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Antonio, Craig Testify in Support of Doula Awareness Week

June 12, 2024
Nickie J. Antonio News

Today, Senate Democratic Leader Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Assistant Democratic Leader Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) gave sponsor testimony on Senate Bill 69, their legislation to designate Ohio Doula Awareness Week.

“Doulas play a critical role in reducing stress and uncertainty during pregnancy, which can significantly impact the health of the parent and their baby,” said Antonio. “We should be working to increase awareness and educate Ohioans about doulas and their services as a long-term strategy toward improving the health and wellness of moms and their babies.”

S.B. 69 would designate the week including March 22 as Ohio Doula Awareness Week. Studies have shown that women who receive doula care have a 22% lower chance of a preterm birth. In Ohio and across the country, infant and maternal mortality rates are disproportionately higher for women of color. Doula care has the potential to mitigate disparities in maternal health by providing personalized emotional support and advocacy.

“This legislation is a critical first step toward acknowledging the dedication and hard work of doulas everywhere,” said Craig. “We must continue to support Ohio doulas as they work with parents to improve birth outcomes and address health disparities.”

Senate Bill 69 now awaits further hearings in the Senate Health Committee.