Midwifery Today Issue 125, Spring 2018 Theme: The Doula The use of birth doulas is becoming more prevalent in the US and other parts of the world. This issue covers the role of doulas and their contribution to better births and showcases the work of a variety of different doulas and the populations they serve. The magazine also has a great section on breech birth in “Wisdom of the Midwives,” and several clinical articles, as well as birth stories and opinion pieces. Cover photo by Natalia Walth (nataliawalth.com). Natalia has been a birth photographer and videographer for six years. Prior to starting her business, she was an Air Force reservist in her “spare time,” while simultaneously working for a busy law firm in Los Angeles. She is a mother of three and a wife to her husband. Their dream is to travel the US in an Airstream trail-er, but then they remember that they have a 100 lb German Shepherd that whines too much. Pictured: Herbal baths have many healing properties for mothers. Using the right herbs can help a woman and her baby heal during postpartum. These sessions are a form of pampering. Moms get time to soak and
Richardson shares her experiences and challenges as a doula overseas, serving the military.
An introduction to doulas who serve women who must birth away from family.
Serving as a postpartum doula does not always lead to a positive outcome. Kolb shares the challenges of being a doula when a stillbirth or other trauma occurs.
Doula Penny Simkin discusses the positive impact that doulas have on birth outcomes. They provide a unique form of labor support that is different from that of other caregivers involved in the birth process–but complements the roles of others. Simkins describes why this is so.
In order to feel protected during this time of neocortical inhibition, some modern women naturally prefer to rely on a doula.
An interview with a unique birth doula—a blind man who came to the work from massage therapy.
In this issue of Midwifery Today we celebrate the role of the doula. The articles in these pages feature doulas across the planet making a difference: from doulas who serve refugees in Austria to doulas incorporated into multi-disciplinary practices in Turkey to indigenous doulas here in US helping maintain their cultural practices around childbirth.
I believe that doulas need to have some preparation for handling emergency clinical situations: not to take them on, but to be ready in case of an emergency. This is a somewhat unpopular view. However, doulas can never know what kind of situation they may find themselves in. For example, you may be the first to arrive at a homebirth, when the midwife gets a flat tire or, for some other reason, does not arrive in time for the birth.