Further to that, doulas are often asked how they work with midwives, and if there is even a need for them if the expecting mama has a midwife.
So, what are the differences? Well, a doula does not conduct any medical testing or provide any medical advice for your care. Doulas are an emotional and mental support system for you and your partner during pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum. While we work in the same holistic philosophy and have a similar approach, the limitations of care for a doula are different.
It is not uncommon for a midwife to have more than one mom in labour, whether it be a hospital or home birth. Doulas, on the other hand, typically have one client at a time to ensure that they are emotionally and mentally there for you and you alone. We stay with you throughout the duration of your labor, and our attention is fully yours.
The services of a midwife and doula compliment one another really well. We speak the same language, believe in an empowered birth experience, and want nothing more than to let your body do what it was made for, providing you the support you request and require throughout your process.
A doula is also there to help support your partner, so that they can best support you. This is something that is often overlooked as doulas are seen as the primary birth partner, however we are there to assist both you and your partner mentally and emotionally. Partners sometimes feel scared and overwhelmed by the process, and are worried that they won't know how to support their labouring partner. That's where a doula comes in to reassure, support and connect the dots.
If you have a midwife, you're already on the path to an empowered birth. Consider adding a doula to your care; someone who can help with the physical demands on labour, provide comfort measures and distractions, and emotionally support you in times of crisis should you experience them.