is a 65 minute uniquely intimate
documentary film that captures
in close-up detail the practical
and emotional support given by a
doula to mothers and fathers before, during
and after childbirth.
The film features three
doula-supported births (two home
water births and a birth that
progresses to a caesarean
section) plus the work of two
postnatal doulas helping new
parents with their brand new
DOULA Film Review
by Patrick Houser
Doula…I have had ambivalence about that weird, foreign
word since I first heard it more than a dozen years ago.
Somehow a new documentary, ‘Doula, The ultimate birth
companion’ by Toni Harman of Alto Films, makes me feel
better about it.
filmmaker, a new mother herself, has shown great courage
in making a film about birth, and the viewer is richly
rewarded as a result. However, in a unique and almost
simplistic way, this film is actually more about support
than birth itself. A most crucial and compelling
necessity for birthing families is the need for support,
and doulas deliver.
life today has become ever more complex and demanding.
In the distant almost ancient past birth was part of
extended family and village life, but no more. We have
culturally ‘forgotten’ how to properly begin family life
and this film is a modern antidote.
after scene of this moving and visually beautiful film
demonstrates what is possible in the realm of support,
for mothers and fathers, during life’s most essential
transition, the birth of the family. With the love,
skill and commitment provided by a professional doula,
she can be ‘the ultimate birth companion’.
Doulas are good news for Dads too. Rather than a doula
replacing you she can provide tremendous relief and
support for you. More opportunity to be intimately with
your partner rather than you needing to be some kind of
a birth expert yourself.