A Childbirth Guide by ProQuest


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									                                                                                                               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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