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The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth Paperback – Oct 17 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 2 edition (Oct. 17 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738206091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738206097
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 17.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #313,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

World-wide renowned authorities on birthing and bonding, Klaus and Kennell (Bonding) team up once again in this new work, focusing on the role of the doula, a Greek word that means "woman caregiver." Today, the authors explain, doula has come to mean an experienced labor companion who provides parents-to-be with emotional and physical support during labor, delivery and, to some extent, postpartum. The three authors (Phyllis Klaus teaches psychotherapy at the Erikson Institute in California) describe how a doula can help the birthing process, detailing studies that indicate doula-supported births result in a major reduction in the length of labor, a greater than 50% drop in cesarean sections, a decrease in a mother's need for pain medication and fewer feeding problems for babies after birth. Over the past decade, the authors claim, "evidence for the benefits of doula support has been accumulating dramatically." Expectant parents will find this exciting information, and it may impact their birthing plans. With appendixes and photos (many of which, unfortunately, seem to date from the 1970s) detailing a doula's training, relaxation and visualization techniques, the book will also be vital for women considering entering this field. As usual, the team of Klaus and Kennell presents its work in a clear, compassionate manner, offering new insights and ways to make birthing a safe and positive experience for all involved.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A doula, from the Greek word meaning "woman caregiver," acts as a companion to a woman before, during, and, to a lesser extent, after labor. Unlike a midwife, she does not provide obstetrical care (i.e., deliver babies) but rather offers continuous and individualized emotional and physical support in order to foster a sense of reassurance, shorten labor, and decrease the need for pain killers and cesarean section. In this update of Mothering the Mother (1993), neonatologist Klaus, pediatrician John H. Kennell, and psychotherapist Phyllis H. Klaus carefully delineate the specific functions and characteristics of a well-trained doula, the criteria for selecting one, and the numerous benefits of using one. Real-life examples of the interaction among the doula, the mother, and her partner illuminate what it's like to work with a doula. Appendixes provide detailed information about the training of doulas, the techniques that they employ, and the results of clinical trials of labor support. The only drawback is that the photographs appear rather dated. A fine acquisition for public library pregnancy and health collections.
Linda M.G. Katz, Drexel Univ. Health Sciences Libs., Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Women helping women give birth is an ancient practice that is still widespread today. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Berry on Aug. 2 2009
Format: Paperback
The Doula Book has a really nice mix of science and granola. It was a pleasant and easy read, although it was a little bit repetitive at times.

As the title indicates, it's about how a doula can benefit your pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience, so if you aren't interested in a doula, skip it. But if you are interested in a doula and want to learn more, it may be a good choice.

It has a good appendix about relaxation exercises - I kept falling asleep while I was reading that part, but now I use the techniques to help me fall asleep at night or to de-stress. So if you're looking for a simple relaxation exercise that won't take too much practice, but may help you during labour, this appendix could be helpful to you.

The highlight if this book is the chapter about how dads and doulas work together. It provided studies and statistics (which appeal to many men) without being too cut and dried. If you would like to use a doula, but your husband or partner isn't so sure, this chapter might help convince him.

Unfortunately, I thought the book had a rather narrow view of what doulas do, and it may make the reader feel that a doula isn't going to be helpful if their situation is outside of what the book describes.
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Format: Paperback
I had Mothering the Mother from the same authors, and was not sure if it was going to be worth it to buy The Doula Book, the 2nd edition. As soon as I picked a copy up in the store, I realized that is was going to be worth it. It has a lot of updated information in it, additional birth stories and examples, and much more information, without loosing any of the info about the very first research.
I am glad that it still provides the perspective of 'how it all started' which I find sadly missing in other books about doulas and the aspect of labor support. Well, and who better to write about it then the pioneering researchers themselves, who are also Founders of Doulas of North America (DONA), the largest doula organization.
While the continuous emotional, physical and informational support of a doula just makes common sense, this books provides the data and the research results for those who need them to understand the value of a doula. I recommend this book all the time to those who wnat to understand the role of a doula better, and those who want to become a doula themselves.
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Format: Paperback
I had originally intended to buy "The Doula Book" (formerly Mothering the Mother), but found it to be outdated in both it's writing style and the audience it addressed (the 70's mother), despite the fact that it was recently updated. It begins with a description of a happy couple immagining a birth where they are the only two people present in which the baby is born easily and effortlessly at home. Though I was born at home and I actually know a couple that delivered their own baby, this kind of imagry is not what most couples in North America today have around birth. Most of the book tends to exclude mainstream North America--the people who need doulas most. Instead, I highly recommend "The Doula Advantage" by Rachel Gurevich. I found her book by accident while shopping for "The Doula Book." I couldn't put it down so I bought it, and then stayed up all night reading it cover to cover. It is concise, engaging, and written for a wide audience, which gets the message out: doulas are good for ALL types of labors from cesarean sections to nonmedicated homebirths and everything inbetween. (Not just "hippy" types--don't get me wrong, I'm one of them--wanting a natural birth, as seems to be suggested by The Doula Book). It discusses how a doula has been proven to dramatically decreese rates of c-sections, episiotomies, medications and other overly-used medical interventions, but also admits that sometimes these interventions are necessary, and explains how the Doula can provide support for this as well. She gives accounts of mothers, fathers, doulas and health providers to present a clear picture of what a doula can do for everyone involved in the prenatal, labor and postnatal experience.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on Feb. 7 2010
Format: Paperback
You do not need this book. Just read a bit about what doulas do online, find one in your area and ask them what they can offer you that is in line with your expectations. This book is unnessary, but informative if you need convincing that doulas are great.
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Format: Paperback
Three of the founders of Doulas of North America, Marshal and Phyllis Klaus and John Kennell, have written an update to their original book, Mothering the Mother. The new version has up to date information and facts and truly gives the essence of what a doula does.
With their love for laboring families and the doulas who help them, the authors make reading about doula research enjoyable. Their words of wisdom help families who are thinking of choosing a doula and also women who are thinking of becoming doulas. Required reading for all who are interested in doulas!
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By A Customer on Sept. 9 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm not sure why some of the other reviewers were so negative about this book. It provides a great review of the research regarding doulas positive impact on labor and birth, addresses doulas and dads, and generally gives you an idea of what to expect from your doula. Definitely something to check out if you're interested in maintaining as natural of a childbirth as possible -- even if you know you'll be induced or have a cesarean birth!
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