This Issue Update newsletter is part of a series that provides more information on each priority issue on the Alliance's 2024 Legislative Agenda. The Legislative Agenda is crafted annually in partnership with early childhood organizations that are advancing legislative policy solutions related to health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education. The priority issues were selected by the Alliance's 21 member Steering Committee.


Access to Doula Coverage: Medicaid Coverage for Community Doula Care

Doula support is an evidence-based service that provides both short- and long-term positive impacts. Providing more access to doulas promotes more equitable, safer, less expensive births, and improves perinatal outcomes in the short- and long-term. Doula care is also correlated with improved infant-parent bonding and less postpartum depression and anxiety throughout the perinatal period.

The Alliance supports the efforts of the Vermont Doula Access Coalition to secure policy changes that will enable Vermont families covered by Medicaid to access the support of a Community Doula, who can provide care and advocacy during the perinatal period that meets the self-determined needs of the birthing person.

Update: The Senate Health and Welfare Committee is currently considering S. 109, a bill that would instruct state agencies to take the necessary steps to include doula care in the state’s Medicaid plan. We expect the Committee will make substantial changes to the bill but will keep the essential language that starts the process that would lead to Medicaid coverage beginning on July 1, 2025. We hope the Committee will pass the bill, and that the bill will then continue to move forward through the legislative process this year.


Data and Talking Points

  • In Vermont, in 2021, there were 2,2021 Medicaid births, about 38% of total births in the state.
  • Currently all but four states are somewhere in process of proposing or implementing Medicaid coverage for birth doulas
  • Doulas offer non-clinical, non-medical, human-to-human support. Doula care is emotional support.
  • Studies show that doula care leads to a 30% reduced risk of labor induction, a 28% reduced risk of cesarean section, and a 14% reduced risk of a newborn admission to the NICU.

Lead Organization

Vermont Doula Access Coalition

VDAC's mission is to ensure more women have access to doula support for pregnancy, birth, and postpartum through social and legislative reform


Alliance Legislative Agenda Weekly Issue Spotlight: Doula Coverage and Perinatal Loss - 2/5

This winter, the Alliance is hosting virtual Weekly Issue Spotlights leading up to ECDL. Each session focuses on one or two issues from the Alliance’s 2024 Legislative Agenda. Joined by representatives from the lead organizations, participants can ask direct questions and hear a brief legislative update regarding the issues. 

The next session will be held Monday, February 5, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, and focuses on two issues on our Legislative Agenda – Access to Doula Coverage: Medicaid Coverage for Community Doula Care, and Perinatal Loss: Funding to Expand Peer Support.

Led by Maria Rossi, MSW, Social Worker/Doula/Advocate from the Vermont Doula Access Coalition and Chelsea Levis from Empty Arms Vermont, this session is a great opportunity to learn more about these issues, where they stand in the Legislature, and how to get involved.


The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a statewide coalition formed in 2000 of early childhood professionals, parents, organizations, businesses, and strategic partners committed to improving public policies that impact young children between birth and age eight in the areas of health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education.

The Alliance crafts an annual Legislative Agenda in partnership with early childhood organizations, provides year-round advocacy support, and facilitates meaningful interactions with policymakers at key times during the decision making process.


Alliance Equity Discussion – 1/26; “The State of Vermont’s Children"; Child Care Campaign Update – 1/25; STARS Implementation Session – 2/16; Join the Alliance Today; Register for ECDL

Issue Update - Paid Leave

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The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a program of the Vermont Community Loan Fund.

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