Silly Question...What is a Doula? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-16-2003, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

I'm new here and I'm wanting to learn all I can before I become PG with #1...hope that happens soon!

I was wondering what a doula is and what is the difference between that and a midwife?

Thanks!
Phoebe

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#2 of 7 Old 06-16-2003, 03:21 PM
 
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Barebones descriptions:

A doula is emotional and physical labor support. They work with you before and during your birth to prepare you for labor. Many doulas also do childbirth education. There are also postpartum doulas who come to your house to help for a few days after the birth. Doulas are extremely beneficial to laboring moms and they can be priceless advocates. Doulas do not do clinical work, they don't check dilation, take heart tones, or do anything a doctor or midwife would do. At least they don't in my state.

A midwife is a care provider. A midwife provides prenatal care, catches the baby, and provides postnatal and well woman care as well. A midwife is an alternative to an OB/GYN.

Here is a link about doulas:

http://www.doula.com/

And here is a link to MANA, the Midwives Alliance of North America. It has some definitions of the different types of midwives and the midwifery model of care.

http://www.mana.org/definitions.html

HTH, sorry it isn't more detailed about doulas. Hopefully a doula will come along and go more indepth.

Amy

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#3 of 7 Old 06-16-2003, 04:12 PM
 
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I'm going to ask my midwife about this again, and sorry if i'm hijacking a thread, but I thought it applied...
I'm using a birth center with midwives (freestanding) and I asked if I would need a doula, and they said not really, because the midwives are there to serve that role. Is this typical? Or do people usually get both, if they use a midwife? I always got the idea that they did more than "catch the baby" (that's what I thought OBs did! ), and that they also help with the labor.
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#4 of 7 Old 06-16-2003, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Good question, mamaley. By no means are you hijacking!
I'm really curious to know that as well.

Thanks Amy for the helpful lesson! I will be doing some more research, now that I know what I am talking about!


Thanks
Phoebe

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#5 of 7 Old 06-16-2003, 07:45 PM
 
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Of course midwives do more than catch the baby! Most (I can't say all) midwives are awesome labor support and they stay with you for as long as you need them during your labor. Most of the women in my area who go with a homebirth or birthcenter midwife decide they don't need a doula.

When I attend a birth there is always myself, the primary midwife, and an assistant midwife. Right there are 3 support people who are all there just for the mom. I still believe that doulas are beneficial, especially if you have emotional issues surrounding your birth or are a VBAC client or just for anyone who thinks they may need extra support.

And for anyone having a hospital birth I, personally, believe a doula is a must.


Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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#6 of 7 Old 06-16-2003, 08:46 PM
 
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You are a wise woman to even consider the idea before you are even pregnant! Every woman deserves professional labor support, either in the form of a very involved midwife who doesn't have other women laboring at the same time as you, or a doula!


Here are a couple of links to check out:

DONA

ALACE

Golden
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#7 of 7 Old 06-17-2003, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Golden!

I'll check out the links for sure. Sometimes I don't feel it's so wise to learn all this before I'm PG. I feel like it may be a jinx...but hey, who believes in that stuff anyway!

Thanks for all the help,
Phoebe

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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