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Must Read Books

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Let's compile a list here of our "must-reads" that we constantly refer to or recommend. First time mama's - definitely check this out and head to your library or Amazon. I have read and re-read these books many times!


1) Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin. Hands down the top book I always recommend. No matter your birth choices, this will empower you as a woman to love and be thankful by what's going on in your body! I even got my DH to read it and he thought it was helpful (while preparing for our first homebirth).

2) Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah J. Buckley, MD. She goes through pros and cons of every option offered to you while pregnant. She's an MD that's had 4 (or 5?) homebirths so I love her POV.

3) The Natural Pregnancy Book, by Aviva J Romm. Yet again, another doctor that is very naturally/homebirth focused but respects and appreciates the "standard" hospital birth practices.

4) The Sears Books - for Pregnancy, Attachment Parenting and The Baby Book.


What else do you mama's always recommend or turn to for Pregnancy/Childbirth?

Edited by WendyJo410 - 9/22/13 at 11:03am
post #2 of 13

I definitely second Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, as well as Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding. Pregnant women should pretty much get a hold of ANYTHING with Ina May's name on it :p for she is a pregnancy and birth sage. Also Birthing From Within, by Pam England.


The Complete Organic Pregnancy is very helpful when trying to create a non-toxic environment for you and your baby (inside and out) during your pregnancy and beyond.


The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is distributed by the La Leche League and is a wonderful resource, as well as The Breastfeeding Answer Book (also by LLL).


After the Baby's Birth: A Complete Guide for Postpartum Women is invaluable, especially for US women who live in a culture where postpartum support is VERY lacking.

post #3 of 13

I think The Pregnancy Book by Dr. Sears is my favorite general pregnancy guide. (I didn't particularly like The Baby Book - it seemed to just keep recommending attachment parenting as the magical fix for every little thing.)


I got Our Bodies, Ourselves Pregnancy and Birth this time around, and it seems fairly comprehensive, but, at the same time, not a lot of depth. Maybe I just got turned off by the fact that they don't have a particularly helpful section on morning sickness. Anyways, it seems like a good, comprehensive starting point for discovering things, and also addresses a lot of sociopolitical issues.


I personally like Spiritual Midwifery better than Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, but birth stories have always been the most helpful part for me. All sorts of stories - good outcomes and not-so-good. Reading about things I don't want helps me see what I want to avoid. Reading about bad outcomes brings fears to the surface and makes me less anxious. Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife by Peggy Vincent is another favorite of mine in that respect.


Birthing From Within was the birth book that I found most helpful, though I'm not an art person at all and didn't do any of that. I also think that their section on labor support is the absolute best resource for a birth partner who isn't into the whole birth thing enough to read a whole book on the subject.


A Good Birth: Finding the Positive and Profound in Your Childbirth Experience by Anne Lyerly is one that I haven't read yet, but, from the description, seems to be about the same conclusions I'd drawn for myself from my own experiences, other people's stories, and being a doula - that feeling respected and involved in decision-making matters more to interpretation of the birth experience than the exact details of how it occurs.


Operating Instructions: A Journal Of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott is my favorite postpartum "If I'm crazy, at least I'm not the only one" book.

post #4 of 13
"Baby Catcher" by Peggy Vincent. I know it's a memoir but I find it so inspiring and read it at least once or twice a pregnancy. She just makes birth sound so normal and natural--the way an uncomplicated birth should be in my opinion. There a few stories of loss and they always make me cry but it helps remind me what a precious gift a baby is--all the discomforts of pregnancy are so worth it!
post #5 of 13

Are there good books about morning sickness? I read Beautiful Babies which I highly recommend as well as several others already mentioned.  And a good laughable book about pregnancy is Belly Laughs- not a spiritual or insightful book.  But it is so real and honest and very funny

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I read beautiful babies and took the ecourse. So informative!! I'll look back and see what she recommends for morning sickness. Have you tried ginger? It looks like you've got the good fats down. Nice job!!
post #7 of 13
post #8 of 13

I know she recommends magnesium for morning sickness. I took her online class too.


I have tried ginger tea, real ginger ale, and ginger candies.  They help to an extent.  But  I am finding citrus and mint to be better.  My morning sickness is more of a just yucky feeling and food aversion.

post #9 of 13

I know I'm technically out of the DDC, but I can't seem to stop myself from stalking :p.


I still haven't found a pregnancy book that I love (I've found I can't stand anything written by the older Dr. Sears), but I do LOVE The Big Book of Birth by Erica Lyon for birth. It covers all the bases very nicely, and is not really ideologically driven, which I liked. It also has really great insights for your husband/partner/birth helpers as far as how you may act and what you may need at different stages of labor. I only found it at the very end of my pregnancy last time, and wish I had found it sooner so I could have had my dh read some of it.

post #10 of 13

Anything by Michel Odent.


Childbirth Without Fear (Odent and Read).


Anything by Ina May, obviously.  I really liked Pushed by Jennifer Block, although it's more a statement on the dismal state of modern obstetrics, rather than a birth preparation guide.  


For nutritional advice, I also loved Beautiful Babies, as well as Real Food for Mother and Baby (Nina Planck).

post #11 of 13
Anything very nourishing and her ally sound for experienced moms? Like Avivah Jill Romms natural pregnancy book? Does Ina may have such a book...I liked spiritual midwifery. Thanks.
post #12 of 13
Her ally = herbally
post #13 of 13
I really liked "The Birth Partner" by Peggy Simpkin for a birth book. It is directed at whoever will be present at the birth, but it did help me feel more prepared too.
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