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DONA International Advocacy Efforts

We’re committed to supporting creative solutions that provide sustainability for doulas and access to doula care for all families, including economically vulnerable families. As we look to the future, we’re planning incredible initiatives that will benefit doulas and the families we support.

In efforts to expand our impact on maternal-child health and further our mission and vision, DONA International has developed a strong advocacy arm which is made up of five targeted sub-committees. You can find the areas of focus below, and we invite our members to join in the efforts in support and participation with one of these sub-committees as we work toward improved access to doula care, and advancement for the doula profession, together.

New York Doula Legislation

On June 18, 2019, New York State legislators approved Bill A00364B and its counterpart in the Senate S03344-B, potentially affecting the work of doulas in New York.  Please read the below letter from the DONA International Board of Directors to Governor Cuomo regarding this legislation.

Official Response From DONA International

Health Disparities and Inequities

We understand that there are inequities in birth outcomes in the United States and in countries and communities across the world. Numerous clinical trials show that the support of doulas improves maternal and infant health outcomes.

Insurance Payment

DONA International values the clinical research that demonstrates the positive impact of doula support on health outcomes.  To that end, we are dedicated to researching the benefits and trade-offs of third-party reimbursement in an effort to make doula support more accessible without compromising the profession.

Areas of Focus

DONA International leadership has identified five areas of focus for our advocacy efforts.  Each area of focus is represented with an active member-driven subcommittee. Read below to meet our subcommittee chairpeople as well as learn about goals for each area.  

Doula Profession Promotion and Credibility

For the last 25 years, DONA International has worked hard to establish and promote the doula profession.  We are committed to the continued growth of the profession into the future and to increase the awareness and education about doula support to health care providers, third-party payers, families and other stakeholders.

Legislative Action

The DONA International board of directors has recently begun to pursue opportunities to represent our member interest at the legislative level in the United States. These opportunities include working with the congressional maternal and child health caucus, as well as lobbying opportunities such as the March for Moms.

Research and Data Collection

DONA International has been collecting data and research about the work of our doulas for many years.  As we expand doula support, this committee will continue efforts to document the impact doulas have on birth and postpartum.

Legislative Action Toolkit

  • To help DONA International more fully offer support and resources to areas in need of legislative action, please tell us where you are located.
  • Please supply your email address so we can communicate future resources and edits/updates to the toolkit.

Advocacy Sub Committees

Health Disparities and Inequities

Kelli Brien, Chair

Kelli Brien, Chair

Committee Members: Rina Crane, Denise Bolds, Susan Young, Eliza Wilson-Powers, Denise Manning, Chama Woydak

 

DONA’s Health Disparities and Inequities subcommittee aims to raise awareness among doulas, clients, healthcare providers, policymakers, and the general public about disparities and inequities in healthcare; educate DONA International doulas in effective ways to reduce health disparities and inequities, as well as improve health outcomes among communities currently and historically experiencing discrimination; and decrease disparities and inequities among population groups and communities within our scope of practice as doulas.

Doula Profession Promotion and Credibility

Ash Spivak, Chair

Ash Spivak, Chair

Committee Members:  Gaby Mizrahi, Carrie Murphy, Ann Pollack, Erin Moyen, Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Olivia Holman, Gerri Mahn

 

The work of DONA’s Doula Profession Promotion and Credibility subcommittee is centered around the goal of ensuring the sustainability and growth of the doula profession. This includes educating birthing families, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders about the role and benefits of doula care, as well as giving DONA members the resources they need to advocate for doula support in their communities.

Legislative Action

 

JoLynne Polichette, Chair

JoLynne Polichette, Chair

Committee Members: Georg’ann Cattelona, Melissa Harley, Georg’ann Cattelona, Colleen Kelly, Christina Libby, Betsy Quilligan, Robin Weiss

The Legislative Action subcommittee works collaboratively with the DONA board of directors to identify, understand, and consider opportunities for DONA International and its members to advocate for the doula profession and the health and well-being of birthing families. This includes ensuring that DONA members have key resources to engage with policymakers at all levels. In addition, the Legislative Action subcommittee plays a major role in the annual March for Moms, a multi-stakeholder event and movement in which DONA is a key partner.

 

Insurance Payment For Doulas

Britta Cedergren, Chair

Britta Cedergren, Chair

Committee Members:  Paula Reiss, Amy Bauer, Debra Catlin

 

DONA International recognizes that the topic of insurance payment for doulas is complex, under-researched, and often controversial. The Insurance Payment subcommittee is working to collect as much information as possible about current policies, programs, and advocacy efforts related to insurance payment for doulas in the United States, Canada, and around the world. This information will be shared with DONA members and will help inform any future evidence-based decisions or actions of DONA International that concern insurance payment for doulas.

Research and Data Collection

Corina Tudor, Chair

Corina Tudor, Chair

Committee Members: Lauryn Valladarez, Hillary Melchiors, Sunday Tortelli

 

DONA International believes that access to high-quality data and evidence is absolutely critical to decision-making. Numerous studies have documented the benefits of doula care for birthing families and healthcare systems; however, more work is needed to educate communities, policymakers, and other relevant stakeholders about published findings and more research is needed about doula care and its impact on the world around us. The Research and Data Collection subcommittee aims to fill these gaps wherever possible by facilitating the collection and analysis of high-quality data from doulas around the world.

We invite you to join us!

We currently have positions open on the following committees.

Research and Data Collection (Chair Position)

Insurance Payment for Doulas (Chair Position)

Doula Profession Promotion and Credibility (Chair Position)

If one of these focus areas are of interest to you, please reach out to our committee chair to get involved.

Contact Committee Chair