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Homebirth Research

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for recommendations on what to read in preparation for a homebirth. I tried searching the forums, but didn't come up with anything.

 

Now, the thing is that I'm not even pregnant now. Chances are that I won't be for at least another year or two. DH and I are waiting to start TTC for a few reasons. However I know that I would like a homebirth and I'm reading everything I can get my hands on now. I'm interested in pregnancy and childbirth anyway, so reading all these books is really fueling my interest. My other reason for doing research now is that I know I'm going to get negative feedback from my family and I want to have answers to the questions I know are coming at some point. There are two doctors in my family and my grandmother is set in her ways. My husband is okay with a homebirth so at least I've got that. :D

 

I just read Birth Matters by Ina May Gaskin. I've also read Spiritual Midwifery. I'm in the middle of Born in the USA by Marsden Wagner and recently finished Adventures in Natural Childbirth by Janet Schwegel.

 

Other books I've read:

A Midwife's Story by Penny Armstrong

The Blue Cotton Gown and Arms Wide Open by Patricia Harman

Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart by Carol Leonard

Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent

 

Books I have on my bookshelf, but need to read more thoroughly:

Heart and Hands by Elizabeth Davis

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer

 

Books on my to-read list:
Balaskas, Janet: Active Birth: the New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally
Baldwin, Rahima: Special Delivery
Broder, Michael: The Panic-Free Pregnancy
Buckley, Sarah: Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Dick-Read, Dr. Grantly: Childbirth Without Fear
Douglas, Ann: The Mother of All Pregnancy Books
England, Pam: Birthing From Within
Gaskin, Ina May: Guide to Childbirth
                          : Guide to Breastfeeding
Goer, Henci: Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities
Griesemer, Lynn: Unassisted Homebirth: An Act of Love
Harper, Barbara: Gentle Birth Choices
Hawk, Breck: Hey, Who’s Having this Baby Anyway?
Kitzinger, Sheila: The New Pregnancy and Childbirth: Choices and Challenges (2011)
                           : Pregnancy, Day by Day
Klein, Susan: A Book for Midwives
Lake, Ricki: Your Best Birth
Leboyer, Frederick: Birth Without Violence
Lowe, Ananda: The Doula Guide to Birth
Odent, Michel: Birth Reborn
O’Mara, Peggy: Having a Baby, Naturally
Romm, Aviva: The Complete Guide to Postpartum Wellness
Sears, Dr. William: The Pregnancy Book

Shanley, Laura: Unassisted Childbirth
Simkin, Penny: The Birth Partner
        : Labor Progress Handbook
Simkins, Geradine: Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives
White, Dr. Gregory: Emergency Childbirth Manual

                         

I've got a reading list saved in Google Docs, so that's why the list on here looks a little funny.

 

Have I got my bases covered so far? It probably doesn't help that I have a raging case of baby rabies right now.   lol.gif

post #2 of 33
whew, that's a long list. lol.gif I can't even remember if I read one book specifically about homebirthing when I decided I wanted a homebirth. i'd say you've got it covered.
post #3 of 33

Wow, that's QUITE a list! At least you have time to start reading!

 

I had read a few birth books before I got pregnant, just because I read everything I can get my hands on. I've read a lot since conceiving, though, and I thought I'd mention a few of the best. Most of them are on your list, but maybe they'll help you prioritize or something.

 


Birthing From Within is absolutely the best book I've read so far. It, more than any other book, made me feel absolutely capable of having a natural birth. Some of the stuff was a little out there for me (I don't think I'll be doing "birth art" and some of the other activities suggested) but in general it was the most encouraging.

 

Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth are probably my next-best recommendations. She combines her very naturalistic, earthy perspective with lots of medical facts and statistics. Some of the statistics are a little outdated, depending on the version of the book you have, but they're still invaluable. The birth stories she includes are encouraging, too.

 

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and Husband Coached Childbirth  are both good resources, but the first in particular made me feel a little bullied. The tone to me felt like "Do this and your child will have a defect. Do this and you'll hurt your child. Want to try this? Fine, but your baby will suffer." I read the whole book and there was a lot of good information. I learned quite a bit but still came away feeling a little discouraged. I'd say they're good to read, but make sure to quickly follow them up with one of the first three books I mentioned, or another uplifting, empowering book.

 

I've read a couple others, but those are the ones that stick out to me as review-able. :) Good luck in your reading, and good luck conceiving! My husband wasn't happy with the idea of home birth at first, but now he's like, "Oh, you want the birth tub? We'll find room. If you want it we'll make it happen." Yay!

post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 

shy.gif  :) I like to read anyway, so I always have a to-read list. I have a little time right now before classes start up again. Thanks for the suggestions. I loved Spiritual Midwifery and have it on my bookshelf. I think I've read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, but I need to buy a more up-dated copy than the library has. I'll add Birthing from Within to my list!

 

I made my husband sit down and watch The Business of Being Born while we were still dating. :D We haven't talked about kids in a while, but he knows I want a homebirth. He's asked me questions about midwifes and their training. I don't know if he's 100% on board, but that's something to figure out and deal with in the next few years.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinket90 View Post

Wow, that's QUITE a list! At least you have time to start reading!

 

I had read a few birth books before I got pregnant, just because I read everything I can get my hands on. I've read a lot since conceiving, though, and I thought I'd mention a few of the best. Most of them are on your list, but maybe they'll help you prioritize or something.

 


Birthing From Within is absolutely the best book I've read so far. It, more than any other book, made me feel absolutely capable of having a natural birth. Some of the stuff was a little out there for me (I don't think I'll be doing "birth art" and some of the other activities suggested) but in general it was the most encouraging.

 

Spiritual Midwifery and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth are probably my next-best recommendations. She combines her very naturalistic, earthy perspective with lots of medical facts and statistics. Some of the statistics are a little outdated, depending on the version of the book you have, but they're still invaluable. The birth stories she includes are encouraging, too.

 

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and Husband Coached Childbirth  are both good resources, but the first in particular made me feel a little bullied. The tone to me felt like "Do this and your child will have a defect. Do this and you'll hurt your child. Want to try this? Fine, but your baby will suffer." I read the whole book and there was a lot of good information. I learned quite a bit but still came away feeling a little discouraged. I'd say they're good to read, but make sure to quickly follow them up with one of the first three books I mentioned, or another uplifting, empowering book.

 

I've read a couple others, but those are the ones that stick out to me as review-able. :) Good luck in your reading, and good luck conceiving! My husband wasn't happy with the idea of home birth at first, but now he's like, "Oh, you want the birth tub? We'll find room. If you want it we'll make it happen." Yay!



 

post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 

We librarians like to be prepared! I got a lot of the titles from threads on Mothering and then some from suggestions in the books I'm reading.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

whew, that's a long list. lol.gif I can't even remember if I read one book specifically about homebirthing when I decided I wanted a homebirth. i'd say you've got it covered.


 

post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by aquarius aspiring View Post

shy.gif  :) I like to read anyway, so I always have a to-read list.


i liked to read before i had kids, too. winky.gif read now while you can.
post #7 of 33

It looks like you have all the home-birthy books covered. Part of having a positive homebirth is having a healthy pregnancy, so definitely focus on healthy pregnancy books too. I really liked The Natural Pregnancy Book.  I also really love reading blogs from women who have had homebirths. The Feminist Breeder, Hobo Mama, Birth Sense, Mama Birth, Natural Parents Network, Science & Sensibility and Stand and Deliver are some of my favs.

post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions, especially the blogs! :D One of my goals before TTC is to be more healthy. I need to start eating better and definitely start exercising.

post #9 of 33

Wow, what a list!
There are some book I haven't even heard of! When I was pregnant I devoured books on pregnancy and home birth, but it looks like you are giving yourself a head start.

I suggest that you get on facebook and friend some birthworkers! Listen, participate and follow threads that excite you. Watch videos on your tube of home birth and water birth.

Some things I would consider:


-I feel that having a good birth comes from within. I have seen many woman determined to come up with something to save them from the pain ( or sensation.) They want to escape, or perfect the birth process- but this is all a game of the mind.

 

Along with reading those books, I would find things which help me recognize and enjoy ( or at least feel curious) about ALL of the sensations of my body. Being in a body is glorious-- get to know your inner body and all of it's sensations.


-allow and enjoy pleasure-- pleasuring yourself and feeling pleasure. The more you can allow these deep sensations, the easier it will be for your body to release all of the concoctions of hormones that it needs for birth. Orgasm, alone and with another! <grin>

- practice releasing energy as noise! moan, groan and sigh. Breathe deeply, and let go. Start alone with yourself.
- get massages, FEEL the sensation flowing through your body go within and fully allow the sensations.

- be with all sensations. SNEEZE, cough, poop and urinate.If you have pain, BE with it. Feel it as a sensation, be curious and LOOK at it!

 

Get yourself in a mental state that you are curious about birth, and excited to experience the sensations AND become trusting of your body!!

Much love,

Barbara

 

post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by yaboobarb View Post

I feel that having a good birth comes from within. I have seen many woman determined to come up with something to save them from the pain ( or sensation.) They want to escape, or perfect the birth process- but this is all a game of the mind.

i agree with this. i took a lamaze class 21 years ago when i was pregnant with my first. i took a bradley class with my dh when i was pg with my 2nd in 2003. i did nothing to prepare for the birth of my 3rd at home. i read hypnobirthing when i was pg with #4, who was born at home. all of my labors and births except my first, which was a c-section, were the same. when it came time to get down to business i just went with what my body told me to do. any idea of a script to follow was thrown out the window.
post #11 of 33

Wow what a list!!  I see it is on your to read list, but my recommendation is Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth.  Its awesome that you are planning so far ahead like this, but  you may find that once you are pregnant, that you want to go back and read some of these books again.  I also think it would be a good idea to research other aspects of pregnancy and things about babies such as Circumcision http://intactamerica.org/         Vaccination:  http://www.nvic.org/     Attachment parenting including co-sleeping, baby wearing, extended breastfeeding, etc: www.mothering.com  Safety and health: http://www.ewg.org/ , http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/  (look up ingredients in personal care products, or the product itself), http://www.organicconsumers.org/    http://www.whfoods.com/    http://www.healthychild.com/     http://healthychild.org/ 

Those are some of my favorite sites, I also like some of Dr Sear's stuff but he still recommends some vax which bothers me.  Anyway hope you find some of these sites interesting and informative, and good luck!

post #12 of 33

I noticed you said you watch Business of Being Born with your husband.  Another one you may want to watch together is Pregnant in America.  I know it's available on netflix.  While my husband wasn't thrilled with the personality of the filmmaker (found him over-the-top at times), he really appreciated another homebirth movie and one from a male's point of view.

post #13 of 33
You've got it covered with media so my only advice is not exactly in relation to your question:
Start on finding your midwife that you feel good about. You can have lots of knowledge but the people part can be difficult.
post #14 of 33

these may or may not be on your list lol, but you are being quite comprehensive so I will add a few I would not normally lol

 

Primal Health by Michel Odent

Childbirth In the Age of Plastics by Michel Odent

Labour Progress Handbook by Penny Simkin

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

Evidenced Based Care for Normal Labour and Birth by Denis Walsh

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger

 

Videos:

Orgasmic Birth

 

TBH some of the books on your list I wouldnt bother with lol but it really depends on how indepth you want to get

post #15 of 33

That is quite the list. I have read many of those and one thing I would say is don't bog yourself down getting caught up reading so many books on birthing. As PPs have pointed out there are many other aspects of pregnancy and parenting that deserve as much, if not more, attention. I think you will also find after you read 4 or 5 of those that they begin to get repetitive and run together.

post #16 of 33

Add Pushed to your list (unless it's already there and I missed it).  I agree with a PP that things may get a bit repetitive as you get to the bottom of your reading list but you may also find that a certain style book is more to your liking.  Another whole genre is the kind of birth story nonfiction type books (or maybe even fiction like The Red Tent and stuff like that).  I LOVED Ariel Gore and Ayun Halliday.  Child development text books are also fun to read as are reading some of the studies so often talked about.  It's nice sometimes to feel like you're reading from the source of a lot of these theories.  Happy reading!  

 

 

post #17 of 33
post #18 of 33

Can you say you've researched a controversial issue when all your reading is coming from one philosophical perspective?  Can I say I've "researched" the beginning of the world if all I've read is creationist literature and nothing on evolution?

 

Just some food for thought.

 

 

post #19 of 33

Midwifery Today publishes a book called "The Heart and Science of Homebirth". It's due to be updated in April, I believe, though I can ask them if you want. (I used to work there, it's out of print at the moment.)

 

Lots of research in there, and lots of stories. 

 

Henci's book, for the last poster, is all science. I'd add Marsden Wagner's "Pursuing the Birth Machine" for more science. 

 

Birth Reborn is one of Michel Odent's earliest books. He's done several since. The Farmer and the Obstetrician was an amazing read, IIRC, and he's got at least one more out there. Well worth it. He talks a lot about the biochemistry of birth, which I find fascinating.

 

One note on the unassisted childbirth books. I've read both of them, and they strongly influenced me with my last birth. I planned a UC, and had a midwife as backup. What I found was that there came a point when things were out of my comfort zone (and as someone who's been reading about birth since I was 12, and I think I've read 97% of the books on your list and more besides, I have a pretty sturdy comfort zone with birth), when my instincts were NOT telling me things were okay, but not really screaming they weren't either.. and in that place of uncertainty, my midwife came in, confirmed both that things were a little odd and that they weren't dangerous, and I got my homebirth rather than transporting, because her reassurance helped me trust the process more. That's NOT a message you're likely to get from those two particular books. And indeed, my daughter was born with congenital issues... and again,.. my midwife was able to confirm that yes, things were odd, and no, they weren't dangerous. Because of that, my baby was born vaginally, at home, in water, and never needed the NICU, we sorted out her feeding issues at home. I'm not anti-UC, but I feel strongly that for any birth situation, the biggest barrier to a safe birth is inflexibility. Be that a mom planning a hospital birth whose labor goes too fast to get there in time, or a woman planning a homebirth, UC or not, where something stops feeling safe. Having contingency plans let us keep things as safe as possible, as natural as possible, as long as possible. We didn't have to start getting medical until she was 5 days old, and even then it was far less invasive than the NICU would have been. 

 

I trust birth, and I trust my body, but there are two phrases that cover it pretty well for me. Harriet Hartigan says, "Birth is as safe as life gets". Well, here's the thing. Life isn't actually all that safe. things can happen, things can go wrong, and we have to choose whether to live in fear of the things going wrong, or to live our lives giving them a chance of going right, in full knowledge that life is not predictable. 

 

What I say is this.... Birth is not a tame lion, but it is noble, and strong, and good. And it must always, always be respected. 

 

 

post #20 of 33

The Henci Goer book may be "all science" but its coming at things from a particular viewpoint.  After all, Creationists claim that they have scientific evidence that man and dinosaurs co-existed.

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