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Midwife, doula or obstetrician: Who to include in your birth plan

Having a baby is a life-changing event in the best way possible. Every mother's birthing experience is unique, with many choices for customizing that experience. One of the most important decisions is what kind of experts you want to help you before, during and after your pregnancy. 

Our birth centers, including The Mother Baby Center, are dedicated to partnering with you to fulfill your birth vision while providing expert care. Will you choose a midwife, doula or obstetrician? We’re sharing the differences between these three options so you can find the right care for your unique needs. 

What's included in a birth plan? 

Expectant mothers create a birth plan to summarize their preferences during and after childbirth. The document includes the type of assistance needed during birth, labor preferences and the type of delivery preferred. Your birth plan will also cover your preferences for a Cesarean birth and postpartum care. 

What is a midwife?

A midwife is a highly-trained health care professional specializing in pregnancy and childbirth care. Midwives combine conventional and holistic care recommendations, including water birth, vaginal birth after Cesarean and support for use or non-use of pain medication during labor. Midwifery focuses on wellness, nutrition and healthy lifestyles while supporting a woman’s emotional and physical well-being. A midwife can provide care during and after childbirth. 

At our birth centers, you can count on expert care. All midwives are certified nurse-midwives, hold an advanced master's or doctoral degree and are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. 

What is a doula?

A doula is a community partner specially trained to guide you through pregnancy and labor with relaxation and breathing exercises, massage, words of encouragement, and other comforting measures. A doula can also work with your partner or support person to encourage their involvement and create a warm and positive experience. A doula does not replace your health care provider, nurses or other medical staff.

How does a doula birth work?

Doulas are welcome at The Mother Baby Centers, but please note that families must arrange their doula. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our visiting standards. Please review our visiting standards to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols if a doula will be there for your birth. Doulas are welcome at The Mother Baby Center, but we will not arrange one for you.

Difference between a doula and midwife

Doulas and midwives have similar skill sets and work in tandem to support your birth experience, but they have different qualifications and responsibilities.

A doula is a trained nonmedical professional who educates you during pregnancy, birth and postpartum while providing emotional and physical support. Doulas are not staffed by your hospital, do not deliver babies or provide medical advice or diagnose conditions.

Midwives are certified health care providers responsible for the health and safety of the mother and her baby.

What is an obstetrician?

An obstetrician (OB/GYN), is a doctor specializing in pregnancy, childbirth and the female reproductive system. An OB/GYN can monitor your and your baby’s health throughout the pregnancy, deliver your baby, and monitor your health after delivery. Obstetricians perform will perform a Cesarean birth when vaginal birth is not a safe option. 

What do most people choose and why?

Choosing between a midwife, obstetrician, doula or all three is your decision and depends on your birth plan and preferences. Their expertise play a key role when it’s time to bring your baby into the world. 

Learn more about the Mother Baby Center's unique, personalized experience for mom and baby with exceptional care throughout the childbirth journey. 

 

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