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Doula vs Midwife vs Obstetrician

Having a baby soon? Thinking about what type of care to choose? Here is a brief description of each pregnancy care provider to help you choose the best fit for you: doula vs midwife vs obstetrician. ​

What’s a doula?

Many many years ago women used to live in communities and big families. Older women would pass their wisdom and knowledge about labour to younger ones and support them during childbirth. Nowadays we have access to tons of information but we are sometimes losing the natural way of how things work. Doula is there for you to provide emotional support, gentle guidance through the labour, encourages the most natural way possible in every labour. She is responsible for non-medical assistance and brings such things as aromatherapy, massage, homeopathy, visualization and meditation to ease the pain if there is any.

Postpartum doulas provide all sort of emotional support as well as ensure the transition to new parenthood is smooth and joyful. They can provide breastfeeding advice, cook, babysit and do light housework.

Doulas are not covered by health insurance.

What’s a midwife?

Midwife is a trained birth expert. They usually spend more time with women during pregnancy, getting to know each other and personal plans for labour. A midwife will help you try to have the kind of labor you want, care, guide and educate. They are likely to provide holistic approach to your pregnancy care and labour.

They order tests and screen for health during pregnancy.

Midwives say that they catch babies which is in fact true.

They also come home for a check up after the baby is born.

A midwife is a wonderful choice for a low-risk pregnancy and a home birth.

Each registered midwife has privileges in a certain hospital. It makes sense to find a midwife close to your home or hospital where you want to give birth.

In BC you don’t need a referral for a midwife and their services are covered by insurance. You either choose a midwife or a doctor as your primary care provider during pregnancy.

What’s an Obstetrician?

Obstetrician is a medical professional specializing in pregnancy and childbirth. They work in clinics and attend births in hospitals.

Doctors practice evidence-based maternity and newborn medical care.

You need a referral from your family doctor to receive care from an obstetrician during pregnancy and labour. They are typically a good choice for a high risk pregnancy.

West Vancouver, North Vancouver and North Shore doulas and prenatal classes (birth preparation) that I recommend:

Prenatal in a Nutshell

North Shore Doulas

Midwifery Care North Shore

Allie Mennie and Julia Samson at North Shore Doula believe strongly in the strength of the birthing person and the touch of your partner. They understand birth is unpredictable and how important emotional, physical, and informational support is during the process and they are so appreciative of the invite you extend to them so they can follow you through such an incredible and intimate time. Their goal is to provide you with unbiased care and loving support and enjoy working together with your chosen medical team to provide a completely cohesive circle of care.

They promise to be: unbiased, compassionate, reliable, professional, committed, respectful, stable, open-minded, warm, and trustworthy.

Get in touch with them to chat all about your pregnancy and birthing dreams! They are looking forward to connecting!

Also, a must have in birth preparation – hypno birth classes. This online course will teach you to relax, to control your mind and thoughts and establish a positive attitude for a happy birthing experience. In fact, I worked with this amazing instructor myself and couldn’t recommend her more. She speaks Russian and English.


What should you consider when choosing a doula or a midwife?

I believe (besides experience and hospital they have privileges in) the important thing is looking for a connection, for a similar energy flow. You need to make sure you feel comfortable with your doula/midwife. Don’t underestimate it. You have a choice to get the right support for one of the most important events in your life.

Good luck with your choice and wishing you the best experience!



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