Birth Questions Answered

What’s the difference between a doula, a midwife, and an obstetrician (OB)?

Doulas are non-medical support people, who are trained & often certified to assist and comfort the pregnant and postpartum person. Birth Doulas provide emotional, educational, and physical support throughout pregnancy and labor. Postpartum doulas work specifically with assisting mothers who have just given birth to help with breastfeeding, newborn care, and aid with chores and other siblings. Midwives and obstetricians are medically trained health care providers for pregnant people. They perform exams and any necessary testing throughout pregnancy, as well as deliver babies in and out of the hospital. Obstetricians are physicians and surgeons who can perform cesarean sections and other procedures, while midwives only perform vaginal deliveries.

What are my options for places to give birth in North Florida?

If you choose to be under the care of a midwife, you can give birth at home, in a birth center, or at certain area hospitals (with an CNM), depending on your specific midwifery practice that you choose for care. There are Florida statutes that protect your right to deliver at home or in a birth center for a low risk healthy person. If you choose to be under the care of an obstetrician, you can receive care in their office and give birth with them at a hospital.

What’s a VBAC?

A VBAC is the acronym for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, studies have shown it is safe in most cases for a VBAC client to receive a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) to attempt to delivery vaginally. Each individual case is different and you can ask your provider for evidenced-based options for your delivery.