A few months ago, I was contacted by a production company, The Kindling Group, about a documentary film they created about a doula working with pregnant teens in a disadvantaged neighborhood. Being a doula in training myself, and recognizing how important doulas are for all moms who want them, I was very excited to view this film. I was very impressed with the main subject, Loretha’s, dedication to helping these young mothers–preparing them for childbirth and beyond, empowering them in their relationships with their care providers, in the labor room, with breastfeeding and as they become mothers. Many of us have firsthand experience with how a doula can help a woman on that transition from pregnancy to labor to mothering, and perhaps many more young teen moms would benefit from having doulas available to them.
From The Kindling Group:
A Doula Story documents one woman’s fierce committment to empower pregnant teenagers with the skills and knowledge they need to become confident nurturing mothers. A woman of remarkable magnetism and complexity, Loretha Weisinger returns to the same disadvantaged neighborhood where she once struggled as a teen mom. She uses compassiona nd humor to teach the young mothers-to-be about everything from the importance of breastfeeding and reading to their babies to the practical details of communicating effectively with health care professionals.
Teenage pregnancy is a fact of American life. Nearly 10 percent of births in this country are to teens, many of them poor, uneducated and alone. A community doula (from the Greek word for birth attendant) for more than 10 years, Loretha knows that pregnant teens need guidance and education, not judgment or pity. In the face of overwhelming challenges–from absentee fathers and drug addiction to the disparagement of society–doulas are making a differnce in the futures of young mothers and their babies.
A Doula Story is available now from The Kindling Group directly on DVD, but will be released for purchase more widely via Netflix, hulu, etc. this fall.