New Report: Improving Our Maternity Care Now Through Doula Support
Community-based and -led doula services, such as TWU’s Yiya Vi Kagingdi Doula Project, are especially powerful and essential components of a just and effective maternity care system. Increasingly, doula support is provided from pregnancy into the postpartum period.
On September 22, 2022, the National Partnership for Women & Families in collaboration with HealthConnect One, National Health Law Program (NHeLP), and Tewa Women United released a new report, “Improving Our Maternity Care Now Through Doula Support” highlighting how doula support can make a critical difference in improving outcomes for pregnant and birthing people and their babies.
This 52-page report outlines the evidence that supports the unique value of doula support, the interest in use of doula support, and the current availability of doula services.
One section of the report spotlights TWU’s community-centered Yiya Vi Kagingdi Doula Project. The program supports birthing people and their families with about three prenatal home visits, continuous support while giving birth, about three postpartum home visits, and lactation support, as well as remote support, all within a birth equity framework. TWU collected data over eight years and found striking benefits for birthing women and people participating in their doula program, including:
- Preterm birth rate of 2.7 percent, versus 9.8 percent for New Mexico overall, 8.2 percent for Indigenous New Mexicans, and 9.4 percent for Hispanic New Mexicans
- Low birthweight rate of 3.5 percent, versus 9.1 percent for New Mexico overall, 8.2 percent for Indigenous New Mexicans, and 9.4 percent for Hispanic New Mexicans
- Primary (initial) cesarean rate of 9.5 percent, versus 13.7 percent for New Mexico overall, 14.4 percent for Indigenous New Mexicans, and 14.8 percent for Hispanic New Mexicans