The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth
is one of my favorite pregnancy books. Before reading this book, I knew the tests and procedures I wanted to avoid, but I didn’t really know why I should avoid them. Henci shows why with all the research she cites. This book contains many appendixes and is well-indexed. To read a sample chapter, see the table of contents, and lots more, go to Henci Goer’s website.
If you’re pregnant, read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
from cover to cover and then read it again! Ina May is the nation’s leading midwife. Her birth statistics speak for themselves. The national cesearean average is 31% and climbing. Ina May’s is less than 2% over 30 years. Ina May trusts birth and labor. Read this book and be inspired to trust in the process of labor. You’ll read a variety of birth stories so you can see how labor is different for every woman. Some of the topics addressed are avoiding an episiotomy, vaginal birth after cesarean, choosing a caregiver, and the emotional aspect of labor.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Seventh Revised Edition (La Leche League International Book)
is a comprehensive guide to being successful at breastfeeding. Read it while pregnant so you know what to expect and then keep it on hand to answer questions that may come up after your baby is born. Contains evidenced -based research. Tips on continuing to nurse your baby after going to work.
The best The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two
that I’ve seen. Comprehensive. Lots of breastfeeding information. There’s a symptom chart so you can figure out what’s wrong with baby when he’s sick, with recommendations on when to call the doctor and when home care is all that’s needed. My copy is all worn out since I refer to it so much. A must have on every parent’s bookshelf!
Dr. William Sears and his wife Martha Sears team up to write the The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (Sears Parenting Library). The book starts with all eight of Martha’s birth stories. Important information includes how to choose your doctor or midwife. This book gives a good overview of pregnancy, labor and birth.
Mind over Labor: A Breakthrough Guide to Giving Birth (Penguin Handbooks)
by Carl Jones is a quick and simple read with exercises in it that will help you achieve relaxation for your mind and body. This book helps to dispel fears you might have surrounding birth. I use the word pictures with my doula clients and couples in childbirth class. One of my favorites!
Husband-Coached Childbirth (Fifth Edition): The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
written by Dr. Robert Bradley, is one of the books used in Bradley® method classes. Traditional in its approach, this is a good book for couples to read together as they learn to work as a team during pregnancy and prepare for the hard work of labor.
Natural Childbirth the Bradley® Way by Susan McCutcheon is a practical hands-on learning tool in helping you to achieve a natural birth using many different relaxation techniques.
A must read for every birth junkie (doulas and childbirth educators) is Robbie Davis-Floyd’s anthropological look at the history of birth in America. In Birth as an American Rite of Passage
, she talks about how women in America view birth as a result of our culture and growing up with medicalized hospital birth as the norm. She follows the move from birth in the home to the mass migration to birthing in the hospital and the grassroots effort to bring birth back where it belongs~ in the home. She explains the history of childbirth education.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide
is an excellent overview of all things relating to pregnancy. A good, general guide for prenatal care, diet, what to avoid, labor, breastfeeding, other postpartum issues.