[...] they tend to respond with "I can do it!!" It can be difficult for them to adjust to the hormone filled labor room. The authors include real information about the risks of VBAC, the misuse of Cytotec (and the FDA's recommendation regarding its use in pregnancy), real reasons for labor dystocia (133), and how stress, adrenaline and lying down hinder labor's progress (59).
Book Review A Childbirth Guide Written by Doulas Reviewed by Jamilla Walker, Birth Doula, Childbirth Educator Whenever a book promises to give away secrets of the do not hear until later – when the doula is on her 4th or 5th trade, I secretly wonder if revealing all of our “secrets” will Cesarean, is that it is difficult for a doula to lower the rate of do away with the need for a doula. As a doula, I consider medical interventions when the mother in a hospital that has it a great honor and privilege to attend births and watch incredibly high cesarean rates. The authors thankfully point families grow. However, as a childbirth educator, I want my out that doulas are needed most when unplanned interven- clients to get as much information as possible. At times, this tions are used (14). I have found it frustrating when a client information has to come with a disclaimer so as not to ap- expects me to be a miracle worker in a hospital where the pear as stepping on the toes of the primary care provider. As “dinnertime cut” is frequently performed so the provider I read this book, it became apparent that the authors have can be home at a reasonably convenient time . It can also be only reinforced the role of the doula. They have also told all incredibly frustrating when a client has expectations that the the secrets we all wish to scream from the highest building, doula will “shield” them from all medical interventions. A without alienating the medical community. The Doula Guide realistic portrayal of obstetrical practices in this age is always to Birth: Secrets Every Pregnant Woman Should Know is es- better than a sugar-coated explanation of how the hospital sential to the library of any birth professional AND pregnant trip will go. In addressing this issue, the authors have an mother. entire section called “What to Expect in the Labor Ward: Ananda Lowe and Rachel Zimmerman are a perfect Being a Guest of the Hospital” (15). I could hug them both. team comprised of both sides of the birth experience. Another challenge to address when contemplating a Ananda Lowe writes as an experienced doula. She chose doula is the relationship between the doula and Daddy. to become a doula as a “young and curious feminist” who Dads have had the cigars yanked away while being shoved believes “birth is about healing” (xi). She became part of the into a world of uncertainty. Naturally, they tend to respond doula movement which “has been taking hold as a way for with “I can do it!!” It can be difficult for them to adjust to pregnant women to regain more control over their birthing the hormone filled labor room. This book includes an entire process” (3). On the other hand, Rachel Zimmerman writes chapter on how instrumental doulas are to the enrichment as a mother
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