When I was pregnant, I was a little overwhelmed at the numerous birthing options that were available for my birth.
People would ask me questions like — are you going to have a Doula? is an OB/GYN going to deliver your baby? Or was a choosing a nurse midwife instead?
For me, all of the questions were overwhelming because if I’m honest, I didn’t really know the difference between all those birthing options — to me they were all the same.
Although it is wonderful to live in a world with options, sometimes it can be a little confusing, especially when it comes down to things like the difference between a certified midwife and a nurse midwife. So here is a guide on the different types of labor support that you can have during your delivery.
Doulas are not midwives or doctors, which is a common misconception. Doulas are meant to provide emotional and physical support during labor, but not medical care. A Doula can help a mom with pain management, relaxation techniques, and they can also help get the baby lined up correctly in the birth canal to help avoid any complications.
There are two types of Doulas: Birth Doulas and Postpartum Doulas. Birth Doulas assist during birth, and Postpartum Doulas assist after the baby is born. Postpartum Doulas do everything from doing your laundry to rocking the baby while you take a little nap, which warrants the question if there can be Life Doulas.
A certified midwife is someone that has been trained solely in learning how to deliver babies and prenatal/postpartum care. They get their training through apprenticeships or educational classes and do not necessarily need a college degree. Certified Midwives are commonly used at home births and birthing centers and are mostly seen in “nonsurgical environments.”
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM’s)
Nurse midwives are certified nurses who have also gone through midwifery school and passed an examination. To be a CNM, nurses must have at least a Bachelor’s Degree. Certified Nurse Midwives are trained to do home births, but they do a lot of their training in a hospital setting as well.
An OB/GYN is a doctor that has been specifically trained in women’s health and prenatal/postpartum care. They usually take care of the mom all throughout pregnancy and deliver her baby. OB/GYN’s are equipped to perform surgical procedures in case of an emergency or a scheduled C-section.
Ultimately, who you decide to deliver your baby is up to you and what you are comfortable with. There are so many amazing options for you to choose from, and it is so important to be informed about all of the different labor and delivery options.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.