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Stork Club announces Doula Network

On the topic of commercial insurance–  Stork Club, a pioneering family-building benefits solution, announced today that its proprietary Birth Doula program is available under commercial insurance coverage across the US.
Dr. Ellen Tilden, Phd/CNM and I have been working on this program for the last year and are excited to see it launch. 

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Stork Club, a pioneering family-building benefits solution, announced today that its proprietary Birth Doula program is available under commercial insurance coverage across the US. Stork Club is the first provider in the US to offer managed birth doula care under employer-sponsored health plans. Given their commitment to cost-effective, evidence-based care, Stork Club also announced the results of the study, currently under peer review in a leading academic journal, indicate that Stork Club doula care was associated with a 45% reduction in unnecessary c-sections and a 58% reduction in preterm births compared to national averages.

We have a maternal health crisis and a maternal health equity crisis. While CDC data shows an overall increase in maternal mortality rates, birthing people of the BIPOC community are up to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications and experience severe maternal morbidity. They are more likely to experience mistreatment by healthcare providers during childbirth. This maternal health crisis and maternal health equity crisis has only worsened during the pandemic

Birth doulas improve maternal outcomes. Doulas are trained non-clinical birth companions who provide continuous emotional, physical, and informational support throughout pregnancy, advocating for them in the hospital during labor and delivery, and helping them through the postpartum period. Studies have shown doula services to be associated with better birth outcomes, such as lower rates of cesarean sections, shorter periods of labor, fewer instances of instrument-assisted birth, fewer babies born underweight, better Apgar scores, and more breastfeeding.

Health plans have not covered doulas. Recognized as a first-line, high-impact solution, doula care is being implemented in many states under Medicaid. However, until now, individuals covered by employer-sponsored health plans were left out: finding, vetting, and paying for doula services out of pocket was their only choice. 

Stork Club offers the first managed doula program integrated into employer-sponsored health plans. With Stork Club, for the first time in the US, birthing persons now can have access to a vetted network of birth doulas, a comprehensive clinically designed package of services that includes messaging, virtual and onsite visits at home, and in the labor room. All care coordination and doula matching are available through the Stork Club digital platform. Importantly, Stork Club’s doula network includes vetted Black, Hispanic, Asian, and doulas with other diverse identities and lived experiences, which to meet the needs of pregnant persons better.

A study of Stork Club’s program shows a substantial reduction in preterm births and unnecessary C-sections, resulting in lower overall maternity care costs. In addition to the growing body of evidence showing how doula care is associated with better perinatal outcomes at lower maternity costs and improved birthing experience and birth-related outcomes for people of color in underserved communities, Stork Club has submitted their own study, “Improving employee perinatal outcomes via Stork Club Doula Care” that is undergoing peer review at the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM). Based on the study’s results, birthing persons who used Stork Club Birth Doula care experienced 45% fewer Cesarean births and 58% fewer preterm births (vs. US national averages). Stork Club projects a health plan 165% ROI with the program.

“There is strong evidence to suggest that doula care is a cost-effective approach to significantly improving maternal/child outcomes, and our study of the Stork Club Birth Doula program aligns with this overall body of research. Given our current maternal health and maternal health equity crisis, we need to advance impactful and evidence-based healthcare systems solutions within commercial insurance,” — commented Ellen Tilden, Associate Professor at Oregon Health & Science University and Clinical Director, Maternity Care at Stork Club.

“It’s critical that birthing people of all races have access to vetted doulas to support them through all childbearing stages to help address the growing maternal mortality rate and racial disparities in care,” said Jeni Mayorskaya, founder and CEO at Stork Club. “At Stork Club, we believe that by providing evidence-based and culturally relevant tailored care, we can help save lives and significantly reduce overall maternity care costs.”

Employers can add Stork Club Birth Doula care in a seamless implementation process as a part of their health plan in addition to the full suite of family-building benefits Stork Club offers, including fertility benefits (e.g., egg freezing, IVF), child adoption, pregnancy, and postpartum support.

To learn more about Stork Club and the Birth Doula program, visit the company’s blog.

About Stork Club

Stork Club modernizes access to inclusive family-building care for all and gives people the freedom to plan their future on their own terms. We extend traditional employer-sponsored benefits to provide access to support, personalized guidance, high-performing medical care and a network of providers to achieve their family goals. Stork Club offers end-to-end solutions with support at all stages of the journey, including natural conception, IVF, fertility preservation, adoption, and surrogacy as well as prenatal and postpartum support, newborn care and return back-to-work coaching. Employers choose to add Stork Club to their benefits health plan to provide more inclusive support for their people while significantly reducing overall maternity costs ($130B per year in the US). Founded in 2018 and headquartered in San Francisco, Stork Club has raised $32.7M from investors, including General Catalyst, Bowery Capital, and Slow Ventures. To learn more, visit:

Kelsey O’Shaughnessy
BLASTmedia for Stork Club

SOURCE Stork Club

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