So, you're a Birth Doula. Is that like a Midwife?
By asking that, are you asking if I am desperately passionate about the care that women receive during pregnancy and after delivery?
Then yes, I am exactly like a midwife.
But no, I'm not at all. We have totally different jobs.
There are a few misconceptions about our place in the delivery room, and many doulas have taken the opportunity to explore in depth. Here are a couple stereotypes that I am going to completely debunk.
Doulas Give Advice on Medical Care
When someone chooses to work with a midwife, then they are choosing her care in the place of a doctor. Both midwife and doctor fill the same role in being a lifeguard to the health and safety of the mom and baby, they just provide different models of maternity care. Just like the doctor would, the midwife will be the one to monitor the baby and mom throughout the pregnancy and delivery to assure a healthy birth. Midwives work in a hospital environment, in a birth center and can attend births in their client's home.
A doula's sole job is to provide a calm, educated, stable and confident presence for her clients. We may be witness to many medical procedures, but are not participatory in anything medical. We are well-versed in the normalcy for both home and hospital births, and can help a client discover and explore options in both locations, but we never give medical advice.
Our only input on medical advice is, "How do you feel about that option, choice, procedure, opinion? Would you like some more information on the risks, benefits and alternatives? How can I support you through this decision?"
Doulas Only Support Natural Home Birth
Many, many times most people assume that because I am a doula and own an agency filled with other doulas, that we are spending most of our time attending natural home births. Natural home births are beautiful, but really, so is every other birth, and each one is deserving of compassionate and unbiased support.
Since we are hired by the client, we will follow them wherever they choose to give birth.
- We love supporting moms through a natural home birth.
- Our doulas adore supporting families through an unmedicated hospital birth.
- The care we provide is perfect during the placement of an epidural and helping everyone stay connected throughout the rest of labor.
- We provide valuable, educated, calm and confident support during a planned or unplanned cesarean.
How you feel about and experience your birth is important to us. We will maintain a remarkable emotional and physical connection to you throughout your pregnancy, birth and even postpartum. We deeply care about our clients and their experiences.
But we aren't connected to your medical decisions.
Do you see the difference? It doesn't matter to us if you choose interventions, change your birth plan mid-birth, plan for an epidural from the beginning or elect to bring your baby into the world via cesarean. All the stats of doulas reducing intervention don't mean anything if you feel you need that intervention.
If you previously thought a doula and a midwife were the same, or you never knew that a doula would hold your hand during an epidural, then you need to sit down with one of our teams of doulas for a complimentary consultation. I promise we are the perfect addition to the birth you plan however that looks.