Recommended Reading

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 Thinking Women's Guide to a Better Birth, by Henci Goer is easy to read, a narrative of evidence-based research to help you formulate your own ideas on birth and the medical options.

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


Permalink: Recommended Reading

Podcasts for Pregnancy, Birth, and Breastfeeding

In addition to a reading list of great books to help educate and inspire you during the most incredible, exciting, and sometimes difficult season of your life, there are some fantastic podcasts that you can listen to while doing cooking or housework, working out, driving in the car, even in the shower!  Yes, I really do listen in the shower.  Podcasts are excellent resources for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and beyond.   A variety of topics and opinions are discussed along with real life birth stories and experiences.  I enjoy the opportunity to hear about other resources from the hosts, guests, and helpful links are usually provided in the show notes.  You can subscribe to any or all or scroll through the topics and find something that really interests you.  I hope you will take a listen. 

Here are my favorite Birth and Breastfeeding Podcasts for the pregnancy and breastfeeding journey:

The Birthful Podcast with Adrianna Lozada, Talking with pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, postpartum & parenting pros to inform your intuition.

This link on her site is a great place to start, especially for early pregnancy.

All About Breastfeeding with Lori Isenstadt, IBCLC.  Also, check out Lori's Facebook Community Breastfeeding Group.  More useful links are found here.

All Things Breastfeeding Podcast with Barbara D. Robertson, IBCLC

Birth, Baby, and Life Podcast and Kristen's website has a lot of resources

The Birth Hour shares birth stories from all around the world.  

The Cord:  Connection, Peace and Empowerment in your Birthing Year and Beyond, by Amy Neuhedel

For birth workers or those interested in becoming a doula:

toRaise Questions Doula Podcast, hosted by Thérèse Hak-Kuhn, Executive Director of toLabor, an internationally renowned doula educator and moderated by Sarah Allen-Short and Melanie Headley, professional doulas and toLabor instructors.

Dearest Doula with Nathalie Saenz

Both of these have been a tremendous help and I anxiously await each and every new episode! 

The Happy Hour

The other podcast that I think you'll really enjoy is The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey.  Jamie's show features great women guests each week, sharing their stories about the big things in life, the little things, and everything in between.  She's real, honest, inspiring, funny and truly a joy to listen to. each week.  Turn off the TV for a little while and take some time for nourishing your soul and encourage your heart!


Permalink: Podcasts for Pregnancy, Birth, and Breastfeeding