Maternal and Infant Health

Doulas and the Birthing Journey

July 2, 2024


Elizabeth (Izzy) Montgomery, MPA
Policy Analyst


ACHI Communications

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The birthing journey represents perhaps the most transformative and vulnerable phase of a mother’s life. Unfortunately, many women find themselves navigating this stage of life without adequate familial and social supports, which can impact health outcomes.

One evidence-based strategy associated with improved maternal health outcomes is to increase access to doulas — professionals trained in childbirth who provide emotional, physical, and other supports to pregnant or recently pregnant women — throughout the perinatal experience.

This explainer explores the role of doulas in the birthing journey, doula training and certification requirements, evidence of outcomes associated with doula services, insurance coverage for doula care, and initiatives to support the expansion of doula services.

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