As a soon-to-be parent, you’ll be introduced to a whole new world of prenatal classes, pregnancy advice books and terminology you’ve never heard before. It can be a pretty daunting time, especially as the strain on your body grows every day and hormones start raging. Luckily, there are trained people who are there throughout your pregnancy, birth, and even after. You are not alone by any stretch.
Two types of experts can help you through your pregnancy. One of those is a midwife, and the other is a doula.
You’ll be forgiven for not hearing of a doula before, not many of us do until the time comes to need one. But why have a doula AND a midwife? Both of these professionals have a different role to play in your pregnancy as well as different qualifications and skills. Let’s talk through them.
Doula services are invaluable to a woman during pregnancy. Doula literally means “woman’s servant” in Greek, and they are there to be your support, friend and confidant over the nine-month period.
A doula is not medically trained, and therefore is not a substitute for a doctor or midwife. There are two types of doulas: birth and postpartum, although some carry out both services. You can use a doula as a friend during pregnancy; they will give you advice, help you out when you are struggling and will come up with a labor plan with you. They are ideal for expecting mothers who don’t have a partner.
During birth, a doula will be present to offer relaxing breathing techniques, to keep you talking and distracted, and to help you move into different positions throughout labor. And in postpartum, they can provide you advice and support in those first few weeks of motherhood.
A midwife is, of course, the person who will deliver your baby alongside a doctor. They are medically trained and can perform gynecology exams, conduct ultrasounds, provide you with painkillers throughout labor ,and advise you on which method of birthing to choose.
A midwife’s primary duty is to provide medical care for pregnant women, to detect any abnormalities or medical issues throughout pregnancy, and to perform emergency procedures when necessary.
Unlike doulas, midwives undergo training, education, and clinical work experience before becoming certified.
Do I Have To Choose?
As discussed, both of these professionals have their own merits and benefits for an expecting mother. A doula acts as a friend, keeping you calm and informed throughout the pregnancy and helping you decide what your best options are for birthing, while a midwife offers medical care and looks after the well-being of you and your unborn child throughout pregnancy. They teach prenatal classes and perform medical procedures.
You can choose to have both of these aids present throughout pregnancy because they both offer something that the other cannot. Having trained professionals like these present throughout the nine-month period will put your mind at ease and allow you to enjoy your pregnancy and birth. They can also make your life easier as a parent once the birth is over.
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