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Which is Better: Midwife, Doula or Doctor?

Which is Better: Midwife, Doula or Doctor?

What does a doula do?

"One of the best ways to have a positive birth experience is to hire a doula, especially if you don't have access to a midwife" says Dahl. A doula is a professional birth assistant who supports you during labor and sometimes post-partum. Many doulas also teach prenatal classes or act as lactation consultants. Unlike midwives, doulas do not have professional standing at hospitals and can't attend births on their own.

"A doula assists you and your partner, helps you stick to your birth plan, is your advocate, friend and birth coach," says Dahl. "Many women think their doctor will be there for them throughout labor only to discover it's just them and their partner in the room for most of the time."

Doctors have many patients at a time and your ob/gyn is unlikely to be the person who actually delivers your baby. A doula can be your one constant source of support when nursing shifts change and you're suddenly confronted by a new set of faces mid-labor. If you can't afford to hire a doula, Dahl recommends contacting a doula association as beginning doulas often work for free in order to gain the experience they need to be certified.