Why Doulas Matter

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Maddie McMahon
2015 | paperback | 160pp | 172x111mm
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Many women know, and research confirms, that having an experienced female birth companion, who is neither a health professional nor a part of their social circle, can have a tangible positive effect on their experience of childbirth.

Why Doulas Matter is a comprehensive discussion of how a doula can offer expectant and new parents information and practical and emotional support to improve their experience of birth and early parenting.


(20 reviews) Write a Review

20 Reviews

  • 5
    Highly recommend

    Posted by Jessica on 2nd Aug 2020

    This is a fantastic book, easy to read and with enough detail to inform adequately and to lead to further reading if desired. Heartfelt and honest and a must read for birth workers.

  • 4
    Excellent insight into the work of a doula

    Posted by Madeleine Southall on 21st Sep 2018

    Would recommend

  • 5
    Why Doulas don't matter

    Posted by Paul Bradley on 21st Feb 2017

    Easy to read, honest genuine account of why Doula's matter. Moving and heartfelt - a must read for anyone entering this field.

  • 5

    Posted by Ellie Longbone on 3rd Feb 2017

    Very insightful and interesting. I would recommend it to anyone in the birthing world.

  • 5
    How doulas make a difference

    Posted by Karen Hall on 25th Oct 2016

    I love that near the beginning of Why Doulas Matter, MM points out that 'on one level, doulas do not matter.' The invisible but steadfast presence of a doula, and how much difference she can make to the experience of birth, is the most important lesson this book can teach you.
    This is a book about what doulas do and how they do it, and it also tells you what they are thinking about while they're doing it. Maddie's voice comes through very clearly, and unlike other books in the Why It Matters series, this one is far more personal than political. One exception to this is her mini-rant about the politics of breastfeeding, where the most passionate passion of a very passionate woman is clearly revealed.
    Why Doulas Matter contains much useful information about birth and breastfeeding, woven into chapters about labour, meeting your baby, breastfeeding, and the postnatal period. One thing I felt was missing was a little more history of women supporting women during childbirth, setting the question of why doulas matter in the context of the 21st Century western world.
    This book would be particularly useful for people thinking about what sort of support they might need during and after birth, whether or not that support comes from a doula. It would also be useful for both new and experienced doulas who want to reflect on their role. It answers all the questions you might have about doulas, and much more.

  • 5
    Amazing, wonderful book

    Posted by Kieshia Venn on 25th Sep 2016

    The more I read this book, the more I love it! It's such a lovely read. It not only makes me want to be a better doula, but it also makes me realise just how much My local hospital did to aid my own breastfeeding and bonding experiences. Language may not have been perfect, but I can tick so many boxes for what their amazing midwives did.
    Highly recommend this book!

  • 5
    Why Doula's Matter

    Posted by Linda Robinson on 24th Jul 2015

    For anyone thinking of becoming a Doula, anyone working in this field or for parents to be this book is a must.
    It is informative , easy to read and a real insight into the world of a Doula.
    This book is beautifully and thoughtfully written by the author and I cannot recommend it enough.

  • 5
    Warmth and erudition mixed with passion

    Posted by Rachel O'leary on 5th Jun 2015

    This is a heart-felt book about all the ways that doulas support new parents, and what a huge difference it can make to have a kind woman to help around the time of birth. Made me want to get pregnant just so I could have this nurturing!

  • 5
    A wonderful book for parents to be and their supporters

    Posted by Elizabeth on 20th May 2015

    Anyone who has anything to do with birth or new mothers should read this book! It's a beautiful testament to the work done by doulas, but it's a lot more than that. This book gives an accurate account of the perinatal period for mothers and fathers. It discusses their needs in emotional, biological, and social terms. The book is concerned with exploring why anyone would choose to involve a doula in their experience of becoming a parent. Two of the most interesting points made are the effects having a doula have on the probability of a caesarian and breastfeeding success. If employing a doula can help you to avoid a major operation, with all the risks and inconveniences involved, and enable you to feed your baby in the way that is healthiest for both of you, what on earth could you argue against! However, Maddie makes it clear that doulaing is not about supporting any particular choices other than the choices made by the parents themselves. This is important, because I think many people consider doulas to be the preserve of the natural, 'hippy' set, pursuing natural birth, breastfeeding, and other practices of this type. In reality, doulaing is about supporting the parents in their own choices and their own reality, without any other agenda.This book is not only helpful for those considering using a doula themselves, but also for those who might come into contact with people beginning their parenting journey. It gives an understanding of what a new or expectant parent might need from any supporter, and why they might need it. The tone of this book is informal and very easy to read, The informative chapters are backed up with quotations from doulas and doula clients, and Maddie's gentle caring language shines through. If you're interested in learning more, Maddie has a lovely blog. Check it out!