What is DOULA ?

Please join DAV in our support of H.R. 6331/S. 2465, the Delivering Optimally Urgent Labor Access (DOULA) for Veterans Affairs Act of 2023. This bill would establish a pilot program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide pregnant and post-partum women veterans access to doula services in an effort to foster better child and maternal health outcomes. Pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the early days of motherhood, can be difficult in the best of circumstances, but for women veterans, they can be further complicated by physical and mental health conditions related to military service—this includes anxiety, depression, PTSD due to combat or military sexual trauma, musculoskeletal problems and neurological issues. Doulas act as advocates before, during, and after pregnancy, helping expectant and new mothers navigate their birth experience and empowering them to self-advocate for their care, which can be especially important when health care needs are profound or veterans do not have strong, established support networks. This legislation would enhance support services for pregnant women veterans by providing access to doula care within pilot facilities, which is vital as the demand for maternity care services continues to trend upward within VA due to the growing population. By establishing Doula Service Coordinators, this legislation would also help aid in the effort to coordinate care between VA and community providers. In addition, with a focus on health equity, the establishment of the pilot program would be important in addressing poorer maternal health outcomes among minority veteran groups. Consistent with DAV Resolution No. 027, to support enhanced medical services and benefits for women veterans, we support H.R. 6331/S. 2465. Please use the prepared email to contact your elected officials to request their co-sponsorship of this important legislation. Thank you for supporting DAV in the fight for enhanced care for women veterans..
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