Midwife vs Doula? What IS the difference?!
The difference between a midwife and a doula AND where they overlap.
We get A LOT of inquires at Labor of Love about whether or not we are a birth center and if we deliver babies. In short, the answer is no, as doulas, our care differs from that of a midwife.
My desire in this blog is to help clarify the role of a midwife and doula in the simplest way.
I hope that it is useful for you.
Skilled Medical Professional
Offering Gynecological Care
Medically Trained Health Care Professional
Medical Labor Support
Take Insurance (Private Midwives may differ)
Support Health & Wellness During Birth | Takes the place of traditional OBGYN care
Help Deliver Newborn
Access Health of Newborn
Access Health of Laborer
Medically Assist with Vaginal Repair
Support any Necessary Interventions
There are private midwives for those that want a completely unmedicated home birth.
There are Birth Centers for those that want an unmedicated birth but do not want to birth at home.
There are midwives that work in the hospital for those that feel safer delivering in a hospital setting unmedicated or not. Hospital midwifery is the best of both worlds for those that aren't fix on a home birth. We work really closely with Orange Coast Women's Medical Group, Orange County's first practice to offer traditional midwifery care.
Certified Birth Professional
Skilled in physical, mental and emotional support during birth and postpartum.
Trained Birth Professional
Emotional and Educational Support During Pregnancy
Childbirth Education (Some Qualified Doulas)
Continuous One-on-One Phone Support before, during and after birth
Continuous Physical Support During Labor
guidance; relaxation, breathing, positions
reminders in the moment
anticipating the laborer’s needs
Postpartum In-home Check-ins
Breastfeeding Support (Some Qualified Doulas)
Where Midwives & Doulas Overlap:
Believe that pregnancy and birth are a natural physiological event
Believe that birth is best when undisturbed
Understand how important the feeling of safety is in this moment
Understand the mental and emotional importance of having MORE support at this time
Want to cultivate an intimate connect to this moment for you
Work well together as they offer different services
Where Midwives and Doulas Differ:
Doulas do not offer any medical support
Doulas do not help catch babies
Doula do not offer exams
Doula do not take insurance (FSA & HSA accounts may be reimbursed)
Midwives do not offer childbirth and breastfeeding education
Midwives do not offer continuous one-on-one phone support before, during and after birth
Midwives do not offer continuous side by side care during labor (Their expertise is in delivery)
Midwives may participate in guidance but it is not their main job or focus during labor.
Midwife vs Doula: Which is a better fit for you?
Ask any midwife if you need a doula and they will say YES! Adding a doula to your midwifery care is the complete package. Midwives understand the complete care a doula can bring to your experience. They understand that there are limitations to their care and a doula is the prefect way to fill that gap.
Ask any doula and they will encourage you to seek out midwifery care as they understand (for low risk women) that a midwife will offer gentle and encouraging medical care during birth. A care provider is ALWAYS needed and if you are low risk a midwife may just be a good fit.
A midwife and a doula are the prefect pair. They work hand-in-hand together to offer you the experience that you desire. Labor of Love works with many of the midwives in Orange County and believe that midwifery is the future when it comes to Labor & Delivery.
As for Labor of Love we offer:
We would love to support you along you journey!