or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Pregnancy and Birth Archives › Due Date Clubs 2009 - 2012 › October 2011 › Books and other resources: recommendations?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Books and other resources: recommendations?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Do any of you have recommendations for good pregnancy and birth books (or movies, websites, etc)?


I've read Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block, which seemed like a really good introduction and overview to the issues surrounding modern childbirth (intervention cascades, VBAC resistance, midwife laws, and so forth).  http://www.amazon.com/Pushed-Painful-Childbirth-Modern-Maternity/dp/0738211664/


Also I have a copy of Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun S. Weed.  It was recommended to me by a local doula and it's got all kinds of information about herbs that are good and bad for fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, delivery, and newborn care, and more specific concerns like morning sickness.  It's a little dated in some places (written in 1986) and I am confirming her advice with other sources, but I think she's pretty trustworthy and smart when it comes to herbal recommendations.



Also I ordered Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Henci Goer's Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, but they haven't arrived yet.


So, any other suggestions?  I am likely to have a hospital birth with a midwife, but I want it to be as gentle and low intervention as possible.

post #2 of 13

I LOVED Ina May's & Henci Goer's books!  heartbeat.gif  And, Lol, YES- I'm a loser :P




Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by Mayo Clinic  

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
A Good Birth, A Safe Birth by Diana Korte
Childbirth without Fear by Grantly Dick-Read (out of print)
Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper
The Birth Book By Martha Sears
Having a Baby, Naturally By Peggy O'Mara
Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method By Marie Mongan
The Birth Partner by Penny Simpkin
A Wise Birth by Penny Armstrong
Husband Coached Childbirth by Robert Bradley

VBAC & Cesaren
Artemis Speaks:VBAC Stories and Natural Childbirth Information By Nan Koehler
The Silent Knife by Nancy Cohen

History of Childbirth
BIRTH: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy
Lying-in: A History of Childbirth in America by Richard Wertz
Brought to Bed: Childbirth in America, 1750-1950 by Judith Leavitt

Maternity Care System
Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed To Put Women and Children First by Marsden Wagner (A MUST READ!)
PUSHED: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and the Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block
Obstetric Myths Vs. Reseach Realities by Henci Goer
Birth as an American Rite of Passage by Robbie Davis Floyd
Pursuing the Birth Machine by Marsden Wagner

Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent
A Midwife's Story by Penny Armstrong
Hearts and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth by Elizabeth Davis
Birthsong Workbook by Daphne Singingtree

The Womanly Art of Breastfeedingby La Leche League International
The Nursing Mother’s Companion by Kathleen Huggins
The Breastfeeding Book by Martha Sears
Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner
So That’s What They’re For: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide By Janet Tamaro
How My Breasts Saved The World: Misadventures of a Nursing Mother By Lisa Shapiro 
Fresh Milk: The Secret Life of Breasts by Fiona Giles
The Ultimate Book of Breastfeeding Answers by Jack Newman


The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost By Jean Liedoff
The Natural Child: Parenting From the Heart By Jan Hunt
The Baby Book by Dr Sears
The Attachment Parenting Book by Dr Sears
Mother Rising The Blessingway Journey Into Motherhood
Natural Family Living by Peggy O' Mara

Natural Birth

Home Birth
IS Homebirth For You?: 6 Myths About Childbirth Exposed
Homebirth – Safety and Benefits
The Homebirth Choice

Childbirth Preparation Courses


Unassisted Birth


Birth Centers

Cesaren and VBAC

Water Birth



post #3 of 13
NDFanatik: Wow! You've read all those?

yellowdart: I liked Tina Cassidy's Birth better than Jennifer Block's Pushed. I found the latter, well, pushy! (even though I agree with most of the positions she takes) I thought Cassidy was much more even-handed and more enjoyable to read. Cassidy's purpose, of course, is a little different, but what she says is certainly relevant to modern birth.

If you haven't seen Ricki Lake's movie, "The Business of Being Born," that is totally worth watching. The "Gentle Birth Choices" movie, on the other hand, is one to skip IMO. The footage in it is older and poor sound/image-quality made it very uncomfortable for me to watch.
post #4 of 13

Just wanted to second the recommendation for The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger. I practically took that book everywhere with me when pregnant with DS. I gave my copy to a pregnant friend the next year, so now buying another copy is on my to-do list this week.

post #5 of 13

Lol, no not all of them, but I have read and own quite a few!  I have a lot more to get still :)

post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by mingus View Post

Just wanted to second the recommendation for The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger. I practically took that book everywhere with me when pregnant with DS. I gave my copy to a pregnant friend the next year, so now buying another copy is on my to-do list this week.

I have this one on order :)  Right now I'm reading Sear's "The Pregnancy Book."  Good stuff :)

post #7 of 13

I would also suggest taking a look at "The Business of Being Born" When first pregnant I was completely in the dark about what I wanted, and was just going the traditional route with plans to give birth in a major Boston hospital with an OB and the whole deal. As DH and I were watching this movie, it became apparent to the both of us, that we truly didn't want this for our birth. Mid pregnancy we bought our first home 40 miles from Boston, and I was able to begin prenatal care at The Birth Cottage, and I felt I was on my way to having a birth I felt comfortable with.


When it came time for the birth, I went into labor at (what we thoughts was) 35 weeks 4 days, and my midwife by law couldn't allow me to give birth at the center. In the end we DID have a hospital birth. I credit having watched this movie with being firm with the hospital staff, and in the end we had the unmediated (although LONG) labor we had dreamed of.


I am really really hoping that we will carry to term and be able to have the water birth at The Birth Cottage we had dreamed of.


I read a pretty good amount of books with my first pregnancy, but the one that sticks out as, must read again to me, is "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth". I  think it depends on what kind of person you are, but it really helped me to read the stories of all types of Mothers dealing and making it through childbirth. It helped me with the visualization I needed.

post #8 of 13

I LOVE Ina May Gaskin. I'm excited to pull out her Guide to Childbirth again. I had Spiritual Midwifry out from the library several times last pregnancy but will buy my own copy this time around.


Also a big fan of all of the Sears books. I read both the pregnancy and birth book. (along with the Vaccine Book and Baby book)


I found Penny Simpkins Birth Partner to be the most helfpful for DH and I in preparing for birth. I loved that book.

post #9 of 13

The library is holding Homebirth In the Hospital for me -- I can't wait to read it! It came out the year my son was born and I didn't come across it at the time.


I have read Dick Grantly-Read plus the Simkin guide and Ina May's guide (wonderful stories). I think this time around I'll supplement with more of the Sears books (their sleep book is the only one that didn't make me sick with tension).

post #10 of 13

Great list NDFanatik! I would add 'Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering' by Sarah Buckley, MD. She also has a website www.sarahbuckley.com with some article excerpts from the book.


'Birthing From Within' is a very important resource, and I personally loved 'Having a Baby, Naturally.'


Great blogs to check out are www.birthsense.org, www.mothersofchange.com, and www.scienceandsensibility.com


If you are looking for childbirth education but don't have access to high quality prenatal education in your community, you may want to check out www.connectedchildbirth.com for prenatal classes online in realtime. The next set of classes starts at the end of March and they run for 8 weeks.

post #11 of 13

I do academic research in this area. IMHO, one of the best resources out there in terms of accurate, complete info is http://childbirthconnection.com/

post #12 of 13

I like to recommend Birthing from Within, the Birth Partner, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (my fave!, love story telling), and I recommend staying away from What to Expect (any edition). 

post #13 of 13


Originally Posted by Jane View Post

and I recommend staying away from What to Expect (any edition). 

EWWW!!!  I 2nd that recommendation, lol.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: October 2011
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Pregnancy and Birth Archives › Due Date Clubs 2009 - 2012 › October 2011 › Books and other resources: recommendations?