Calling all Doulas: Do you have your data?

 

Relationship support during pregnancy is important to women and families

Now that we have good science that shows the benefits of continuous support for women during labor and delivery, the role of doulas and community health workers in transforming maternity care should be undisputed. In fact, this recognition of the benefit of positive relationship during the entire pregnancy episode leads most women to desire a doula to support them in more than just the birth. Prenatal education, breastfeeding preparation and support, care navigation and emotional support in the postpartum period are all additional services that many community-based birth workers are adding to their training and service offerings. With all of this consumer demand, the challenge we now face is that there are not enough birth workers to provide the needed services. Fundamentally, we need more birth workers!

 

It’s time to grow the profession

We’ve talked to lots of doulas in the past year, trying to get a better idea about who you are, what you do and what you find challenging in your work. Overwhelmingly, the biggest issue we see is that many doulas do not practice full time. Trying to balance family life and other obligations with being on call is a practical issue that speaks to the challenges of peer-to-peer support. However, the reality is that doulas need to get paid a reasonable wage for their work in order to fully embrace this work at a professional level.

 

Balancing common sense with the outcomes data

As we mentioned in our series on business strategies for payment reform, the first step is to get services like labor support, childbirth education and care navigation covered under Medicaid. Once Medicaid covers these services, commercial payers will follow this model as well. In order to demonstrate to insurance companies the value that doulas can provide, we need continuous and conclusive data from programs and individuals who are serving women in their communities. And we need to collect data without compromising the integrity of the personal relationship you have with your clients.

 

MN has a proven track record with our award-winning EHR platform for midwives. Midwives are tough customers to please, especially if the products they are using get in the way of their client interactions. Now that we have development workflows and forms that are specific to doula care, we’d love the opportunity to give your practice the same kind of HIPAA-compliant, secure and relationship-focused software that our midwives have been loving for the past 5 years.

 

To check out our pricing for individual doulas or get in touch and learn more about organization, agency or affiliate packages, contact support@maternityneighborhood.com

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