February 20, 2022

There is one significant difference between a midwife and a doula. Midwives provide medical care for you during pregnancy, birth, and  postpartum period. Doulas provide you and your family with emotional, informational, and physical support during pregnancy, birth and  postpartum period.

A midwife provides medical care much like a doctor. Midwives also offer emotional support, information, and physical comfort during pregnancy, birth & post partum, but her priority will always be the physical health and safety of you and your baby.

Throughout the prenatal period, your midwife will order tests, perform internal examinations and cervical checks, take measurements, and perform clinical tasks.  She will manage your labor and catch your baby.  A doula can give you information about exams, but only a midwife or doctor can order the tests and carry out your clinical care.

During labour & delivery the main job of the birth doula is to be by your side offering nonmedical techniques during labor, such as breathing, massage, and helping you move into different body positions. Doulas do not provide medical care and do not deliver babies.

Midwives check on clients in early labor and assess its progress. Often, a midwife does not stay with you until you are in active labor. If you desire support and comfort in early labor, a doula will be there as soon as you request their care. A doula will stay with you throughout your labor and birth experience

Should complications arise while you are giving birth, your midwife will be focused on maintaining you and your baby’s physical health. Your doula will provide physical comfort, emotional support, and information. Doulas may explain what is happening, so you and your partner can better understand. Your doula can help you to remain calm and comfortable.

Can I have a doula & a midwife?

Yes! Having both a doula & a midwife ensures your physical & emotional needs will be met when you give birth.

Are doulas covered by MSP in BC?

Doulas are not covered by the BC Medical Services Plan.


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