A midwife and doula are not the same thing. A doula's job is to provide
non-medical, emotional, and personal support to a woman throughout her
pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum experience. A certified nurse midwife
is a medical health care professional that manages the overall general health of
the mother and baby;
for example, performs exams, orders laboratory tests, and procedures, and performs
fetal monitoring from the pregnant woman's first prenatal visit to post-partum
and aftercare. A midwife can deliver the baby, whereas a doula cannot.
A midwife usually tries to minimize the use of unnecessary technological interventions. A midwife cannot perform C-sections, use vacuums or forceps during labor and delivery. Midwives generally work with an Obstetrician (a doctor that specializes in pregnancy, birth, and women's reproductive health) when medical intervention by a specialist is necessary.
A doula does not require a medical degree, but requires certification in some states. Certification for nurse-midwife in the US requires a certification from the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). Entrance into the AMCB program requires a Bachelor's Degree and a licensed RN degree. AMBC certification is a Master's Degree program.
Government of the District of Columbia. "Municipal Regulations for Nurse-Midwives."
Oregon Health Authority.gov. "Utilizing Doulas to Improve Birth Outcomes for Underdeserved Women in Oregon." Feb 22, 2012.
American College of Nurse-Midwives. "Become a Midwife."
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