Book Review: Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way
Authors: Jan Mallak & Teresa Bailey, 2010.
$15.37 – $21.95, 188 pages, softcover
Hale Publishing: http://www.ibreastfeeding.com/
Reviewed by Molly Remer
Geared towards pregnant women, Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way is written in a simplistic manner using short, direct sentences. While in some ways this approach makes the information readily accessible, it can also feel unsophisticated in places. However, while the writing style is basic, the content is not. The Doulas’ Guide is a book that really “goes beyond” the information traditionally offered in birth preparation books, covering topics many parents typically may not have considered prenatally such as natural birth vs. birthing naturally, physical comfort preference styles, visualization, being a savvy consumer, blessingways, and taking pictures of the placenta. The information is refreshingly practical and hands-on. Chapters cover the critical importance of the human environment, “five arms of doula support,” birth preparation, one chapter for each stage of labor including separate chapter for immediate postpartum, a section about cesarean birth and VBAC, and a breastfeeding chapter. There is an excellent section on postpartum care including a PPD symptoms chart. I was a little taken aback by a blithe comment, “Just think of it as an alternate birth route!” regarding cesareans.
Doulas’ Guide contains good, helpful snapshots throughout the text. Dads will like the plethora of labor support skills and ideas and the accompanying photographs. The book advocates preparation of a “birth vision” and includes examples at the end of the book (including cesarean birth options).
The variety of checklists, key questions, tables with reference information, bullet points, and pictures keep the pace of Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way snappy and digestible. This book covers lots of ground and packs a lot of information into under 200 pages!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.