I am a student in anthropology studying Chinese birthing practices among the diaspora of Montreal, and I found this book by accident while browsing the pregnancy section of a local bookstore. 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. 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. It is empowering to women and their partners without being overly philosophical or "corney" (to quote the author herself). It is an honest look at birth in the North American setting of today, that takes into account the history of birth in the US and Canada and is frank about the situation today in hospitals and out. I had originally intended on buying "The Doula Book" (formerly Mothering the Mother), but found it to be outdated in both it's writing style and the audience it addressed (the 70's mother), despite the fact that it was recently updated. I recommend this book instead of The Doula Book, for expecting mothers and fathers, people considering becoming doulas (I am seriously considering it after reading this book), and anyone who wants a clear picture of what a doula is.
I am a childbirth educator and Hypno-doula trainer, and am asked so many times about the benefits of hiring a doula, how to contact them and what to ask to make sure it's a good fit. This book explains it all and more, and I appreciate having it for my lending library. All pregnant women should consider obtaining it since anyone having a hospital birth needs a doula! Childbirth eductors should also get it for their students and encourage them to be informed of all of their birthing choices.
You need this book. The author does a terrific job of pointing out the medical and psychological benefits of doula care and otherwise making the case for doulas. The book also contains leads on other great doula resources, so it doubles as a doula sourcebook. Excellent reading.
I received "The Doula Advantage" today in the mail and have read it with eagerness. I am completely impressed with the information and the quality of the books contents. It is so wonderful to have a book like this in the mainstream to refer to people who are considering hiring a doula. Hiring a doula is not just for "hippie types," or those who only want an unmedicated birth. A doula is for every woman, (and her partner.) This book will help more and more people see the tremendous advantages of hiring a doula for their birth, and I am grateful to it's author for writing it.
I have had Doula's at both my children's births - one in the hospital with a doctor, one at home with a midwife - and in both cases the Doula made a huge difference to the experience. If you can only do one thing to help you with your birth hire a doula! This great book will tell you how. My husband was so happy to have a doula with us - he wanted to share the experience of her birth - but he felt much safer and was able to be more present for me - because our doula was with us.
As a doula myself,and someone who used a doula for two births, I was so eager to read a new book on the subject. Rachel did an amazing job of framing out the benefits of having a doula,,and prividing glimpses into doula attended births. So much good information, and real life tools to help women choose the best doula for their birth. I highly reccomend this book to any pregnant woman who wants to look back on their birth experience and remember a wonderful journey to motherhood.