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Books to Read about Pregnancy & Childbirth

Updated: Aug 23, 2020

There are so many books out there on pregnancy and childbirth. They can be very basic and easy to read or complex medical text books. I wanted to review a few of my favorites, ones that i have found to be good for my clients and their partners.

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin is one of my all time favorite birth books. It is easy to read and explains childbirth for non-medical professionals. I recommend it to my clients when their partner/support person has a desire to be hands on and involved in all aspects of the process. When I was a new Doula I would bring a marked up copy with me to births as a reference guide. It describes all four stages of pregnancy and how your partner can better understand what you are going through. When it comes to labor, it has detailed illustrations on different positions to provide comfort and of the baby descending through the pelvis. Under each comfort position it explains when it should be used and what the partner does to provide support. There are no birth stories in this book, it is more of a guide/manual through pregnancy and labor. Penny was a Doula for many decades and uses her experience an knowledge to inform. She does not judge or influence one way or the other on interventions, it is very unbiased, which I like. If you would like more information you Click Here.

Birth Story by Heidi Snyderburn & Dr. John Thorp Jr. is a new book that just came out last month. I read it in three days and loved every second. The book is 42 week guide to pregnancy, each week includes a note from your baby, birth affirmations, a birth story, medical knowledge on what your body is going through and a journal for you to fill. This book fills an emotional need and and informational one. I found it to be very well written and would be easy for non-medical professionals to understand. Heidi is a Doula from Charlotte, NC and all of the birth stories were written by her from births that she attended. She also has a podcast that can be found with the book here.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin was a fun read. The first third of the book is all birth stories from births that occurred at "The Farm", which is her property where she has her midwifery practice, it has been around for close to 40 years. I would say that this book was biased towards natural childbirth with an emphasis on home births. It was informational, but It may be off putting for those who are wanting a hospital birth. There are a lot of interesting ideas including, orgasmic birth. If you are interested in learning more about Ina May click here.

The last book I want to talk about today is, "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. I found this book to be a heavier read than the others, it was very medically and technically based, not emotionally. It read more like a textbook and would be a better read for birth professionals. It was also biased towards medical hospital birth almost as much as Ina May's book was towards home birth, no real middle ground for either. If you would like more information you can find click here.

If you have any questions or thoughts on any of these books, please leave a comment.

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