The word “Doula” is actually a Greek word for a female servant. More specifically, we serve laboring moms and their families. The questions all doulas hear is “what’s the difference between a doula and a midwife?” here is the answer:
A midwife: a professional trained to assist in childbirth. Your midwife is who you would see for your prenatal visits throughout your pregnancy. She is the one who can check baby’s heartbeat, monitor mom and baby, do cervical checks, ext. Midwives help deliver the baby.
A doula: also a professional, trained to support moms in labor. Your doula comes to your home or hospital when labor begins to feel intense and stays until the baby is born. Your doula is a NON MEDICAL part of your support team. She is trained to comfort mothers and their families in labor.
How will my doula comfort my family? Often times members of the family that are included in the birth are left feeling confused about what they should do during the labor. Maybe they don’t know what to do, maybe mom doesn’t want to be touched, maybe just being in a medical environment makes them feel uncomfortable, this is where the doula comes in. The doula helps set the tone of the environment, she keeps everyone involved by showing or telling them what they can do to serve mom at that particular time. This can include things like counter pressure, using the rebozo, using the birth ball, or even just asking someone to go get you some ice water. Family members want to help, doulas make sure what they do is actually helping!
Will my doula replace my husband? Not at all! Doula support as it relates to partners varies in every situation depending on the needs of both the laboring woman and the spouse. Some partners are hands on and naturally calm and supportive while some are a little more hesitant to jump right in. Regardless of your spouses comfort level, having a doula can benefit both mom and partner!