Introduction & Preparation
Birth Companions: Perspectives on Doulas and Nurse Midwives in ASL and English. A creation of the College of St. Catherine in partnership with SLICES, LLC.
|Meet Amy Wolff||Interaction||interaction|
|Meet Maria Wolff||Interaction||interaction|
|An Appointment with Nurse / Midwife in English||Interaction||interaction|
|Intro & Preparation|
|Birth Companions Overview||Study Packet||study-packet|
|Video from a Hearing Doula||Monologue||monologue|
|Video from a Deaf Doula||Monologue||monologue|
Objective: To prepare for interpreting for appointments related to pregnancy with a doula or a midwife.
The following series of activities are designed to support you in achieving the objective above.
1. Find out more about doulas and midwives (or nurse-midwives) and their role in the process of labor and delivery.
The following page has suggested resources for developing a better understanding of what to expect if you are in a situation where a doula or a midwife is part of the birthing process.
2. Watch and analyze the videos with monologues in both English and ASL.
Persis Bristol-Dodson (in spoken English) and Jerri Middlebrook-Vogel (in ASL) both give descriptions of what it is that doulas do as well as other information related to their work. Watch their texts to see how they describe the work and think about how you might use their language choices for interpreting each of these texts.
3. Practice interpreting the monologues.
After you have watched the monologues, videotape or audiotape yourself interpreting these texts. Look at your work to see if you were able to incorporate some of the language you had noted in your analysis of the monologues. You can also compare your work against the summaries and transcripts of the texts to see if you included the same ideas as the source text.
4. Watch and analyze the videos with interactions.
Once you have had an opportunity to work with the monologues, move on to the interactions. There are two in spoken English and one in ASL. Watch and note the features of the interactions – how turn-taking is managed; how the participants signal that they understand something or have a question. These observations help to give you a sense of what hearing and deaf participants might expect in an interaction that is interpreted.
5. Practice interpreting the interactions.
Imagine that you are in a birth preparation class and the instructors are modeling what an interaction with a doula or nurse midwife might look like. Interpret the interactions with the idea that other expectant parents are your target audience and are interested in both the information and the way that the interaction might unfold.
Resources for Analysis
The overview mentions two possible approaches for observation and analysis of these texts.
- For more information on Demand/Control Schema, click here.
- For more on Deborah Tannen’s work on how gender affects talk, visit her home page at Georgetown University. (Her “General Audience” books are great resources for interpreters.)
Preparation and Research
Suggested Resources for Preparation and Research related to Doulas and Midwives
There is a wealth of information on the web about doulas and midwives. (If you are interested in more information related to anatomy and physiology, see All in Due Time.)
1. Web sites about Doulas.
- Doulas of North America (DONA)
- A list of FAQs regarding doulas from DONA
- Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association
- Doulas and Hypnobirthing
- Doula Network
- Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators
2. Childbirth preparation, birthing options, and postpartum care
- La Leche League International
- Lamaze International
- Attachment Parenting International
- Maternity Wise
3. Midwives and Nurse-Midwives