Doulas in Italy : The Emergence of a 'New' Profession book cover
1st Edition

Doulas in Italy
The Emergence of a 'New' Profession

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 6, 2022
ISBN 9780367762063
May 6, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
218 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book documents the emergence of doulas as care professionals in Italy, considers their training, practices, and representation, and analyses their role in national and international context. Doulas offer emotional, informational and practical support to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Pamela Pasian explores the development of this ‘new’ profession and how doulas are defining their space in the Italian maternity care system. Whilst doulas are gaining recognition they are also facing opposition. The book reflects on the conflicts and collaborations between doulas and midwives, as well as relations between different doula associations. Interweaving ethnography and autoethnography, it will be of interest to anthropologists, sociologists and those working in health and maternity care.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robbie Davis-Floyd

What are doulas?
A personal note
A methodological note
The structure of this book

1. Doulas: From Their Origins to Their Present Status
The origin of the word "doula"
The international development of the doula
Research on doulas

2. The Emergence of Doulas in Italy
The development of doulas in Italy
Doula origin stories
Regulating doulas
Midwives' opposition to doulas
Giving birth in Italy

3. Keys for Studying the Doula Profession
The concept of a "profession" in the Continental Europe and Anglo-American traditions
Studying the doula profession
Doulas are care professionals
Doulas and medical excess: over-intervention in birth
Which paradigm(s) do doulas use to support mothers?

4. Doula Training
The choice to become a doula
Training paths
Practical skills
Relational and emotional skills
Doulas’ training methodologies
Rituals and relational models

5. The Doula Profession
Doulas’ work
Labour and birth
Types of doulas
Intra-professional relations

6. Doulas and Midwives
Italian midwives in context
Midwives’ representations of doulas
Doulas' representations of midwives
Inter-professional relations

The doula profession in Italy: From illusory inconsistency to "patchwork" consistency

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Pamela Pasian is a post-doctoral research fellow at Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Italy.