clinical emotional, physical, and informational support to birthing people, starting during pregnancy and continuing during the postpartum period.

Rigorous research indicates that community-based doula services are an effective strategy to improve healthy birth outcomes such as reduced rates of preterm birth, low birthweight, and NICU admissions; increase attendance at health appointments; foster nurturing and responsive parenting behaviors; and increase breastfeeding initiation.

This checklist covers the following policy levers states may use to increase access to doulas:

  • Partnership with doulas
  • Insurance coverage
  • Expanding access
  • Workforce supports
  • Funding

State Policy Lever Checklist: Community-Based Doulas

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