Doula! Film Press & Testimonials


DOULA! Film in JUNO Magazine June 2011 – Page 6 “News And Events”

DOULA! FILM IN jUNO MAGAZINE“I found the film utterly breathtaking and felt instantly inspired to employ the services of a doula for our next birth.

I particularly liked the positive tone that the film gave to childbirth as well as the way that it fully embraced and nourished the spiritual elements of this life-changing event”

Jessica Fenton, JUNO magazine


DOULA! Film in Green Parent Magazine Oct / Nov 2010 – page 67 – “Bumps & Births”

DOULA! Film In October / November 2010 Edition of The Green Parent
DOULA! film featured in Oct / Nov 2010 edition of The Green Parent


Midwives magazine: October/November 2010:

Review by Amanda Dixon

Midwives magazine

“The aim of this DVD is as a promotional and educational tool about the work of doulas both to women (and families) and to midwives and I think it succeeds. It gives insight into how a doula works and what she offers, especially within the area of postnatal ‘doulaing’. It was filmed well and was easy to watch. Each piece could be watched individually or as a whole.

Firstly, from the point of view of a midwife I needed to get over the title – the ‘ultimate’ birth companion. I have to say it put me on the wrong foot initially and perhaps made me feel a little insulted or maybe just insecure, but I decided to continue and watch with an open mind.

The doulas were good and definitely fulfilled a need. The first birth (a home waterbirth) was lovely and I would consider showing it as an educational piece to women and their partners.  The calm reassurance being given by the doulas and the practical support, which freed up the partners to be more physically and emotionally involved, was wonderful. The support being provided postnatally was fantastic and it was good to hear the voices of the couples who employed the doulas about how they felt about the support they received and showed the service in a positive light.

The down side to the DVD is that it didn’t show the maternity service in a very good light. The overriding factor for the couples employing the doulas was that they felt they were not able to obtain the continuity of carer from the midwifery service. I also felt that it showed NHS maternity care to be failing to provide the emotional and practical support that these couples craved.

It would be a good resource to show to managers and trust boards to highlight just where the current NHS maternity provision is falling short in providing what women and their families want, which is continuity of care in the intrapartum period and a more comprehensive postnatal service.”



‘This film shows how the calm accepting presence of a doula can enhance the whole experience of childbirth. From the practical to the emotional, we become aware of some of the work an intuitive doula can do.

A doula blends in with the atmosphere she helps to create, allowing the parents the time and space to focus on what is important to them. During the birth and postnatal period she is able to provide continuity, accommodate their needs and complement the role of the midwife.’

Bridget Baker, Former Co-Chair, Doula UK


“This film has some of the most amazing waterbirth/pushing video I have ever seen and shows mothers in various phases of labor, managing labor with nonpharmacological pain relief methods such as positioning, hydrotherapy, walking, squatting, breathing, focusing, vocalization and more! Such joy, confidence and relaxation on the mother and father’s faces ~ the way birth should be!

Parents hire doulas for consistency, serving, unconditional support taking the lead from the parents, and for taking care of the practical “little things” that make births go so much more smoothly. With great input from the laboring mothers’ partners/husbands, this DVD really speaks to the fathers who are viewing.

This is a great video for doulas to show to potential clients – it is both an introductory tool for doula care but also a great birth film! Childbirth educators will also benefit from it for the same reasons ~ including waterbirths!”

Connie Livingston, President, Perinatal Education Associates, USA,


“The film gave me goosebumps and I had tears streaming down my cheeks”

Suzanne Borrell, Director BabyExpo & The Business Mums Conference


“Just to let you know, we had our fund-raiser on Friday night. It was brilliant. Think we had about 170-180 people turn up, midwives, doulas, the public, university lectureres and many more.

The doco was a massive success. Thank you so much!!!”

Lisa Chalmers, CMWA (Community Midwifery Western Australia), Australia –


“When this copy of Doula landed on my doormat, I could barely wait to get it loaded into the DVD player. At 32 weeks pregnant, my mind is turning more and more to the birth and I have considered using a doula for continuity of support throughout what could be a long process.

The DVD follows three couples and their use of a doula from the initial meeting and interview through to the births and the follow-up care provided in a very linear and understandable fashion. What I really appreciated was how the producers of the DVD chose to include a birth which ended up with one of the couples going to hospital for the final stages because of a complication and how the doula facilitated this move; it was good to see how doulas can be used in combination with assisted births.

The DVD went into plenty of detail, introducing each couple at the beginning and then going back to each in turn to follow their birth stories. It was interesting to see that doulas can be any type of personality, as I had the pre-conception that they would all be ‘earth-mother types!

The DVD also showed how much support a doula can bring outside of the birthing itself- making cups of tea, preparing food, calling relatives and staying after the birth until mum is settled and relaxed. The additional video on the DVD goes into more detail about the doula’s role after the birth- helping mum to establish breast feeding and so on.

I’d recommend any soon-to-be mum considering a doula to watch this video. It is not only informative but sheds a very positive light on the whole birth experience.”

**** New Product Review,


“I bought the movie for the sole purpose that it shows birth to be a right of passage NOT to be feared. This movie beautifully demonstrates the normality of birth”.

Kerri Warner, Final Year Midwifery Student, Perth, Western Australia


“Doula…I have always had ambivalence about that weird, foreign word since I first heard it more than a dozen years ago. Somehow a new documentary, ‘Doula, The ultimate birth companion’ by Toni Harman of Alto Films, makes me feel better about it.

The filmmaker, a new mother herself, has shown great courage in making a film about birth, and the viewer is richly rewarded as a result. However, in a unique and almost simplistic way, this film is actually more about support than birth itself. A most crucial and compelling necessity for birthing families is the need for support, and doulas deliver.

Family life today has become ever more complex and demanding. In the distant almost ancient past birth was part of extended family and village life, but no more. We have culturally ‘forgotten’ how to begin family life and this film is a modern antidote.

Scene after scene of this moving and visually beautiful film demonstrates what is possible in the realm of support, for mothers and fathers, during life’s most essential transition, the birth of the family. With the love, skill and commitment provided by a professional doula, she can be ‘the ultimate birth companion’.

Patrick Houser, author Fathers-To-Be Handbook, director


“I LOVE the film. Thank you very much for your important and wonderful work. First of all, I love all of the doulas in the film who care for the women and their husbands very seriously and warmly. Their words are very deep and true.

The film clearly emphasizes that doulas would not replace the women’s husbands at all, which is an important message for Japanese people. Also, the lack of postpartum support that makes postpartum women isolated and exhausted is a common problem in Japan. Postpartum doulas’ parts are also wonderful.

I work in a hospital in Japan as a staff nurse-midwife, and today I attended a woman who ended up with an emergency cesarean section. The third story in the film reminded me of the importance of doula support.

I would like to add that I love the parts the women greatly appreciate the chores doulas did for them. Dish-washing, taking care of older children, cleaning, taking photos for them… those things are low-tech, lay chores that seems anyone can do. Their  support is indispensable but difficult to obtain during those perinatal time.

My husband saw the film with me yesterday. He also loves the film and is amazed at the important work that doulas do. Your film is appealing for men, too.

Although the cultures are somewhat different between England and Japan, for example, in Japan water births or home births are very rare, I believe that your messages about perinatal care and the importance of doula support will surely reach Japanese people. Thank you very much again for your wonderful work.”

Rieko Kishi, Staff Nurse – Midwife, Japan


“I recently ordered your dvd and just viewed last weekend. It was a great documentary!  I thought it was very well done and informative. Thanks for your time and energy to create this documentary! And congratulations to you for pulling it off.”

Diane Tinker, ICCE, CD(DONA), Birth Companions Doula Service, Des Moines, IA, USA


“I have just received and watched DOULA!  I wanted to let you know I think its an absolutely amazing film.
I am planning to train as a Doula in October and decided to invest in your film first to back up my belief that it is the right thing for me to do.

Your film has definitely confirmed for me this is the right path to follow. It is filmed so beautifully and respectfully, it is a truly inspirational piece of work and it has left me feeling a little bit awe-struck and very excited about my future.

It is a film every expectant parent should see. If I had  seen this before the birth of my first child I would have felt empowered to make the choices I wanted.

Donna Taylor, Prospective Trainee Doula


“I am a doula certified with DONA and love your film. It will be a tool I can use in my business even though most births I attend are in the hospital. Thanks for providing this film.”

Debbie Meissner CD(DONA)

“I just wanted to say I have received the film thank you very much and watched it last night and it is absolutely brillant!!
My friend and myself are newly qualified trainee doulas and we think it is a great film to show people what a doula actually is and the benefits a doula can offer. So thank you again.”
Lynne Fraser, Newly qualified doula, UK


“Lovely film…utterly inspiring – it was a privilege to watch”

Stephanie Ventress


“I thought it was a moving film showing a caring, supportive environment for birth”

Janet Birch, Doula Co-ordinator, Goodwin Volunteer Doula Project.