New Bill Introduces Medi-Cal Covered Doula Care in CA

Photo credit: Assembly Member Eloise Gomez Reyes

On February 17th, Assembly Member Eloise Gomez Reyes announced the following on her Facebook page:

In the U.S., more women die of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. Extensive research suggests that doulas are statistically proven to improve birth outcomes:

  • Reduction in the likelihood of experiencing birth Complications
  • A decrease in rates of preterm births and low birth weight
  • 25% less likely to have c-sections
  • Increase breastfeeding rates

Racial biases in health care have helped contribute to what is now understood to be a national crisis of maternal deaths, in particular for Black women, Latinas, and indigenous/Native American women.

For these reasons, I introduced AB 2258 which establishes a 3 year Medi-Cal pilot program in 14 California counties, including San Bernardino County to provide doula care. Numerous studies demonstrate that doulas can help reduce the impacts of racism and racial bias in health care on pregnant women of color by providing individually tailored, culturally appropriate, and patient-centered care and advocacy.

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Read the full bill

Read Assembly Member Reyes' original Facebook post

Routes to Success for Medicaid Coverage of Doula Care: An Issue Brief