Recommended ReadingPeople are always asking me which books I would recommend. So here's my suggested reading list and my comments on each book. Click on the link and you can buy it at amazon. *** These are my personal favorites out of all the childbirth books I've read, the ones I think should be in every expectant parent's library: HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life by Marie Mongan.
This is the must have book! Written as the basic textbook for parents in HypnoBirthing classes, it explains the program and gives you all the tools and techniques you'll need. I include this book for my couples as part of the class enrollment fee. The book is designed as a part of the live classes, not as stand-alone training. Through the Open Door: Secrets of Self-Hypnosis
by Kevin Hogan and Mary Lee Lebay.
This book covers a range of applications for self-hypnosis from weight loss to accelerated learning. And hey, I wrote the chapter on hypnosis for childbirth! Childbirth Without Fear by Dr. Grantly Dick-Read.
This is the classic text that started the whole natural childbirth movement. Sure it was written in 1944, but this guy was ahead of his time. Science later validated many of his theories as we learned more about the effect of endorphins and catecholamines in labor. Most of the earlier editions are out of print, but there is a more recent release edited my Michael Odent that you can buy new. Birthing from Within by Pam England.
This is a book unlike any other. The focus here is on emotionally and spiritually preparing for birth. The pages are filled with wonderful art projects and imagery. My couples especially like making belly casts (p66). Just don't dwell on the chapters on pain. Most HypnoBirthing moms don't experience that level of discomfort. The Birth Book by Sears and Sears.
I always pull this book out for our discussions of second stage labors. They illustrate a wide variety of great birth positions on p189. The whole book is excellent, well written, and easy to understand. It also includes more thorough information about drugs and interventions than the books listed above. Birth Without Violence by Frederick Leboyer.
A classic book that just keeps getting reprinted. This is birth from the baby's perspective. What can you do to make the experience easier for your baby? The photos of the babies born with his methods are amazing: no crying, eyes open, alert, calm. *** You may not need these books in your library, but they're definitely worth a look: The Mind of Your Newborn Baby by David Chamberlain.
Amazing but true: sometimes young children will spontaneously discuss their birth experiences, seeming to remember. Do they really? The stories and research Dr. Chamberlain presents will truly surprise you with how aware newborns are during birth. Knowing that your baby will remember their birth and that this experience can have a profound and lasting effect on their life makes your birthing plans doubly important. The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer.
"In short there is a gap between how the typical obstetrician practices and what the medical literature supports." Based on the latest medical studies, the author examines common obstetric practices and interventions and offers advice on how you can avoid unnecessary procedures. The American Way of Birth by Jessica Mitford.
You see a documentary about some woman in a far away country who just squats, has her baby, and moves on. You think: "Why don't women do that here?" This book has nothing to do with childbirth preparation. Rather, with hard statistics and extensive interviews, it looks at the social and economic history that has led to current routine medical procedures in this country. It is a fascinating read and just may prepare you to be a more informed consumer at your own birth. (Out of print, buy it used.)