Public Health Center 


Research has shown that mothers supported by doulas, women who are trained to assist mothers during pregnancy and childbirth, have fewer complications and interventions during birth, i.e. epidurals, forceps deliveries, C sections, etc. In Connecticut, however, access to doula services remains inequitable as it is not covered by private or public health insurance. As a result, doula care is only available to wealthy mothers instead of low income, typically non-white, populations who need it the most. Expanding doula care has the potential to reduce soaring rates in maternal mortality and racial disparities in maternal health. We will investigate the question, “Does available evidence support policy efforts to increase equitable access to doula care as a strategy to help improve birth outcomes in Connecticut?” Partnering with March of Dimes, a nationwide nonprofit that provides resources to prevent birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality, our investigation will entail successively answering the following three questions over the course of the year: 1) Is there sufficient data indicating improved public health outcomes with doula care? 2) Are there economic benefits associated with making doula care more available? 3) What are lessons from other states who have already covered doula care under their Medicaid program? Through our 3 pronged approach to answer our research question, we will gain useful information to get doulas to enroll as providers and craft a program to expand doula care in Connecticut.

Past Projects 

Analyzing Pharmaceutical Clinical Trial Diversity

Health Education 

Addressing the Social Determinants of Health in New Haven

Center Head: Anjali Walia '21

Center Members:

This could be you!