Scroll Top

Bill Creating Doula Public Awareness Campaign Clears Assembly Committee

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats aims to promote the benefits doulas can bring to the birthing process

(TRENTON) — Legislation that would require the establishment of a public awareness campaign to provide information about doulas cleared the Assembly Aging and Human Services Committee on Monday. Doulas, also called birth companions or birth coaches, provide physical, emotional, and informational support to mothers before, during, and after childbirth.

Bill A4222, sponsored by Assemblywoman Shanique Speight, Assemblyman Herb Conaway, and Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, would task the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS), in consultation with the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, with creating the campaign. Through printed and electronic materials, the campaign would highlight the roles doulas play in supporting individuals giving birth, as well as call attention to free or low-cost resources in New Jersey related to doula services and increasing access to doula services.

“Doulas have a long history of tirelessly advocating for, and working with, their patients to help them through one of life’s most challenging and most rewarding moments – childbirth,” said Assemblywoman Speight (D-Essex). “Through this bill, we are encouraging more people to learn about the benefits of hiring a doula, including having an extra voice at a critical time, which can contribute to a more inclusive and compassionate birthing process.”

Under A4222, the materials would be developed in the top ten languages most commonly spoken in the state. It would then be available on the NJDHS website and through a variety of entities, including, but not limited to, Planned Parenthood health clinics, local Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (better known as the WIC) program agencies and clinic offices, pharmacies and county human services offices.

“It’s imperative that moms and moms-to-be know about the many ways doulas can help them at any stage of pregnancy,” said Assemblyman Conaway (D-Burlington). “That’s why A4222 is so vital – it ensures that information about doula support reaches every corner of New Jersey, providing comfort, guidance, and care to those that need it most.”

“With this legislation, we raise awareness and empower mothers with knowledge, support, and the resources they need for a healthier, happier pregnancy and birth experience,” said Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). “By providing constituents with knowledge of doula services we give them the tools to make informed decisions about their pregnancy and childbirth.”