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photo A Doula Story
On the frontlines of teen pregnancy
By Danny Alpert

DVD includes Spanish subtitles.

A Doula Story documents one woman's fierce commitment to empower pregnant teenagers with the skills and knowledge they need to become confident, nurturing mothers. In the same disadvantaged neighborhood where she once struggled as a teen mom herself, Loretha Weisinger uses compassion and humor to teach young mothers-to-be about everything from the importance of breast-feeding and reading to their babies to the practical details of communicating effectively with health care professionals.

Nearly ten percent of births in the United States are to teens, many of them poor and alone. Loretha has worked as a community doula (from the Greek word for birth attendant) for more than 10 years. She knows that pregnant teens need guidance and education, not judgment or pity. Doulas provide prenatal, childbirth and parenting support, and are a reassuring presence before, during and after birth. In the face of overwhelming challenges, from absentee fathers and drug addiction to the disparagement of society, community-based doulas help women have satisfying birthing and parenting experiences, and assist families in providing the safe and healthy environment that is critical to a baby's development.

At a time when the national debate over teen pregnancy seems deadlocked over abstinence vs. abortion, A Doula Story spotlights a practical, tough-minded solution that is sure to provoke candid public discussions, and to inspire communities to take action to support teen parents and their children. A Discussion Guide in both English and Spanish is included.

60 minutes
© 2004
Purchase $199 DVD
Order No. QA-452
close captioned

"A great tool for reducing health disparities in communities of color. I'd like to use this in the middle and high school health curriculum to give girls a broader perspective. We can also use it with parent groups: parents need all the resources they can get." Luz Alvarez-Martinez, National Latina Health Organization

"Led us into a deeply collaborative conversation about how we could make this kind of doula program happen here, because it needs to." Clare Taylor, Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers

"We're working with state advocates on how to keep children from entering the 'cradle to prison' pipeline. I see this film as a perfect tool." Yasmine Daniel, Children's Defense Fund

Awards & Conference Screenings
CINE Golden Eagle
Best Documentary, Milwaukee International Film Festival
Best Documentary, Director's View, New York
San Francisco International Film Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Healthy Teen Conference
National Health Information Awards, Bronze Award
Council on Foundations Film Festival

Related Films
The Secret Life of Babies: A two-part examination of the psychological development of babies, from intrauterine life to the first months after birth. How do fetuses and babies perceive their worlds, and ours?

New Relations: The filmmaker explores the costs and rewards of becoming a full-time father; with his own father, he reflects on changes in fathering styles between the two generations.

Bundle of Blues: The stories in this thoughtful documentary represent a range of experiences from minor postpartum depression through postpartum psychosis. It stresses that PPD can happen to any new mother, but that it can be managed.

Post Partum Depression: It's not just the "baby blues." This video is about the perhaps 2% of new mothers who experience the severe depression, delusions, paranoia and other symptoms of postpartum psychosis.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Study Guide

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website