The Basics: Midwives & Doulas
The journey towards expanding your family is both incredibly exciting and daunting — particularly if you’re a first-time parent. There’s so much information out there, and while it can help to do your research, you might become quickly overwhelmed by the varying and conflicting opinions.
The decision to use a midwife or a doula is a personal one and should be made following a lot of thought and discussion. As parents ourselves, the team at Spewy™ understands how important this choice is and has assembled a blog designed to bring together the essential information so you can make an informed decision.
What Is a Doula?
A doula is a skilled, compassionate and knowledgeable professional companion who provides important emotional and physical support to individuals at all stages of life.
While most people know what a birth and postpartum doula is, end-of-life doulas also exist and can provide essential support to people whose life is coming to an end, as well as their family and friends.
What Is a Midwife?
A midwife is a healthcare professional who provides expert support and care during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. They collaborate closely with physicians and other medical professionals to ensure the best possible outcome for the mother and baby.
What Does a Doula Do?
A birth doula sits by the side of a pregnant woman as she gives birth, offering advice on breathing techniques and body positions that may help relieve pain. A doula may also act as an advocate for you during labour and communicate with medical professionals about your preferred care options.
Keep in mind, however, that a doula has not received the same medical training as a doctor, nurse, or midwife.
The labour experience is different for each and every woman. Having an experienced doula at your side can provide emotional reassurance and confidence that labour is progressing as expected. Your doula will understand exactly what tools and resources you need at your side as you start and progress through labour. A Spewy™, for example, with its super-absorbant properties, could be perfect for the moment when your water breaks.
What Do Midwives Do?
Throughout pregnancy, midwives can offer advice on nutrition, exercise, and labour preparation. During delivery, they help by providing physical comfort measures, in addition to coaching and calming the mother throughout labour.
After delivery, they provide postpartum care such as lactation assistance, mental health counselling, and infant care education to ensure both mothers and babies get off to a strong start.
Doula vs Midwife
The choice to use a doula or a midwife is a personal one and should be made following consultation with other people in your life who have previous experience with pregnancy or will be involved in the birthing process.
You might find you prefer the emotional support and extensive experience provided by a doula or feel more reassured working with a midwife.
Both offer invaluable resources for parents-to-be as they navigate pregnancy and labour; ultimately, which route one takes depends on individual needs.
In addition to choosing your birth care team, you’ll also need to think about what products you need on hand pre, during, and post-pregnancy to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
The Spewy™ is a go-to item for parents of newborns, toddlers, and even primary-school-aged kids. After all, children of all ages are susceptible to vomiting! With its super absorbent properties and waterproof backing, the Spewy™ is a highly versatile product that can be used for everything from cleaning spew to mopping up your water breaking at the start of labour.
Once your little one is born, you’ll quickly realise that mess and spill is all a part of being a parent. The Spewy™ Bed Mat is another essential addition to your parenting arsenal, with its ability to effectively absorb nighttime accidents to reduce the need to change sheets and improve the quality of sleep.
Be Prepared for Birth and Beyond
Many mothers will tell you that you are never really prepared for labour and everything that follows. However, there’s no doubt that by doing your research and speaking with other mums and dads in your life, you’ll be in a much better position to make important decisions, like the choice between a midwife or a doula.