Doulas are not only comforting to mothers during birth, they apparently also save everyone enormous amounts of money.
A fairly new University of Minnesota study has revealed that the support birth doulas give laboring mothers ends up in such drastic cost savings that Minnesota may start including doula services among the birth services that are covered by the state’s Medicaid program.
“Birth advocates are fond of saying, ‘Every woman deserves a doula,’ and our research shows that that’s probably true,” Katy Kozhimannil, from the U of M’s School of Public Health, told KSTP News.
Kozhimannil led the exciting study that evaluated the benefits of doula services for low-income mothers in Minnesota. Her study found that doula services resulted in a 40 percent lower chance of needing a c-section. Keep in mind that while a cesarean birth costs well over 13 thousand dollars per delivery, a vaginal delivery only costs her state around nine thousand dollars.
Given that Minnesota’s Medicaid program spent about $54 million on covering the costs of child birth for low-income women in 2009 alone, paying for doula services could significantly lower the over all costs the state has to pay for low-income deliveries. Katy Kozhimannil explained that in 2009, government agencies in the US ended up paying over three billion dollar for c-sections. She recommended all states consider offering doula services among the services that Medicaid is willing to cover given that it would save her state alone several million dollars.
Keep in mind only a couple years ago Minnesota became the first state to allow Certified Midwife assisted births to be covered by Medicaid. Minnesota seems to be leading the way in support of more natural births. Though it seems that the state’s reasons are mostly financial, the Everything Birth community recognizes the tremendous benefits this could bring to the little ones making their way into this world and celebrate these potential changes, for whatever reasons they are brought to fruition.
Did you use a doula? If so, did you find it helped avoid birth complications to have a doula?
Thanks for the lead on this exciting news goes to: The After Baby Lady, a DONA trained postpartum doula from Michigan.