Do you know the differences between a doula and a midwife? Do you know how doulas and midwives work together for you during pregnancy, birth, and afterward? There are a few misconceptions out there about doulas and midwives, and we want to clear it up a little bit! Here are a few myths we have encountered, and what the reality is.
Myth 1: Doulas and midwives are the same thing.
Doulas are not midwives, and although some midwives may occasionally act like a doula in certain situations, their primary focus is really on the physical health and safety of mom and baby. Doulas don't catch babies, or perform any medical tasks, including making care plans, checking your cervix, or monitoring heart tones. The primary role of the doula is to keep you and your partner comfortable, whether that is through hands-on techniques, or through communication tools to help you navigate your choices and options, and your feelings about those experiences! Doulas are the ones you can call and chat for an hour about all of your questions and concerns after your appointments, and help you figure out how you want to move forward, with the options your midwife has laid out for you.
Myth 2: If I have a midwife, I don't need a doula.
We are super excited if you have a midwife, but having one doesn't mean you couldn't benefit from a doula to! Many parents are surprised to find out that midwives, especially in the hospital, don't spend the entire labor with you. They are mostly behind-the-scenes until it comes time to push. It's not because they don't want to be with you necessarily, either, but because they have many other things to attend to, including other patients. Doulas, in contrast, provide the continuous support and care so many families crave, including even laboring with you at home for a while before heading to the hospital if desired! Because doulas and midwives perform two different roles during pregnancy, labor, and birth, together they create an awesome team for you.