Catholic Health is proud to support moms-to-be by offering a number of different birthing options. When planning your delivery, one thing many women consider is whether they’d like to make a midwife or doula part of their birth team.

Many people may have heard these terms used in relation to labor and delivery, but may be unclear on what they mean. You might even think a midwife and a doula are the same thing!

We’ve dedicated this blog post to breaking down the differences between a midwife and a doula – as well as highlight the benefits each can provide for women in labor.

What Is a Midwife?

Midwife is a term that literally means “with woman.” At Catholic Health, our certified nurse midwives (CNM) are trained to work alongside or in the place of a traditional OB/GYN. Midwives tend to specialize in healthy, normal pregnancies – a woman whose pregnancy has been deemed “high-risk” will work with a physician dedicated to high-risk patients.

The most common misconception about midwives is they don’t believe in pain medication or intervening in any way while a woman is laboring. This simply isn’t true.

Midwives are most receptive to women who come to providers with a bit of creativity, or their own ideas about how a successful delivery looks to them. If pain medication such as an epidural is in your birth plan, a midwife can certainly administer that.

“It’s okay to come in and have your birth be the way you want it, not what we expect. Whether it be a natural birth, medicated birth, at the end of the day it’s healthy mom, healthy baby.”

Jennifer Field, CNM

Midwife, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo

What Is a Doula?

A doula is a care provider who focuses on supporting the mother-to-be throughout labor. Most women’s relationships with their doulas begin during pregnancy, so the doula is able to get to know the woman and learn more about her pregnancy journey.

Some women feel that working with a doula offers them more coaching, preparation, and support for labor and delivery. While providers like a doctor or midwife focus on delivering the baby, a doula will keep their focus on the mom-to-be.

Welcoming New Members of the Birth Team

We are proud to empower the women in our community by offering expectant mothers a number of birth options so they can experience a healthy, successful delivery. Learn more about midwifery care and the doula partners at Catholic Health.

Learn More About Birth Options
Call (716) 923-7152

Learn More About Birth Options
Call (716) 923-7152