At Sacred Roots, certified nurse-midwives (CNM) and registered nurses (RN) comprise your clinical team. At your birthing time, you’ll be attended by one CNM and one RN, and they will be responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of you and your baby throughout labor, birth, and the initial postpartum period. While your clinical team may also, and often does, provide hands-on comfort care and emotional support, that is not their primary focus. Instead, they may be checking vital signs, gauging labor progress, assessing blood loss, giving medications, and so on. Additionally, there are times that multiple women are laboring at the birth center simultaneously and continuous hands-on support from your clinical team is not an option.
However, doulas are professionally-trained labor support! Their primary focus is on you and your comfort, coping, and relaxation during the course of your labor! While you are laboring, they may be guiding your breathing, suggesting new positions, massaging your lower back, and verbally affirming your ability to birth your baby. A doula’s care often begins before you are admitted to the birth center and can be instrumental during the early labor stage. Continuous labor support is incredibly important for women during labor and birth, and this is what doulas provide. Doulas also provide important support to partners, ensuring that they feel confident in the care they are providing to the laboring woman.
In short, midwives and doulas play different, but complementary, roles on your birth team.