According to The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) website, they have “added doula services to the list of preventive services covered under the Medi-Cal program. Doula services include personal support to women and families throughout a woman’s pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum experience. This includes emotional and physical support, provided during pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period.” AND the postpartum period!
Note: “Pursuant to federal regulations, doula services must be recommended by a physician or other licensed practitioner.”
To learn more about Medi-Cal coverage for postpartum care, check out the Medi-Cal Provider Manual for doula services, published by DHCS on December 16, 2022. We highly recommend reviewing this documentation if you’re pregnant and planning for postpartum, or had a baby within the last year and looking for postpartum support. It states the following:
“Doulas may provide services for up to 12 months from the end of pregnancy. Beneficiaries are eligible to receive full-scope Medi-Cal coverage for at least 12 months after pregnancy.
Providers should verify the recipient’s Medi-Cal eligibility for the month of service for fee-for-service claims. A beneficiary who is pregnant, or was pregnant within the past year, and would either benefit from doula services or requests doula services, would meet the medical necessity criteria for a recommendation for doula services. Doula services may only be provided during pregnancy; during labor and delivery, miscarriage, and abortion; and within one year of the end of a beneficiary’s pregnancy.
The following services for pregnant or postpartum beneficiaries are not covered as Medi-Cal
doula services and are not covered under Medi-Cal:
- Belly binding (traditional/ceremonial)
- Birthing ceremonies (i.e., sealing, closing the bones, etc.)
- Group classes on babywearing
- Massage (maternal or infant)
- Still and Video Photography
- Placenta encapsulation
- Vaginal steams
Doula services do not include diagnosis of medical conditions, provision of medical advice,
or any type of clinical assessment, exam, or procedure. Doulas are not prohibited from teaching classes that are available at no cost to individuals, including Medi-Cal beneficiaries to whom they are providing doula services.”
6 Things to Know About Postpartum Doulas
- Postpartum doulas are trained professionals who provide physical, emotional, and informational support to new moms and families during the postpartum period.
- They can assist with tasks such as feeding support, newborn care, light housekeeping, meal preparation, and helping the family adjust to their new roles and routines.
- Postpartum doulas can also help moms with postpartum recovery, such as providing guidance on proper nutrition and exercise.
- Having a postpartum doula can greatly reduce the risk of postpartum depression and anxiety, as they provide a non-judgmental listening ear and support during a vulnerable time.
- They also help with the bonding process between parent and child and can offer reassurance and guidance on early parenting concerns.
- Ultimately, postpartum doulas play a crucial role in ensuring that new moms and families have the support they need to transition smoothly into their new roles and adjust to life with a new baby.