There are so many books about pregnancy and childbirth, so where do you start? If you read only one, it would have to be Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. There are two parts of this book which begins with amazing birth stories that will inspire and encourage you. The second half explores the mystery in how women's bodies function in birth, pain in labor, how we perceive pain and includes Ina May's "sphincter law" and how it applies to birth.
The Birth Partner - A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Doulas, Dads, and birth Partners, by Penny Simpkin is part of the required reading for doula training and is easy to read reference for dad's, birth partners. I would recommend this read from cover to cover but it is written in such a way that is easy to look up specific topics.
The Doula Guide to Birth - Secrets Every Pregnant Woman Should Know, by Ananda Lowe and Rachel Zimmerman, written from the "doula viewpoint" on every major pregnancy and delivery issue.
Birthing from Within, by Pam England and Rob Horowitz is a guide to childbirth preparation. It is full of left and right brain learning – so that what a reader actually learns and experiences throughout the book will be learned well enough to be able to use it while in “labor land”.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, by Sarah J. Buckley, MD is chocked full of research that allows for a more informed pregnancy and childbirth. I particularly liked the explanation of what Buckley calls "undisturbed birth", the physiology of normal birth, and what is lost when the birth process is treated as a medical event.
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, by Jack Newman, MD and Teresa Pitman will guide new moms to establishing a good latch and other key information about creating the breastfeeding relationship.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, and Teresa Pitman, another required reading for doula training. This is a best selling guide with updated information not only within the pages but it also includes Internet references for further information, including La Leche League support sites and groups.
The Happiest Baby on the Block, by Harvey Karp, MD. The new way to calm crying and help your newborn sleep longer will give you excellent strategies for after your baby is born.
This group of books are also a part of my library. Some were required reading for my doula certification, others I read as they were recommended on podcasts or through other reading and research.
The New Pregnancy and Childbirth - Choices and Challenges, by Sheila Kitzinger
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: the complete Guide, by Penny Simkin PT, Janet Whalley RN IBCLC, Ann Keppler RN MN
The Doula Advantage, by Rachel Gurevich
The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth, by Marshall H. Klaus, John H. Kennell, Phyllis H. Klaus. Also by the same authors, you may also see the older title and edition of this book. Mothering the Mother - How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth. is the original edition.
Natural Hospital Birth - The Best of Both Worlds, by Cynthia Gabriel
Mindful Birthing - Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond, by Nancy Bardacke, CNM
Second Stage - The Pushing Phase of Labor, an ebook collection of articles from Midwifery Today Magazine.
Waterbirth, an ebook collection of articles from Midwifery Today Magazine.
Twins: A Collection of Articles from Midwifery Today Magazine, is an excellent ebook that I read to prepare myself for working with a client who gave birth to twins!
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, by Susan McCutcheon
Supernatural Childbirth - Experiencing the Promises of God Concerning Conception and Delivery, by Jackie Mize
Christ Centered Childbirth, by Kelly J. Townsend
Wise Woman Herbal - Childbearing Year, by Susun S. Weed
The Natural Pregnancy Book - Herbs, Nutrition, and other Holistic Choices. by Aviva Jill Romm
These books may be of interest to anyone who is particularly interested in childbirth from the perspective of midwifery care.
Birth Matters - a midwife's manifesta, by Ina May Gaskin
Spiritual Midwifery, also by Ina May Gaskin
Into These Hands - Wisdom from Midwives edited by Geradine Simkins is a collection of essays written by twenty-five extraordinary midwives.
Baby Catcher - Chronicles of a Moder Midwife, by Peggy Vincent