Doula vs. Midwife
Okay, “vs.” may be the wrong word, because Doulas and Midwives are not pitted against each other. In fact, both can be integral parts of your birthing team!
We get asked these questions ALL the time:
If I have a midwife, do I really need a doula too?
The answer is yes! A midwife and a doula have two completely different but complementary roles during birth, and in most cases, you would have both a doula AND a midwife or OB.
Doulas and midwives are the same, right? 🤷🏻♀️
Not true! This is a common mistake that people make is thinking that doulas and midwives are the same. Basically, a Midwife = medical practitioner and a Doula = support person.
The LOW DOWN:
A midwife is a medical professional who actually delivers your baby. 👶 Midwives also provide medical care throughout pregnancy as well. 👩⚕️They are there to make sure mom and baby are safe and are trained to take the appropriate steps to ensure their safety throughout care. Midwives arrive when you are in active labor, as they need to be rested and alert to perform the tasks needed with a clear mind. They perform tasks such as monitoring fetal heart tones, vaginal exams, and catching the baby. Though they can offer physical/emotional support during labor, their primary role is ensuring the safety of mom & baby.
A birth doula is a non-medical professional who provides physical 💪, educational 📚and informational support throughout pregnancy, labor, birth, and immediately afterward. The bottom line is doulas are not healthcare providers. They do not perform any medical tasks or give medical advice. A doula's support is strictly emotional, informational, and physical. Doulas arrive to help you with labor *as soon as you need them*!! This can be in early labor or later. They also can help with prodromal (false) labor.
A doula can be such an amazing asset to your birthing team, especially if a partner or other loved ones can’t be there to support you! They can also help your partner to be more involved if they are thereby showing them how they can help.
Although each play different roles, they are both incredibly important. Combined, they make an amazing birth team caring for you and your baby! If, however, you can't or choose not to have a midwife, you can still have a doula. Whether it be a homebirth, birth center, or hospital birth.
Did you have a doula and/or midwife at your birth? Share your experience with us!