Culturally Matched Doula Support
In Nebraska and throughout the U.S., Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have a disproportionally high burden of adverse perinatal outcomes compared to non-Hispanic white and Hispanic birthing people. Integrating doula support into the perinatal care of birthing people has been shown to decrease rates of medical intervention and anesthesia at birth, reduce cesarean section rates, and increase breastfeeding initiation rates. As patient advocates, doulas provide critical support, especially to those at risk of bias and discrimination.
NPQIC is collaborating with the Omaha Black Doula Association and I Be Black Girl to provide culturally-matched doulas for high-risk BIPOC birthing people. The aim is to improve communication with the medical team, decrease the use of unnecessary medical interventions, and reduce the impact of social determinants of health. This 5-year project will begin in Douglas and Sarpy Counties, home to 53% of the state’s non-white residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have awarded NPQIC funding to integrate culturally matched doula support. United Health Care has provided a one-year grant to supplement the work. Currently, doula services ($1,000-$2,000 per birth) are not covered by state insurance, and only some private insurance plans will cover this cost.