I think the title of Maddie McMahon’s book, Why Doulas Matter, published by Pinter & Martin, is almost misleading. This isn’t a book that tells you to hire a doula, goes on about the evidence for doulas and what difference they do and could make to the NHS or that is a pat on the back for doulas.
This isn’t even really a book for doulas, though I recommend doulas, especially anyone earlier on in their Doulaing journey, reads it.
This is a book for parents.
In typical Maddie style, she doesn’t tell people what to think, but provides information and shows the reader what it is Doulas do, with examples and stories, then leaves it up to you, the reader, to make up your own mind, make your own choices. As well as covering many of the kinds of situations doulas support and the different stages of becoming a parent, with some of the things expectant and new parents might want to think about, this book covers some of the most common questions doulas are asked.
This books doulas the reader: supports, nurtures, leaves you knowing you have choices and can make the choices that are right for you. If a doula hug could be packaged into paper, this is it.
If you’re a doula, read this and learn, be reaffirmed in your vocation and feel supported by your doula-sisters. If you’re a midwife, health visitor or doctor who is working with pregnant women and new families (and so is, or may well, be working alongside doulas) read this and you’ll understand better what we do, why parents might want that and why working together positively helps everyone. And if you’re an expectant or new parent, whether or not you have hired, or plan to hire, a doula, read this book and be nurtured, supported and informed. Be doulaed.
This book brought me to laughter, to tears and left me feeling loved and lucky to be part of the incredible doula community in the UK, of which, for me and so many others, Maddie is an important part.
I know this will now be the book for me to give to pregnant friends and family, knowing that it will inform without lecturing or judgement, support and empower them.