Doulas are an essential part of maternity care, however many hospitals in CA are not allowing them entrance to support their clients. Doulas play an important role in patient advocacy, preventing unnecessary interventions, preventing obstetric violence, ensuring their clients receive patient-centered care, and reducing maternal death. Access to continuous labor support is especially vital for birthing people of color. Black people experience higher rates of poor birth outcomes, including higher rates of cesarean, preterm birth, low birth weight, and maternal and infant death. Low-income mothers with doula support are 4 times less likely to have babies with low-birth weight and two times less likely to have birth complications.
Doulas improve birth outcomes for everyone giving birth, but especially for those who are at higher risk of complications.
Doulas reduce medical spending, as their support has been shown to reduce cesarean births by 39%.
Doulas keep hospitals and doctors accountable, reduce liability, and ensure their clients receive informed consent.
Doulas are trained professionals.
Doulas are mostly female, small business owners, many of whom are minorities and also heads of households.
There are no identifiable risk factors associated with doula support.
The CDC guidelines state“facilities can consider exceptions[...]when a visitor is essential for the patient’s emotional well-being and care." Many birthing people experience fear and anxiety around birth. They worry about unnecessary interventions, about knowing what questions to ask, about whether they are strong enough. They believe their doula is essential for their emotional well-being. Doulas can provide essential support to clients, while taking the precautions to ensure that their presence in hospitals will not compromise the health of healthcare workers or patients. Please do your part to ensure that professional birth workers are able to support families in the hospital.
1. Write to Gavin Newsom.
2. Write to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
3. Write to the California Department of Public Health
Scroll to “Contact Us”
Select the Complaint Tab
Choose “Health Facilities (Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Hospices, Home Health Agencies”
4. Write to your local hospitals.
5. Write to your City Council Member and your County Board Supervisor and follow-up with a phone call.
6. Write to your Representatives in the State Legislature and follow-up with a phone call.
7. Write to US Senator Kamala Harris.
8. Share Your Opinion:
9. Share this page with friends and family.
Local Call to Action
Doulas and midwives have been excluded from supporting clients in most Los Angeles area hospitals since March 2020, when the Coronavirus Pandemic truly began escalating in the United States. Initially the doula community submitted to the restrictive hospital policies out of a concern for safety for birthing families, medical staff, and themselves.The residents of Los Angeles are truly committed to lowering the number of new cases of the Coronavirus. Because of this steadfast commitment, our community is reopening. Hair salons, gyms, dine-in restaurant services, dental clinics, health clinics, and numerous other services have returned. It is time for hospitals' prohibition on birth professionals to end. If you would like to help us, please use this sample text as a starting point to communicate with the decision-makers. If you take a moment to edit and add a few of your own thoughts to the sample text, it will be more effective.