If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that I'd be on the next cover of Forbes magazine!
A midwife is more like a doctor than a doula. As defined by Wikipedia, "A midwife is a professional in midwifery, specializing in pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, women's sexual and reproductive health (including annual gynecological exams, family planning, menopausal care and others), and newborn care."
Just like with an OB/GYN, you have monthly check-ups with your midwife. Midwives work in hospitals, birthing centers and in clients' homes. During labor, the midwife is the person who will be monitoring the progress of labor and the health of the baby. She will also deliver your baby (well, with your help of course!).
A doula is similar to a midwife because she also assists a woman during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. However, she does not perform any medical procedures or administer any medical treatment or advice. A doula is there to serve the woman and her partner through physical, emotional and educational support. She does this through visits in clients' homes, support in the delivery room or alternate setting, and consistent communication via phone or email.
Doulas are becoming more and more popular across the country. I'm looking forward to the day when it's a common word used in many households and I'm not always explaining what I do. When I say, "I'm a doula," there's usually a pause of confusion. I"ve even had someone respond once by saying, "Hi Adoula. Nice to meet you. I'm Derrick.” SMH.
So, for all the folks like Derrick out there, share this blog and talk to your expecting friends and family. Ask them if they have ever heard of a doula. If not, tell them to give me a call.
Hi. I'm Adoula (*insert crying laughing face)