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A06168 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A6168A
 
SPONSOR: Solages
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to permitting expect- ing and new mothers' access to their doulas   PURPOSE: To allow pregnant individuals to designate a doula to have full access to themselves and their newborn infant throughout a maternal health facility.   SUMMARY: Section 1. Amends the public health law by adding a new section 2500-1. Section 2. Sets the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Doulas are trained professionals who provide emotional, physical, and informational support to expecting mothers and their families before, during, and after childbirth. They serve as advocates for the birthing people, helping them navigate the healthcare system and providing infor- mation and encouragement throughout the process. Research has shown that having a doula present during childbirth can lead to shorter labor, reduced need for pain medication, fewer medical interventions, and high- er rates of breastfeeding   1. A 2021 report by the NYC Department of Health found that doulas often face several barriers when providing services in hospital settings, such as requests to prove their training and/or certification (neither of which are required in New York State)   2. Furthermore, doula's are often prohibited from seeing their clients postpartum. Ensuring preg- nant persons have access to their designated doula throughout maternal health facilities has been shown to mitigate stressors that can nega- tively impact birth outcomes.   RACIAL JUSTICE IMPACT: In the United States, the mortality rate for Black mothers is dispropor- tionately higher than that for White women. This also applies to New York State, where Black women die from pregnancy-related causes at three times the rate of White women. Further, in New York City, Black women are twelve times as likely to suffer a pregnancy-related death   3. Pregnant people of color face disproportionately higher rates of preg- nancy complications, mistreatment during childbirth, and maternal mortality. Doulas help reduce the impacts of racism and racial bias in healthcare by providing individually tailored, culturally attentive, and patient-centered care. Deploying doula's has proven to be an effective strategy in addressing racial disparities in maternal healthcare by reducing severe maternal morbidity and mortality. Yet, a lack of awareness and access to doula services contribute to the underutilization of this important resource.   GENDER JUSTICE IMPACT: Doulas can play a crucial role in supporting birthing people and fami- lies during one of the most important moments of their lives. Estab- lishing a directory where pregnant people can easily connect with quali- fied doula caregivers will improve the health outcomes of pregnant women by increasing accessibility. The benefit of this bill expands beyond expecting mothers and also benefits doulas themselves, as 94.3% of the doula workforce is made up of women   4. Ensuring that doula's can prac- tice within hospitals expands their job opportunities and allows them to fulfill their responsibilities. This bill will increase accessibility for all birthing people to doula care, which will improve the health outcomes for mothers and particularly help people of color who are expecting.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: TBD.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.   1 https://tcf.org/content/commentarv/worsening-u-s-maternal- health- crisis- three-graphs/   2 httns://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=i&ci=&esrc=s &source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUK EwiE01H p6_z9AhUFEEkEBIRZDU1J QF no ECAU OA Q&url=https%3 A%2F%2Fwww.nyc. gov%2F asset s%2Fdoh%2Fdownloads%2Fpdf%2Fcsi%2Fdoula-report-2021.pdf&usr--- A0vVaw3mz7 DJRD Mq1nP-iXDZGiEe   3https://vvww.propublica.org/article/nothing-protects- black-women- from- dying-in-nregnancv-a nd-childbirth   4 https://www.zippia.com/doula-jobs/demographics/
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