What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know

I’m very very lucky. I’m not a doula but I’m in the tiny percentage of the world’s population who knows exactly what what a doula does. And I have seen with my own eyes what an amazing difference doulas can make to the parents’ experience of a birth and the first few weeks of life with a new baby. I’ve even made a film about it: DOULA!

Birth Doula  But I have a bee in my bonnet. I want more people to know about doulas. I want to shout it   from the rooftops that EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE A DOULA, if they so choose.

It should be a choice available to every expectant mama and papa. A human right. In my humble opinion, cost shouldn’t come into it.

As soon as they know they’re pregnant, a woman should automatically have one-to-one  midwifery care and also have the option of having a doula. Not just any doula, for not every doula is right for every woman, but a doula who feels right to the expectant woman.

The doula stats are something to shout about. If an expectant mother has a doula, statistically she will have:

  • 50% reduction in rate of c-section
  • 25% shorter labour
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 40% reduction in oxytocin use
  • 30% reduction in analgesia use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery

Information from Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can HelpYou Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993).

Right now, a doula is not mainstream. It’s often seen as a crunchy mama’s slightly weird or alternative choice. In the general population, most people either haven’t heard of a doula or they confuse doulas with midwives. Just for the record, the difference between a doula and a midwife is described HERE

Maybe the confusion starts with the word “doula”. It doesn’t exactly describe what a doula does. It’s not like an engineer – someone who works with engines. Or a midwife – someone who works with women.

According to Wikipedia, “Doula comes from Ancient Greek δούλη (doulē) meaning “female slave.”

Birth Doula

doula = wise woman birth companion

Also according to Wikipedia, “Male dromedaries have a soft palate, which they inflate to produce a deep pink sack, which is often mistaken for a tongue, called a doula in Arabic, hanging out of the sides of their mouths to attract females during the mating season”

or doula = camel's floppy palate

To help people tell the difference between an exceptionally caring, nurturing, wise, supportive, knowledgeable, non-judgemental, inspirational birth companion and a camel’s floppy palate, here’s a short film about what a doula does:

And here’s some interviews from our One World Birth film project

World Doula Week is coming up March 22-28. This’ll be a chance to create a bit of a buzz about doulas. For this week only, we have waived the license fee to encourage doulas and doula fans to host their own DOULA! film local screening.

So a DOULA! film screening will cost you nothing! It doesn’t have to be a big event – it could be in your own living room. All to spread the word about doulas. So far it’s looking like we’re going to have 200+ screenings that week!

For a map of the screenings for WORLD DOULA WEEK and for more information: CLICK HERE.

To host your own screening and receive your own FREE screening kit:

please email info@altofilms.com

For me, it’s simple:   The more people that know about doulas

= more people hire doulas

= more people have better births

= the world will be a better place!

I honestly believe doulas are the secret to making the world a better place. The world might not be aware of this yet but with your help spreading the word, it will.

***If you want to host a local screening of our DOULA! film for World Doula Week (March 22-28) for FREE – then please email info@altofilms.com for your free screening kit. For more information – CLICK HERE.***