What is the difference between a birth doula and a midwife?
One of the questions I am asked most frequently when people find out I am a birth doula is “what is the difference between a doula and a midwife?” The distinction between the two roles is important and warrants having its own blog post!
Similar to Obstetricians, midwives are main health care providers trained in providing clinical and medical care during pregnancy and childbirth. In Canada, midwives can attend home births, birth centre births and, where they have privileges, hospital births. Midwives are a wonderful fit for birthing people who intend to have low intervention births and would like more emotional and informational support than what may be experienced with mainstream obstetric care.
Doulas, on the other hand, shine when it comes to non-clinical support. Doulas do not provide any medical treatment such as cervical checks, measuring blood pressure or delivery etc. Instead, the doula nourishes the birthing person with massage, counter pressure, aromatherapy, homeopathy, can suggest breathing exercises, recommend labour positions, and provide emotional support and encouragement. Doulas also provide information and education about what to expect during pregnancy and birth.
Many doulas are also trained in additional therapies. The Nurtured Birth Ottawa Doula team collectively provide services that complement our birth services to support our clients on many levels. Our add on services include prenatal and postnatal nutrition, prenatal reflexology, prenatal and postnatal reiki, and prenatal yoga.
While the roles are different, doulas and midwives work together to provide continual support to the birthing person and their family and compliment each other’s individualized expertise. As Ottawa Doulas, we are so fortunate to have many amazing midwives practicing in our community! We consider ourselves privileged to work side by side with, and have a deep respect for, midwives!
Do you have more questions? Consider reaching out to schedule a Doula Discovery Call! This free consultation will give you a chance to ask all of your questions about Nurtured Birth Doula services, and general questions about Ottawa Doula support.