Sep 19th, 2014
Aug 27th, 2014
A doula is a support person who offers emotional, physical, and informational support to people who are pregnant and choosing abortion, adoption, and parenting. They can coach breathing, rub backs, provide information about medications and procedures, help out at someone’s home during the postpartum period by doing dishes, washing laundry, holding the baby, etc. They know the labor and birth process front-to-back and know how to help people through it. They are not medical providers though - they cannot diagnose, prescribe medication, or make medical management decisions.
Certified Nurse Midwives are nurses with specialized Masters training specifically in reproductive health and labor and birth. They can prescribe medications, do annual exams, insert IUDs, deliver babies, and make medical management decisions. They often work with doulas in order to provide their patients with the best possible care. Many midwives were once doulas themselves, and know how to use the same tips and tricks and techniques to support their patients through labor and birth and the postpartum period while also managing their healthcare.
Certified Nurse Midwives provide the same type of care in hospitals for laboring and delivering patients as Obstetrician Gynecologists and other doctors who delivery babies. They are able to order epidurals, prescribe pain medications, induce labors, etc. for all low-risk patients. If a patient has a complication that is outside of the midwife’s experience or scope of practice, the midwife will often work in tandem with a doctor to provide the best care possible.