Recommended Childbirth Reading List

Every woman should be respected no matter how she decides to birth her baby. Whether she wants to try for a natural home birth, birth center, or hospital birth. What is truly important is that women educate themselves and then make an informed decision. Becoming a parent is one of the most life changing and important things you will ever do. You will study for a test won’t you? Pregnancy and childbirth should be the test you study for the most in your entire life! You’re growing a human being! A human being who will either receive many benefits such as healthy brain development, well-formed lungs, or a strong immune system from your choices that will help them on their journey through life or will face challenges(weak and brittle bones, physical and mental trauma from birth, or a possible learning disability) that they must now overcome because of your choices. I know it is a scary truth but the health and well-being of your child is your responsibility, so please do not take it lightly or trust the recommendations of only one source(or doctor). There are so many excellent resources out there and here are a few I recommend:

  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

Very well written explanation of the physical and emotional journey of pregnancy and childbirth. My favorite book yet.

  • The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy by Shonda Parker

Very good resource for natural remedies that help pregnancy “side effects”, as well as a good pregnancy diet.

  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah J. Buckley MD

LOVE this book! She definitely writes as a medical doctor. I like how she goes over the different hormones and their roles during labor.

  • A Holistic Guide to Embracing Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood by Karen Salt

I loved how she talks about the factual information about the spiritual bond/connection between mother and baby. It’s very educational.

  • Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent

Such a good book. Could not put it down. It is a collection of birth stories from a midwife. More for entertainment than education.

  • The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, P.T.

Very good read for whomever will be attending you during your labor. Goes into a lot of detailed ways to reduce discomfort during birth. Also goes over taking baby home and breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Books:

  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

THE go to book for breastfeeding. A MUST read for the breastfeeding mom. It goes over everything that happens with breastfeeding and how to remedy any problems that might arise. It has a great chapter on nutrition during breastfeeding as well. It is a quite technical read though. Not simple or easy to read through quickly so read before baby comes.

  • The Nursing Mothers Companion by Kathleen Huggins R.N.

Goes over all you may encounter during breastfeeding and step by step ways to solve each issue. I love how this book is simple and divided into “the first week, the first two months, two through six months, and beyond”. An easy read, so it is perfect if you need something to read as you go after you have had baby.

  • Ina Mays Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin

A more in depth look at breastfeeding options and challenges. She has a great chapter on how the way you birth might affect your breastfeeding and how to overcome issues that might arise because of birthing complications such a c-section, premature baby, or a lethargic baby due to pain medications.

  • Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck

Very good book on nutrition during pregnancy, and breastfeeding, and babies first foods. She breaks down what mommy needs in the first(iron), second(calcium and protein), and third(omega 3`s) trimesters.