Doulas play a crucial role in combating the discrimination, racism, and loss of autonomy that Black and Brown birthing people experience due to historical disinvestment.
FLPPS is partnering with Healthy Baby Network, HealthConnect One, and Finger Lakes Community Health on a two-year initiative to innovate Healthy Baby Network’s Black Doula Collaborative, which will improve the health and well-being of women, infants, and birthing families.
The program will identify and train individuals who are trusted members of the community to provide doula services and help improve: prenatal care, raise breastfeeding rates, decrease unnecessary medical interventions, increase positive birth experiences, and improve parenting skills.
Six full-time equivalent doulas will serve 250 Black and Brown women over the course of the two-year program. Utilizing HealthConnect One’s proven “train the trainer” model, the program based at Healthy Baby Network and Finger LakesCommunity Health will offer 16 community-based training sessions to doulas employed by these organizations. The program will coordinate with healthcare systems and Federal Qualified Health Centers. Medicaid reimbursement legislation in New York would establish doulas as medical providers and require health insurers to provide coverage for doula services.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has announced two bills in Congress:
> Passing the Black Maternal Health “Momnibus” Act, which aims to close racial disparities in healthcare for black moms and to diversify the workforce in perinatal health care.
> Expanding Medicaid coverage to include doulas and midwives for mothers, as well as a year of postpartum coverage.