May 12, 2023
Ahead of Mother’s Day, Pressley, Moore Introduce Resolution to Honor Life-Changing, Supportive Work of Doulas
Doulas Provide Culturally Competent Maternal Health Care, Address Racial Inequities, and Support Healthier Outcomes for Mothers & Babies
WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of Mother’s Day, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) introduced a resolution recognizing the role doulas play in providing culturally competent maternal health care, addressing racial inequities, and supporting healthier outcomes for mothers and their babies.
“Doulas are holistic healers who provide invaluable support to pregnant and birthing people, and their life-saving work is essential,” said Rep. Pressley. “Congressional intent is powerful, and I’m proud to introduce this resolution with my colleague Rep. Moore to honor our doulas and affirm the critical role they play in advancing reproductive and maternal health justice.”
“Doulas are vital maternal health professionals who support the health and wellbeing of pregnant women and improve birth outcomes. I am so pleased to join my sister and colleague, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, in lifting up their important impact and pledge to keep working to ensure more women have access to this care,” said Rep. Moore.
“There is no better investment in our collective future than maternal health – delivering the respectful, responsive, comprehensive continuum of quality care every mom needs to deliver a healthy beginning and a healthy future for herself and the baby she loves. Doulas, as I’ve always said, are the missing link in that essential care – delivering continuous physical and emotional support, information and empowerment through pregnancy, birth and beyond, serving as advocates and navigators for moms who otherwise might go unseen and unheard. Most of all, doulas deliver results. Moms who are supported by doulas are less likely to need a c-section or another intervention, to have serious complications, to suffer from postpartum depression or another perinatal mood disorder. With a doula by her side, no mom stands alone. Which is why every mom – especially Black and Brown moms, who face the greatest risks of all when giving birth – deserves a doula. And which is why the What to Expect Project and I are so grateful to Representatives Gwen Moore and Ayanna Pressley for their long-standing commitment and leadership on doula legislation that delivers for moms,” said Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and founder of the What to Expect Project.
A copy of the resolution can be found here.
As a founding member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, Congresswoman Pressley has been a longtime champion of maternal health and reproductive justice.
- Throughout her time in Congress, Congresswoman Pressley has convened roundtable meetings with maternal health advocates and practitioners in the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District.
- In December 2022, the House passed Congresswoman Pressley’samendment to strengthen maternal health care for people who are incarcerated.
- In September 2022, Rep. Pressley hosted HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra for a convening on their work to address the Black maternal health crisis and the criminalization of abortion care following the Dobbs decision.
- In November 2021, at a briefing held by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), Congresswoman Pressley delivered testimony on the growing racial disparities in maternal health and the urgent need to combat the Black maternal mortality crisis. Her full testimony at the briefing is available here.
- In May 2021, she introduced the Healthy MOMMIES Act, to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for pregnant people and expand coverage to include culturally competent and community based doula care.
- In March 2020, she first introduced the Justice for Incarcerated Moms Act, legislation to improve maternal health care and support for pregnant individuals who are incarcerated, as part of the Momnibus legislative package.
- In 2019, she introduced The People’s Justice Guarantee ─ a comprehensive framework to transform the American criminal legal system into one that guarantees justice for all. She also introduced the Healthy MOMMIES Act with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to expand Medicaid coverage for new moms from 60-days postpartum to one year.