More and more parents-to-be all over the world are choosing the comfort and reassuring support of birth with a trained labor companion called a "doula." This warm, authoritative, and irreplaceable guide completely updates the authors' earlier book, Mothering the Mother, and adds much new and important research. In addition to basic advice on finding and working with a doula, the authors show how a doula reduces the need for cesarean section, shortens the length of labor, decreases the pain medication required, and enhances bonding and breast feeding. The authors, world-renowned authorities on childbirth with combined experience of over 100 years working with laboring women, have made their book indispensable to every woman who wants the healthiest, safest, and most joyful possible birth experience.
World-wide renowned authorities on birthing and bonding, Klaus and Kennell (Bonding) team up once again in this new work, focusing on the role of the doula, a Greek word that means "woman caregiver." Today, the authors explain, doula has come to mean an experienced labor companion who provides parents-to-be with emotional and physical support during labor, delivery and, to some extent, postpartum. The three authors (Phyllis Klaus teaches psychotherapy at the Erikson Institute in California) describe how a doula can help the birthing process, detailing studies that indicate doula-supported births result in a major reduction in the length of labor, a greater than 50% drop in cesarean sections, a decrease in a mother's need for pain medication and fewer feeding problems for babies after birth. Over the past decade, the authors claim, "evidence for the benefits of doula support has been accumulating dramatically." Expectant parents will find this exciting information, and it may impact their birthing plans. With appendixes and photos (many of which, unfortunately, seem to date from the 1970s) detailing a doula's training, relaxation and visualization techniques, the book will also be vital for women considering entering this field. As usual, the team of Klaus and Kennell presents its work in a clear, compassionate manner, offering new insights and ways to make birthing a safe and positive experience for all involved.