Back in early December, I had the opportunity to be a vendor at the Winter Wonderland event at Wise Acres Organic Farm in Indian Trail, NC. (Side Note: I love Wise Acres. Can't wait until strawberry season!) It was so much fun to dialogue with different people about my work. Here is how those conversations usually went:
Me: I'm a doula!
Person: Oh, so like a midwife?
Me: Not exactly. Birth doulas provide support to the laboring mother and partner during birth, and postpartum doulas help during the postpartum period. I do both!
Person: So, you only go to homebirths then?
Me: No, actually most of my clients birth in the hospital.
Person: Blank look.
I think this graphic is really helpful for understanding the different roles that doulas and midwives play during a birth:
But the differences between doulas and midwives isn't really what this post is about.
What many do not know about me is that for a while after I started my journey to become a doula, I thought that I might use it as a stepping stone to someday becoming a midwife. I looked around the internet at midwifery schools, debated the pros and cons of CNM (certified nurse midwife) versus CPM (certified professional midwife), and dreamed about how someday I would change future of birth with my radical midwife ways.
But then I actually started attending births as a doula. I realized how much I really enjoyed my role as encourager, supporter, and cheerleader. I also got to see midwives in action and I found I did not have a desire to do the things they did. Midwives monitored progress, talked over birth choices, did cervical checks. I rubbed backs, suggested different positions, talked my clients through contractions. I began to have less and less desire to pursue midwifery and instead set out to become the best doula I could be. I finally decided that my passion was truly ignited in my work as a doula. Here are the three main reasons that I will NOT be pursuing midwifery:
I am so thankful for the midwives that have chosen their path to supporting women during childbirth. I am proud to work alongside them in our complementary roles, but I no longer have the desire to become one. For me, the work of the birth and postpartum doula is the perfect fit! I love serving families in Charlotte and the surrounding areas as a doula and I hope to continue to do this work for as long as I am able. If you are interested in having a free consultation with me to find out if my services would be a good fit for you, contact me here.
Andrea Gerdes is a certified birth doula and trained postpartum doula who lives and works in Charlotte, NC. She is the homeschooling mother to three kids and the wife of one amazing husband.
Complete Joy Birth Services
Charlotte, NCPhone: 540-226-1312