This question is often asked to doulas.
If you ask the same question to a midwife, you may get a variety of answers.
In the birth room, everyone has a job. The midwife is the care provider. While midwives are sometimes great with support, their primary job is to make sure that nothing goes wrong medically with you or baby.
This means that if there is any type of extra special event that requires her full attention, that is often when you need the most support. Often, by no fault of even an excellent midwife, she needs to focus her attention where it needs to be. However, this can make you feel a little lost at times.
One of the positives that have been proven show that doulas help is continuous care. This means we are not distracted by your medical care. Our only focus is on you and being there for you.
We have no other job. We will often neglect our own needs to be there for you.
Midwives are some of the most wonderful care providers in the world. However, everyone has a role to play and they are not doulas. While some can act as a wonderful support person, if they are in the role of care provider, they often cannot turn off that switch and you miss out on the key parts of having a doula.