My Favorite 7 Books for Pregnancy & Birth
Birth. She’s in crisis in America. Birth culture in the States is, sadly, one largely of fear and misinformation. We’re getting better but we still have a long ways to go. Is this a self-perpetuating issue? We have to wonder, if we don’t have any positive birth stories in our families of origin, if we’ve never witnessed a birth (something that almost all girls back in the day had seen at least once before they gave birth), if we don’t know anyone who’s had an empowered, non-medicated, vaginal birth, or a peaceful and calm birth by cesarean section, how are we to blame ourselves for doubting our bodies ability to give birth without the trauma and drama that has permeated every other account of birth we’ve heard? There’s little in our pop culture to counter these scary, traumatic stories.
We’ve all seen the movie or sitcom where the pregnant woman’s water breaks in the middle of the restaurant, or anywhere for that matter. What we don’t see, and what some of us truly don’t know until we give birth for themselves, is that the water breaking very rarely happens in public; we’re usually where we’re going to give birth by the time this happens. Birth is used as a punch line, a lazy way to add drama and suspense to a plot.
I digress a bit but you get the gist. Images, stories and healthy expectations for normal, unintervened upon birth are not readily available. These kinds of birth are a mystery of sorts. Birth has become something simply to endure, to survive; merely a scary, pain-wracked experience riddled with yelling, fear, blaming (the infamous you did this to me!), and bright, sterile hospital rooms. Yikes.
It’s a good thing the past does not predict the future! We can change this.
Because our diet is REALLY important, I’ve compiled this list of my favorite books on pregnancy and birth. These books all offer an evidence-based, positive take on pregnancy and birth. I encourage you to fast from traumatizing birth stories. From the google searching on everything that can go wrong in labor. I encourage you to commit to feeding yourself a diet of positive, enriching, and empowering beliefs about Birth and all the wisdom she can bring to your journey as a mother. Childbirth isn’t only about bringing Baby earthside; it’s also your birth into being a mama. Nourish your body and your belief system with only the best to use set yourself up for an empowering experience.
In no particular order, here are my recommendations:
Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta by Ina May Gaskin
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Beautiful, Bountiful, Blissful by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to A Better Birth by Henci Goer
Birthing From Within by Pamela England
Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth by Dr. Grantly Dick-Read
Click the title to find these books on Amazon. They can also be requested from your local library. Happy reading, Mama. Here’s to a calm, confident and connected birth; here’s to the birth of your dreams!
p.s. Did you like this post? Have you read any of these books and found them to be helpful? Please share this post and support other mamas with a nourishing, birth positive diet! And then come find me on Instagram @sweetmamadoula and let me know what you think of this list! I’d especially love to know if there are any books you feel should be added!