A new first-of-its-kind study found that expectant mothers who use doulas during pregnancy have a lower risk of poor birth outcomes.

Medicaid has since expanded coverage of doula services for low-income mothers. Doulas provide emotional support to expectant mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.

A new study from the University of Minnesota found that mothers, especially low-income mothers, who receive guidance from doulas are less likely to have a pre-term birth or a costly C-section.

"Those are the women that tend to be at the highest risk of poor birth outcomes. They also tend to be women whose births are covered by Medicaid. And as taxpayers, we all finance our state Medicaid program, and for our own sakes, looking for coverage of services that provide value, is really important," said professor Katy Kazhimannil, who authored the study.

(Copyright (c) 2016 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox