a. Definitions. For the purposes of this section, “doula” means a trained person who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a pregnant person and the family before, during or shortly after childbirth, for the purpose of assisting a pregnant person through the birth experience; or a trained person who supports the family of a newborn during the first days and weeks after childbirth, providing evidence-based information, practical help, and advice to the family on newborn care, self-care, and nurturing of the new family unit.

b. No later than June 30, 2019, the department shall submit to the speaker of the council and post on its website a plan to increase access to doulas for pregnant people in the city, including relevant timelines and strategies. In developing such plan, the department shall assess data regarding the needs of pregnant people and may consider the following factors:

1. The demand for doulas in the city;

2. The number of doulas in the city and any appropriate qualifications;

3. Existing city and community-based programs that provide doula services, including whether such programs offer training for doulas;

4. The availability of doula services that are low-cost, affordable, or free to the mother or pregnant person;

5. Areas or populations within the city in which residents experience disproportionately low access to doulas;

6. Areas or populations within the city in which residents experience disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality, cesarean birth, infant mortality, and other poor birth outcomes;

7. The average cost of doula services, and whether such services may be covered by an existing health plan or benefit; and

8. Any other information on the use of doulas and benefits associated with the use of doulas.

Such plan shall additionally list the factors considered in development of the plan.

c. No later than June 30, 2019, and on or before June 30 every year thereafter, the department shall submit to the speaker of the council and post on its website a report on the following information:

1. Known city and community-based programs that provide doula services, including whether such programs offer training for doulas;

2. Areas or populations within the city in which residents experience disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality, infant mortality, and other poor birth outcomes; and

3. Any updated information regarding implementation of the plan required by subdivision b of this section since the prior annual report.