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Doula access in NYC is still limited to those who have the resources to afford it. Few programs offer doula support to birthing people who are low-income or otherwise cannot afford it, while this is the very population who would most benefit from doula support.

The New York Coalition for Doula Access (NYCDA) aims to increase access to doula care for Black maternal health patients and low income patients with Medicaid in NY state.

Current priorities

  1. Establish a living wage standard for doulas in NY state provided through statewide Medicaid reimbursement
  2. Create a set of standards for doula friendly hospital accreditation for NYC/NY state

If you are a doula or maternal health provider who would like to join the coalition please click here.

NYCDA History

  • NYCDA is a coalition of doulas and supportive allies that was originally formed in 2011. The coalition advocated for doulas to be reimbursed through Medicaid as part of the Medicaid Redesign process during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, though unfortunately, Medicaid reimbursement for doulas was not prioritized at that time.
  • In partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYCDA developed the “Principles of Doula Support in the Hospital,” which included a definition of who a doula is, what they do and do not do and seven characteristics of a doula-friendly hospital. This document can be found in Appendix A.
  • Through the years NYCDA continued to work to ensure that doulas were given a seat at the table in addressing birth equity in NY State, such as when the 2018 NY state maternal mortality task force was putting forth recommendations to address racial health inequities in maternal health outcomes.

Additional Resources

The “Principles of Doula Support in the Hospital,” can also be found on pages 24-25 of the “State of Doula Care in NYC 2021” report.

NYCDA 2018 letter to Governor Cuomo on the importance of including doulas in the state’s efforts to reduce racial inequities in maternal health outcomes.

Information on Community Based Doula Programs in NYC