Policy & Advocacy

  • AB-2258: Get doula services covered under medical insurance. Read more here.

  • AB-1237: Midwife expansion. Read more here.

Advocacy Work for Pregnant Mothers
  • Shantay Davies-Balch founder of BLACK Wellness & Prosperity Center is currently working with a national doula coalition (critical support for Black women that improve outcomes exponentially). Typically, Black women do not have access to doulas. Doula services are not covered by insurance and cost $1,500-3,500. BLACK submitted legislation AB-2258 for Medi-Cal coverage of doulas and plans to work on private insurance next. 

  • BLACK submitted an appeal to Governor Newsom to address the dangerous problem of social isolation during labor. Many hospitals across CA are forcing women to labor alone due to COVID. Read the appeal letter below. 

CA COVID Birth Crisis Gov and HHS Appeal Letter To Governor Gavin Newsom

"We are writing on behalf of the half-million mothers who will give birth in our state this year, who are frightened about the risk of contracting COVID-19 in a hospital setting and concerned about the Governor’s predicted shortages of hospital beds, nursing staff, and medical doctors."


The CDC released guidance to hospitals late April 8, 2020 to encourage hospitals to allow support persons during labor. This will help our appeal.

Community-Based Doulas and Midwives: Key to Addressing the U.S. Maternal Health Crisis

Pregnancy and birth do not stop during a pandemic, and neither does the maternal health crisis. Solutions put forth to reduce disparities in maternal health outcomes and improve experiences of birthing people from the communities disproportionately affected by the maternal health crisis include, but are not limited to, increasing access to doulas and midwives. Doulas and midwives are also key to supporting pregnant people and relieving the strain on the medical system during this pandemic.

Doula Medicaid Project

The National Health Law Program’s Doula Medicaid Project seeks to improve health outcomes for pregnant Medicaid enrollees by ensuring that all pregnant individuals enrolled in Medicaid who want access to a doula will have one.

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