LA County to Expand Access to Birthing Doulas
Birthing doulas are having a moment in the Golden State.
This year, Medi-Cal officially added doula support to its list of services, making California one of a handful of states to offer this service to low-income people. Now, the state’s most populous county is working to expand access.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of a motion to help grow the doula workforce. The vote by the all-female board was unanimous.
The motion directs the Director of Public Health, in collaboration with the Director of the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Executive Director of the Anti-Racism, Diversity, & Inclusion (ARDI) Initiative, managed care plans (MCPs), and relevant stakeholders to develop a plan to create a hub for doula service providers in order to expand access. It also calls for outreach to increase the size and diversity of the doula workforce.
“Across the nation, maternal and infant mortality rates are exponentially higher for Black people than any other group,” said the motion’s author, Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “Doula care is shown to improve pregnancy experiences and birthing outcomes. We must increase awareness of doula services for mothers and families across the County and expand our workforce to be more representative of our communities most in need. This motion helps us achieve this by investing in the success of our new doula Medi-Cal benefit.”
Read the motion here.