Monday, January 10, 2022

Doulas Supporting Black Oklahomans to Improve Health Outcomes

The Frontier published a news story by Kassie McClung titled In Oklahoma, Black families turn to doulas for better births.  The article explains that:

Black Oklahomans are turning to doulas as a way to combat the disproportionately high rates of adverse health outcomes among Black Americans.  

 

Oklahoma reported the fourth-highest rate of maternal mortality in the country in 2018, and Black women die of pregnancy-related complications at a rate more than 60 percent higher than that of white Oklahomans. The crisis is closely tied to infant mortality. Black infants in Oklahoma are more than twice as likely as white infants to die before their first birthday. * * * Research shows that patients with continuous labor support were less likely to have C-sections or use pain medications. Those who delivered babies with doulas also experienced fewer labor complications and were less likely to have babies with low birth weights, researchers have found. 

 

Medicaid programs in at least four states — Oregon, Minnesota, New Jersey and Florida — already cover doula services, and many states have passed legislation to offer Medicaid reimbursements for services or launched pilot programs in recent years. At least 20 states introduced legislation related to the issue in 2021, according to the National Health Law Program. But Oklahoma lawmakers haven’t authored similar bills, and the state has just begun to take preliminary steps to expand access to doula services, despite higher death rates among Black mothers in the state.  * * * 

 

Almost 70 percent of the women who died between 2009 and 2017 were covered by Medicaid, according to the state’s Maternal Mortality Review committee. 

 

 
 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/gender_law/2022/01/doulas-supporting-black-oklahomans-to-improve-health-outcomes.html

Healthcare, Pregnancy, Race, Reproductive Rights | Permalink

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