We know one of the most important times in our associates’ lives is when they make the decision to grow their families. When our associates make this decision, we want to ensure they have access to quality health care options and feel supported during this exciting, yet sometimes stressful, time in life. However, we know more than 5.6 million women live in counties with no or limited access to maternity care services, according to the March of Dimes, and that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to access maternity care in many areas of the country.
Over the past two years, we introduced doula services for our associates as part of a pilot program in four states — Georgia, Louisiana, Indiana and Illinois — providing access to affordable and equitable health care aimed at improved maternal and infant health. Today, we’re pleased to announce the expansion of our doula services benefit nationwide.* Doulas are experts who are trained to support mothers leading up to and throughout the labor and delivery process, and must be credentialed through either DONA International or the National Black Doulas Association (NBDA).
Why are doulas important?
Doula services are proven to have a positive impact on the well-being of both mother and child, from reduced cesarean sections, premature deliveries and labor length to general mental well-being, reducing anxiety and stress.1
Doulas are especially important in health care deserts where access to the right care may be limited. According to the NBDA, having a doula as part of a birthing team can decrease cesarean sections by 50%, shorten the time of labor by 25%, and decrease the need for other medical interventions by well over 50%.
Meet Jillian and Beckett
Jillian Bowman, an hourly associate who works as an Optician at Walmart Store 2753 in Clayton, Georgia, used the doula services as part of our pilot during and after the birth of her first child, Beckett.