Me: “Im studying to become a midwife!”
Everyone else: “So that’s like the same thing as a doula right?…”
Like a lot of topics in the birth community, there is a HUGE misconception and lack of information about the differences between midwives and doulas. Both have crucial jobs for moms-to-be who choose to go drug-free during delivery but their specific roles vary quite a bit.
It’s so amazing that we as women in the 20th century have the option for so many types of care providers during our pregnancy! OB’s, midwives, doulas, you name it! A midwife is a health care provider (licensed or non-licensed…more on this later) who’s role is to aid in the delivery of your baby at home, hospital or a birthing center.
OB’s remain the go-to for pre-natal health care but midwifery is on the rise! More women today are opting for the most natural options and the ability to make their own choices. If this is something that interests you then it is important to hire a midwife. A midwife is skilled in creating a birthing experience that is tailored to your personal preferences and needs. Midwives approach pregnancy as a normal non-medical event that can empower a woman to make informed and educated choices during her entire pregnancy and birth journey. It is the goal of the midwife to rely on her intuition and knowledge to prevent undesired medical procedures such as the use of Pitocin, c-sections, episiotomies and more.
The role of a midwife is similar to that of an obstetrician. She is able to provide pre-natal care, aid fully during the birthing process, provide postpartum care, manage a skilled emergency intervention, diagnose based on the mother and baby’s well being and most importantly is a resource for others in her community.
In comparison, let’s look at a doula as your coach. The doula does not replace your chosen care provider but instead they add extra support and care during your labor to help with natural pain management techniques and provide further support during your days as a new mom in the postpartum period. Doula’s are a non-medical support option that focus on the emotional, physical and informational parts of childbirth.
A doula is unable to monitor your labor or deliver your baby and does not have any input in the delivery decision making. Doulas are an amazing option to have by your side while in labor and it has been shown that using a doula can decrease the duration of labor, decrease the chance of the need for a c-section and provides an overall more enjoyable birthing experience!
I personally did not use a doula during my labor as my partner was all the support I needed along with 2 amazing midwives by my side. Would love to know about your experience using either a doula or a midwife! For more information subscribe below to sign up for email alerts. Thanks for reading and happy birth!
Love and light,