Midwives & Doulas


One of the most important and personal decisions you’ll make during pregnancy is choosing a healthcare provider for yourself and your baby. Midwives usually work with low-risk pregnancies. Obstetricians are medical doctors. In addition to helping with vaginal deliveries, they can do c-sections and special procedures if needed. Many women with low and high-risk pregnancies choose to see an obstetrician.

Working with a midwife instead of an obstetrician can be an excellent alternative for women with a healthy, low-risk pregnancy.

Today, many women choose a midwife because:

  • They’re looking for emotional support during pregnancy and labor.
  • They’re interested in a more natural birth.
  • They want to deliver in water.

Most midwives in the United States are certified nurse-midwives, or CNMs. A CNM is a registered nurse who’s educated in midwifery and accredited by the American Midwifery Certification Board. He or she can practice anywhere in the United States and deliver babies in any setting, including a hospital.

Women who deliver with a midwife in a hospital also have the option of getting an epidural from an anesthesiologist.

What’s a doula?

A birth doula is a trained labor coach who assists you during labor and delivery. She provides you with continuous emotional support, as well as assistance with other non-medical aspects of your care.

Doulas charge several hundred to a thousand dollars for their services, which are seldom covered by health insurance. Some, however, are willing to work on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay.

You can also hire a postpartum doula to come to your home after the birth to help you settle in with your new baby.

What are the advantages of having a birth doula?

A doula helps you before labor and delivery by answering your questions about what to expect, easing your fears, helping you develop a birth plan, and generally getting you ready for the arrival of your baby.

During labor and delivery, a doula provides constant, knowledgeable support. She can make suggestions about positions during labor, help you with breathing through contractions, and provide massage. She can also answer questions you and your partner have about what’s happening.

How does WellStar North Fulton Hospital work with doulas?

Additional assistance in labor, such as a doula, is welcome at WellStar North Fulton Hospital. Doulas provide much needed support and assistance outside of the medical scope. Their presence during a birth can be an important and useful part of the mother’s experience.

It is the goal at WellStar North Fulton Hospital to ensure safety for a healthy mom and baby. When doulas provide support with deliveries, we ask that they work in collaboration with the healthcare team and respect the medical direction of the patient’s provider and nurses.