Books and Resources
for All Doulas

Including Books Written By or In Collaboration with Dr. Amy Gilliland

Heart of the Doula Book
Heart of the Doula: Essentials for Practice And Life

The heart of doulaing is the relationship between the laboring person, their intimate family, and the doula who serves them. Through her clear use of language and vivid metaphors, Gilliland’s writing lingers long after you’ve finished reading her words. She outlines the true power in being a doula – to serve clients in a way that they are encouraged to become more empowered and authentic versions of themselves. Culling wisdom from over sixty birth doulas in Dr. Gilliland’s landmark research study, she promises to transform your relationship with clients and medical care providers alike. Anyone wanting to understand the complexity of the modern maternity care system and how to navigate the power structure in hospitals more effectively will gain from reading this book. Heart of the Doula delves into the nitty-gritty reality of birth doula work in North American hospitals and the personal price many doulas pay to fill this highly important and beneficial role in people’s lives. In her triple roles as researcher, doula, and world class doula trainer, Gilliland’s insight is unparalleled. A must for anyone doing empowerment work, especially with people frequently disempowered in our care system. View inside >

Round the Circle Book
Round the Circle

In Round the Circle, author Julie Brill gathers the wisdom of twenty-three established doulas who generously share what they’ve learned along the way, including Laurel Wilson and Tracy Wilson Peters, authors of The Attachment Pregnancy, Amy Gilliland, author of The Heart of The Doula, Rivka Cymbalist, author of The Birth Conspiracy Natural Birth, Hospitals, and Doulas: A Guide, and Amy Wright Glenn, author of Birth, Breath, and Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula.

This book includes a chapter by Dr. Amy Gilliland including research on attending the births of friends. Spoiler Alert: It often doesn’t turn out the way you might expect!

Doulas and Intimate Labour Book
Doulas and Intimate Labour

Doulas and Intimate Labour: Bodies Boundaries and Birth, edited by Angela Castaneda and Julie Johnson Searcy The scholarship in this volume draws attention to doula work as intimate and relational while highlighting the way boundaries are created, maintained, challenged, and transformed. Intimate labour as a theoretical construct provides a way to think about the kind of care doulas offer women across the reproductive spectrum. Doulas negotiate boundaries and often blur the divisions between communities and across public and private spheres in their practice of intimate labour. This book weaves together three main threads: doulas and mothers, doulas and their community, and finally, doulas and institutions. The lived experience of doulas illustrates the interlacing relationships among all three of these threads.

This book includes a research chapter by Dr. Amy Gilliland about the transformational role of the doula in the mother’s life as her identity changes and the grief process that accompanies this shift in identity.

Nurturing the Family Book
Nurturing the Family: The Guide for Postpartum Doulas

From author Jacqueline Kelleher: I’ve pondered what makes some birth and postpartum doulas successful and why others founder. It isn’t a lack of commitment or desire to be effective. It isn’t a lack of business savvy. To me the most critical doula skill is sensitivity – the ability to read another person’s cues accurately and respond appropriately in a timely manner. Sensitivity is a primary component of emotional intelligence and a key skill in successful parenting and creating secure attachment in infancy…So many research participants described their doula’s ability to understand what they were feeling without the need for words as “magical”. But for doulas, it is the essential skill of reading people and interpreting their behavior accurately. It’s using our brains, not magic. The good news is that we have the innate ability to learn and improve this skill; our brains are pre-programmed for it.

Giving Birth The Movie
Giving Birth (The movie)

Available with Spanish subtitles, and is closed captioned.

GIVING BIRTH is the renowned 35-minute film by Suzanne Arms that lowers fear and gently builds trust in a woman’s body and her ability to her birth. It follows one woman through a joyful, empowering natural birth with the father actively involved, and kindly compares the differences between the medical model and physiological/midwife model for birth.

Scientific evidence about the impact of the birth process on both mother and baby is explored. Three obstetricians, including Christiane Northrup (author of multiple books on women’s health), a labour and delivery nurse, a doula, a mother who had a cesarean birth, and a certified nurse midwife with 25 years of experience attending home births all comment on the powerful nature of birth.

No close ups are shown, making the film appropriate for all age audiences. Nurses, birth professionals and parents all love this film!

Also covered are prenatal care, overcoming fear, dealing with pain in labour, epidural anesthesia, caesarean surgery, routine hospital procedures, and voicing mother’s preferences. Suzanne Arms’ photography and artistic direction have created an exceptional film when compared with other birth documentaries.