It’s definitely up there, in the top 5 most common questions I get asked as a Doula, alongside ‘Don’t you get broody all the time?’ and ‘What made you decide to become a Doula?’.
To any of you thinking of interviewing me…no, I will not judge you for walking this well-trodden path, please ask away! I’d be interested too and I’m happy to answer.
Do I get along well with midwives? Answer: Yes. Proper answer: Yes, in varying degrees. Midwives are professionals, they are there to do their job, part of which is to help and support you in birthing your baby. If they don’t like me being there then I shouldn’t even be aware of it and neither should you. Without exception over the last 18 months or so I haven’t met a Midwife who wasn’t positive about my presence in the birthing room. On one end of the scale I’ve had quiet, mildly curious yet pleased, and on the other performing a small victory dance when the midwife realised I was a Doula. I’m not there to take their place and they know this. I’m not medically trained – even if I was I wouldn’t be allowed to practice and our roles are clearly defined.
It might help you to think about it the other way around….’How do I respond to Midwives?’ Short answer: I think they are amazing! Proper answer: Just appreciating what they do and why is very important. It affects how we speak to them and how we listen to them. The vast majority care very much how well they do their job and they work to the best of their abilities in the most litigious area of the NHS!
I think Doulas and Midwives both appreciate why we have chosen our individual paths and I have experienced how a woman can react when a Midwife and Doula get along well. It’s not something a any of my clients should have to worry about. It’s all about the woman, her family and her baby. That’s all both our professions care about. Just trust you’ve hired a good Doula and know she understands your wishes, the rest is down to plain old professionalism.