Your birth team can contain a combination of different support people, and each play a distinct role in assisting you as a birthing mother. In a home birth situation, two midwives will attend to the mother, with the second midwife being in a supportive role to the primary midwife and the baby. Even so, doulas can take on many other roles such as helping with positioning, massage, caring for children, preparing a space for the mother to move, helping with the facilitation of water birth equipment, and many more.
The health and safety of you and your baby are the primary concern of your midwives. They may not be available to provide all of the physical and emotional support you may need during labour and birth. Also, midwives will most certainly stay in touch with you once labour has begun; However, they stay with you only once active labour is established, which is measured beginning at 4 cm dilation. Early labour can go on for quite some time, and you may need or want support at this time — this is when your doula steps in.
Your doula will attend your labour as soon as you feel you need her and will stay with you throughout labour, birth and the early postpartum period. Doulas are also an excellent resource in birth planning and discovering your options with family resources in the city.
You deserve a doula.