Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Difference Between a Doctor, Doula and Midwife


You just found out you are pregnant, and you have just less than nine months to plan for the next 18 or so years of your and your child’s life. Your first step should be finding the proper pre-natal care followed by finding the person who will deliver your future child. While some choose a doctor, a doula or a midwife, this blog explains why you might choose to hire all three as part of your birthing temperature.

The Doctor

As soon as you learn of your pregnancy, you should begin seeing an obstetrician (OB), a medical doctor who monitors your pregnancy and conducts periodic exams and tests to ensure the health of you and your child. Most women – 80 percent – choose the OB as the pre-natal and delivery doctor. Your gynecologist may also serve as an OB. If they do, their title will reflect this, reading “OB/GYN.” Using an OB or OB/GYN does not preclude also giving birth with the assistance of a mid-wife and/or doula. In fact, some doctors employee midwives and provide referrals to doulas.

The Midwife

Midwives function as the primary caregiver during pregnancy in many cultures but in the US they handle only about 10 percent of births. Some midwives offer at home services while others serve through birth centers, health clinics and hospitals. Midwives provide education and counseling before the birth. They refer patients to OBs or other medical specialists if they are the primary caregiver. In the US, three levels of certification exist for this position – the Certified Nurse-Midwife, the Certified Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife.

The Doula

The Greek word doula means “a woman who serves.” The doula acts as a birthing coach for the future mother and as an educator for the family. A doula can be especially helpful if a woman decides to have a child on her own. The doula functions as the Lamaze coach when there is no father present. She also helps schedule appointments with your midwife and/or OB/GYN.

In Florida, you’ll find a multitude of choices for pre-natal care and birthing care. Whether you need a doctor, midwife or doula Tampa offers them all. You can put together a full team.