Employees of Walmart can now get doula services covered in their benefits package if they choose to use one during their pregnancy. Under a new policy, they will be reimbursed up to $1,000.
“This benefit covers up to $1,000 for doula services during pregnancy and is part of a suite of benefits offered through our Life with Baby program, which is available to associates on a Walmart medical plan,” a 2022 news release states. “Life with Baby provides access at no cost to resources like one-on-one coaching from a nurse, tools to track daily progress, helpful articles from leading experts, special baby gifts and more. The goal is to help make the process of welcoming a new child easier, safer and less stressful.”
The benefits package offering initially launched last summer in Georgia and as of lately, was expanded to include Walmart associates in Louisiana, Indiana and Illinois. The company also wrapped in fertility treatments through Kindbody, a family-planning benefits provider.
As Walmart points out, utilizing the care of doulas, particularly for Black mothers, can lead to better birthing outcomes.
“According to the National Black Doulas Association (NBDA), having a doula as a part of a birthing team decreases C-sections by 50%, shortens the time of labor by 25% and decreases the need for other medical interventions by well over 50%,” a news release states. Tracie Collins, NBDA CEO and founder of the organization said, “Doulas provide physical, emotional and informational support to the birthing family. They serve as liaisons between medical professionals and the family, which helps to ultimately cultivate healthy birth outcomes.”