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midwife, birth doula, lactation consultant, monitrice...oh my!

If you've been in birth groups on social media for any length of time, you have probably heard at least a few of these words and wonder why there are so many different names for the same thing. Well, that would be because they are not the same! Each type of birth worker has a different role, and I'm going to take a few minutes to tell you about each of them and why they are essential in helping you have a great birth experience.

Let's start at the beginning of your pregnancy journey and work our way through the different birth workers you will encounter.


Usually, the first person you will call when you get a BFP, so you can make sure you get your favorite before she is booked. There are a few different types of midwives, but you will most often hear about the two main types: Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).

CNMs are birth workers who have taken the path to become a Registered Nurse (RN) in whatever specialty they chose, usually Labor & Delivery, but then decide they want to focus specifically on the childbearing years' as well as well-woman care. A CNM will have gone on to get their Masters or Doctorate in midwifery. CNMs are certified by their governing body, known as American College of Midwives, and are licensed by their