Recommended Reading

Pregnancy

  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, Sarah Buckley, MD. Combining practical wisdom and science, Dr. Buckley persuasively argues that low intervention for healthy pregnancies leads to the best outcomes. This is a must-read.
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin. A classic guide to natural birth from America’s most famous midwife.
  • The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition, and Other Holistic Choices, Aviva Romm, MD and Ina May Gaskin. For those of us seeking natural remedies to common pregnancy complaints, who wish to use herbs to support and nourish our pregnancies, and who seek alternatives to common medical treatments, this book is just the ticket.
  • Obstetric Myths Vs. Research Realities: A Guide to the Medical Literature, Henci Goer. Henci Goer takes a critical look at common medical practices, the studies that may or may not support them, and offers evidence based reasoning for why parents might or might not choose certain interventions. A great resource for parents who want to a better understanding of the medical model of care, and why many parents are choosing alternatives to interventions. Also check out her blog posts at www.scienceandsensibility.org.
  • Rediscovering Birth, Sheila Kitzinger. A gorgeous cross-cultural look at pregnancy and childbirth that situates the western medical model as one path among a world of paths. I love this introduction to childbirth practices, and I’m sure you will too.

Videos & Films

  • My YouTube playlist (above) of birth videos, information, and inspiration.
  • The Business of Being Born, This documentary has become a sort of gateway drug into advocacy for childbirth choices. A classic.
  • Babies, A cross-cultural look at early childhood development. It’s also hilarious.
  • Why Not Home? Medical providers, including obstetricians and labor and delivery nurses, explain their decisions to birth at home.
  • Le Premier Cri (French, YouTube), Another amazing and beautifully shot documentary on different cultures around the world, birthing on a single day. Even if you don’t speak French, this film is visually stunning, from births with dolphins in Mexico, North African nomads, the Amazon rainforest to an unattended Canadian homebirth and a high-volume Vietnamese maternity ward.

Breastfeeding

I suggest picking up at  least one breastfeeding book (and also check out the excellent website www.kellymom.com).


Postpartum

  • The First Forty Days, Heng Ou et al. A gorgeous text on how to nourish ourselves in all ways in the postpartum. Part cook book, part life book. This makes a wonderful gift to pregnant friends.
  • Natural Health After Birth, Aviva Romm. Another helpful resource on natural remedies and nourishment post baby. I consider this a must have on my parenting bookshelf.

Babies & Health

  • Naturally Healthy Babies and Children, Aviva Romm, MD. I have used this book already countless times in my daughter’s life, opting for gentle treatments. She also makes clear when something should be checked out by a doctor.
  • Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide, Aviva Romm, MD. The vaccine debate can get a bit, er, insane. I love this guide, which is neither pro- nor anti-vaccine, but lays out the concerns, questions, and research to empower parents to make their own choices. The Dr. Sears vaccine book is another option. Do your research during pregnancy, because you won't have as much time or bandwidth once you have a baby.