Op-Ed: What New Jersey Needs — Doulas Working for Health of Mothers, Babies

In Cincinatti, a city plagued with poor racial disparities in birth outcomes, Dr. Jim Greenberg declared, "If you care about education, jobs, poverty or equity, you should start caring about birth."

As a birth doula and childbirth educator in New Jersey, I applaud the state’s recognition of the data of racial disparities in birth outcomes. Thus, it is time to incorporate and, finally, use a model that works to improve outcomes for mothers and babies — birth doula care.

Doula care has been used from the City of Baltimore to the state of Minnesota, from New York City to Oregon and beyond, but has never been fully scaled, implemented, nor embraced in New Jersey. And doula care, which provides nonclinical emotional, physical and informational support before, during and after a birth, is a proven key strategy to improve maternal and infant health used in public health systems throughout the United States.

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