Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office announced Monday that the state is trying to expand a pilot program to allow Medicaid to cover the use of doula, birthing coaches, to help deliver babies.

Doulas are birthing coaches who provide women with physical and emotional support during pregnancy and childbirth. 

According to the governor's office, the expansion would help address the high rate of maternal mortality among black women in New York state. A study shows they are four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women.

The coverage expansion is one part of plans the state says it has to improve labor and delivery outcomes for black mothers.