The first time I heard of a doula was my first week as an intern at WFRI. I attended an event celebrating the passage of the Reproductive Privacy Act in Rhode Island. While everyone was incredibly proud that the RPA had passed, many felt disappointed that Bill H5609 did not. Known as the Doula Bill, it would have allowed care by a doula to be covered by Medicaid. I didn’t recognize how instrumental doulas are in the lives of pregnant women until I read Dr. Ayana Moore’s story in the Washington Post. In February 2019, Dr. Moore spoke to the newspaper and discussed her first delivery by Cesarean section, describing it as “extremely traumatic” when her doctor refused to listen to her when she said she could feel pain during the procedure. For her second pregnancy, Dr. Moore hired a doula.
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