Do you roll your eyes a little bit when you hear the word “midwife”? Latham Thomas, Doula & Wellness Expert, knows. “People think that they show up to your house with warm towels and sing ‘Kumbaya’ but no, they come prepared to deliver your baby,” she says. “Midwives do everything that doctors do except for surgical deliveries. They’re very skilled in navigating the female pelvis and understanding what’s happening inside your body. They can also deliver breech babies, which most doctors will not.”
On the third episode of ‘Wine + Gyn,’ Thomas isn’t afraid to hit those myths hard. And she knows you’re wondering how a doula differs from a midwife. “A doula is a constant presence of support who serves as your educational support,” she explains. “They’re really like the spiritual, emotional (and) physical glue and they’re kind of holding and protecting the space. One of my clients calls it having a producer for your birth. With doctors and their patients, there seems to be sometimes disconnect and a lack of trust. The doula can really step in and be a presence of support but also help you advocate and educate.”
Need another reason to have one at your side during labor? Here’s a good one: Mothers who use doulas and midwives ask for fewer pain meds during birth. That kind of empowerment is what made Thomas want to become a doula. “I knew that I wanted to help women on their journey after my experience, the birth experience I had with my son,” she says. “I learned so much and I also was so interested in the process, and learning so much about my body. This experience needs to be protected for women.”
Watch episode 3 of ‘Wine + Gyn’ for many more pearls of wisdom from Thomas, including her surprising trick for inducing labor and a hands-on way to find out when you’re most fertile.