H.R.2751: Mamas First Act

Overview

The Mamas First Act (H.R. 2751) would require state Medicaid programs to cover doula and midwife services, including prenatal, delivery, and postpartum services. Three states (Minnesota, Oregon, and New York) have already incorporated these services into their Medicaid programs.

Talking Points

  • The United States has the highest and only rising maternal mortality rate (MMR) of any developed country. While the U.S. had an MMR of around 26 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015, the average MMR for high-income countries was around 17. From 1990 to 2015, the MMR in the U.S. rose by 53 percent while the global MMR decreased by around 30 percent. Of the approximately 800 maternal deaths each year, the CDC Foundations estimates that 60 percent are preventable.
  • Doulas are specialists who “provide emotional, physical, and educational support” to mothers throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the postpartum period. They often help women create a birth plan and become more familiar with the process of labor and potential complications. Most importantly, doulas act as advocates for mothers, ensuring their needs and concerns are heard and fulfilled.
  • There have been several studies that document the benefits of having a doula. Benefits include reduced rate of birth complications, reduced pain during childbirth, and reduced cesarean rate by 50 percent.

Our Stance

Support

Priority

Medium

Bill Number

H.R.2751

Date Introduced

May 15, 2019

Committee

House Energy and Commerce Committee

Bill Status

Introduced or Prefiled

Sponsor

Rep. Gwen Moore