The Providence Journal has a wonderful story on the work of Rhode Island’s doulas helping expecting mothers through the birth process, even during these difficult times.
For Susie Finnerty, a doula and co-president of the organization Doulas of Rhode Island, the policy at Women & Infants Hospital shows a recognition of the services doulas provide that is still an outlier among many hospitals in the region.
“They’re not just considering doulas visitors, they’re considering them as part of the medical team,” she said.
In Rhode Island, Black women are 42% more likely to experience a severe complication at delivery than White women. The infant mortality rate for Black infants in Rhode Island is three times that of White infants. A key strategy to address this issue is making doula services eligible for reimbursement through Medicaid and private insurance and investing in building, supporting, and sustaining the doula workforce and infrastructure in the state. These services and investments should be targeted toward communities most impacted by these disparities.