Susan Ross is a former midwife with 30 years experience, child birth and Hypnobirth educator who trains doulas (non-medical birth attendants) so she knows what she is talking about and it comes through her writing. I imagine she would be wonderful to have at a birth as she writes in a calm, authoritative style which as a reader and pregnant woman, found very empowering. She provides excellent reasons for couples to have a doula at the birth of their babies and real life stories add colour and weight to the information which may be too slightly dry without them. There is a real warm, human and knowledgeable feel to the text. The information is first class and I felt that this is a book no pregnant woman should be without, whether or not she chooses to have a doula, as it contains advice about stages of labour, writing a birth plan, choices with labour, fear and it's role in childbirth and a variety of other subjects that every pregnant woman should be informed about.
Susan's emphasis on the role of the Doula as an advocate highlights so many problems with our current "standard" birthing system, she discusses how having a doula can provide support, advocacy and general assistance so that the birthing mother can worry less, her partner can worry less and the birth will have the best possible outcome.
Throughout the book are black and white images of labouring mothers and newly born babies and their parents which are so natural and real that one cannot help but feel uplifted and empowered when seeing them alongside Susan's words. It is a practical guide to the benefits of having a doula and almost like having a paper doula yourself, I loved reading this book and know I will re-read many times before my third baby is born...I may even get a doula!