Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic
Press Release

County Health Committee Advances Supervisor Dimitrijevic’s Doula Initiative

"It is revolutionary and a great win for women's healthcare that we are partnering with the city to put public funding towards birth support in Milwaukee for mothers who need it most."

By - May 15th, 2019 04:37 pm

MILWAUKEE – The Health and Human Needs Committee recommended adoption (5-0) of a proposal from County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic today to allocate $52,000 for doulas, or birth companions, to improve birth and maternal health in the 53206 Zip Code.

After receiving extensive community feedback, the supervisors supported an amendment to increase compensation for a doula’s work by modifying the number of mothers served in the pilot.

Dimitrijevic’s proposal calls for the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate with the City of Milwaukee on the pilot program. The City’s Health Department would be responsible for administering the program, and the County would be responsible for funding the program and marketing it to eligible low-income women.

“It is revolutionary and a great win for women’s healthcare that we are partnering with the city to put public funding towards birth support in Milwaukee for mothers who need it most. I want to thank my colleagues on the Health and Human Needs Committee for recognizing the benefits of doulas and supporting my proposal,” said Dimitrijevic.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore introduced the Mamas First Act today, which would provide funding for certified midwives and doulas and combat maternal mortality among African American women and Native women.

“I am so inspired by all the incredible work going on Milwaukee and Wisconsin to combat stubbornly high maternal mortality rates and save the lives of mothers. We need to ensure that all mothers can experience a holistic approach throughout their prenatal care, labor, and postpartum visits. I am so proud of the initiatives my state and city are doing in this area and look forward to pushing the federal government to also support the critical work that doulas and midwives do for our expecting mothers.”

The Milwaukee Common Council recently directed the City Health Department to develop the joint pilot program with Milwaukee County.

The Board of Supervisors will consider Dimitrijevic’s proposal on May 23.

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