Staci Bishop

Thursday, October 18, 2012

REVIEW: The Doula Book (Klaus, Kennell)

The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth 
By: Marshall H. Klaus, M.D.; John H. Kennell, M.D.; and Phyllis H. Klaus, C.S.W., M.F.T.

I think this is a fantastic read for parents. I was expecting this book to me more like The Birth Partner but it seems it was written more for parents than it is for doulas. As a birth professional, I appreciated the information given as it makes a case for having a doula present during labor and delivery. However, it didn't necessarily teach me anything new. With that being said, there was some helpful information found in the appendix of the book, which does pertain specifically to doulas and appears to be written to our perpective. 

The authors site several studies and show how doulas can have a positive impact on a woman's pregnancy, birth experience, post partum period and breastfeeding relationship. They give several scenarios of how a birth doula will benefit the family and serves as a compliment to the father. Having a doula present 
  • reduces the need for cesarean section, 
  • shortens the length of labor, 
  • decreases the pain medication required,
  • enhances bonding and breast-feeding. 

As I was reading the text, I found some information to be a bit outdated as the book was first published in 2003. However, a little research led me to find that a 3rd edition has just been released this year, which contains more content and updated pictures. If you are considering this book, I would highly recommend seeking the latest edition. You will be able to identify it by the new cover.