I’ve had quite a few women ask me what books I recommend for pregnancy, labour and birth. There are SO many books out there and everybody looks for something different when choosing a book I think. That being said, the following books are ones that I have referred to and relied on numerous times (for myself with my own pregnancies and births, and after, as well as for my clients).
I have limited this list to 6 of my favourite books…but there are many more I like. I have a personal library of around 50 books on pregnancy, labour/birth, the postpartum period and more! My doula clients are welcome to browse my collection before committing to buy their own books. I’ll also be bringing some of these books to my Doula Cafe get-togethers in April!
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (by Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham and Bolding): This is a wonderfully complete book that takes you through from conception to early infancy. One of my treasured books. It’s written by a great team whose roles consist of doulas, lacation consultants, nurses, physical therapists, social worker, and childbirth educators.
The Birth Partner (by Penny Simkin): A great, handy reference guide for doulas and fathers (or other birth support person). It helps prepare you and your birth partner for labour and is a great book you can have on hand to refer back to during the actual event!
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (by Ina May Gaskin): The birth stories in the first third of this book are wonderful to read. Ina May has been hugely influential in the natural birth movement and her insights into birth (both as a midwife and doula) have been called profound. A must read book in my opinion.
HypnoBirthing (by Marie Mongan): Whether or not you choose to follow the HypnoBirthing method fully or not, the techniques in this book (breathing, relaxation and visualisation) can be great to help during labour.
The Womanly Art of Breasfeeding (La Leche League International): Any information you need about breastfeeding, and help you might need, problems you may be having or questions you might have – it can all be found here! A great book to read during pregnancy as well as having as a reference guide after your baby is born. LLL is the go-to resource for up-to-date information about breastfeeding, education about breastfeeding and empowerment.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution (By Elizabeth Pantley): Babies, toddlers and sleep…can be a real struggle for many parents. This book offers some gentle tips and techniques to try to help your child sleep more peacefully. As the title says, this isn’t about letting the baby “cry it out” and it’s well worth a read for parents who feel they are suffering through sleepless nights.