THE DOULA ACCESS PROJECT
The Doula Access Project is part of a pilot research grant that will help document the challenges, opportunities, and effectiveness of Minnesota’s new law and policy extending Medicaid coverage to include doula care.
This is a partnership between the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Everyday Miracles, and Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). We are funded by a Community Collaborative Grant from the University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.
Lead research investigators for this study are: Katy B. Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA; University of Minnesota School of Public Health Rachel R. Hardeman, PhD, MPH; University of Minnesota Department of Medicine and Minneapolis VA Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Office of Health Disparities Research
Project Background: Low-income women and women of color are at greater risk of complications and poor birth outcomes. Many women who could benefit from having a doula do not have financial or cultural access to doula care. Starting in July 2014, Minnesota Statues Chapter 108, Sec. 11 allows Medicaid payment for services from a certified doula.
Taking Action to Reduce Disparities: We are committed to increasing coverage of doula services for under-represented communities. Because there are few doulas from these communities currently practicing in Minnesota, The Doula Access Project in October 2014 funded the training of 12 new doulas who represent these communities in the Twin Cities.
Media Coverage of DAP Team Research on Doulas
How Doulas Have A Huge, Positive Impact on C-Section Rates, August 2014 Huffington Post
Doula Support Linked to Lower C-Section Rate Among Medicaid Moms, February, 2013 MinnPost
Minnesota Working to Break Down Cultural, Ethnic Barriers to Breastfeeding, August, 2013 Star Tribune
KB Kozhimannil and RR Hardeman commentary, Health Affairs, July 2015
What pregnant women have told us about having a doula:
"[A doula] It's someone that can help you with education, learn about yourself and the baby, but also ensure that what you want is heard."
"It's welcoming for me being a first time parent and, you know, single parent at that and just to have the support there."
"It was important for me to have someone, even when I wasn't an ally for myself and the baby ..."