While both doulas and midwives provide support to families during the birthing process, they have different roles and responsibilities.
A doula is a trained professional who provides emotional, mental, physical, and informational support to families during pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. Doulas do not provide medical care, but rather focus on helping families have a positive birth experience. They may offer comfort measures such as massage, breathing techniques, and relaxation exercises, as well as advocacy and guidance on informed decision-making. Doulas may work with families regardless of their choice of birth location or healthcare provider.
A midwife, on the other hand, is a trained healthcare provider who offers comprehensive prenatal, childbirth, and postpartum care. Midwives are responsible for monitoring the health of both the mother and baby throughout pregnancy and the birthing process, and they may offer medical interventions such as administering medication or performing emergency procedures. Midwives are qualified to deliver babies in hospitals, birthing centers, or at home, depending on their level of certification and licensure.
In summary, doulas are non-medical caregivers helping families to have continuous emotional and physical assistance during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, while midwives provide medical care and support to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth.