Pregnancy comes with a whole lot of surprises, excitement, joy, and also a bit of anxiety, especially for first-time moms.
During this significant period, parents-to-be must understand what they are facing and who they will require during their pregnancy journey. You may have come across the terms doula and midwife, and wondered which would suit you best during your pregnancy.
In this blog, we shall discuss the differences between doula vs midwife: what they do, their roles during your pregnancy journey, and how they can support you.
What is a doula?
A doula is a professional who offers physical, emotional, and practical support to expectant mothers, but does not provide any medical care. Doulas can only offer support that does not go beyond their scope, as they are not medical professionals.
They can work alongside midwives or obstetricians, or any other medical professional you have chosen to provide prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. Doulas usually offer extra support and may play a significant role in a birthing mother’s pain management, relaxation techniques, and emotional support.
What is a midwife?
A midwife is a medical professional who offers primary care to expectant mothers, including prenatal, birth, and postpartum care. A midwife can provide you with prenatal care, help you with labor, and deliver your baby at home, a birthing center or a hospital.
Unlike a doctor, a midwife enters your pregnancy journey to offer guidance, support and build a trusting relationship with you. Midwives usually work on natural and minimally invasive methods of care, including the use of herbal remedies and ensuring the least medical intervention.
How they compare
The primary difference between a doula vs midwife is that doulas do not provide medical care, while midwives provide medical care.
Though doulas don’t offer medical care, the relationship formed between the mother and the doula contributes significantly to the overall birth experience.
A midwife, on the other hand, will provide all medical care during your pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum periods, taking charge of your medical needs, and ensuring a safe and healthy delivery process.
Who to choose for your prenatal care?
Choosing between doula vs midwife can be a challenging journey. It is essential to have a clear understanding of what you need and how comfortable you feel with medical care.
If you are looking for extra emotional and physical support during your pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum stage, a doula may be the best option. If your preference is for medical care, then you should opt for a midwife.
The choice of whether to choose a doula vs midwife ultimately depends on what you need and are comfortable with. If you want flexible support, prefer natural birthing plans, and a closer relationship with your care provider, a midwife might suit you best.
However, if you seek non-medical support, prefer a more holistic approach to your pregnancy experience, look for someone to advocate for you in the delivery room, and provide after-birth support, a doula may be the right choice for you.
Whatever choice you make, ensure to discuss with your partner and educate yourself as much as possible to make an informed decision.