Birth guide: Should you choose a doctor, doula, or midwife?

Birth Guide: Should You Choose a Doctor, Doula, or Midwife?

Bringing a child into the world is a magical but stressful time and having the right medical support by your side goes a long way. Within the pregnancy specialist umbrella, there are many professionals to choose from.

While we at Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh believe a parent’s birthing plan is personal, we also want our clients to have all the information you need to make an informed choice on who will be responsible for your care and the care of your child.

In any medical situation, there is room for complications. That’s one reason medical professionals must be ever vigilant and avoid complacency on the job. As a leading birth trauma lawyer in Calgary, our job is to protect our clients in cases of negligence and malpractice. While there is no way to undo the damage done during medical treatment, there are options to help relieve financial strain during these difficult times.

To avoid the potential for malpractice, parents must know the roles of the many birthing specialists available to them. Here, we will talk about the role of a doctor, doula, and midwife, which might be most suitable for you.

What role does a doctor play during pregnancy and delivery?

Medical doctors are required to train in an undergraduate university program for a minimum of 4-years, before writing the MCAT test, and entering medical school for 3 to 4-years, depending on your province. Following medical school, the doctor works in a hospital or clinic to learn on the job as part of a practicum or residency.

A doctor may choose to specialize further in the field of medicine. Some doctors take additional training in the field of gynecology and obstetrics or neonatology. An OB/GYN completes an additional 4-years of focused residency and training. These doctors are skilled in pregnancy and female reproduction while also maintaining training in general medicine.

A doctor is a common choice for delivering a baby. Many couples across Calgary work closely with their doctors to develop birthing plans. As a Canadian, the care provided by your doctor is covered by your Canadian healthcare plan and does not require out of pocket expenses unless you choose to pay for a specific room or service outside of the traditional hospital delivery.

What role does a midwife play during pregnancy and delivery?

Throughout history, babies have been born in many ways and by many hands. One of the more traditional methods of childbirth is with the help of a midwife. Modern midwives are certified nurses and require the same training and certification.

Certified nursing midwives earn their degrees in nursing and then opt to educate themselves further with a master of nursing in midwifery. These nurses work closely with obstetricians during childbirth to assist with the birthing process and help the mother feel at ease.

Midwives are perfectly capable of delivering natural births when risks are low, and there are no complications. However, in the case of high-risk delivery or an emergency, a doctor is the best choice to deliver a baby for both mother and child’s safety.

What Role Does a Doula Play During Pregnancy and Delivery?

A doula is another birthing and delivery expert who focuses primarily on the mother’s emotional well-being and comfort. A doula may work closely with a mother during her pregnancy, giving birth, and after the delivery to assist with nursing and other needs.

A doula’s role is to allow the mother to enjoy or be present in the birthing experience. She or he helps create a birthing plan that follows the mother’s wishes for her delivery if the delivery goes as planned.

Some of the ways a doula helps during delivery are through coaching a mother on breathing, offering advice, providing massage or hand-holding for comfort, assisting with position changes during labour and more.

While a doula can provide amazing support during pregnancy and delivery, a doula is not medically trained to deliver a baby. That means if complications should occur, a doctor is required to ensure the health and safety of mother and child.

Which type of medical assistance should you have during delivery?

The choice of doctor, midwife, and doula are personal ones. Some women choose to have a doctor and a doula; others may decide only to have a midwife present at the birth. Before you make your selection, consider the information above regarding education and certification.

Having a doula present during delivery may provide comfort, but a doula cannot help deliver a baby if complications occur. Similarly, a midwife can deliver a baby during a normal, natural birthing, but if a problem arises, he or she will need a doctor to help.

As birth trauma lawyers in Calgary, we want our clients to have the safest and most comfortable experience possible during pregnancy and delivery. We recommend that our clients speak with their family doctor and OB/GYN before deciding who should be present during the delivery of your baby. It is good to know whether your doctor thinks your pregnancy will be a straightforward and low risk before hiring additional professional support for your delivery.

Why People Contact Us

Encountering trouble during pregnancy or delivery can be devastating, especially if there were ways to avoid these issues. If you feel you have experienced complications during or after pregnancy and that the reason could relate to malpractice or negligence. There is no way to undo complications during delivery. Still, Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh will do our very best to ensure that people who experience this trauma can provide their child with the best possible life moving forward by demanding financial retribution.

For more information about who can and should be present at your child’s birth, call Sommers, Roth and Elmaleh at +1 416-961-1212 or contact us here.

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A lawyer from Sommers Roth & Elmaleh will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Please note that no lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary relationship is created by your inquiry. All information provided is confidential.

The above information is not legal advice. Past results of cases and recoveries by our medical malpractice lawyers against hospitals, doctors, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not necessarily indicative of future results. The amounts recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.