The Birth Work Battlefield: Disparities in Access

Birth workers of color believe that growing their ranks could help improve outcomes for Black mothers and babies—but it’s also an access issue.
Lukisa Muhammad, who became a doula following her own traumatic birthing experience, says Black birth workers are “essentially soldiers on the battlefield” in a line of work that is more than 90% white.
And, for a slew of reasons—doulas are not reimbursable by Medicaid, for example—primarily white women benefit from doulas in many parts of the US.
Proposed legislation aims to alleviate these disparities, but could also erase cultural birthing training as qualifying experience.

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