Do I need a doctor/midwife AND a doula?
Updated: Sep 2, 2022
So, you hired a midwife for your home or hospital birth. Do you still need a doula?
Or maybe you are going with your favorite OBGYN. Did you know that a doula is not the same as a midwife.
A midwife is a MEDICAL Professional who is in charge of you and your baby's health. They do clinical skills such as cervical checks. blood pressure, fetal heart monitoring.
A doula is a birth professional. Who, or at least I, have hours of training and knowledge to help guide and support moms and families during the pregnancy and birthing process.
What does that mean? What is a doula? Well, there are many benefits to having a doula. According to research, there are lots!
Here is what the numbers say - 25% shorter labor - 60% reduction in epidural requests - 40% reduction in forceps delivery - 50% reduction in the cesarean rate - Reduced incidence of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders ("Mothering the Mother" by Marshall H. Kalau, M.D.; John H. Kennel, M.D.; and Phyllis H. Klaus, M.Ed., C.S.W.)
Doulas support medicated AND unmedicated births. There is no birth too high-risk or too low-risk. We do NOT manage the medical side at all. In fact the higher risk often the higher the stress and often the more support you will need.
As much as I LOVE my clients I am not mom, I am not dad, I am not Grandma. So if something isn't going as planned I am able to take that step back and make sure you are being HEARD!
Have you ever heard someone's birth story, or maybe even your own, where they say and this happened and this and this and all of a sudden it was over and I don't know what happened! I never want my clients to feel that way. Sometimes things change, I can't promise you it won't happen, but I can promise to be there and make sure you have ALL of the information before making any choices.
So while doulas are not doctors or midwives we are a very valuable and worthwhile part of any birthing team! I am not there to replace dad or the doctor. I am there to make sure you can look back at your birthing experience with positive memories! It is completely out of scope and inappropriate for me to go against medical advice and I don't want to make doctors' or midwives' or nurses' jobs harder. It should never be doctor vs midwife. We are all on your team the difference is I am able to stay in the room with you and navigate things when you aren't sure which way to go.
We are doulas also provide emotional reassurance, experience, and knowledge on ways to keep labor progressing. If you want to birth on your head - I will do my best to help you get there. If vaginal exams terrify you - I will hold your hand and guide your breathing until it's done.
Where matters of safety are concerned your midwife or doctor is in charge and I would never want you or your baby in danger. So we yield to them while making sure you have all of the information!
Let's keep the conversation going! Have questions? Reach out!