This is a common question especially from families planning a homebirth. Here's my answer: A doula frees up the midwife to spend all of her energy on the medical side of birth, resulting in a safer birth all around. If a midwife is exhausted from hours of encouraging, coaching, and emotionally comforting a mom then her mind will not be as sharp when it is needed to make split second life-affecting decisions as the baby is born. Midwives do not typically provide extensive emotional support anyway, and often do not arrive as early in labor as the doula can. With a doula specializing on the emotional and comfort side of labor, the midwife is able to provide better medical care. The mom gets all of her needs met by having professionals there both for her emotional needs and for her medical needs.
Melanie Ellison, Durango CO
Childbirth fascinates me, and I always love learning more tidbits about it and sharing them with you. I also post photo galleries here from my photoshoots. Sign up for the RSS feed below so you don't miss a post!