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What is a Doula?

A doula is a trained non-clinical birth professional that provides individualized support to pregnant persons and their families during pregnancy, birth, and during the postpartum (after delivery) period. Doulas are non-medical care providers and they do not replace medical staff such as OBs or nurses. Their knowledge of pregnancy and birth, communication skills and undivided attention to you and your values make them an invaluable member of your care team.

Doulas go through specialized training to gain the knowledge and practical experience necessary to support youYOUR Doula places your needs at the center of your care.

Doula support can make a significant difference in your pregnancy and birth experience! Women, especially Black women with culturally appropriate doula support:

  • Experience lower rates of unnecessary C-sections

  • Deliver healthier newborns

  • Experience lower rates of postpartum depression

  • Are more likely to receive recommended postpartum care from their provider

  • Experience lower rates of delivering preterm. Preterm birth is when a baby is born early--37 weeks or sooner. Babies born too early are more likely to die before their first birthday

  • Initiate breastfeeding at higher rates and breastfeed their babies longer

Two Black women hugging each other



Doulas listen to and advocate for your voice in health care settings. Doulas help you and your partner navigate pregnancy and birth-related questions, including special considerations, routine procedures, and standards during prenatal visits, to ensure that you and your provider will decide your care plan together.


Doulas can help you communicate questions, symptoms, and concerns with your provider.


Doulas can help you manage labor and delivery pain through non-medical pain relief such as meditation, massage, and exercises.


You and your doula will work together to develop a birth plan centered around your needs and values and help you communicate your desires for your birthing experience to your provider.


  • Your doula will be there to support you in caring for yourself and caring for your newborn. Doulas help new families keep their babies safe by sharing safe ways to sleep your baby and supporting you with breastfeeding. 

  • If needed, your doula can help identify special needs, such as postpartum depression symptoms. 

  • Your doula can even help you coordinate your postpartum visit and help identify other community resources that may benefit your health and wellbeing, such as transportation or healthy food. 

Group of Black women around a table


SB 65 – Momnibus Act - Starting in 2023, doula support will be a covered Medi-Cal benefit in California. 

SB 65 helps doulas earn a living wage through Medi-Cal reimbursement and makes doula care a more sustainable way to support pregnant women who otherwise would not be able to cover doula support.​

Read about Medi-Cal's Doula Services Benefit Here 

Interested in becoming learning more or becoming a doula?

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