New coverage for doula services

A doula can play an important role in your pregnancy

Trained and certified doulas provide emotional, physical, and educational support before, during, and after childbirth to help ensure your experience is as healthy and positive as possible. A doula works directly for you. They are not part of your medical team and don’t provide medical care. Instead, doulas can:

  • Answer questions about birthing options so you can make informed and empowered decisions
  • Teach you how to communicate effectively with your healthcare providers
  • Offer suggestions and physical support to ease discomfort during labor
  • Provide continuous reassurance and encouragement during labor and delivery
  • Ensure your birthing partner knows how to support you—and feels supported as well
  • Explain medical procedures so you know what is happening and why
  • Help you adjust to your new role (or newly expanded role) as a parent

All Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) fully insured health plans include the following coverage for doula services:

  • Prenatal visits – up to 3 visits
  • Labor and delivery – 1 encounter
  • Postnatal visits (up to the first 12 months postpartum) – up to 3 visits

Some self-funded health plans may also include coverage for doula services. If you get your health insurance through work and aren’t sure what type of plan you have, speak with your employer or call BCBSRI customer service at the number listed on the back of your member ID card.

Need to find a doula?

Here are three websites* that feature Rhode Island-based doulas:

You can also call (401) 459-2273 and ask to speak with a member of the BCBSRI maternity care management team. They can help with questions about doulas or other pregnancy-related needs.

Is a doula right for you?

Here are some answers to common questions.

Doulas can provide emotional, physical, and educational support to someone who is expecting or has recently given birth.

  • Prior to birth, doulas can help you develop a birth plan and teach you breathing and relaxation techniques.
  • During labor, doulas can offer physical support through massage and breathing and relaxation techniques, as well as be a source of continuous comfort and encouragement.
  • Doulas can help communicate with the medical staff during labor if you are unable to or uncomfortable doing so.
  • Some doulas are able to help with your transition to home by providing encouragement and support to all family members, assisting with breastfeeding education, and showing family members how to assist the mother.

Most plans include doula coverage; however, some self-funded plans do not include this coverage. Speak with your employer or call the customer service number listed on the back of your BCBSRI ID card if you are unsure about your plan.

For each pregnancy, coverage includes the following doula services:

  • Prenatal visits – up to 3 visits
  • Labor and delivery – 1 encounter
  • Postnatal visits (up to the first 12 months postpartum) – up to 3 visits

All fully insured plans, whether provided through your employer or purchased directly from BCBSRI or through HealthSource RI, include this coverage. Self-funded plans might not include doula coverage, so check with your employer or BCBSRI customer service.

*The links provided are to external entities not affiliated with BCBSRI, and are intended for informational purposes only. Providing these links is not an endorsement or referral of a particular provider or organization. BCBSRI cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in the links provided and shall not be liable for any losses, damages, or uncovered charges as a result of using the information provided in the links. Coverage is subject to BCBSRI policy and member benefit plan terms and conditions.

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