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City's Doula, Midwifery Service Helped Over 12,000 families, Mayor Says

Doula and home visitor services address racial disparities in maternal health for minority New Yorkers, the mayor said.
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New York City Mayor Eric Adams said over 12,000 families have been served with home visits for doula and midwifery services by the New Family Home Visits Initiative.

The $34 million initiative offers support services and referrals to new and expectant parents by having trained health workers, such as a nurses, doulas, lactation consultants, or community health workers, make in-person or virtual visits to the home of a new or expecting parents, identifying maternal health needs during pregnancy or soon after childbirth, according to a news release. 

“Our administration has taken action to boost birth equity — expanding the doula program citywide, signing a package of bills to strengthen maternal health, and setting the ambitious goal of reducing Black maternal mortality by 10% by 2030," said Adams. "Since we expanded access to doulas, lactation consultants, and nurse visits, we are proud to have connected over 12,000 families across New York City with services that are supporting families."

The Newborn Home Visits Program has served approximately 9,500 families in just over two years and offers no-cost in-person and virtual home visits to families with a new infant (zero to three months) to facilitate the adjustment to parenthood, assure a safe living environment for families, provide topic-specific education, and identify health and social issues that require referral to community-based services.

The Nurse Family Partnership is an evidence-based nurse home visiting program that pairs clients with registered nurses to receive regular visits from early pregnancy until their child’s second birthday. The program has served approximately 1,200 families since March 2023.

The Citywide Doula Initiative served more than 1,900 clients since its launch in March 2022, including support during approximately 1,300 births. As part of the city’s program, doulas provide prenatal home visits, continuous support during childbirth and four postpartum visits. Doulas also help clients establish and maintain breastfeeding and help with parent-infant bonding. 

In addition to this traditional doula care, clients receive case management services through screenings and referrals. Additionally, through a partnership with Ancient Song Doula Services, the Citywide Doula Initiative trains at least 30 community members as doulas each year.

“Maternal health has been a priority for the City Council since day one, resulting in legislation and funding to support doula and mid-wife services which are so crucial to pregnant people,” said New York City Councilmember, chair, Health Committee, Lynn Schulman. “Today's announced milestone demonstrates the importance of bridging healthcare disparities and empowering families to thrive.”