What is a doula vs. a midwife vs. an OB/GYN?

There are a few notable differences that distinguish a doula from a midwife or an OB/GYN. Here are a few, but not a complete list, of the differences between obstetric health care providers:


  • Helps families during pregnancy
  • Labor and birth assistant
  • Provides education, physical and emotional support
  • May not be covered by insurance

Certified Nurse Midwife

  • Licensed professionals with graduate-level education
  • Provide pregnancy and newborn care
  • Family-centered maternity experience
  • Registered nurse with focused training in midwifery
  • Work with obstetricians who can assist with complications

Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN)

  • Medical doctor who can provide medical and surgical care
  • Specialized, advanced education, including four years after medical school in an obstetrics and gynecology residency program
  • Board certification