LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan is becoming one of the first states to cover doula services for expecting mothers covered by Medicaid insurance.

A doula is a personal assistant that works with an expecting mother throughout pregnancy, delivery and often after the birth of the child. They provide services such as emotional support, birth planning, and education regarding newborn care, nutrition, and safety.

The addition of doula services follows the expansion of Medicaid coverage for a full 12-month postpartum period first announced in May 2022.

The benefit is part of the state’s Healthy Moms Healthy Babies initiative. Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive Natasha Bagdasarian issued a recommendation that doula services are medically necessary and should be offered to families covered by Medicaid insurance.

“Expecting Michiganders deserve to have the care they need to have a healthy pregnancy,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Yet, more than 63% of maternal deaths in Michigan are preventable, and Black women are nearly three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. By providing doula services we are helping address health disparities and ensuring access to high-quality health care that meets their individual needs.”

For more information, you can visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ website.