What is a Monatrice?

What is a Monatrice?

Learn what a monatrice is, and why they would be beneficial at your birth.

If you are planning to birth your child in the hospital, but would like a more natural experience with as few interventions as possible, what things can help you achieve that ideal experience?  Taking a good childbirth education class?  Definitely!  Reading a lot of books and doing research about your options?  For sure!  Hiring a support person to assist you at home and at the hospital?  Yes, have you considered a Monatrice?!


What is a Monatrice?  A Monatrice is typically a Midwife who is practicing as a Doula for moms who are planning for a hospital birth.  She supports the mom in labor both at home, and once at the hospital.


What is the difference between a Monatrice and a Doula?  A Doula is able to provide emotional and physical support during labor and childbirth, as well as information about certain procedures and choices that a mom can make for herself and her baby.  A Monatrice is able to provide these same things, but since she is also a Licensed Midwife, she is trained and fully capable of providing medical support as well.  This could include:


  • Monitoring maternal vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse, etc.)
  • Palpating maternal abdomen to help determine fetal positioning so that different positions can be offered to facilitate fetal rotation and birthing
  • Monitoring fetal heart rate and assessing those tones for variability, accelerations and decelerations (this helps to determine fetal well-being)
  • Vaginal exams to help mom decide when she would like to go to the hospital


What is the benefit of a Monatrice?  For a mother who wants to stay at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital, but who has concerns about wanting to make sure she and her baby are doing well during labor, a Monatrice is the key to merging her desires.  This mother would be able to feel safe staying home during active labor knowing that her baby was doing well (and would probably labor better because of this) and be able to make an informed decision regarding when she would like to go to the hospital.


If I have a supportive partner, do I still need a Monatrice?  Yes!  Your partner should be there to support you and enjoy the birth of your child, without having to worry about everything else.  When partners feel like they have to remember everything they learned/read about childbirth, provide emotional and physical comfort, communicate with your doctor/nurse, take pictures, and know how to satisfy every wish and desire a mother may have…it is easy to understand how childbirth could be exhausting for them too!  The partner should be able to take on whatever roles they would like and just enjoy being in the moment with the mother and their child.  This is where having a Monatrice to step in and help take some of the weight off of the partner’s shoulders can be very beneficial.



About the author, Alexandra Wyatt, LM, CPM: Alexandra is a Licensed Midwife and a Certified Professional Midwife through the state of Texas.  Before becoming a Midwife, she was a Doula for 9 years and is trained in HypnoBirthing, Bradley and Lamaze child-birthing methods.  Alexandra has attended hundreds of births and feels blessed each time she is asked to help welcome a new little one into this world.



If you would like to learn more about how a Monatrice can enhance your birthing experience, please feel free to contact Alexandra.  You can find her online at: www.ButterflyBirths.com or on Facebook under “Butterfly Births Midwifery Services”.