I love that near the beginning of Why Doulas Matter, MM points out that “on one level, doulas do not matter.” The invisible but steadfast presence of a doula, and how much difference she can make to the experience of birth, is the most important lesson this book can teach you.
This is a book about what doulas do and how they do it, and it also tells you what they are thinking about while they’re doing it. Maddie’s voice comes through very clearly, and unlike other books in the Why It Matters series, this one is far more personal than political. One exception to this is her mini-rant about the politics of breastfeeding, where the most passionate passion of a very passionate woman is clearly revealed.
Why Doulas Matter contains much useful information about birth and breastfeeding, woven into chapters about labour, meeting your baby, breastfeeding, and the postnatal period. One thing I felt was missing was a little more history of women supporting women during childbirth, setting the question of why doulas matter in the context of the 21st Century western world.
This book would be particularly useful for people thinking about what sort of support they might need during and after birth, whether or not that support comes from a doula. It would also be useful for both new and experienced doulas who want to reflect on their role. It answers all the questions you might have about doulas, and much more.
[Disclaimer: I was sent a free review copy of Why Doulas Matter by the publishers Pinter & Martin. You can get a copy here, with 10% discount using the offer code SPROGCAST at the checkout].