I hired a midwife, do I really need a doula too?
Yes! Yes! Yes! Midwives and doulas play two different roles during birth. Having both makes for a well rounded birth team.
Here’s the thing, midwives are there to ensure you and baby are safe. Absolutely, they’ll hold your hand and say words of encouragement, but at the end of the day (or birth) their biggest priority is making sure baby and mom are healthy.
A doula, on the other hand is there for you. She’s trained in comfort measures. She knows all the things to do to make a mom feel comfortable and relaxed. She knows positions and “tricks” to help with pain management. She may use essential oils, massage, take a few photos, grab you food and water, engage dad in the birth….she may even fix your hair (if, like me, you have wild birth curls). Her only job is to be there for you. She’ll be like having your best friend, sister, or mother there. But, unlike most well meaning relatives, she’s extremely knowledgeable about birth.
Here’s another difference. In most cases your midwife will want to head to your house or have you come in to the birth center when you’re well in to active labor. And that’s when you’ll really want her there; when the action is happening! Problem is, many moms have long early labors. Early labors that feel a whole lot like active labor and you need more support. (I’m one of those moms!) That is when having a doula is so wonderful. She will bring a calming presence and “bag of tricks” that can actually help you get that sleep your midwife keeps telling you you need, but you can’t seem to get…. And, you do need that sleep. I promise. 🙂
As a doula, I’ve been asked, “if I have a doula does that mean my hubby won’t be involved?” The answer is no. Unless he wants to take a back seat and you and he have planned for that. A doula will either encourage and guide hubby in helping his wife through child birth or she will fill in for him, if wanted.
We’re blessed in DFW to not only have so many talented midwives, but to also have so many amazing doulas. You pair the two and you’ll have an awesome birth experience!!