R 193
2021 -- H 6232
Enacted 04/13/2021

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Ranglin-Vassell, Shekarchi, Blazejewski, McNamara,
Date Introduced: April 13, 2021

     WHEREAS, In the United States, maternal mortality rates are the highest in the
developed world and increased by 26.6 percent between 2000 and 2014; and
     WHEREAS, It is estimated that half of the maternal mortalities in the United States could
be prevented with better care and half of the maternal injuries could be reduced or eliminated
with better care; and
     WHEREAS, Of the four million American women who give birth each year, about seven
hundred suffer fatal complications during pregnancy, while giving birth, or during the postpartum
period, and an additional fifty thousand are severely injured; and
     WHEREAS, Doulas are professionals trained to care for and support families during the
pregnancy, labor, and birth by providing emotional, physical, and instructional support with
traditional comfort measures and educational materials, as well as assistance during the transition
to parenthood in the initial postpartum period through home visits; and
     WHEREAS, Birth doulas respect a family’s individual beliefs and needs. A growing
body of evidence indicates that stress from racism and racial discrimination results in conditions,
including hypertension and pre-eclampsia, that contribute to poor maternal health outcomes
among black women; and
     WHEREAS, Black women in the United States suffer from life-threatening pregnancy
complications twice as often as their white counterparts and their risk of maternal mortality has
remained higher than white women’s risk for the past six decades; and
     WHEREAS, Studies in Oregon, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have shown that using a
doula can save money. Currently in the United States, one-in-three births is a C-section, which
costs about fifty percent more than conventional births. Using a doula reduces the chances of the
need for a C-section by twenty-five percent; and
     WHEREAS, According to the manuscript entitled “modeling the cost effectiveness of
doula care associated with reductions in preterm birth and cesarean delivery”, in Minnesota,
women who received doula support had lower preterm and cesarean birth rates than Medicaid
beneficiaries regionally (4.7 percent vs. 6.3 percent, and 20.4 percent vs. 34.2 percent). Data has
also shown that women with doula care have had 22 percent lower odds of preterm birth. Cost-
effectiveness analyses indicate potential savings associated with doula support which reimbursed
at an average of nine hundred eighty-six dollars (ranging from nine hundred twenty-nine dollars
to one thousand forty-seven dollars across states); now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island hereby
celebrates March 22nd through March 28th, 2021, as "World Doula Week" and recognizes the
vital need and usefulness of perinatal doula services in order to provide medical assistance health
care for expectant mothers; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Doulas of Rhode Island, Open Circle Rhode
Island, and Rhode Island Doula Services.