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Silly Question No 1 Difference between Midwife and Doula
Difference between Midwife and Doula

8 replies to this topic

#1 shellsparkles

Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:39 AM

Hello all.  I'm here to ask stupid questions about pregnancy.

I have barely lifted a child in my life time (scared of breaking them) and now I am having one of my own.

I am clueless and my female mentors (mum and grans) are on the other side of the world!

So my first question is whats the difference between Doula and midwife?

#2 Missy Shelby

Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:48 AM

From what I understand doula's do not necessarily have medical training where as midwives do.

Doula's provide a supportive and caring role (like midwives) but they will come to your house and visit you and try to build a very close relationship so you have a high level of trust in place when it comes to the birth.

Edited by Missy Shelby, 23 February 2013 - 11:48 AM.

#3 greenthumbs

Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:50 AM

Midwife is a fully trained medical professional who will look after you during pregnancy, birth and post pregnancy.

Doula is a support person who may or may not have done training who supports you during labour - they have no medical training as such, but will 'hold your hand', assist you emotionally and perhaps physically during the labour and for a time afterwards.

I went through public hospital for birth and although the midwives did their job, I didn't feel supported (DP, although great, was as clueless as me). Next time I would love to have a doula, for support, to give DP a break and to advocate for me if I can't.

Congrats on your pregnancy biggrin.gif

#4 shellsparkles

Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:55 AM

THank you both for your answers original.gif

Hmm okay original.gif My other half is a very private man and a little too protective of me at times.  I doubt he would let anyone else near me during the birth except trained medical people- even then he is skeptical of them!

I know he will faint or something... I prob should have someone else with me...

Something more we have to talk about then!!!! I love this so much new stuff to learn about!

#5 Milamum09

Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

I agree with the above. Also, I guess you could say a doula is your advocate in a way if you find it difficult holding your own with medical staff, they can express your preferences and ask any questions et for you.

#6 Melissam12

Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

They're both very different and have different roles.

A midwife is a qualified health practitioner (as with a doctor) and is the primary care provider for pregnant, birthing and postnatal women.  Doulas are trained support people.

Both midwives and doulas provide emotional and physical support to women in labour and birth, and work with labouring women to suggest position changes and provide emotional support.

Midwives are registered health professionals with a university degree and they are recognised by legislation.  The doula industry is not regulated and formal qualifications are not required.  There are no formal standards of practice or registration for doulas.

Midwives are educated in skills such as newborn resuscitation and care of the pregnant, birthing and postnatal woman - including knowledge of how to keep pregnancy and birth normal.  Midwives are also educated to know when medical care is necessary, and they can execute emergency measures while waiting for medical care to arrive.

Midwives offer qualified advice and clinical care, whereas doulas cannot advise or comment on clinical practices and cannot provide clinical care such as listening to the baby's heart rate, checking blood pressure etc.

While women may engage a doula's services for additional support, a midwife or obstetrician will always be needed to provide the actual care.

#7 shellsparkles

Posted 23 February 2013 - 12:59 PM

Thanks so much everyone. This thread has been very helpful original.gif

#8 lucky 2

Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

Definition of a Doula
The professional Doula is the ultimate birth companion for the birthing woman and her partner. The Doula is extremely successful in providing for the best birth outcomes possible. Part of their success story lies not only in women’s increased feelings of satisfaction during the birth of their babies but also in the reduction in the need for pain relief and interventions.

Doulas DO NOT provide medical, nursing or any midwifery care, nor do they comment on, interpret or judge this care. The doula provides three types of support:

- General informational support
- Emotional support
- Physical support

Doulas focus on the experience of birth for the mother, her partner and the new baby. Their aim is to enhance the birth process and they are equipped with the knowledge and strategies that pave the way for the best birth experience possible.

Babies' fathers love having a Doula to work throughout the labour because they remove the stress factor and enhance their support techniques. Plus the Doula has met with the couple throughout the pregnancy and knows exactly what they want for the birth.

Research shows that as a result of a Doula at the birth there is,
- 50% reduction on caesarean rates.
- 25% shorter labour.
- 60% reduction in epidural requests.
- 40% reduction in syntocinon use.
- 30% reduction in analgesia use.
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery.

Reference, Klaus, Kennell and Klaus 1993

Thanks to ~melliefive~ for providing the above information.

Definition of a Midwife
"A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational programme duly recognised in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practise midwifery.

"The midwife is recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice to during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in the mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance when necessary and the carrying out of emergency measures when necessary.
The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman but also within the family and the community. The work should involve antenatal
education and preparation for parenthood and may extend to women’s health, sexual or reproductive health and child care.

"A midwife may practise in any setting including the home, community, hospitals, clinics, or health units."

The International Definition of a Midwife, as accepted by the International Confederation of Midwives, the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, the World Health Organisation and the Australian College of Midwives.

I've taken this from a pinned topic in this forum, the information about a MW was written by pp Melissam12.

eta, the Doula information does read a bit like an advert (the first part anyway) whilst the MW information is standard throughout the world.
I "think" the doula role is formalisation of the traditional birth attendant role. Please forgive me doulas if I have that wrong original.gif .
The 2 roles can work very well together in an ideal world.

#9 Melissam12

Posted 23 February 2013 - 02:14 PM

QUOTE (lucky 2 @ 23/02/2013, 03:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
eta, the Doula information does read a bit like an advert (the first part anyway) whilst the MW information is standard throughout the world.
I "think" the doula role is formalisation of the traditional birth attendant role. Please forgive me doulas if I have that wrong original.gif .
The 2 roles can work very well together in an ideal world.


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