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After reading some of the threads here on natural birth, I'm surprised no one mentioned using a doula alongside their midwife. From my understanding, the midwife and doula play very different roles, with only one common ground of being present at your birthing. The role of "midwife" primarily focuses on delivering the baby. While there are exceptions, traditionally, this is the main duty of midwifery. The role of "doula" is to be a confidante, emotional and physical support before and after birthing. They are an ideal addition to any natural birth experience for several reasons: they may spend additional time with the new mother without time constraints after delivery to assist with anxieties, calming techniques and breastfeeding when the midwife may be scheduled elsewhere. I've also read that having a doula may be a cultural thing, and some women may not deem it necessary to have one during their labour and delivery. But after joining a natural birth site, it seems that the majority of women on there recommend having BOTH a midwife accompanied by a doula. I'm thinking (and I know it's very early at this point) that if I do in fact go the natural route and use a midwife, I will want a doula as well. I've heard reputable and experienced doulas cost near to $1000 for a birth. So it's definitely a little something extra on the side. Have any of you mommas on here used a doula?