Online Program

Advancing the Affordable Care Act through community-based doula programs: Meeting the "triple aim" for women and infants

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nan Strauss, J.D., Choices in Childbirth, New York, NY
In accordance with the “triple aim” of the Affordable Care Act, labor and birth support by a trained doula is an evidence-based strategy to improve maternal and infant health outcomes, enhances patients’ experience of care, and has the potential to reduce unnecessary spending on unwanted and non-beneficial medical interventions. 

Doula care has been demonstrated to improve maternal and infant health outcomes including by reducing cesareans, increasing APGAR scores, improving patient satisfaction, and increasing the likelihood and longevity of breastfeeding.  Doula care supports women’s active engagement in maternity care decisions and fosters patient-centered care practices. Community-based doula programs targeted towards meeting the needs of underserved communities are particularly suited to addressing disparities in maternal and infant health by providing culturally competent, relationship-based, comprehensive support to women before, during, and immediately following labor and birth. 

Despite these benefits, few programs exist to ensure access to doula support for those facing the greatest maternal and infant health disparities - women of color, women in low-income communities, and women in underserved communities.

This session will explore the benefits of doula care in the context of the ACA with a focus on the potential impact in vulnerable communities; the unmet need for doula care in underserved communities; and existing community-based doula programs that offer promising models for expansion.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate ways that labor and birth support provided by trained doulas furthers the "triple aim" of the Affordable Care Act. Identify the benefits of doula labor and birth support established in medical literature. Assess the unmet need for doula support in underserved communities. Demonstrate how doula support can reduce maternal child health disparities and improve patient engagement in care decisions.

Keyword(s): Affordable Care Act, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in maternal health, reproductive rights, and human rights law and policy for 12 years including researching and authoring reports and papers on US maternal health, developing state and federal legislation, conducting litigation in federal court, and advocating for changes in maternal and reproductive health law and policy. I recently authored a report on doula care and the ACA and am conducting program evaluation for a community-based doula program in NYC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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