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What’s the difference between a midwife and a doula?

I've heard of both a midwife and doula. Are they different and what do they do?


I've heard of both a midwife and doula. Are they different and what do they do?

The Bump Expert

Midwives and doulas seem similar, since they’re both people -- who aren’t OBs -- who help women through labor. And they are both most commonly chosen by moms-to-be who go drug-free during their delivery. But their roles in the childbirth process are actually quite different. A midwife is more of a health care provider and a doula is more of a childbirth coach. You might choose to have a midwife instead of an OB for prenatal care and to deliver your baby -- midwives can deliver babies in hospitals, birthing centers or even in your home. A doula, on the other hand, doesn’t replace your healthcare practitioner but rather can add extra services, such as helping you with techniques to manage pain during labor and even providing support and help during baby’s early days. Isn’t it great there are so many people who can help you though?

Plus, more from The Bump:

What's a Nurse-Midwife?

Whats a Doula?

All You Need to Know About Labor and Delivery

The Bump Editors

What’s the difference between a midwife and a doula?

I am a birth doula and I always explain the difference like this...a doula is there to provide emotional, physical and educational support during pregnancy and labor. Doula's do not do any medical procedures. A midwife is there to provide mainly medical support and will manage the health care aspects for mom and baby during pregnancy and birth. Having a doula is one of the best things moms can do for themselves during pregnancy. Doula aren't just for moms going natural! There a many amazing benefits of having a doula for moms planning to use pain medications, etc during labor!

ajmom2two |

What’s the difference between a midwife and a doula?

I had a midwife attending the hospital birth of my son. Midwives can handle everything from the moment you find out you're expecting until the post-partum care of mom - including the delivery of the baby. Some work in hospitals, others at birthing centers, and still others help moms who dream of having home births. Some in the field will offer multiple options to you. A doula is someone who is there for your support during labor, delivery, and the initial post-partum period. A doula provides support and is essentially a specially trained birthing coach. It's more like having a personal trainer to help push you through the most excruciating workout of your life. Doulas are there as support to you while you are in labor, as well as supporting and helping your partner/husband/other labor/delivery attendees support you. They can act as a liaison between hospital and/or birthing center staff and you as well as educate you from an unbiased viewpoint about any procedures, risks, or problems that arise.

prplhrtwife |