After the birth of her son, one of "my ladies" gave me this book as a gift. I found it an easy and interesting read, thus finished it within a few days. (I don't often buy books for myself with my own money, partly because I am a minimalist and don't like to have a bunch of stuff sitting around my house, and partly because I am a cheapskate. Ok.....mostly because I am a cheapskate. So, I love getting books and Barnes and Noble cards as gifts... Hint.... hint...)
The Doula Guide to Birth is one of the few pregnancy books that does not go into heavy detail about the physiology of labor and birth. It seems to focus more on the different techniques you can use during labor, and offers great advice as to finding the right doula. Plus, it gives ideas on how to prepare your birth plan, if you so choose to have one.
I really enjoyed the fact that this book did not focus so much on the horrors of hospital and medicated birth, nor did it seem to completely advocate for the "all natural" approach. Instead, The Doula's Guide talks about all choices of childbirth, and advocates for any plans you may choose in order to have your baby. It does, however, strongly suggest, if not assume, that you will incorporate a doula into these plans.
This is an easy and good read for anyone thinking about hiring a doula for their baby's birth, as it answers many questions as well as hands out confidence to all expectant parents.
It may also be a smart read for doulas, for it reminds us what we can give our clients, as well as provides different ideas and ways to help them. Plus, it seems to put us on a pedestal, and that feels good :)
If you have never really thought about having a doula present at your baby's birth, but would like to see what all the fuss is about, this is a great book to pick up, read, and loan out to your friends!
"Doulas exist as guardians for families while they're being born." --pg. xvii
"Their [a doula's] philosophy is to stay with you constantly, from start to finish in active labor, without taking breaks or changing shifts (which is not possible for most doctors, nurses, or midwives in hospitals). They come equipped with the ability to remain calm as the waves of labor intensify, to provide solid guidance for new dads and loved ones, to advocate for you with skill, and to remember all of the available labor techniques, with clear insight about when it's wise to use each one." -pg. 2
"Whatever way birth happens, it is your right of passage into motherhood, and that passage is to be celebrated. Natural childbirth is a passage, cesarean birth is a passage, and birth with an epidural is a passage to be celebrated. That passage cannot be taken away from you. Every mother's birth experience is valid, and an act of courage." -pg. 195
Happy Reading :)