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The Doula Book: How A Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have A Shorter, Easier, And Healthier Birth Kindle Edition

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Length: 256 pages

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3904 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 2nd edition (November 7, 2002)
  • Publication Date: November 7, 2002
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0010NWGQC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,606 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 121 people found the following review helpful By bump on June 17, 2003
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Working Doula on January 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a working doula and found this book to be of great value. I would think it is better for the potential doula rather than the expectant mother as a resource. This book clearly outlined the research studies to support a doula-assisted birth. At no point did I feel there was a political agenda attached to the content. It was clear in outlining the significant benefits and risks of any method or intervention. I am an unbiased doula assisting women in whatever birth they chose whether it be medicated or not, the book simply lays out the benefits of doulas.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "um2345" on February 22, 2004
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sarah K. Masterson on October 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
For a woman just learning about what a doula does and what benefits can be gained for the whole family, I wholeheartedly recommend this research-based book. I know many other childbirth educators, midwives, and parents who use this book often, find it as readable as I do, and greatly respect its authors.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Heather Berry on October 10, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides so much needed information, studies and facts that women need to make informed decisions about labor! It's so hard to find this information anywhere else, and in such a easy-to-read format! It's refreshing! It's also a quick read if you are interested in natural labor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CT Claddagh on May 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this book while I was pregnant, because it was recommended. I can't say that I figured out why it was recommended. Many folks have commented that it was a great book for those studying to be a doula, but I wasn't.

If you are attempting a natural child birth in a hospital, hire a doula. She lowers your risks for numerous interventions. However, that can be said in one sentence and backed up with a few paragraphs.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Laura Wynn on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is best left on the shelf, or at least check it out at the library first, if you want to buy it. The language is outdated and it is a dry read. one of the few books I have never finished. There are several better books on doulas and labor support. Ones that are written with a much more modern view.
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