Lurking in the birth world waters like the elusive Loch Ness monster, waiting to make it's appearance at the most inopportune time when no one is nearby with a reliable camera (or, in our case, a reliable birth worker to clarify the confusion) is this myth that anyone who hires a midwife doesn't need a doula, because after all, that's what midwives are for!
So today, we want to set the record straight.
Midwives are amazing and wonderful! Our home birth midwives at Blooming Tree Maternity provide quality, individualized care throughout pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. They come to you with caring hearts when you're in labor and working your hardest, welcoming your little bundle into open arms, and getting everyone cozy before peacefully leaving your sweet family.
There are also a lot of logistics that they do that goes relatively unseen.
Midwives in Texas are trained medical professionals. From the time they arrive to your labor they are performing medical skills that require in-depth objective foresight. For example, checking your baby's heart tones is more than just listening and looking at the number. There are calculations and comparisons that the midwife is constantly doing in their head while accessing all of the information they have learned on what is normal, what is abnormal, and what those various numbers are telling them. Most importantly, a midwife's work is most intense when you're actively pushing your baby out and immediately postpartum. This is when there is the most chance for complications that require skilled action on your midwife's part, thus, the most mental focus and clarity.
A doula, on the other hand, is there to support you in any non-medical way that you need. Many times, your doula will come to support you earlier in labor than a midwife would. They will give you physical support such as massage, hip squeezes, counter pressure, etc. They'll also give you emotional and mental support, encouraging you to relax, breathe through it, reassuring you that you're okay and can do this. Your overall wellbeing will be taken care of, too! (Are you drinking enough, using the restroom, resting when you can, eating, etc?)
Aside from the fact that midwives perform medical care and doulas do not, the biggest difference is that your doula will often arrive to support you earlier than a midwife would and your doula's most intense period of work is sooner, supporting you through early and active labor and through the transition phase. Your midwife's most intense period of work begins around transition and continues through the immediate postpartum period.
Truly, midwives and doulas work hand in hand to support you, your partner and your family as you transition through this new phase of life. While a midwife could provide the services and support that a doula does, having individuals serving these specific roles insures that your entire birth team is functioning at their peak, and not spreading themselves too thin, potentially compromising your care!
Blooming Tree Maternity is proud to offer birth home birth midwives and doulas that frequently work together in a professional and cohesive manner. Call us today to schedule your free consultation!