Washington, D.C.— Today, Representatives Gwen S. Moore and Alma Adams, Ph.D. led a letter addressed to the House Appropriations Committee, led 19 of their House colleagues urging them to include vital funding to increase our nation’s workforce of doulas and midwives. Their letter calls for $20 million in new funding to provide grants to community-based organizations to develop and/or expand programs to recruit doula candidates, support their training/certification, and then employ them in their communities to support improved birth outcomes. The letter also calls for $25 million in grant funding to grow and diversify the maternal and perinatal health nursing workforce by increasing and diversifying the number of Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), with a focus on practitioners working in rural and underserved communities.
“Our health care system has always held within it racial biases that impact the quality of care for mothers of color. I experienced trauma giving birth in a hospital when I was a scared, poor, single teenage mother and used midwifes after when giving birth to my sons. Answering to our current maternal health crisis starts with an inclusive perinatal workforce. The cultural competency, care, and understanding provided by doulas and certified nurse midwives is crucial to securing successful pregnancies for mothers and their babies. This funding is so important because it will help save lives,” said Congresswoman Moore.
“The issue of maternal health has always been one of my top priorities, especially when it comes to addressing the racial inequalities that leave people of color more at risk of neglect. Having to support my own daughter as she underwent an emergency C-Section further proved to me how much more needs to be done to raise the standards of care within the health sector. This request for extra funding will ensure that mothers-to-be are protected and well looked after as they put their lives on the line to deliver one of life’s most precious gifts,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams, Ph.D.
Read the full text of the letter here.