NEW YORK (AP) – Walmart will expand health care coverage for employees who want to use a doula, a person trained to assist women during pregnancies, in an effort to address racial inequities in maternal care.
After first offering doulas to employees in Georgia last year, Walmart said Wednesday that it will expand the same benefit to its employees in Louisiana, Indiana and Illinois.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women.
Walmart said it chose to extend coverage to states where the impact would be immediate. It said the mortality rate in Louisiana is five times higher for Black mothers than it is for white mothers and that in Indiana, 33 counties don’t have OB-GYN services.