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Which birthing style is right for you? Doula vs. Midwife vs. OB

Are you expecting, or know someone who is? There are many options when it comes down to who helps deliver a baby and where it is done, but how do you know which birthing method is right for you?

Dr. Lisa Thiel from Spectrum Health helps bridge the gap between home birth and hospital birth, plus gives insights on obstetricians in the midwife/doula community.

Doula: support person that can provide significant education, goal development and in hospital one-on-one guidance. Should work together with ob team versus taking on an activist role and avoiding appropriate, safe care.  A certified doula completes 2-4 years of training to be knowledgeable in areas of labor and postpartum care

Midwife: Certified nurse midwives are on service at spectrum 24/7. They are nurses specifically trained to deliver a low-risk woman in a birthing experience determined by the patient and her midwife.  Please note that there are differences between a lay midwife and a certified nurse midwife that has oversight and credentialing requirements

Obstetrical Nurse (OB): Obstetrical nurses are a huge support and coordinate many areas of the delivery process. An obstetrician completes four years of medical school after an undergraduate degree, then four years of residency.  The training includes laboring patients for vaginal delivery, surgical specialty training for hysterectomy, cesarean, tubal ligations, bowel/bladder incontinence concerns. They also address medical concerns such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity in pregnancy.

A high-risk obstetrician completes three additional years of fellowship to address complicated fetal concerns, genetic issues, autoimmune disease, maternal cardiac disease, complex obstetric surgery   They work closely with midwives, obstetricians and encourage doula care for our patients as well.

All of these medical experts work together as a team to make sure a woman has the best possible care during delivery.

Still unsure about what type of delivery method you should choose? Spectrum Health has a quiz on their website to help you figure out which method might work best for you.

For more information, visit Spectrum Health.org.

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