Community-based Doulas: Addressing Health Disparities
So doulas have a range of benefits – some easier to measure (mode of birth, use of anesthesia) than others (resilience? parenting confidence? feeling loved on the most intense and important day of a woman’s life?). There are no downsides of doula support – the Cochrane review found no adverse effects.
The one downside is cost, and doulas charge anything from $300 to $1000+ for their services. With vanishingly few health plans covering any part of this cost, doula care is squarely out of reach of most birthing women. In a national survey, only 6% of women had a doula at birth. With many other demands on family finances around the time of birth, doulas are a luxury.
Community-based doula programs are changing this.
by AMY ROMANO, Maternity Neighborhood – NOV 14, 2014