Tag Archives: Katy Backes Kozhimannil

New study suggests funding for doula care for low-income women may ultimately save taxpayer dollars

15 Feb

A new study by the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health showed that women insured by Medicaid who have access to doula care have lower cesarean birth rates than women without access to this kind of care. A doula is not a doctor, but an experienced professional who offers guidance during childbirth, otherwise known as a labor coach.

Not only do doulas help with the physical aspects of childbirth, such as breathing, but they also can help through the emotional aspects as well. When it comes to cesareans, which are more expensive than vaginal child birth, many are unnecessary and doula’s can serve as a person to stick up for the mother if they deem the cesarean childbirth is not needed.

Currently, Medicaid does not provide mothers with coverage for doulas, but the study suggests that if policy changes that offered this support were added, then overall costs would decrease. This is because a cesarean birth costs Medicaid about $13,590 as opposed to  $9,131 for a normal birth. Continue reading