New York is taking strides to make sure moms get the help they need during pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period. Last spring the state launched a pilot program, extending Medicaid coverage to some doula services. And now the state Senate is taking steps to make sure these maternal health professionals are qualified.

According to Romper, New York Sen. Jessica Ramos sponsored a bill that would create doula certification. In a tweet, announcing the success of the bill (the Senate passed it unanimously) Ramos wrote, “We are investing in the prevention of maternal mortality and ensuring that all birth methods are safe.”

Ramos told Romper, “We want to ensure that doulas become part of the norm for maternal care and we want them included in the birth plan. By professionalizing, we will begin to see a burgeoning industry that will surely see a betterment for everyone involved.”

So what exactly will this bill do? When it takes effect (which is 90 days after Governor Cuomo signs it) the law will require doulas to seek professional certification before performing services during the prenatal, childbirth and post-partum periods. Certification would require doulas to pass an exam, provide proof of professional prep (via education), complete and application and pay a fee.

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—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash 

 

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