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Recommended Reading

Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
Here is a holistic approach to childbirth that examines this profound rite-of-passage not as a medical event but as an act of self-discovery. Exercises and activities such as journal writing, meditation, and painting will help mothers analyze their thoughts and face their fears during pregnancy. For use during birth, the book offers proven techniques for coping with labor pain without drugs, a discussion of the doctor or midwife’s role, and a look at the father’s responsibilities. Childbirth education should also include what to expect after the baby is born. Here are baby basics, such as how to bathe a newborn, how to get the little one to sleep, and tips for getting nursing off to a good start. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is a process of continuous learning and adjustment; Birthing From Within provides the necessary support and education to make each phase of birthing a rewarding experience.

Homebirth: The Essential Guide to Giving Birth Outside of the Hospital by Sheila Kitzinger
Advises women about the experience of giving birth away from the hospital environment. This book includes photographed sequences of a number of births as well as information for the parents as they begin the transition to parenthood. The book features quotations, photographs of births outside hospital and first-hand accounts of women’s personal experiences. The author is a social anthropologist who has studied women’s experiences of birth in many different countries. Her previous books include “The Experience of Childbirth”, “Pregnancy and Childbirth”, “Pregnancy Day-by-Day” and “Being Born”

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
As an intelligent woman, you are probably used to learning as much as you can before making major decisions. But when it comes to one of the most important decisions of your life–how you will give birth—it is hard to gather accurate, unbiased information. Surprisingly, much of the research does not support common medical opinion and practice.
Birth activist Henci Goer gives clear, concise information based on the latest medical studies. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth helps you compare and contrast your various options and shows you how to avoid unnecessary procedures, drugs, restrictions, and tests.

New Mother: Using a Doula, Midwife, Postpartum Doula, Maid, Cook, or Nanny to Support Healing, Bonding, and Growth by Allie Chee
New Mother…
Reclaim the magic in motherhood!
It is possible to have it all: a more natural birthing experience; fun, relaxing family time; time to care for yourself; time to take care of your home; and the ability to choose whatever vision you hold for your experience of childbirth and motherhood. That’s not what we’ve been told, taught, or empowered to do… until now.
There’s more to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum than what is usually discussed in literature and doctors’ offices: the next problem, pain, or procedure!
New Mother offers a delightful, clear vision for reclaiming the beauty and sacred nature of pregnancy and parenthood.

The Heart In the Womb by Dr Amali Lokugamage
Modern-day life and our highly stressed, risk-averse society has led to a medicalized, fearful model of childbirth, one that has stripped the process of its wondrous magic. In this groundbreaking book, consultant obstetrician Dr Amali Lokugamage discusses ways in which every woman can aim to give birth in the most natural, supportive way possible, and looks at the wider implications for society at large. This is an exploration into the roots of human love and social cohesion.

The Farmer and the Obstetrician by Michel Odent, MD
The industrialization of farming and childbirth developed side-by-side during the twentieth century.  A collective global awareness was sparked by a series of disasters, particularly mad cow and foot-and-mouth diseases in animals.  Industrialized childbirth has not yet reached the same phase of its history.  Odent raises the question, “Which disaster are we waiting for?”  If there is a book that confronts us with concerns about the current trend of medical birth, this is the one.  A must read for all birthing parents and professionals by a doctor who lectures internationally and is the author of many books in many languages

Birth Reborn by Michel Odent, MD
Michel Odent’s experience as head of the maternity unit in Pithiviers, France, brings sanity to a world where birth has become one of chemical and technological interventions. Using a plain, common sense approach of helping women to trust and believe in their own ability to give birth, he achieves safer and more positive birthing experiences than the western world. Using very simple means, he and the staff work to humanize and feminize birth. There have been few milestones in the worldwide movement to reform and humanize the birth experience. Birth Reborn is one of them.

Birth Your Way by Sheila Kitzinger
The best way to choose birth at home or in the hospital. As research discloses the risks of intensively managed hospital birth, increasing numbers of women are considering alternatives. This new updated edition of Sheila Kitzinger’s pioneering work gives them the facts. Highly informative yet sensitively written, and supported by firsthand accounts of women’s personal experiences of birth, this is the essential guide for every woman considering her options. a longtime champion of freedom of choice in childbirth, Sheila Kitzinger is uniquely placed to advise and support women who want to make the right decision confidently for themselves.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you. Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in 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.

Rediscovering Birth by Sheila Kitzinger
For thousands of years women have given birth among people they know in a place they know well. Knowledge is shared between the participants and birth is a social event. In this new, revised edition of her classic book, Sheila Kitzinger explores the universal experience of pregnancy and birth. She looks closely at the place of birth, what is done to help women in childbirth and examines the bond traditionally formed between mothers and midwives

Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
Here is the 4th edition of the classic book on home birth that introduced a whole generation of women to the concept of natural childbirth. Back again are even more 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.

Also new is information about the safety of techniques routinely used in hospitals during and after birth, information on postpartum depression and maternal death, and recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives.

From the amazing birthing tales to care of the newborn, Spiritual Midwifery is still one of the best books an expectant mother could own. Includes resources for doulas, childbirth educators, birth centers, and other organizations and alliances dedicated to improving maternity care at home and in hospitals

Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapiens by Michel Odent, MD
Former obstetrician and childbirth pioneer Michel Odent argues that the aspect of human lifestyle that has been most profoundly changed in recent decades is the period of time surrounding the birth of a child. Since this formative time is considered critical in defining our species, Homo sapiens, fundamental changes in this area should herald significant evolution in regard to how babies are born. This, surely, should be at the heart of our discussions of the future, even above considerations of how humanity and planet earth interact.

The Functions of the Orgasms: The Highways to Transcendence by Michel Odent, MD
This book about male and female orgasms is an opportunity to convince anyone that humanity is at a turning point. Due to the improved technique of medically assisted conceptions and cesareans, the advances in anesthesiology and pharmacology, and the development of the food industry, women can now conceive a baby, give birth and feed their infant without relying on the release of ‘cocktails of love hormones’. Human intelligence and ingenuity have made love hormones redundant

The Scientification of Love by Michel Odent, MD
Why do all cultures ritually disrupt the first contact between mother and new-born baby? Why has there hitherto been an evolutionary advantage in developing human potential for aggression rather than the capacity to love? Until recently love has been the realm of poets, artists and philosophers. Latterly it has been studied from multiple scientific perspectives. Michel Odent argues that the specialist approach has overlooked the importance of love as a potential new strategy for human survival, and that the old survival strategy, the domination of nature and other human groups, is no longer appropriate. By weaving together data from a multitude of disciplines, Michel Odent, is able to offer a number of insightful, and exciting explanations, and makes the case for the adoption of radical new strategies for human survival.

 

CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION

 

Active Birth : The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally by Janet Balaskas
Janet Balaskas led a movement of women who refused to give birth lying down.  She has been teaching women about “active birth” ever since.  In this updated and Americanized guide, Balaskas explains how to prepare for and experience a truly natural birth.  She leads the pregnant woman through yoga-based stretching exercises and massage practice, and describes the stages of labor and comfortable positions for each, at home or in a hospital.  Balaskas has also included a chapter on water birth as well as postpartum exercises.

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition Paperback by Susan McCutcheonErick IngrahamRobin Yoko Burningham , Robert A. Bradley
Since the Bradley method was first introduced in 1970, a growing number of expectant parents have opted for natural childbirth, knowing that it’s safer than medicated or surgical delivery. But where can parents-to-be go for information on how to have a successful Bradley birth? This book provides all the answers, offering sound advice on how to prepare physically for labor and what to expect during each of its stages.

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing by Marie F. Mongan
Childbirth is not something to be feared; it is a natural expression of life. With HypnoBirthing, your pregnancy and childbirth will become the gentle, life-affirming process it was meant to be.

In this easy-to-understand guide, HypnoBirthing founder Marie Mongan explodes the myth of pain as a natural accompaniment to birth. She proves through sound medical information that it is not our bodies but our culture that has made childbirth a moment of anguish, and that when we release the fear of birth, a fear that is keeping our bodies tense and closed, we will also release the pain.

HypnoBirthing is nature, not manipulation. It relaxes the mind in order to let the body work as it is designed. The HypnoBirthing exercises—positive thinking, relaxation, visualization, breathing and physical preparation—will lead to a happy and comfortable pregnancy, even if you are currently unsure of an intervention-free birth. Your confidence, trust and happy anticipation will in turn lead to the peaceful, fulfilling and bonding birth that is your right as a mother.

Hypnobabies by Kerry Tuschhoff
Hypnobabies is a very successful 6 week, 3-hours per week, complete childbirth education course that was adapted with permission from Gerald Kein’s “Painless Childbirth Program” techniques rather than using simple relaxation, breathing or guided imagery. This allows our Hypno-Moms to enjoy “eyes-open childbirth hypnosis”, easily remaining deeply in hypnosis while walking, talking and changing positions; being as mobile as they would like to be during childbirth. Hypnobabies is well-known for helping women to create much shorter, easier and more comfortable labors, making childbirth the joyful experience it was meant to be.

The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence by Judith Lothian RN PHD LCCE FACCE, and Charlotte De Vries
In the revised edition of The Official Lamaze Guide, the authors explain why childbirth has become riskier in the U.S.—leading to a shocking increase in maternal mortality rates, incidences of postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder related to childbirth, and the number of babies admitted to newborn intensive care units. To increase the safety and health of childbirth, the authors recommend following six “Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices” and starting childbirth education as early in pregnancy as possible.
Lamaze’s vision for the future is that formal childbirth education, in person and online, should start early in pregnancy. In the second edition of The Official Lamaze Guide, the authors share Lamaze’s belief that preparing for birth and becoming a mother takes all of pregnancy, not just six weeks of formal classes at the end of the third trimester.

 VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)

Silent Knife by Nancy Wainer Cohen and Lois J. Estner

Open Season by Nancy Wainer Cohen

The Cesarean by Michel Odent MD

Birth After Cesarean by Bruce Flamm, MD

 

Breastfeeding

 

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International

The Complete Book of Breastfeeding by Marvin Eiger, M.D. and Sally Wendkos Olds

 

Diet and Nutrition

 

The Paleo Diet For Pregnant Women And Babies by Natasha Petkovic
Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started by John Chatham
The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy by Shonda Parker

Mommy Diagnostics by Shonda Parker

The Hallelujah Diet By George Malkmus

Pregnancy, Children and the Hallelujah Diet by Olin Idol, N.D, C.N.C.

The China Study by Colin Campbell

‎”By our attitude, we decide to read, or not to read. By our attitude, we decide to try or give up. By our attitude, we blame ourselves for our failure, or we blame others. Our attitude determines whether we tell the truth or lie, act or procrastinate, advance or recede, and by our own attitude we and we alone actually decide whether to succeed or fail.” — Jim Rohn