Doula vs midwife is a tough question. Is a midwife better than a doula? Or is a doula better than a midwife?
If you are preparing for birth, especially if you are hoping to avoid as many interventions as possible, you are probably thinking about which of these people you want on your birth team.
However, it’s a common myth that midwives and doulas do the same thing. The confusion is understandable. They both work very closely with birthing mothers and they are both associated with some pretty incredible benefits including reduced risk of c-sections and interventions in general.
If you are thinking about a doula OR a midwife, it may be time to change your thinking from doula vs midwife to an all-over enthusiastic “YES” to both. Here’s why.
IT’S SO MUCH EASIER WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
grab the “Where Am I In Labor?” Checklist to know exactly what to expect in each stage of labor and what to do when
Working with a midwife also has some pretty amazing perks. Not only will they spend much more time with you during pregnancy than a typical OB, but the payoffs to your health are huge. Check out these benefits:
You are less likely to be induced or have your labor sped up with Pitocin.
Midwives have a decreased infant mortality rate.
You have a lower chance of going into labor too early (preterm birth)
You have a lower risk of third and fourth-degree tears.
The costs of working with a midwife are typically lower than the costs of working with an OB.
If you are thinking of working with a midwife, I highly recommend following that whim. Find out more about midwife benefits here.
A doula is a professional trained in birth. She offers informative, emotional and physical support during your birth. She will typically meet with you before and after the birth as well.
The real beauty of her service is that she provides your family with continuous support through birth. Not only has she taken the time to deeply understand your wishes for your birth, but she will also make sure you have the support along the way to make as much of that plan come true as possible.
Whether its providing counter pressure, making sure you are fed, helping you advocate for your wishes or taking beautiful pictures, she will be by your side doing all the things needed to alleviate your stress and help you get through the birth.
A midwife is a trained medical professional who offers prenatal care instead of an OB. She is also the one monitoring you during birth and catching your baby. Midwives attend births at home, in birthing centers, and at the hospital.
You begin working with your midwife early in your pregnancy. She will monitor your health, pay close attention to your emotional state of being, and help you consider your social well being as well.
The midwifery model of care provides moms with individualized education. She often spends more time with you in the labor and delivery room than an OB.
She has a goal of minimizing technological interventions and identifying risks that require obstetrical attention.
Above all, she provides holistic healthcare during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Her care is steeped in the belief that birth, when properly supported, is a physiologically sound event. You are made to birth your baby.
A doula costs between $1000-$2000. In rare cases, insurance will cover doula costs. But that is the exception, not the rule. You can pay for a doula with a Health Savings Account.
How Much does A Midwife Cost?
Insurance fully covers pre and postnatal care provided by a midwife (assuming she is in-network of course.) Insurance will also cover your midwife-attended birth in most situations. This means your normal deductibles will apply. However, in certain cases, if birth is not covered by your insurance, the cost is typically between $2000-$3000.
Doula Vs Midwife – I Like The Sound Of Them, How Do I Find A Good One?
Are you ready to interview a few doulas and midwives and see if you find someone right for your birth team? This is how you find a good doula or midwife.
Look for a doula on Doula Match and MANA database for midwives. These databases provide lists of midwives and doulas in your area you can call and interview.
However, the absolute best recommendations will come from local moms groups on Facebook.
Hop into a group and state what kind of birth you are having and what support you are looking for. This is how you get the juicy stories.
Say something like: “Hi, I’m pregnant and looking for a doula. I’m giving birth in a birth center and hoping to go unmedicated. Who is amazing?”
You will get the stories like “oh my God so and so has the worst breath, don’t hire her and she blew her stanky air in my face for 6 hours of labor ” or “I worked with so and so and they saved my life and we named our baby after her because she was so amazing”.
It becomes abundantly apparent who is good and who is not when you hear people’s real experiences.
Once you have a few recommendations, interview a few people so you find the right fit for you.
Doulas Vs Midwives – What’s The Real Difference?
A doula provides more constant support than a medical provider. They don’t perform medical tasks so it opens their time up to support you physically and emotionally during labor. They also help you with informational and educational support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Having a doula means having constant hands-on pain relief and extra encouragement.
Doulas essentially make your birth experience smoother and more enjoyable for everyone. They help with pain management, but also they give your partner a break, give you support that your partner may not know how to do (or direct your partner in doing it), and they do helpful tasks before/during/after the birth.
If you are looking for someone to support you medically during your birth, you want a midwife. If you want someone to support you emotionally and physically during birth, you want a doula. If you want both, you want both!