Remember: Your birth belongs to YOU! Make decisions that fit for you and yours. Birthing women birth best where they feel safest. Choose a team you trust to make you feel safe and to protect your birthing space. Make sure you are buying what members of your team are selling. Does she/he “do” birth the way you want your birth done?

Childbirth Educator

  • Independent childbirth educators provide information that is not permitted in classes provided in hospitals
  • Provides information to aid you in making decisions as you prepare for your birth
  • Serves as a resource as you assemble your birth team
  • Presents a wide range of options and possibilities so that you can make informed choices
  • Helps you know where to start: what questions to ask, what qualifications to look for
  • Provides personalized guidance in a forum designed to empower you with information


Doula (AKA: Professional Labor Support, Birth Doula)

  • Provides physical and emotional support during pregnancy and labor
  • Provides guidance as you prepare for your birth
  • Serves as a sounding board to help you determine what options are in your best interest, during both pregnancy and labor
  • Attends both a woman and her partner during labor, providing physical, psychological and emotional support
  • Serves as an advocate to help a couple get the birth they want
  • Offers alternatives to cookie-cutter birth scenarios, helping couples make choices that are right for them
  • Accepts responsibility for logistical duties during labor (monitoring positioning, hydration, elimination, fetching, and maintenance of birth space) so that partners are free to simply be present and attentive



  • Attends births at home, birth centers and in hospitals
  • Expert in normal birth
  • Recognizes wide range of normalcy
  • Sees birth as a healthy function of a healthy woman
  • Catches babies, mothers deliver their own babies
  • Provides personalized care, longer visits, and emphasis on a woman’s total well-being, including emotional and psychological aspects of pregnancy and labor
  • Expects women to share responsibility and accountability for their own care
  • William (M.D.) and Martha (R.N.) Sears say that midwives trust nature (your body’s ability to birth) and want to use intervention judiciously only if it becomes necessary



  • Attends births only in hospitals
  • Expert in the pathology of birth (in things that can go wrong)
  • Sees birth as a medical event requiring medical services
  • Delivers babies
  • Visits primarily emphasize objective measures of well-being; Psychological issues are often not acknowledged or addressed
  • Sometimes expects women to relinquish responsibility, accountability and power over their own care
  • William and Martha Sears say that obstetricians trust technology and are wary of nature


Postpartum Doula

  • Provide support and encouragement to mothers and fathers as the family adjust to its newest member
  • Performs light housekeeping tasks and meal preparation
  • Helps parents become familiar and comfortable with care of their newborn
  • Some postpartum doulas are prepared to help with breastfeeding and breastfeeding issues