Partner? Doula? Midwife? OB?
Updated: Aug 23
There are a lot of people that can comprise your birth team, but it is easy to get the different roles confused. I daily am asked the difference between, partner, doula and midwife. Hopefully this post makes it a little easier to understand. In no way is this a comprehensive list of all the things each role does, but it is a good start to understanding the distinction and responsibilities.
The Birth Partner has a deep, intimate knowledge of the woman and her personal needs. The connection between birthing parent and partner is a priority. Healthy communication in the birth room is encouraged.
* Emotional support
* Mental and physical support through love, affection, affirmation, encouragement, being present and actively involved.
The Labor Professional
Has a personal and trained knowledge of the physiological art of labor.
* Coaches birthing person through labor effectively and safely.
* Assists with pain relief and specialized labor techniques for progression and comfort.
* Holds space and runs errands
* Offers support
* Ensures that the birthing person is never left alone
The Birth Professional
Has a professional knowledge of the medical art of pregnancy and birth.
* Oversees and tends to the medical needs of the woman.
* Handles the delivery/birth of the baby and placenta
* Responsible for medical safety of the woman, birth and baby
The Emergency Professional
Has a specialized knowledge of high risk cases and medical surgery.
* Oversees and tends to high risk pregnancies and births.
* Handles emergency situations such as certain medical interventions and surgical births
* Performs gynecological procedures and surgeries