Walmart has introduced a doula benefit under which employees in Georgia can avail of doula services, up to $1,000 per pregnancy. Doulas are trained professionals who lend emotional and physical support to expecting mothers and their families, and also help with housework and child care after the arrival of the baby. Though they are not medical professionals, their presence and care is relied on by most working women in the US, who end up spending a lot on these indispensable services.
The American multinational retail chain has decided to pay for doula services, covering an amount of up to $1,000, provided the doula comes from either one of two known agencies, DONA International or the National Black Doulas Association.
This move is part of Walmart’s ‘Life with Baby’ initiative, which has been rolled out in Georgia alone for now, which is a state that experiences a maternal mortality rate of 27.7 deaths per 100,000 births, which is very high, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. This programme from Walmart is hoped to help ensure healthier pregnancies and birth of healthier babies, creating a positive impact on the workforce and the larger community.
This benefit will be in addition to the 16-week paid parental leave that is offered to all eligible employees in the US. In case employees adopt a child, the Company reimburses up to $5,000 to cover related costs.
The retail chain runs about 10,500 stores and clubs across 24 countries, offering a source of livelihood to more than 2.2 million-plus associates, globally.