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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.

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2015 | paperback | 160pp | 172x111mm
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A wonderful book for parents to be and their supporters

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!

What a treat!

Mandy on 3rd May 2015

A really enjoyable and informative book, filled with lots of little gems of wisdom and driven by a steady background beat of love, compassion and respect for the precious journey to becoming parents.<br /><br />Not only does it clarify what a doula does, it is also an excellent guide to understanding what support new families may need. Well worth a read if you're supporting a new family in any capacity or growing your very own.

Fantastically well written book

Tricia Murray on 20th Apr 2015

Why Doulas Matter is a fantastically comprehensive book detailing how doulas support families in a wide-ranging diverse way. It describes details of the what, the when, and the how. All the questions any family will ask about how a doula can support them through pregnancy, birth, postnatally and how - this book answers precisely. It explains how unique every scenario is and how individual relationships are between the doula, the mother and the father and the positive relationship with other health care professionals. It provides a totally non judgemental view of modern day families and demonstrates the overwhelmingly positive experience that having a doula can add to the experience of transition into parenthood. It's also a book that supports women. There's a plethora of information in there about birth, what supports positive birth, birth choices, postnatal support, breastfeeding - almost like having a doula in your pocket. ThereÕs also a lot of support in here for new doulas, such as myself, about relationship building, boundaries and ethics, and intelligent tea drinking. There was so much in this book that I felt was fantastically written. Specifically I felt the feeding section was extremely well put together - this was not a 'how to' manual but more having the understanding of how having emotional support can positively influence any mothers feeding journey and can make breastfeeding successful, however, she also includes how positive having this support when a mother decides she doesn't want to breastfeed is. There were parts of the books that were covered really well - freebirth, perinatal mental health illness, multiples (of which being a mother of multiples and having supported large numbers of parents of multiples I could relate to), and the birth of a child who has died. It's an accessible books written in plain English yet absolutely full of pertinent information from the spiritual, cultural and technical. It really discusses how tribes have disappeared and culturally how we are left to parent on our own and how the doula can support the whole family in our current society - something I really don't think we understand or accept enough about why parenting now is so challenging. There were many of the personal reflections that really touched me - the voices of parents and doulas exemplifying what a special relationship, when the mix is right, it can be. This is a great book for those considering doula support, for any doula - especially relatively new doulas, for those working with doulas and actually anyone who wants to know what a doula does including husbands, partners, relatives and friends of doulas (I'll be lending a copy to my mum and husband). It's fantastic for bringing 'Why Doulas Matter' to the general public and mainstreaming how doulas can support many families in very different ways. Wishing Maddie all the very best with this book and a huge congratulations on writing such a lovely, well-written book.

A must read for all

Kris Wells on 19th Apr 2015

If there's such a thing as a 'doulamoon' I do believe I've spent the past few days immersed in one reading this amazing book! Having had the honour to meet the author in person, I was very excited to hear she was willing to bare her soul and share some of her immense wisdom with the world. I was definitely *not* disappointed; reading along I felt as if I was sitting across from a friend sharing a cuppa and a chat whilst being gently moulded and encouraged to do less, listen more and care more deeply. If I could recommend one book to those who doula, think they may be called, would like to explore if a doula is right for their family or work with doulas in a professional capacity this is it.

Thank you for an amazing book

Marie De Jonge on 19th Apr 2015

I have read this book twice in the very short time that I have owned it and I suspect I will read it many more times. This book reinforces everything that made me want to become a doula and makes me sure that I have chosen the right path to follow in life. Having had the pleasure of meeting Maddie and attending her amazing doula preparation course, I am sure this is only a tiny percentage of what she could have written as her passion for the work she does is immense. I think this book will not only help aspiring doulas such as myself, but existing doulas, members of the medical profession and women thinking about hiring a doula along with their family members. I think the book beautifully debunks many myths surrounding the work doulas do and gets across the love that doulas have in the hearts for all the women they assist.

Why Doulas Matter

Sally Cropper on 16th Apr 2015

What a wonderful, inspiring little book, packed full of stories, quotes, insights and information on the impact doulas can have. So many would find it useful, as it's a great read for those thinking about having a doula, those who know nothing about doulas, midwives, obstetricians, doulas themselves and for me, very importantly, doula's families. Finally I have something to share with my family which sums up my passion for being a doula so perfectly. My daughter now has the book to read and is loving it!!

Why Doula's Matter

Lisa Casson on 15th Apr 2015

So love this little book .. speaks to me because I'm a Mum, a Doula, someone who wants to help women and be helped by them too. Maddie speaks open heartedly about women and families, how connecting and giving time can make a difference. It's multi layered, because lives are I guess, whether she is referring to something deeply meaningful or the funny bits in between, it all feels born out of her love and belief in womenkind . So pleased Maddie grew this book and offered it up to help others. It does and will be one I keep close x

Written with love

Naomi Gryn on 15th Apr 2015

A wonderful book. Of interest not just to people thinking of working with a doula or becoming a doula themselves, but also to obstetricians and midwives and anyone involved in the business of having babies. I have to confess to knowing the author personally - Maddie was my doula in 2012 - and it took me back to the thrill of having a new born, along with all that unknown territory - bathing, breastfeeding, and wearing my baby - that Maddie helped me to conquer. The book is written with the same love that Maddie and her fellow doulas share with their mothers and babies. If only doulas extended their remit to include weaning and toilet training and messy play!