What does a Monitrice do?

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  • Written By: Allison Boelcke
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2019
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A monitrice, also referred to as a doula, is a person hired to assist a woman through the stages of pregnancy and childbirth. Monitrices typically have knowledge on how to perform basic physical examinations and women can choose to have them perform house calls rather than going to health care facilities. While monitrices do not actually deliver babies, they provide a variety of personalized services throughout pregnancy and labor.

One of the main duties of a monitrice is to assess a woman’s vital signs during pregnancy. He or she measures blood pressure to ensure the safety of a vaginal birth; if a monitrice determines blood pressure is at unsafe levels, he or she may inform the woman’s primary health care provider. Monitrices also can listen to fetal heartbeats to make sure there are no complications. During the beginning stages of labor, monitrices monitor cervix dilation in order to report to the delivering doctors.

Many monitrices also offer individual counseling to pregnant women. A monitrice will typically explain the advantages and disadvantages of different birthing methods, such as natural labor without medication or giving birth in the water. The counseling is intended to educate a woman so she can make an informed decision. Doulas may also advise women on any possible labor complications so they are not frightened or surprised.


A monitrice will generally meet with a pregnant woman and come up with customized relaxation techniques to use during labor. He or she provides coaching on proper breathing methods and gives advice on which positions will be most comfortable during labor. If a monitrice finds out a woman is having difficulty dealing with pregnancy symptoms, such as fatigue or nausea, he or she will give tips on how to handle them.

The process for monitrices typically begins with consultation meetings in which they try to establish rapport with the clients. Monitrices will learn what the individual’s preferences are and shape counseling advice around them. They figures out what a client finds stressful in order to develop personalized relaxation techniques that will work best.

When a monitrice is hired, he or she will typically agree to be on-call for two weeks to one month before a client’s estimated due date. These professionals can also accompany a client to a set number of prenatal doctor visits in order to be completely informed of any issues and to relay any pertinent information to the doctor. When clients go into labor, doulas will generally be by their sides but do not deliver babies. After delivery, monitrices may give any final advice, such as tips for easier breastfeeding.


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Post 2

Assessing vitals, or doing any sort of physical labor check is not actually within the scope of practice of Doulas. Doulas provide emotional, physical, and informational support to pregnant women and their families. They are not trained to be health care providers.

Doulas are amazing and can make the difference between having the birth you want, and not. However, they are not the same thing as a monitrice. A monitrice would more accurately be equated with a midwife's assistant.

Post 1

No need to be politically correct about a monitrice. They are female and provide a "woman to woman" type of support. I have yet to meet a male monitrice, although I've heard a rumor of a male doula, which is just wrong!!

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