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Doula vs. Midwife: What’s the Difference? Should you use both.

According to American Pregnancy Association, Midwives are health care professional who provides an array of health care services for women including gynecological examinations, contraceptive counseling, prescriptions, and labor and delivery care. Providing expert care during labor and delivery, and after birth is a specialty that makes them unique. They often function as both a quality and economical option for birthing care. They usually offer payment plans and sliding fees and are willing to accept most insurance plans including Medicaid.

What services do they offer and the benefits of these services?

These services include annual gynecological exams, family planning, and preconception care, prenatal care, labor and delivery support, newborn care, and menopausal management. Midwives generally provide reproductive education in fertility, nutrition, exercise, contraception, pregnancy healthbreastfeeding, and quality infant care. According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, benefits of receiving midwifery care include:

  • Decreased risk of needing a cesarean
  • Reduced rates of labor induction and augmentation
  • Reduced use of regional anesthesia
  • Decreased infant mortality rates
  • Decreased risk of preterm birth
  • Decreased third and fourth-degree perineal tears
  • Lower costs for both clients and insurers
  • Increased chances of having a positive start to breastfeeding
  • Increased satisfaction with the quality of care 
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What’s a doula? How do the two work together?

According to the medical website Healthline, The main job of the birth doula (or labor doula) is to be by your side offering nonmedical techniques during labor, such as breathing, massage, and helping you move into different body positions.

They can also provide emotional support and act as an advocate on your behalf. No matter what type of birth you have, a doula will be there to help you feel safe and empowered. A doula will support you in your decision to use medications or have a natural birth.

In the event of an unplanned C-section, a doula can help comfort you and give you extra attention to help alleviate fears and anxieties. A doula can be a helpful part of your birthing team.

According to a 2017 Cochrane Review, many mothers report the need for less medical intervention and increased satisfaction with the birthing process when using a doula. However, it’s important to note that a doula is not a substitute for a doctor or midwife since they do not have the same in-depth medical training.

Working together works.

You can choose both to help aid you in the birth of your child, the midwife attends to the mothers medical needs and the doula supports the mom and family with non medical issues. Making sure the mom is taking care before, during and after the birth of their blessing.