This is a personal statement by the Doula! film producer / director:
“Doulas are amazing. I have witnessed wonderful pain-relief free doula-supported births and seen mothers transformed by the post-natal care given by her doula.
I’m now a true doula convert.
Hand on heart, I wish I had known about doulas when I gave birth two years ago. I had quite a difficult birth experience (failed inductions followed by a c-section) and I now know that with the help of a doula, it would have been a completely different and much more positive experience.
I found out about doulas after I had made REAL BIRTH STORIES, a documentary series telling the birth stories of five couples who had just become new parents (myself and my partner were one of the couples featured in the series!) None of the parents in Real Birth Stories had hired a doula and in fact, before this point, I had never even heard of a doula and had no idea what doulas do.
I did some research and started to meet some doulas. Every single one was incredibly enthusiastic, caring, warm-hearted, intelligent, knowledgeable and all were absolutely committed to giving expectant parents the best possible experience before, during and after the birth.
Then when I filmed my first birth, something clicked. I saw with my own eyes the difference a doula can make. The doula made the birth magical.
It was a home water birth and whilst the midwives sat in the next door room drinking tea (at the request of the expectant mum), it was the doula who was there for the mum all the way through, giving amazing emotional support and practical help to both mum and dad.
The doula prepared the birth environment, made tea for everyone, massaged the mum’s feet, supported the dad, suggested labour positions, reminded the mum to breathe, soothed, comforted, encouraged, phoned the aunt and grandma to come immediately for the imminent birth, took photos and then when the baby came, she made sure the mum, dad and the beautiful new baby spent their first precious few minutes quietly together, uninterrupted as a new family. Then the doula helped the mum deliver the placenta before making up the bed for the new parents to sleep in.
The doula never told the mum or dad what to do but was just absolutely there for them the whole time, doing whatever needed to be done and I believe she was instrumental in giving the parents the birth they both wanted and deserved. The doula made all the difference. And in those few hours, I totally “got” what being a doula was all about.
And that’s why I wanted to make this film and to release it as a Doula! DVD. So that other people “get” doulas. To help spread the word about how amazing having a doula can be.
Because every Mum-to-be deserves a doula!”
Toni Harman, Spring 2010