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Doulas vs midwives

(6 Posts)
pancakes22 Mon 21-Oct-19 22:25:34

Hello. Curious if anyone has become a doula rather than a midwife? The training for doula seems more manageable than midwifery and I'm more interested in the emotional support rather than medical but I'm wondering if doulas would always feel second to midwives or not needed, or disappointed not to be able to 'catch babies'. I'm conscious work for doulas may be rare but also that midwifery is so competitive. Any thoughts from either any doulas or midwifes? Thank you

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pancakes22 Mon 21-Oct-19 22:26:58

Also I know you can only be a doula if you have given birth but can you be one if you have only had emergency sections?

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endofthelinefinally Mon 21-Oct-19 22:34:35

A professionally trained and qualified midwife does a bit more than catch babies.
A doula is a companion, there to provide moral support, like a birth partner.
Doulas have become popular in part due to massive staff shortages and lack of investment in maternal health services.

EmzDisco Thu 24-Oct-19 05:19:23

They are completely different roles really. Both very valuable, but very different.

Doula - works with maybe 1 or 2 women at a time, not medically trained, advocate for the birthing mum, self employed, has to find own clients, can choose who to work with and when

Midwife - medically trained, usually will work within the NHS and therefor with all the rules and regs that entails, will work with many many women in the course of a week

What is it about either job that appeals? Teh I think if what you want to do is hold babies then probably neither is the job for you!

DarrellMakepeace Thu 24-Oct-19 06:03:19

Having a doula at your birth is optional (and very new agey/ middle class). Having a midwife is necessary.

I'm sorry but I have known a few people over the years who have called themselves doulas and it seemed to be a vanity title, they picked it up and dropped it as a career and it went nowhere. Also one friend had to be rushed into hospital after choosing a doula-only birth where her 2 doulas couldn't agree on how much she was dilated and whether she should push.

It was quite traumatic for all concerned.

pancakes22 Thu 24-Oct-19 09:21:10

For me the appeal is definitely as an emotional support to women which is why I thought maybe doula over midwife but I am conscious that work would probably be far and inbetween for doulas and so would not be reliable work for any sort of income. My comment before was more to do with having so much respect and admiration for midwives, that I wonder if as a doula I would always be in the room looking up to them thinking ooo you are so clever and what an experience to witness that child being born and have the knowledge to ensure that happens safely. However as a midwife I know I probably wouldn't have the time to actually sit and comfort the woman as much as I would want to act as a support. having that continuity being a doula through to post natal support too to help the same woman post birth would be wonderful too. Who knows.

I feel a calling to work in some form of pregnancy/birth/post natal way but if I am being honest I also am conscious that I had two traumatic births myself and so on reflection worry that seeing a straight forward birth would bring up feelings of jealously perhaps or remind me of failure on my part and so I am so torn between my desire to help and support vs the trauma I still feel from my own. That in itself then causes anger because I feel like my birth experience is taking away from a career that I think I would really love.

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