Assemblywoman Angela McKnight recently introduced two pieces of legislation regarding doulas: one recognizing March 22 as Doula Appreciation Day and another marking March 22-March 28 as Doula Appreciation Week in New Jersey each year.
The Assembly Joint Resolutions (AJR-184 and AJR-185) state that doulas are trained professionals who provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to mothers before, during, and shortly after childbirth. Since 2011, Doula Appreciation Week has taken place annually to empower doulas globally to improve the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns, and families in birth and during the pre and postpartum stages of pregnancy.
“Doulas play a significant role by not only assisting expecting mothers but also their families,” said Assemblywoman McKnight (D-Hudson). “Research has shown that support from a doula produces more positive outcomes for both mother and baby. As a community, we need to emphasize the importance of pre and postnatal care, particularly in communities of color. This resolution will highlight the importance of doula care and raise awareness for their vital services.”
The resolutions were introduced January 17 and have been referred to the Assembly Women and Children Committee.