Benefits and Covered Services

Doula Services

As of January 1, 2023, doula services will be a covered Medi-Cal benefit. You can now get support from a doula (birth worker) at no cost. Doula services are for prenatal (before birth) and postpartum (after pregnancy) visits. You may have a doula during labor and birth, miscarriage, or abortion visits.

You may have a doula at any setting such as:

Your home

An office visit

A hospital

A birth center

The California Department of Healthcare Services (DHCS) defines doulas as birth workers. Doulas support people before, during, and after pregnancy. Doulas are not licensed, and they do not require supervision. They can help you:

  • Talk about your health care with your providers
  • Get health education
  • Get physical, emotional, and other support that is not medical

What doula services are covered?

  • First checkup (1 visit)
  • Up to 8 more visits before, during, or after pregnancy
  • Support during labor and birth, stillbirth, abortion, or miscarriage
  • Up to 2 sets of 3-hour visits after the end of a pregnancy

You can only get doula services during:

  • Pregnancy
  • Labor and birth, including stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Abortion
  • Within 1 year of the end of your pregnancy

Frequently Asked Questions

Doula Services

You can reach out to a SFHP doula directly for care.
To find a SFHP doula, search the Provider Directory. Follow these steps:

  1. First press the “Search” button at the top of the page.
  2. Next select “Provider Category” in the drop-down menu on the right side of the screen.
  3. Select “Doula” from the drop-down menu. Press “search” to find our list of SFHP doulas.

SFHP aims to have a diverse group of doulas who can reflect your culture and can serve your needs.

  • Belly binding (traditional/ceremonial)
  • Birthing ceremonies (e.g., sealing, closing the bones, etc.)
  • Diagnosing a medical condition
  • Group classes on carrying your baby
  • Massage
  • Photos
  • Giving medical advice
  • Making pills from placenta
  • Shopping
  • Vaginal steams
  • Yoga
  • Or any type of health assessment, exam, or procedure

Doulas cannot give more services that are already covered by Medi-Cal. Your Primary Care Provider* (PCP), midwife, obstetrician (pregnancy doctor) may give you more services. Or they can refer you to a provider who can offer you more services. This may include, but is not limited to:

*Your Primary Care Provider (PCP) is your doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner in charge of your health care.

Doula Access

Call SFHP Customer Service at 1(800) 288-5555 or 1(415) 547-7800, TTY 1(888) 883-7347.

Cost & Interpreter Services

Yes. Please contact your doula to arrange for an interpreter during your appointments. You may also contact Customer Service at 1(415) 547-7800 (weekdays from 8:30am – 5:30pm), TTY 1(888) 883-7347 if you need help finding a doula.

Member Eligibility

You can get a doula if you have SFHP Medi-Cal and are pregnant right now or were pregnant in the past year. Doula care is for any person having an abortion, miscarriage, still birth, or live birth.

You can get 1 doula visit per day. You can only have 1 doula visit at a time unless it is during labor and birth. On the day of labor and birth, 1 prenatal (before birth) visit or 1 postpartum (after birth) visit can also be given. This visit can be for stillbirth, abortion, or miscarriage support. This visit can also be given by a different doula.

You can only have 1 doula at a time for each service. But you may have more than 1 doula who gives you support at different stages of your pregnancy. For example, you may have 1 doula who gives you support during your pregnancy and another doula who gives support during labor and birth, or after pregnancy. Each doula will have to be an SFHP partner.


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