What is the difference between doulas and midwives?
Doulas accompany women, during pregnancy, childbirth and in the first period as a family.
When I tell people that I am a doula, they look at me with a question mark. "What is a doula?" Is the first reaction. I tell people that as a doula, I accompany women during pregnancy, birth and motherhood. The second comment - oh a midwife! I see that the profession of doula hasn't received much attention so far. My aim with this blog is to bring women closer to this kind of accompaniment.
A doula is not a midwife. The focus and the kind of birth support are different for doulas and midwives. Both are present at the birth, the perspective of a doula is different. My trainer said - you cannot look a woman between the legs and into the eyes at the same time. For me, this saloppe sentence describes the difference between midwives and doulas well.
A midwife mainly takes care of the medical examinations of the woman. During pregnancy you can have the preventive appointments with your gynaecologist, or with your midwife. Midwives offer birth preparation for pregnant women, impart knowledge about the phases of birth and anatomy. After the birth, during postnatal care, midwives look after the baby, the mother and the family. Midwives are present at the birth (at least in Germany). Whether you deliver your baby in the delivery room, in the birth house or at a home birth, the midwife will accompany you. A midwife examines the cervix and looks at the CTG. She documents the birth process, gives painkillers if necessary and is there when the baby is born. Except in the case of an unassisted birth. The midwife's focus is on the medical aspect and on the care of the baby.
A doula is there for the mother. A doula accompanies you on a different level than a midwife or a doctor. Doulas are not responsible for the medical aspect. A doula offers you physical, mental, emotional and spiritual support. A doula knows about pregnancy, birth and the medical aspect. Their work during birth is regarding the well-being of the woman.
Your doula is there for you, strengthens your back, helps you through every wave (contraction). She breathes with you, motivates you and protects the space that you can be in your own birth world. Especially at birth, it is the small, subtle things that are valuable and important. An encouraging word, a hand on the sacrum, a shoulder to lean on or cry on. Someone who is with you, present with you and there for you. A doula accompanies you value-free, as it is harmonious for you.
In today's system this personal and intimate accompaniment is often not possible for an expectant mother. Due to lack of time and staff shortage, midwives and doctors are not present for the entire duration of the birth. Women increasingly feel left alone during the birth and experience it as traumatic.
Many pregnant women do not know that there is the possibility of a doula. Or want to save the money for a doula. The work of a doula is a private service. Mothers tell me that they wish to experience this birth assistance again. They say that they lacked motherly care during the birth. For me it is important that you as an expectant mother know that this kind of birth accompaniment and support exists.
Would you like to have personal support for your pregnancy and birth? Are you thinking about being accompanied by a doula and would like to learn more about doulas?
Please have a look at the offer of Mindful Mamas. I offer online one on one mentoring - before birth, after birth and if you plan to have a baby. In personal sessions I am there for you, addressing your needs, wishes, worries and questions individually. From mother to mother. From woman to woman.