birth resources

This page is an ever-growing work in progress
as I read and review additional resources and add new links.

Books on Pregnancy, Birth and Fertility

Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally
by Janet Balaskas
Full of beneficial motion-based exercises to use in response to labor pain, this book is a great resource for techniques that allow for freedom of movement during the birthing process. Balaskas emphasizes the idea that women are made to give birth without pain medications and in positions other than lithotomy (flat-on-back). She successfully reinforces that labor pain is a message from a woman's body telling her to move. This book also explains the physiology of birth so that a woman understands the messages her body and the baby are sending as she moves through a variety of positions during the birthing process. Active Birth is a superior preparation guide for what to expect mentally and physically during labor and childbirth.

The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions
by Penny Simkin
This book is the ultimate objective resource for fathers and other birth partners in order for them to be active participants in childbirth. It covers the normal course of labor and birth; complications in labor; comfort measures for the woman; the supporting role of the birth partner or doula; explanations of the many possible interventions and drugs available during labor, birth, and postpartum; breastfeeding basics; and care of the mother when she returns home. This book helps the partner feel knowledgeable about what is going on during birth, especially if complications arise, and it provides suggestions on how the partner can assist and support the mother during and after labor. The Birth Partner will also help the mother clarify her own personal preferences and needs for her birth by providing knowledge needed to make informed choices based on medical particulars, pain tolerance, personal philosophy, and attitude toward medications and interventions, as well as the birth setting.

Birthing From Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth
by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
Tapping into the emotional and spiritual aspects of pregnancy and childbirth, this book takes a unique approach of teaching about the 'soul' behind this right of passage. Birthing from Within helps a woman get in touch with herself and her expectations, fears, and hopes of childbirth in order to allow her to make the birth of her child a very personal and soulful experience, helping her get a birth she will feel good about.

Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practices of Natural Childbirth
by Grantly Dick-Read
Originally published in the 1930s, this book thoroughly describes how fear actually causes pain and hinders labor. Dick-Read provides information that help reduce fear, empowering women to have a pain-free birth. Childbirth Without Fear is a comforting read that helps women to understand and view childbirth as natural and beautiful rather than scary and terrifying.

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
by Ina May Gaskin

Wild Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year
by Susan Weed
This book is a fantastic resource for various alternative and natural remedies for the many ailments of pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. Also included are some useful labor induction techniques to bring the baby along as a mother is nearing the end of her pregnancy.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health
by Toni Weschler

Birth Empowerment and Politics

Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care
by Jennifer Block

Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First
by Marsden Wagner