Walmart Accelerates Family Building Support for Associates By Expanding Doula Services Nationwide

Oct. 24, 2023

Three image collage of associate Jillian and son Beckett. Top right image shows Jillian with IV in her hand holding Beckett after birth. Bottom right image shows image of toddler Beckett with glasses. Left, dominate image shows Jillian sitting on floor with Beckett in her lap clapping.
Pictured above: Jillian and Beckett Bowman

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.

Continued support of our Walmart parents

This doula 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 most of the Walmart medical plans.* Life with Baby provides access at no cost to resources like tools to track daily progress, helpful articles from leading experts, special baby gifts and more.

We’re continuing to help eligible associates access Walmart’s surrogacy and adoption benefits, including financial support of up to $20,000 in their lifetime, for qualified surrogacy and adoption expenses. 

Walmart benefits also include paid leave for full-time hourly and salaried associates that allows birth moms to receive up to 16 weeks of paid time off. New parents, including adoptive and foster parents, also receive six weeks paid parental leave to bond with a new child.** Just last year, more than 32,000 Walmart parents took advantage of our maternity and parental leaves and adoption benefits.

We are always looking for ways to evolve our family building benefits and by expanding coverage for doula services nationwide, we hope that all our associates and their families feel supported during these major life milestones.

1The Effect of Doulas on Maternal and Birth Outcomes: A Scoping Review. Accessed October 13.

*Excludes Hawaii, and those not enrolled in the Premier, Contribution, Saver or Local medical plans. 

**Associates receive up to 16 weeks when parental leave is combined with maternity leave.