Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding ~ by Ina May GaskinThis book provides information about the basics of breastfeeding, sleeping arrangements, weaning and other baby related topics - but not in the greatest of detail. More importantly, Ina May very beautifully addresses breastfeeding from a social perspective and discusses the need to change the culture of breastfeeding in the United States. This book is better as a breastfeeding "read" rather than your go-to information book.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding ~ by La Leche League InternationalThis book provides an incredible wealth of information from breastfeeding basics, to increasing supply, pumping, going back to work, etc. Among readers, there has been some criticism of the tone in which the authors champion natural birth, staying home, attachment parenting... this book is an excellent source for all things breastfeeding.
Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child From Birth Through Weaning ~ Martha & William SearsMartha and William Sears have an entire parenting library and their books are packed with useful information, examples, tips and much more. This is an excellent resource for breastfeeding mothers and families, somewhat more challenging to navigate than other books, but has more real-life examples, descriptions, and tips.
Birthing a Better Way: 12 Secrets for Natural Childbirth ~ by Kalena Cook -read my JPPPAH published book review hereThis book has an excellent array of positive birth stories, from hospital births to home-births, and everything in between. Fantastic evidence-based birth information with suggestions for those seeking a medicated hospital birth, a natural hospital birth, a birth center, or a home birth! This book is best for those who plan to be educated for their hospital or birth center birth and want positive evidence-based information.
Gentle Birth Choices was a book ahead of its time, providing childbirth choices, information, and dispelling common birth 'myths'. Harper describes gentle birth environments, providers you can choose for the birth of your baby, along with information about pain management strategies such as water birth, doulas, and movement in labor. She also describes, beautifully, the importance of remembering the baby's experience of birth and encourages parents to make the best choices for their own gentle birth. This book is a little older and to save money, you may be able to find it at a local used bookstore or library and it is FULL of very useful information!
An absolute classic and one that I believe almost all women should read! The first half of this book is full of unique, empowering, and positive birth stories; story after story of incredible birth experiences. The second half is very informative and educational about the physiologic birth process and descriptions of common medical interventions (their medical reasoning) and their potential side-effects and risks. This book is also a little older and can probably be found used or at a local library! I would suggest it for ALL women wanting to know more about birth!
The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition, and Other Holistic Choices ~ by Aviva Jill Romm
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide - by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham, and April Bolding
This is a great all-in-one kind of book with information about pregnancy, labor, birth, and caring for your newborn.
My favorite part of this book is the week by week images and explanations about pregnancy, how your baby and body are growing, and what you can expect during this time. This is a wonderful text with beautiful illustrations!
CULTURAL & ANTHROPOLOGICAL:
Birth in Four Cultures: A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Childbirth in Yucatan, Holland, Sweden and the United States ~ by Brigitte Jordan
This book was the first one I read before beginning my path as a maternal and child health activist and a doula. This is an eye-opening book, but not always an easy read. It uncovers numerous stories of emotional and physical abuse perpetrated by health care professionals in the delivery room and provides startling data for the reader to better understand the poor-state of our maternity care. For anyone seeking to better understand the state of maternity care in the U.S. I recommend this book as well as Marsden Wagner's book Born in the USA! This should be required reading for ALL maternity care professionals!
PRENATAL & PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY:
This is a fascinating book dispelling myths about babies and their abilities while in the womb and after birth. Dr. Chamberlain discusses how we previously believed things about babies that are no longer held as true; such as the long-held myth that babies don't feel pain... yes they do! This book also shares stories of adults who have birth memories and the rigorous follow-up to help demonstrate the truth behind these stories... a MUST read for anyone interested in knowing more about what babies are capable of and our ability to remember birth!
Dr. Wendy McCarty is a child psychologist and in this book she discusses stories about her experiences counseling children with prenatal and birth memories. She discusses theories about child development and why they no longer work for the new information we have and strategies to support development from the beginning of conscious life - before conception! This is an excellent book for anyone looking to better understand babies and to learn about the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology! MUST READ!
Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives ~ by Tom Shroder
LOVED this page-turner! This book reveals startling possibilities and raises intriguing questions about who we are... I highly recommend!
Synopsis: Children around the world make startling claims about remembering
past lives. Follow journalist Tom Shroder as he accompanies scientist Ian Stevenson
to Lebanon and India to conduct interviews and uncover evidence to
better understand this phenomena and what it might mean.
also an excellent read for those interested in Prenatal and Perinatal
Psychology as it supports the notion that children have a startling
breadth of knowledge starting very early in life.
Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative- Find a Baby-Friendly Hospital!
Kellymom -excellent website for ALL KINDS of breastfeeding information!
La Leche League International - find a breastfeeding support group near you!
Evidence-Based Birth Information
Improving Birth! - Information and advocacy, you can also find an "Improving Birth Rally" in your area!!
Lamaze for Professionals
Lamaze for Parents
The Childbirth Connection - fantastic resources for professionals and parents!
Cesareans and VBAC:
International Ceserean Awareness Network and VBAC Information
Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health
Doulas of North America (DONA)
Environmental Working Group