Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Doula Book

One of the books on the DONA International required reading list for birth doula certification is The Doula Book. (Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, The Doula Book, 2nd edition, 2002.) I won't lie. I think it's funny that one of the books that we are required to read about becoming a birth doula is a book called The Doula Book. I am sure I am not the only one that at least gave a half smile to myself when I read the title. 

I have stopped and started reading this book several times over the past few months. I would sit down to read, get about three chapters in, and life would happen and weeks would go by. I would feel as if I had forgotten everything I learned before, so I would start all over again. Finally, my persistence paid off. I chugged along, maybe a few paragraphs at a time, but I managed to read a little bit nearly every day for the past several months. Yes, between teaching, holidays, attending births, being a mom, wife and flutist, I took forever to read this short book. I am glad that most of my other required reading was accomplished before I even had Lily and before I even knew I was going to start this journey of becoming a doula. 

I thought the easy part would be the reading. Nope! I thought the hard part would be to find births to attend. It definitely was not as difficult as I thought it would be to find women who felt they needed a doula. I'm thankful that they sought me out and retained my services. It has been a joy and an honor!

I liked the writing style of the book. It was rather conversational and an easy read for this sleep deprived mama. I just wanted to share a few quotes out of the book that struck me. I may dissect each quote seperately and delve more into them at a later time. However, I hope you enjoy!

Regarding Fathers and Doulas-

The doula does not take the place of the father; instead: 
"The training of a doula is quite different, emphasizing quiet reassurance and enhancement of the natural abilities of the laboring woman." (6)

"A doula is constantly aware that the couple will carry the memory of this experience throughout their lives." (6)

Why some women become doulas-

Many doulas have given birth but plenty of fantastic doulas have not:
"A woman who has given birth has an innate sense of what the experience is like and provides a natural empathy." (16)

"In this regard doulas need to understand the power and potential of their role. Each must search within to find her own true self in order to be available at this deep level for a woman giving birth. It is essential that doulas examine their own motives for doing this work, take it seriously, show up promptly and prepared for the birth, not leave or disappoint a woman, but remain engaged and appropriately involved throughout the labor." (68)

"Women who choose to become doulas want to help other women and have a certain empathic sense of childbirth. They have an opportunity during their training to understand their own personal issues associated with childbirth, and they learn not to project onto the laboring woman their own emotional needs." (146)

How a doula helps-

"The nurse-midwife (acting as doula*) follows at the mother's pace: staying with her for every moment of the experience, reassuring, validating, comforting, appropriately respecting the father's position, and being the stable presence of experience and confidence for both the mother and the father." (160)
 *my words

"Fear may be reduced by the sense of trust and empowerment a woman develops during pregnancy while working with a doula." (198)

"Having already established a relationship with the mother in advance, a doula gives the mother the confidence and security of knowing there is one person who will remain and be committed to her." (198)

Regarding the postpartum period-

"You should have a lot of time where you're resting, relaxing, laying in bed with that baby, just staring at it." (186) Tracy Fengler, postpartum doula

And the best quote in the entire book.....

‎"So every time you see a poop, have a party; 

that's a good thing."

Thank you Tracy Fengler! You rock! 


  1. Poop party! :D Congrats on completing this book, Kristi!

  2. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?
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