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!
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.
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”
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!
To host your own screening and receive your own FREE screening kit:
please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.