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•  Lisa Woods, Walmart's Vice President, Physical and Emotional Well-being, blog posted this week about the company's nationwide expansion of the availability of doula services to Walmart employees.

Doulas, Woods writes, "are experts who are trained to support mothers leading up to and throughout the labor and delivery process, and must be credentialed through either DONA International or the National Black Doulas Association (NBDA) … Doula services are proven to have a positive impact on the well-being of both mother and child, from reduced cesarean sections, premature deliveries and labor length to general mental well-being, reducing anxiety and stress.

"Doulas are especially important in health care deserts where access to the right care may be limited. According to the NBDA, having a doula as part of a birthing team can decrease cesarean sections by 50%, shorten the time of labor by 25%, and decrease the need for other medical interventions by well over 50%."

Woods writes that "over the past two years, we introduced doula services for our associates as part of a pilot program in four states - Georgia, Louisiana, Indiana and Illinois - providing access to affordable and equitable health care aimed at improved maternal and infant health."  The nationwide expansion reflects the success of the program.