Do the pregnancy or birth processes seem a little daunting? While your doctor is a great resource, having a bit of extra support from a doula or midwife can help. Doulas and midwives are experienced childbirth professionals who provide emotional and physical support to those expecting or in labor, each offering valuable assistance and insight during your birthing experience. Both doulas and midwives can bring compassionate care that might not be available through traditional hospital settings for birthing parents. See the benefits of doulas and midwives and why you might want to have them by your side.
What is a Doula?
Doulas are a key provider of non-clinical physical and emotional support for people throughout the childbirth process. These birthing professionals offer extraordinary care and support, but are not medically trained to assist in delivering children. While doulas typically specialize in birth, many specialize in care during pregnancy and postpartum as well, including education and counseling before, during, and after birth. Above all else, doulas serve as an advocate for parents during birth in a time that might be difficult for expecting parents to manage.
What is a Midwife?
If you’re looking for an option with medical training, a midwife might be a great option for you. Midwives have a clinical background in obstetrics and are experienced in providing care related to pregnancy such as health assessments during prenatal visits, assessment of the laboring parent’s well-being, facilitating delivery, and ensuring that the necessary interventions are taken if needed. Midwives can provide care in home settings or birthing centers; they also specialize in alternative birthing techniques such as water births.
Benefits of a Doula or a Midwife
They Can Help You Feel Calm
Having a doula or midwife present during childbirth can be an invaluable asset. Before birth, they can help set up a birth plan to help relieve stress on birthing day. During labor, they provide the pregnant parent with both social and physical support, as well as knowledge and experience that can help you stay calm and focus while your body is going through contractions. They are trained to be aware of signs of discomfort and know just what to do to help keep you comfortable. Plus, they also provide information regarding suggestions for activities such as rocking, swaying, or massage which can help reduce your discomfort during labor.
Doulas and midwives can even assist with suggesting positions for labor comfort, offering suggestions for breathing techniques to increase oxygen flow, providing gentle verbal support and encouragement, staying present during delivery, helping family members if needed during delivery, and more – all of this with the goal of promoting both mother’s assurance in her ability to give birth without too much intervention.
They Can Help with Labor
Pushing during delivery is an important part of the labor process, and it can be helpful to have some guidance! Doulas aren’t medically trained to assist with birth, but midwives have formal training and insights that they can share on this topic. They may suggest positions and techniques based on your individualized situation. As with any other aspect of labor, you are always in control – midwives only offer suggestions as a way to ease the experience for expecting parents. Ultimately, you will know what works best for you and your baby, so feel free to ask about any advice or recommendations your provider has.
They Can Help Postpartum
Having faith in the expertise of a doula or midwife for information about what to expect after your baby is born can be a great source of comfort and assurance. Doulas and midwives have extensive knowledge that they can use to help you understand what physical changes may occur postpartum, and answer any questions you have about breastfeeding, sleeping arrangements, pain relief after birth, and many other elements of caring for newborns that might be overwhelming or confusing at first. They can even provide support and resources throughout your postpartum period so you can achieve successful motherhood with confidence.
Should You Choose a Doula or Midwife?
When it comes to bringing a new baby into the world, there are many things that can be stressful for expectant parents. This is why many couples decide to have a doula or midwife present in the room during labor and delivery – having someone knowledgeable and experienced can provide an extra layer of comfort and reassurance! Both doulas and midwives are wonderful professionals who provide dedicated and informed support during labor and delivery. Their unwavering support and advocacy can help parents-to-be feel more at ease throughout their birth experience – from preparation to postpartum.
Whether you decide to hire a doula or midwife, or both for comprehensive care, it is important to be informed and prepared in order to have the best birthing experience possible. It’s natural to feel anxious during labor and delivery, but having the right support system can make all the difference. Both a doula and midwife can provide valuable guidance, advocacy, and reassurance as you bring your newborn into the world.
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