Health Net Community Doula Program

Health Net Community Doula Pilot Program

Photo by Monet Moultire

Providing Doula Support for African-American/Black Families in Los Angeles County

Healthnet Doula Project

In 2019, The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health partnered with Health Net, one of the largest Medi-Cal HMO providers in California, in an innovative, pilot program to help improve birth outcomes for African-American/Black women and infants in Los Angeles County. This pilot program’s goal was to provide 150 African-American/Black women enrolled in Health Net  Medi-Cal with 10 mostly African-American/Black Doulas in order to lower cesarean rates for their African-American clients.

OUR RESULTS

  • We provided services to 30 women over 6 months’ time.
  • Our premature birth rate was 5%, significantly lower than the national rate for African-American infants, which is 2-1/2 times higher than it is for White infants.
  • We lowered the cesarean rate among Health Net’s African-American members from 70% to 10% among the cohort of women participating in this pilot project, this is significantly lower than the overall Los Angeles rate of cesarean for African-American women which is 38%.
  • We set the standard for what Doulas should be paid when working in public health programs and set a precedent for Medi-Cal coverage for Doula support.
  • We designed a program of public health Doula support that is a model that other organizations are replicating.
  • We conducted four series of childbirth preparation classes which were offered free for families with Medi-Cal.  Twenty families were prepared for childbirth, meeting a dire need for free, quality childbirth education for low-income families in Los Angeles County.

UNFORTUNATELY, HEALTH NET DECIDED TO TERMINATE THE PROGRAM. SO WE ARE NO LONGER ENROLLING CLIENTS. DIRECT ALL INQUIRIES TO POOJA.C.MITTAL AT 510-507-0792.

HAPPY MAMA HEALTHY BABY COMMUNITY DOULA PROGRAM

Through our Happy Mama Healthy Baby Community Doula Program, we offer free and low-cost doula support to diverse families in Los Angeles County. Our Doulas are from multicultural backgrounds including African-American/Black, Latino and European-American. We speak Spanish, French and African languages. No-one is turned away for inability to pay. Services are provided by volunteer Doulas. We offer labor support, postpartum care, childbirth education classes, breastfeeding help, and support groups for mothers and fathers. We serve all families including adolescents, LBGTQI families, immigrants and refugees, and more.