It is not often that I find a man's perspective all that valuable in pregnacy information, but this is an exception. Grantly Dick-Read is considered by many to be the father of the natural childbirth movement. He dedicated his life to educating expectant parents about the benefits of giving birth naturally, with as little intervention from obstetricians and health professionals as possible. Much of the pain in childbirth, he argued, came from society’s attitude towards childbirth, which often emphasised the pain. Dick-Read was alive, writing and educating 100 years ago. The point of his life work was to help women understand that the path of medical innovation which was meant to ease women's experiences of childbirth only achieved the opposite.
First published in the 1950's, Childbirth without Fear explains the principles and practice of natural childbirth. He writes about how to treat labor and birth as an exciting, emotionally satisfying experience, emphasizing the importance of relaxation, bonding with the newborn, nutrition, and other topics.
Pam England has been a nurse/midwife for 20 years and is the founder of the Art of Birthing Center.
Birthing from Within helps mothers approach birth in a manner of taking what works for you and leaving the rest. Pam's approach helps moms to reclaim and celebrate the spiritual, emotional, and psychological aspects of birth as a rite of passage. The book is not a dogmatic approach or class style book, but an book to encourage parents and professionals to use those portions that are helpful. There are numerous exercises and activities to help parents, especially mothers, be in contact with their bodies and feelings. The author recommends throughout that the mother and her healthcare professional work together, giving numerous suggestions for making this a successful partnership.
Ina May Gaskin is considered the mother of natural child birth in the United States. She has helped the home birth movement and birth in the United States as an individual more than just about anyone, including groups. Ina May is a self taught and apprenticed midwife. She is a powerful advocate for a woman's right to give birth without excessive and unnecessary medical intervention and lives her life to advocate this purpose.
Ina May was instrumental in having the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification created so that midwives could attend births legally, getting the training they need without the medical intervention training that hinders birth. She has attended over 1200 births in her career.
Spriritual Midwifery is a heart warming book of short stories. The book has been updated to include new and amazing birthing tales, including those from women who were babies in earlier editions and stories about Old Order Amish women attended by the Farm midwives. This is a book every expectant mother benefits from reading. It is also a great resource to the childbirth community of doulas and educators.
Another wonderful book from Ina May Gaskin that takes the fear out of childbirth by restoring women’s faith in their own natural power to give birth with more ease, less pain, and less medical intervention.
Ina May shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth and shows women how to trust the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience.
Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention.
Henci Goer is a childbirth educator and doula, as well as a founding member of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, a group made up of organizations and individuals involved with maternity care in the US and fighting for a mother-friendly childbirth environment.
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth provides the latest scientific research in a digestible format. It is not a biased book so much as provides expectant mothers with the pros and cons of options in birth while helping them to discern the facts from the myths and make informed decisions about their maternity care.
Mothering Magazine created a book for the thinking woman who believes in her own inherent capacity to make smart, informed decisions about her pregnancy and birth.
Having a Baby, Naturally is a celebration of childbirth and an accurate and objective guide to helping women fortify their spirits, develop trust in their bodies, and make the best possible choices to protect their new baby's health.
The book includes recommendations from the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to compile the best theories and safest practices used in natural childbirth. Difficult subjects, such as birth defects, miscarriages, and postpartum depression, are also treated with sensitivity and candor.
Penn Simkin is a physical therapist, childbirth educator and doula since 1968. She trains childbirth educators, doulas, and doula-trainers and frequently conducts workshops for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide presentst the latest research-based information on pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood. Penny covers everything from complementary medicinal approaches like accupuncture to cesarean birth and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). The books overall theme is informed decision-making. Penny gives mom to be the information she needs to make the decision right for her and her baby. The latest edition also has an accompanying website where readers can find additional maternity care information as well as helpful forms and worksheets.
This book is more about postpartum care than pregnancy and labor. Western society has shown a resurgence in motherhood and caring for mothers postpartum. Nothing is as important as this time and nothing more is needed. The beginning of the family unit starts with the mother and her experience postpartum often determines both her future health and family's well-being. She knows well that as the mother fares, so fares the family; and as the family fares, so does society.
We are fortunate that Aprana Khanolkar has put together this book on postpartum care. She has reserached widely the folk wisdom of India and has integrated it with her knowledge of Ayurvedic teachings to produce a handbook that will serve as an indispensable aid to any new mother.
Catherine Taylor is a doula who offers insightful observations of the working lives of midwives and the women who have depended on their skills and strength to help bring their children into the world in the book Giving Birth: A Journey Into the World of Mothers and Midwives.
An important aspect of this book is Taylor's exploration of the economic and social factors that keep maternity healthcare locked into costly structural problems, block consumer access to appropriate care, and threaten the profession of midwifery.
One in every 6 women is raped, 10 - 14 % of married women are raped by their husbands. Some say these rates are actually low since rape is often an unreported crime. Statistically, there are many pregnant women out there who have been sexually abused and many times sexual abuse and assualt comes up during pregnancy and birth. This is an important book that can help women who have been sexually assualted.
This book is written for not only survivors and thier families, but also maternity care professionals and para-professionals, mental health therapists and counselors. Written with extreme compassion, the Penny addresses the unusual and distressing challenges that arise for abuse survivors during the childbirth experience.
If you are pregnant and have been sexually abused, this is a must read to help heal or at least start the healing process. All women need to birth with people who make them feel safe, in a place where they feel safe and not anywhere that they are being threatened.