OB/GYN, midwife, doula — if you’re an expectant parent, it can be easy to confuse the different types of professionals who might assist you during labor and delivery.
“Midwife” and “doula,” in particular, are terms that might be new, particularly if you’ve never had a baby before. And while you may choose one or both, there’s a big difference between the two roles, explains Tidelands Health certified nurse midwife Deborah McKee.
As a certified nurse-midwife, McKee provides emotional support and a wide range of medical care to women, including labor and delivery care, as well as pre- and post-natal care.
Whether a patient would want to hire a doula varies greatly, McKee says. But they can be an added bonus, depending on your personal preference, financial situation and whether or not you have other sources of support that will be with you during childbirth.
“It’s much more common among first-time moms who haven’t been through the process before or are seeking unmedicated birth,” she says. “In that case, the extra emotional support may be desired.”