International Doula Month - book review: Gentle Birth Companions, Adela Stockton

Adela Stockton's book, Gentle Birth Companions, looks at the origins of the doula and why they are not a new fad.

Stockton explores the long history of female companions at birth and the importance of having a calm in the birth room. 

There is careful discussion of what it means to be a doula, the lines between advocating, advising, doing and not doing. I think a lot of the beauty of the role for me comes from the subtlety of being a positive, yet passive presence to effectively support a birthing woman. I think Stockton tackles this really well. 

My favourite part is the wealth of birth stories which are useful for mother's to be and all birth workers alike. If we all read these instead of having mothers untreated trauma brought to us on a daily basis - in the supermarket, in the office, in our homes - I believe we would already go someway to building a positive tradition of birth.