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The Different Roles of a Doula and a Midwife

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Whether you’re expecting your first, second or fifth child, each process is as unique and special as the child and no two pregnancies are exactly alike. As you create a birth plan and make room for baby, you may have considered looking into the services of a midwife and/or a doula Tampa. While each assist women during pregnancy and childbirth, their roles are vastly different. 

Doula

The word “doula” is a Greek word meaning “for women,” and that is precisely what role a doula plays. Doulas act as a support system for women during their pregnancies and into childbirth, focusing primarily on the mother. Before labor actually starts, doula and mother meet and begin to discuss her pregnancy. How does she feel? What is she worried about? Does she have any concerns about childbirth? Her doula acts as a sort of pregnancy therapist, using natural techniques to calm her down and help her relax. While doulas do not offer any medical assistance during pregnancy, emotional support is the foundation of their work. 

During childbirth, a doula will stay with the mother and continue to be an additional support system with her partner. They will provide techniques like breathing exercises, labor positions and massage to help naturally alleviate the labor pains.

Midwife

Midwives also assist pregnant women, but they are licensed professionals who can provide medical assistance. Though the amount of medical care they can offer depends on their training and level of certification, all midwives are certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. Some choose to obtain their nursing degree as well, making them licensed nurse-midwives. Midwives will do things like pelvic exams and wellness checks for women during and after pregnancy, as well as actually deliver the baby when the time comes. They are usually partial to using natural methods like essential oils and herbal supplements before prescribing medication.

Whether you choose to have a doula, midwife or both, make sure that you do whatever is the most comfortable for you. Understand the roles of each person in the childbirth process and make your decision from there.