I also think its interesting, then, that many people who do think about planning a home birth do not think that a doula is even necessary at a home birth at all. Many say that they have a midwife, what do they need a doula for? Won't the midwife do everything that a doula does? In reality, this varies. Some midwives may not show up early in labor, and may wait until the time seems close to attend the birth. Or, if they have other clients whose births are imminent, they may have to leave to attend them. Furthermore, if a midwife attends a birth without an assistant, then she isn't likely to be able to check blood pressure, take notes, set up birth equipment, etc AND provide the physical and informational support that a doula provides.
There are some midwives who work in pairs, where one can take care of the medical side of things and the other can provide doula support. And there are many midwives who want to be there in a doula capacity for a long labor! But this is not true 100% of the time, and many women and partners feel they greatly benefit from having a doula at their home birth.
To read more about perspectives on doulas at home births, check out this post from Citizens for Midwifery: Doulas and Homebirth
What do you think about Doulas at Home Births?