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The Pocket Doula
Journal of Perinatal Education, 14(1), 58–60
GUIDE PROVIDES QUICK REFERENCE FOR LABOR SUPPORT
Designed as a quick reference for labor-support partners, this color photo-filled booklet begins with a brief overview, along with familiar information about preterm labor and signs of labor. After this general introduction, the strength of the book becomes obvious in the pages of multiple photographs depicting labor positions and coping techniques. The images set the clear tone of the importance of being active in labor, the close role of the partner, and the how-to strategies of facilitating birth with upright positions and movement.
The Pocket Doula is ideal for partners who have not had the time to read the multitude of available literature on how to provide labor support. Its author, Christine Wallace, capitalizes on the phrase ‘‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’’ Her words are reassuring and completely in line with Lamaze International’s philosophy of birth. For example, when describing the transition stage of labor, Wallace notes that ‘‘the circle of awareness becomes very small,’’ and the photographs on the opposing page illustrate rhythmic motions, counter pressure, close contact, and more.
A brief section provides information on troubleshooting for back labor, the period when labor slows down, and what to do if an unassisted, rapid birth seems imminent. Wallace shares gentle wisdom throughout, such as advising support people to use proper body mechanics and to find an opportunity after the birth to talk about the emotions.
Another section addresses interventions.
The book’s layout is beautiful with its color-coded theme and open space for inscribing notes. The book’s essential strength is its use as a hands-on, quick-reference guide that could fit easily into a labor bag. It could serve as a great reinforcement to the information that expectant parents and labor-support partners learned in class.