Recommended Reading for
Pregnancy and Childbirth

Our Bodies Ourselves/Pregnancy & Birth

The Boston Women’s Health Collection

“The trusted Boston Women’s Health Book Collective has written a comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date book for the expectant mothers. It balances important facts, scientific data, and evidence with the voice of the wise woman, and it provides questions to ask, issues to think about, and options to consider and discuss. This is the #1 book I am going to recommend to my patients.” — Timothy R. B. Johnson, MD, FACOG, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor of Women’s Studies, University of Michigan

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth

Sheila Kitzinger

This book is dedicated to women (and their partners) who wish to play an active role in giving birth rather than submit passively to obstetrical business as usual, and who wish to supplant fear and confusion with understanding. It provides a complete, illustrated account of the baby’s development inside the uterus and offers guidance on prenatal care, keeping fit, choosing among the different locations and methods of delivery and making the emotional transition to parenthood. And it does all this in a single comprehensive volume and in the unique, vivid and friendly voice of Sheila Kitzinger.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Ina May Gaskin

Founding member and former president of the Midwives Alliance of North America and author of Spiritual Midwifery, Gaskin offers encouragement and practical advice in her upbeat and informative book on natural childbirth. Since the mid-1970s, Gaskin and the midwives in her practice on a Summertown, Tenn., commune known as “The Farm,” have attended over 2,200 natural births. Gaskin, who learned the rudiments of her gentle birthing technique from the Mayans in Guatemala, has helped bring attention to the method’s remarkably low rate of morbidity and medical intervention. Couples considering natural childbirth will get inspirational coaxing from more than a dozen first-person narratives shared by the author’s clients. Gaskin decries what she sees as Western medicine’s focus on pain during birth, arguing that natural birthing can not only be euphoric and blissful but also orgasmic (a survey of 150 natural birthing women “found thirty-two who reported experiencing at least one orgasmic birth”). The second half of Gaskin’s book deals with the practical side of natural birthing, including how to avoid standard medical interventions such as epidurals, episiotomies and even prenatal amniocentesis that may be unnecessary, even dangerous, to mother or child. While this may not be the definitive guide to natural childbirth, it is a comfortable and supportive read for women who want to trust their bodies to do what comes naturally.

Spiritual Midwifery

Ina May Gaskin

This classic book on home birth is now in it’s 4th edition. Includes updated information on the safety of natural childbirth, new birthing stories, and the most recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives. Also presents stories of working with Amish women, showing a different culture with a similar appreciation for natural childbirth.

Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn

Penny Simkin

This book provides an informative look at all aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. It is supportive of alternative and complimentary approaches and provides easy to use reference charts.

Gentle Birth Choices

Barbara Harper

This book outlines the elements of gentle birthing: support form loved ones, a reassuring and quiet environment and minimal medical intervention. She shows you how to plan a meaningful, family-centered birth experience and discusses the many alternatives available to you. “Exactly the sort of guide that pregnant women have been needing to help them sort through the myriad choices and option that confront them today.” — Robbie Davis-Floyd, author of Birth As an American Rite of Passage

New Active Birth

Janet Balaskas

With this book you can learn to develop all your body’s resources to deal with the instinctive experience of childbirth. It is also for partners, teachers, midwives and everyone involved, to help mothers get up off the delivery table and to bring back some of the common sense which has been overlooked by obstetrics.

Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities

Henci Goer

“…an extremely useful resource for everyone who works in the field of maternity care, for policy makers, and for childbearing women and couples. Scientific documentation for many obstetric practices is at their fingertips in this readable guide. Childbirth educators and practitioners will find it both an educational tool for themselves and a motivation to give improved care to women in pregnancy and birth. Policy makers can use it to make their case for implementing changes in practice. Armed with the information it provides, pregnant women can ask knowledgeable questions, make informed decisions, and experience less intervention in their births. You can be sure that this thoroughly researched ‘Guide to the Medical Literature’ in obstetrics will be a frequently used reference.” — Birth

Reclaiming the Spirituality of Birth

Benig Mauger

Drawing on her experience as a birth teacher, therapist and mother, Benig Mauger suggests that by reconnecting with the natural and spiritual world an expectant mother can make the birth experience her own, thereby healing old wounds and allowing herself both a deeply satisfying delivery and an abiding spiritual connection to her child.

Bestfeeding

Mary Renfrew, Chloe Fisher and Suzanne Arms

“A wonderful, user-friendly book by real experts. It should answer any questions or problem a breastfeeding woman may encounter. It’s up-to-date, with beautiful photos and illustrations that will resolve, step-by-step, any obstacle to breastfeeding. Bestfeeding is a virtual treasury of he collective wisdom on breastfeeding, and it is now my first choice for parents.” — Marshall Klaus, MD, author of The Amazing Newborn, Parent-Infant Bonding and Care of the High-Risk Infant

Links

www.healthtouchnc.com

www.birthpsychology.com

www.gentlebirth.org/archives

www.spinningbabies.com

This is a personalized source for local services, provided by individuals and companies that I stand by: Triangle Birth Network

Pregnancy and Baby Photos

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