Ann Marshall

3 Portland Midwives to Help Guide You Through Your Birth and Labor

Each of my children’s births was exhilarating, exhausting, and so different from the others I had experienced before! So, whether you are expecting your first child or you are having another, having options is a good thing, and you may be considering using Portland midwives or doulas during childbirth.

Here in Portland, we are lucky enough to have many excellent health care providers to help you bring a healthy baby into the world. Let’s go over the main differences between a doula and a midwife, so you can decide exactly what is right for you.

The Role of the Midwife

The midwife is a medically responsible person that is present from pregnancy through birth and usually up to 6 weeks after your baby is born. Midwives serve people who are having low-risk pregnancies and can assist in both home births and hospital births if they have privileges.

If they are trained in the midwifery model of care, they may also be able to draw labs, do ultrasounds, and perform exams. During labor, they are the person who monitors your progress, making sure the baby is transitioning well, and who “catches” your baby at birth. While they do provide comfort and care, their main role is more of a medical one.

After your birth, they assist both you and your newborn with well-baby checks, help with breastfeeding, and making referrals to other healthcare providers you may need.

The Role of the Doula

The name doula translates to “a woman who serves.” They are not generally medically trained but are trained in the art of helping women with the emotional and physical demands of birth. While their work is very important, it is much less technical than that of a midwife.

A doula may assist you with breathing techniques, massage, focus, and meditation. Some do offer prenatal and postnatal services, and some only assist with the birth. Their role is to help you merge body and soul to make the birth process less stressful for you and your baby. You can read more about Portland doulas here!

Midwives+ Doulas= Can Be a Winning Combination!

Since their jobs are focused on different parts of the birth process, having a doula and a midwife attend your birth is possible. Be sure to ask providers if they like this arrangement and how it works within their practice.

3 Portland Midwives to Check Out

Two Rivers Midwifery

Two Rivers provides support for families of all cultures and faiths and is LGBTQ-affirming. They offer committed prenatal care, birth services, and nutritional and lifestyle guidance as well. They can also assist with home births and water births. Two Rivers Midwifery is located in NE Russell St in Portland.

Glow Midwifery

Glow combines holistic approaches with evidence-based care and places deep trust in your body’s natural instincts. Along with prenatal and postnatal care, they offer a host of education and nutritional guidance, and breastfeeding support. 

Alma Midwifery

Alma marries the art of midwifery with the use of evidence-based medical technology and offers both home births and births at their center. Their care is human-directed, and they offer various services beyond the birth experience up to the baby’s 6 week birthday.  They are located on SE Ankeny St in Portland. 

Planning for Your Newborn Photos

Luckily, planning for newborn photos is a much easier process than choosing a doula or midwife!

While photographers don’t need to be certified to take newborn photos, I think it’s very important for you to invest with a photographer who specializes in newborns and just genuinely loves babies! 
Learn more about how I make your newborn session as safe and comfortable as possible!

Portland Midwives

My goal is to make it as easy as possible for you. Get in touch and tell me when your baby is due. I can’t wait to meet you and your new family member!