Doulas & Midwives
What is a Midwife?
A midwife is a healthcare provider who attends births and provides EXCELLENT prenatal and postpartum care for mom and baby. They are experts in normal, natural birth. It is personalized care and the midwife and the mother are a team. The mother is listened to, has a voice and is given choices. Midwives trust birth; yet at the same time they remain alert to notice any complications and deal with them as needed. Midwifery care is safer for moms and babies in the low risk category than is the medical model of care. Statistics show this to be true with countries having the highest perinatal and maternal mortality rates when midwifery care is the lowest.
Are you under Midwifery care or would you like to have a Midwife?
If you have a midwife in Edmonton, count your lucky stars!!! There are some really amazing midwives in our area. It is getting easier to access midwifery care in Alberta these days, thank goodness, but it wasn't always this way. If you would like to apply for midwifery care please fill out this "Request for Care" form.
How is a Midwife different than a Doula and do I need both?
That is a birthing mother’s choice. If she wants a doula then she should have one no matter if she is planning a home birth with a midwife or a hospital birth with a doctor. Women definitely receive way more support under midwifery care than they do in the medical system, but will it be enough for them in the moment? A midwife’s focus is on the health and safety of mom and baby. That always takes priority. A lot of their tasks during the birth are more clinical in nature. A doula’s focus is continuous emotional support and physical comfort for the mother. Yes, we are both working to protect the mother’s birth experience and make it a positive one and of course midwives also provide emotional support and physical comfort, but it isn’t always possible when they are focused on their clinical tasks or if there is a complication that they need to deal with.
The doula may also spend more time during labour with the mother, as her support is generally continuous depending on the mother’s requests. For instance, if it is a long early labour and the midwife comes for a while to check in with the mother and see how things are going, she may leave if the mother is still in the early stages of her birthing. This is actually a good thing. The midwife needs to remain sharp and clear to make medical decisions if necessary in the later stages of labour and when the baby is being born. The doula, however, doesn’t need to be a sharp and alert to provide her care and comfort so she is able to stay with the mom if that’s what the mother wants and if she still needs support during that time.
Every situation is unique and I imagine different midwives provide slightly different care so there could be times when the midwife and doula are doing very similar things to help the mother and her birth partner during the birth. We all work together as a team and it is wonderful for the mother to have all of that amazing support around her during this very transformative time in her life.