9 Birth Books For Your Shelf

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Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth written by Ina May Gaskin

Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention. This book is full of birth stories from mothers. This book takes the fear out of childbirth by restoring women’s faith in their own natural power to give birth with more ease, less pain, and less medical intervention.


The Birth Partner written by Penny Simkin

The Birth Partner remains the definitive guide for preparing to help a woman through childbirth and the essential manual to have at hand during the event. This completely updated edition includes thorough information on: Preparing for labor and knowing when it has begun; Normal labor and how to help the woman every step of the way; Epidurals and other medications for labor; Non-drug techniques for easing labor pain; Cesarean birth and complications that may require it; Breastfeeding and newborn care; And much more. For the partner who wishes to be truly helpful in the birthing room, this book is indispensable.



Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn

written by Penny Simkin

This book covers all aspects of childbearing, from conception through early infancy, and tells you what to expect. It offers detailed information, suggestions on decisions to make, and advice on steps to take to have a safe and satisfying experience.

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Birthing From Within

written by Pam England and Rob Horowitz

Here is a holistic approach to childbirth that examines this profound rite-of-passage not as a medical event but as an act of self-discovery. Exercises and activities such as journal writing, meditation, and painting will help mothers analyze their thoughts and face their fears during pregnancy. For use during birth, the book offers proven techniques for coping with labor pain without drugs, a discussion of the doctor or midwife’s role, and a look at the father’s responsibilities. Childbirth education should also include what to expect a fter the baby is born. Here are baby basics, such as how to bathe a newborn, how to get the little one to sleep, and tips for getting nursing off to a good start. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is a process of continuous learning and adjustment; Birthing From Within provides the necessary support and education to make each phase of birthing a rewarding experience.


Childbirth Without Fear

written by Grantly Dick-Reed and Ina May Gaskin

In an age where birth has often been overtaken by obstetrics, Dr Dick-Read’s philosophy is still as fresh and relevant as it was when he originally wrote this book. He unpicks every possible root cause of western woman’s fear and anxiety in pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding and does so with overwhelming heart and empathy. Essential reading for all parents-to-be, childbirth educators, midwives and obstetricians!


The Official Lamaze Guide

written by Judith Lothian and Charlotte De Vries

The mission of Lamaze International is to promote, support and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth through education and advocacy through the dedicated efforts of professional childbirth educators, providers, and parents.

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The Gift of Giving Life written by Felice Austin, Lani Axman, Heather Farrell, Robyn Allgood, Sheridan Ripley and Lynn Callister

Pregnancy and childbirth are not to be feared; they are divinely appointed processes that can be joyful, spiritual, and bring families closer to God. The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Birth offers something that no other pregnancy book has before–a spiritual look at pregnancy and birth by and for LDS women and other women of faith. Through moving stories women in the scriptures, women from early Latter-day Saint history, and dozens of modern mothers, The Gift of Giving Life assures readers that God cares deeply about the entire procreative process.


The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding written by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West and Teresa Pitman

Working mothers, stay-at-home moms, single moms, and mothers of multiples will all benefit from the book’s range of nursing advice, stories, and information—from preparing for breastfeeding during pregnancy to feeding cues, from nursing positions to expressing and storing breast milk.


Breastfeeding Made Simple written by Nancy Mohrbacher, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett and Jack Newman

is an essential guide to breastfeeding that every new and expectant mom should own-a comprehensive resource that takes the mystery out of basic breastfeeding dynamics. Understanding the seven natural laws of breastfeeding will help you avoid and overcome challenges such as low milk production, breast refusal, weaning difficulties, and every other obstacle that can keep you from enjoying breastfeeding your baby.

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Well that's all, Mama Squad! We hope at least one of these tickled your fancy. Disclaimer, the books listed above are geared more towards unmedicated childbirth. Drop us a line if you find yourself in need of more (or different) recommendations.


Maura + Kasaundra

Food in the Fourth Trimester


Most women spend a lot of time preparing for their baby, but most of them forget to prepare for their own postpartum! The truth is, your postpartum nutritional needs matter.

I know, I know. Even showering is a major accomplishment with a newborn. Add in meal planning and healthy eating? Forget it! You’d rather fill up on whatever is lying around. Believe me, we know what that’s like. We have been there. Doula’s honor.

You’re not alone. In fact, one of the things you can do is to say “YES” when friends and family ask “Is there anything I can do for you?”. Let friends and family bring you and your family meals. It’s extremely helpful, and hopefully(fingers crossed), those meals are filled with ingredients best suited for postpartum healing.


Eating nutritious food doesn’t just affect mom and baby in pregnancy, but also impacts your delivery. Your body desperately needs that fuel to pump out breastmilk(aka, that liquid gold) AND heal itself. It’s a tall order, but we’ve got some basic suggestions to help. You might find it’s easier to pick a few to focus on and then gradually add in more and more as you go. You’ve got this mama.

  • Fruits like berries

  • Sweet vegetables, like yams, squash, carrots and beets

  • Whole grains, like quinoa and oats

  • Protein, like chicken or fish

  • Dark leafy greens

  • Healthy fats, like avocado, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, fresh flax oil, and fish oil

  • Raspberry Leaf Tea

  • Iron, especially if you suffer from postpartum symptoms. Found in things like fortified cereals, prune juice, and lean meats.

  • Vitamin C, found in oranges, tomatoes and natural fruit juices. This can help with wound healing for mothers who delivered by cesarean section.

Snacks deserve a category all their own. Your increased metabolism isn’t going to want to wait around for three meals a day. It’s important to plan for quick and healthy snacks to satisfy your cravings.

  • Whole-grain crackers with hummus

  • Nuts, like almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds

  • A cup of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk

  • A hardboiled egg with some baby carrots

  • Cheese and a piece of fruit

  • Peanut butter on an apple

  • Plain Greek yogurt — add in a cup of blueberries or strawberries to avoid added sugar

There are some foods new moms should avoid as they can either disrupt milk production or could be upsetting on a newborn’s digestive system.

  • Caffeine

  • Excessive amounts of dairy

  • Spicy foods

  • Large amounts of peppermint or spearmint

  • Large amounts of Oregano and Sage

www.kellymom.com has a much more comprehensive list. Obviously, women who choose not to breastfeed need not worry about contraindicated foods.



Continue taking care of yourself. We know it’s not easy. We know those first few weeks are a whole new world for you. There will be things best let go of for the time being. This post is not intended to shame you in the least. We think you’re absolutely wonderful. Few truly recognize the vulnerability and love that it takes to navigate your postpartum period. We hope that in giving yourself the grace to be your authentic self, you choose nourishment - physical, emotional, and mental nourishment.



Maura + Kasaundra