I have never really understood what the difference is between a doula and a midwife. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve decided, after birthing two children, it was time that I figure it out.
One of my really good friends is a doula and I know that she is awesome but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not exactly sure what she actually does. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one of those cases where weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been friends for so long now that if I asked her to explain what she actually does it would be almost as insulting and offensive as asking what her husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name is.
Yes, I know his name, in case you were wondering.
A woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth.
Hold the phone! SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been holding out on me. I could have used her at both of my births. Serves me right for not knowing what she does for a living.
A registered nurse with additional training as a midwife who is certified to deliver infants and provide prenatal and postpartum care, newborn care, and some routine care (as gynecological exams) of women.
If I understand correctly, a doula is a woman who has actually given birth and provides the laboring mother with support before, during and after giving birth. A nurse-midwife is a medically trained nurse who is certified to deliver babies and can be of medical assistance throughout your pregnancy and during your postpartum time period.
Both sound like good ideas.
If I had to choose though I would go with the doula for the same reason that I normally only see female obstetricians and gynecologists; I want someone who understands what it feels like to go through having their feet in the stirrups.
I just feel like there is an added measure of understanding and sympathy given and perhaps even quality of care by someone who has actually been through the experience of childbirth themselves – firsthand.
Did you have a doula or a midwife? What was the deciding factor?
Photo Source: GregoryRAllen