State Rep. Mai Xiong (D-Warren), right, discusses her legislation with fellow legislators on the House Floor on May 3, 2024, in the Michigan Capitol Building.

LANSING, Mich., June 24, 2024 — State Rep. Mai Xiong (D-Warren) proudly introduced a bill to establish a doula scholarship program to support individuals in training to become doulas in Michigan. House Bill 5826 would specifically aid aspiring doulas who face financial hardship, opening pathways for more accessible doula training in the state. This bipartisan legislation would grant scholarship recipients up to $3,000 toward their training, empowering individuals to pursue meaningful careers as doulas while simultaneously improving maternal health across the state.

“Whether it be providing physical, emotional or informational support, doulas are a crucial resource for a positive birthing experience, particularly for Black mothers,” Xiong said. “I am proud to introduce a bill that invests in that resource, giving aspiring doulas ample access to the training they need to provide a safe labor and delivery experience.”

Doulas are non-medical professionals who provide advocacy, support and expertise to expecting mothers during labor. Research shows that doulas can significantly reduce cesarean sections, preterm birth and other complications, leading to better health outcomes for both mothers and babies. Other legislation introduced this term to improve outcomes for new and expectant mothers is allowing Medicaid to cover doula services and increasing screenings for high blood pressure and postpartum depression.

“Today, my children accompanied me as I proudly championed a policy that will uplift and support mothers,” Xiong continued. “I am grateful to have shared this moment with them as I introduced legislation that prioritizes women’s rights to comfort and autonomy during childbirth.”