What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
A doula is chosen by the expectant mother to work with her and her family during labor to provide uninterrupted physical and emotional support. They can be an integral part of the labor team. A midwife has the same goal, but in addition to that, is responsible for monitoring the health of mom and baby during labor. They will also provide the mother information about her progress; give her options or advice related to her labor, discussing medical decisions as needed and deliver her baby.
Explain the relationship midwives and physicians have
There is a practice agreement between CNM’s and physicians. They participate in collaborative management and will complete a referral for high risk situations, ie; abnormal presentations, c-section. The CNM’s will often be first assist during a c-section and continue to be present for continuity of care after the delivery.
Are patients under the care of a midwife able to have an epidural?
Yes, Midwives listen to women and what choices they want to make. If an epidural is something the expectant mother has a strong desire for, they will honor that request.
What about other interventions such as IV’s, Episiotomies, continuous fetal monitoring and tubs?
Each intervention is evaluated on its own merit as the midwife assesses how to provide safe care. There are indications for each of these measures. Communications will occur with the patient and the medical team to determine the need for these. Most midwives favor an approach to pregnancy, labor and birth that is based on normal, bodily processes rather than on the use of medical procedures; an approach that is strongly supported by current research.
What role will the midwife have after delivery?
They will maintain continuity of care and follow the postpartum mom through her hospital stay. The newborn needing a circumcision will have this performed by the practice agreement physician or the newborn provider.