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Unassisted Birth Resources

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
This thread is for members here to add their favorite books, links and other resources that they find helpful, insightful and inspiring in regards to unassisted birth.
post #2 of 51
Raven, you should edit your post to add the resources that the others posted in this forum somewhere. As I recall there were quite a lot of books/videos/sites listed. Also btw I absolutely LOVE your avatar picture! That would be perfect for me too hehe

I have a new one to add to that list for the Aussies out there!

Unassisted Pregnancy & Childbirth Australia
- Website link : http://www.purebirth-australia.com
- Description : An online resource for unassisted pregnancy, unassisted childbirth and other related issues such as Australian laws, Centrelink, birth registrations/certificates, variations of normal birth, belief structures, handling problems, health, DIY prenatal care, UC in the Australian media and so on. There are also community forums to provide a place for Australians to get together with other like-minded people and meet others within the country doing the same thing.

Non-Australians are also welcome and it is asked that you list your country of residence at least, in your profile so that the Aussies can identify other Aussies.
post #3 of 51
OK, here is a mostly complete list of resources named by members in the thread called, "Essential reading for UC" (visit it here http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=237973). I've included the original posters' comments/reviews when included, because they're just helpful.

(posters, if I've seriously mis-posted, or labeled a book as an article or vice versa, please let me know by sending me a PM and I'll fix it. Thanks!)

Unassisted Homebirth: An Act of Love - by Lynn Griesemer

Unassisted Childbirth - by Laura Shanley

Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin

Emergency Childbirth, by Gregory C. White

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, by Susun Weed

The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth, by Laurie Morgan

Prenatal Yoga & Natural Birth, by Jeannine Parvati Baker

Special Delivery, Rahima Baldwin.
Basically a midwifery textbook, about half really annoying and outdated, and half very informational. I still use it as a reference for some things.

Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May Gaskin.
Don't care at all for her approach to birth, but I loved the stories. It's all I wanted to read in the last month before my first UC.

Birth as an American Rite of Passage, Robbie Davis-Floyd.
Mostly about how screwy institutionalized birth is, but a great chapter at the end -- "Birth as the Biodance" -- that talks about the importance of the existence of the wholistic extremes, including unassisted birth.

The Scientification of Love, Michel Odent MD.
Theorizing on why birth has been ritually disturbed throughout history, how this serves aggressive societies, and how it can be harmful to the individual.

Magical Child, by Joseph Chilton Pearce.
Okay, so he sometimes spirals out of control into the fringes of the weird and questionable, but some of it he is right on about, especially his ideas on the importance of acting in harmony with the natural matrix. This definitely influenced my philosophy of birth.

Heart and Hands, by Elizabeth Davis.
A midwifery text, so not directly advocating UC. Disregard the stuff about needing to manage labor and birth. But... I liked the basic information a lot. Easy to follow and organized logically.

Primal Mothering in a Modern World, by hygeia halfmoon

Active Birth: the New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally, by Janet Balaskas
As a 1st timer, it explains some stuff intellectually about birth, which helped get my mind out of the way to enjoy the intuitive side of pg, and soon birth. i'm also having dh read atleast the chapter on labor & birth since he'll be there for at least part of the process if not all. it goes into different positions and what they offer, and other things that he may enjoy knowing like tips for how to hold his body while holding me in standing squat, etc.

Henci Goer's book, Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth.
This may be good to help make the decision to uc, and explain to others why the decision to uc seems safer. it's a little too hospital/medical for me, but i'm still wading through some of it, just in case/just out of curiosity.

The Complete Guide to Postpartum Wellness, by Aviva Romm

Childbirth Wisdom: From the World's Oldest Societies, by Judith Goldsmith.
It is pretty good, and discusses "traditional" societies from around the world and how they view/treat pregnancy, birth and newborns.

"Unassisted Birth, Free Birth" by Jana Kutarna
Excellent essay on her philosophy of unassisted birth.

"Maia’s Birth - a family celebration", by Sarah Buckley who also wrote the Ecstatic Birth article listed above

"Birth, Sexuality, and Orgasm", by Michel Odent MD, on the hormonal process of birth, and what interferes with it

"Birth and the Origins of Violence", Michel Odent MD

Leilah McCracken's "Resexualizing Childbirth" changed all my views on birth - it even helped to convince my dh on my decision to freebirth.



Ecstatic Birth: The Hormonal Blueprint of Labor, Sarah Buckley. The science illustrating the importance of undisturbed birth.

The CBirth UC Videotape. Nine unassisted births, really beautiful and inspiring, and oh so different from your average professional-assisted birth. You probably have to be a member of the yahoogroups elist c-birth to access this page.

Laura Shanley's website Bornfree! has lots of good articles/essays on it written by her.

Psalm & Zoya--The Unassisted Homebirth of Our Twins.
This is my favorite birth video ever. Just amazing.
post #4 of 51
My first birth was lay-midwife assisted but she was VERY hands off, and we are seriously thinking about UC for the next birth (Nov-Dec. 05)... just waiting to see how things work out. I did a lot of research online during my pg the first time around and the number 1 site that offered me A LOT of support when other people in my life weren't was
- they have an unassisted childbirth link if you scroll down the intro page to their online childbirth class. It's so down-to-earth and easy to understand and remember with great info. Highly recommend it
post #5 of 51
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post #7 of 51
From the Purebirth Australia site:

Sample Hospital Transfer Plan
Sample Hospital Backup Plan
Sample Emergency Cesaerean Plan
Emergency Situations

post #8 of 51


and the video Birth As We Know It- even though it was made by a midwife and all of the births (11 in all, including one twin birth where one baby is breech and one beautiful orgasmic birth) are attended by midwives, the spirit is very much in the vein of empowerment and total trust in childbirth. And there is so much info! The film is about 1.25 hours, plus there is a director's commentary, plus extras like info on circumcision, lotus birth, elimination communication, exercise for pregnancy, and more. You just might want to close your eyes during the footage of c-sections and circumcisions though!
Avaiable at www.birthintobeing.com
post #9 of 51
This was listed below, but thought I'd provide the link. An amazing video of a twin UC, one a breech. It's expensive and fairly short, but it's my very favorite video of a UC birth.

Psalm & Zoya, The Unassisted Homebirth of Our Twins

Also, I don't want to seem self-promoting but the whole point of having it up is for people to read it, after all. So here's the link to my blog about autonomous birth.
post #10 of 51

Helpful UC Websites

Hey! I thought it might be helpful to compile helpful UC links. super kitty has shared these:

Unassisted Birth for Fathers

Freebirth Q&A with Jeannine Pavarti Baker

Laura Shanley's site
Stories, Books, Videos, and more...

Shaunamama Natural Family Living

The Online Childbirth Class
post #11 of 51
Some of super kitty's links are anti-medicalized birth, which is great, but there's already a list for that in the homebirth forum. People coming to this forum are looking for more UC-specific stuff, and there's a lot to wade through as it is, so I'd suggest taking those off the list or putting them in a separate section at the bottom.

Also, birthlove.com seems to be defunct, so those links no longer work.

Jeannine Parvati Baker was very influenced by Laura Shanley's book Unassisted Childbirth. I believe she's the one who coined the term "freebirth"?:

An amazing video of twin UC birth:

Empowered Childbirth

Sarah Buckley -- information about the hormonal process of birth, how it's disturbed, and what happens when it's disturbed. She also has a nice article on lotus birth and her own UC birth story.

Michel Odent -- not overtly pro-UC, but he talks a lot about the importance of birth being undisturbed and unguided, and comes at it from a scientific perspective, which for me was helpful in choosing to UC. I recommend his book The Scientification of Love as well.
post #12 of 51
I completely understand the need to limit board hopping, but we are going to need to keep the links specific to UC

Thanks, everyone!
post #13 of 51
Just bumping up this excellent thread.

ETA: Just to add, here's a link where you can download the book "Emergency Childbirth" in pdf format: http://www.umbrellanoize.com/stuff/E...Childbirth.pdf
post #14 of 51
A book called
Expecting Touble; The Myth of Prenatal Care in America
post #15 of 51
post #16 of 51
Is there a reason I don't know about why cbirth isn't linked here? If so please pm me and I'll remove the link, I'm not sure when I'll check this thread again.

post #17 of 51
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post #20 of 51
Originally Posted by faithwings View Post
Where can I find info on water birth? I'm due in 5 weeks and we are moving in 2 weeks...doing a little last-minute planning here!

Ok, I found the thread I needed, so I'll post it here:

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