Recommended Websites and Reading
This is by no means a comprehensive list of resources on the internet or in the library, and you may use these resources for their own information and education. Always check with your care provider for your pregnancy concerns. Doula for Birth is not responsible for the external content of the websites.
DONA International is the largest Doula organization in the US & International.
Childbirth.org contains information about pregnancy, childbirth, and babies. The link provided is a directory.
The Birth FACTS website contains free handouts regarding issues in childbirth and pregnancy to support women in making decisions for the birth they desire. Topics include:
- 40 Reasons to go the full 40
- The rights of childbearing women
- Listening to Mothers About Cesarean
- Listening to Mothers I
- Listening to Mothers II
- Listening to Mothers III
- Cesarean Rates by State
- Bearing Down or Directed Pushing?
- Preparing Your Birth Plan
- Birth Options List
- Sample Low Intervention Hospital Birth Plan
- Informed Consent
- Informed Consent Roleplay ~ for birth professionals to use with students/clients
- Relaxation & Doula Support
- Comfort In Labor
- Bishop Score & Inductions
- Cesarean Birth in a Culture of Fear
- Choosing Your Care Provider & Birth Location
- Making Milk Is Easy (long)
- Making Milk Is Easy (pdf)
- Benefits of Skin-to-Skin Contact
- Evidence Based Maternity Care Report
- Six Reasons to be Skin to Skin with Baby after Birth
- VBAC Facts
- Improving Birth
- Lamaze for Parents
- Push for Your Baby
- Let’s Talk Induction
- Cesarean Surgery
Healthy Birth Practices
- Let Labor Begin On Its Own
- Change Positions During Labor
- Bring Loved One, Friend, or Doula for Continuous Support
- Avoid Interventions that are not Medically Necessary
- Avoid Giving Birth on Your Back and Following Your Body’s Urges to Push
- Keep Mother and Baby Together; It’s Best for Mother, Baby and Breastfeeding
- www.birthsource.com (for parents)
La Leche League International helps mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.
International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners
International Lactation Consultant Association, A worldwide network of lactation professionals.
Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is dedicated to the promotion, protection and
support of breastfeeding and human lactation.
International Baby Food Action Network consists of public interest groups working around the world to reduce infant and young child morbidity and mortality.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Topic: Breastfeeding
Kelly Mom is an independent website with information on breastfeeding & parenting.
A website filled with content about breastfeeding.
Nursing Mothers Counsel. NMC is a non-affiliated, non-profit organization whose goal is to help mothers and their babies enjoy a relaxed and happy feeding relationship
American Academy of Pediatrics
Car Seat Safety:
Link through the Children’s Hospital of St. Francis, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Mothers of Multiples Group. If you have multiples, or are expecting multiples, we are the place for you!
Recommended Reading for Expectant Parents (and Doulas):
As a doula, I encourage expectant parents to educate themselves on the normal processes of pregnancy and childbirth. The key to good education is reading the right books, not just the most popular books, and not just the ones your caregiver recommends. So, I’ve compiled a list of those books I highly recommend reading … Check your local library, or ask your Doula if she can lend them to you from her personal library.
*Note, book descriptions provided by amazon.com, otherwise from the book itself
THE BIRTH BOOK* BY WILLIAM SEARS, MD, AND MARTHA SEARS, RN
In The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying
Birth, by William and Martha Sears, authors of The Baby Book and creators of the
concept of ‘attachment parenting,’ here turn their attention to the birth experience.In this helpful resource guide, the Sears cover the gamut of possibilities, andteach readers what they need to know to take control of their own birthing. The Birth Book is divided into three parts: ‘Preparing for Birth,’ ‘Easing Pain in Labor,’and ‘Experiencing Birth.’You’ll find details about vaginal births; cesareans; VBACs;water births; home births; best birthing options; drugs; pain; how to design your ownbirth plan; the humor, chemistry, and sexuality of birth, and pages and pages of birth stories.”
ACTIVE BIRTH: THE NEW APPROACH TO GIVING BIRTH NATURALLY BY JANET BALASKAS
“In an ‘active birth,’ a mother moves about freely, finds comfortable positions for
labor and delivery, and seldom needs drugs or obstetrical interventions.In Active Birth, Janet Balaskas teaches mothers to develop all of their bodily resources for giving birth, to follow their own instincts, and to take full control of the childbirth experience. Active Birth includes:
- Fully-illustrated exercises for a comfortable, energetic pregnancy
- Massage for pregnancy and labor
- Ways to create the ideal setting for an active birth in the hospital or at home
- Positions for labor and birth, for maximum comfort and efficient contractions
- The latest information about water birth, and how to plan one
- Exercises for recovery and relaxation after the birth
- Helpful tips for partners and birth attendants”
THE BIRTH PARTNER BY PENNY SIMKIN, PT
“The Birth Partner is the definitive guide for preparing to help a woman through
childbirth and the essential manual to have at hand during the event.Since the book’s original publication in 1989, fathers-to-be, new mothers’ friends and relatives, and professional Doulas (labor assistants) alike have relied on Penny Simkin’s guidance in caring for the new mother from the last few weeks of pregnancy through the early postpartum period. This fully-revised and updated edition includes the latest information on -techniques and devices to ease labor pain; -epidural anesthesia and other types of medication; -tests and treatments of the fetus and newborn; -vaginal birth after cesarean; and much more. For the partner who wishes to be truly helpful in the birthing room, this book is indispensible.
INA MAY’S GUIDE TO CHILDBIRTH 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, InaMay’s Guide to Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention. Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice, this valuable resource includes:
- Reducing the pain of labor without drugs – and the miraculous roles touch and massage play
- What really happens during labor
- Orgasmic birth – making birth pleasurable
- Episiotomy – is it really necessary?
- Common methods of inducing labor – and which to avoid at all costs
- Tips for maximizing your chances of an unmediated labor and birth
- How to avoid postpartum bleeding – and depression
- The risks of anesthesia and cesarean – what your doctor doesn’t necessarily tell you
- The best ways to work with doctors and/or birth care providers
- How to create a safe, comfortable environment for birth in any setting, including a hospital
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth 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.”
MOTHERING THE MOTHER: HOW A DOULA CAN HELP YOU HAVE A SHORTER, EASIER
AND HEALTHIER BIRTH BY MARSHALL H. KLAUS, MD, JOHN H. KENNELL, MD, AND
PHYLLIS H. KLAUS, MED, CSW
“This indispensable book by three distinguished authorities on childbirth shows how every expectant parent can use the help of a Doula, or trained labor companion, to:
- shorten first time labor by an average of two hours
- decrease the chance of cesarean section by 50%
- decrease the need for pain medication
- help father’s participate with confidence
- increase success in breast-feeding
In their vivid, step-by-step guide, the authors follow the actual course of birth in various settings. They show readers how to achieve these dramatic benefits, and how to find and evaluate a Doula.”
THE DOULA BOOK: HOW A TRAINED LABOR COMPANION CAN HELP YOU HAVE A SHORTER, EASIER, AND HEALTHIER BIRTH (A MERLOYD LAWRENCE BOOK) PAPERBACK BY MARSHALL H. KLAUS (AUTHOR), JOHN H. KENNELL (AUTHOR), PHYLLIS H. KLAUS (AUTHOR)
For an entire generation of new parents, this warm, expert work has become the standard guide to the shortest, easiest, and healthiest childbirth. Now a thoroughly updated and revised edition offers new research showing how labor support reduces the rate of cesarean sections, length of labor, need for pain medicine, and number of episiotomies. New material also demonstrates the positive effects of having a doula on mother-infant bonding, how relatives or friends can be trained in labor support, and how hypnosis is used to ease and shorten labor. No expectant parent will want to be without this empowering and irreplaceable book.
THE PREGNANCY BOOK: MONTH-BY-MONTH, EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BY
AMERICA’S BABY EXPERTS* BY WILLIAM SEARS, MD, AND MARTHA SEARS, RN
“The Pregnancy Book is an excellent all-in-one guide to pregnancy from William and Martha Sears, creators of the concept of ‘attachment parenting.’ Each of the book’s chapters represents a month, and deals with physical and emotional changes, describes the growth of the fetus, and discusses common concerns. The authors also focus on nutrition, exercise, information, and support for home births and birthing centers, traveling while pregnant, how to avoid episiotomy, and so on.
The approach is gentle, thorough, and includes more information that some month-by-month guides, which makes The Pregnancy Book an excellent choice for pregnant couples.”
THE HEALTHY PREGNANCY BOOK: MONTH BY MONTH, EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW FROM AMERICA’S BABY EXPERTS BY WILLIAM SEARS, MARTHA SEARS, LINDA HOLT, BJ SNELL
THE HEALTHY PREGNANCY BOOK guides expectant mothers and fathers through all stages of pregnancy from preconception through birth, focusing on how to enhance the health of mother and baby. In this uniquely authoritative and comprehensive month-by-month guide, the Searses address emotional and physical changes that take place during pregnancy, baby’s brain development, healthy pregnancy habits, pregnancy superfoods, optimal weight gain, fitness, managing stress, sleep, choosing the right healthcare provider, birthing choices, the transition into parenthood, engaging personal stories, and more. Overflowing with the most up-to-date information, digestible and doable tips, and advice for every worry–and written in the Searses’ trademark reassuring tone that makes their books long-term bestsellers–THE HEALTHY PREGNANCY BOOK is the must-have resource to fit the greater demands of today’s savvy parents.
GENTLE BIRTH CHOICES BY BARBARA HARPER, RN
“With Cesarean rates in some hospitals at more than 50 percent, women everywhere are seeking ways to reclaim the experience of birth and control over their own bodies. In Gentle Birth Choices, Barbara Harper, midwife, nurse, and mother of three, outlines elements of gentle birthing: support from loved ones, a reassuring and quiet environment, and minimal medical intervention. She shows you how to plan a meaningful, family-centered birth experience and discusses the many alternatives available to you, including giving birth in a freestanding birthing center, at home, or in a hospital birthing room; finding a primary caregiver who shares your philosophy of birth, whether a midwife, a doctor, or both; and deciding how best to use current technologies. Harper also provides practical advice for couples wishing to explore the option of water birth, a choice that maximizes the attributes of water as a natural, pain-relieving relaxant and as an alternative to drugs and their unwanted side effects. Gentle Birth Choices provides a new model of maternity care that reduces the need for high-tech crisis intervention and focuses instead on preparation and good health for mother and child. More than 50 black-and-white photographs by Suzanne Arms capture the joy and intensity of birth.”
THE THINKING WOMAN’S GUIDE TO A BETTER BIRTH BY HENCI GOER
“As an intelligent woman, you are probably used to learning as you can before making major decisions. But when it comes to one of the most important decisions of your life – how you will give birth – it is hard to gather accurate, unbiased information. Surprisingly, much of the research does not support common medical opinion and practice. Birth activist Henci Goer gives clear, concise information based on the latest medical studies. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth helps you compare and contrast your various options and shows you how to avoid unnecessary procedures, drugs, restrictions, and tests. The book covers: cesareans, breech babies, inducing labor, IVs, electronic fetal monitoring, rupturing membranes,coping with slow labor, pain medication, episiotomy, vaginal birth after a cesarean,Doulas, deciding on a doctor or midwife, choosing where to have your baby, and much more.”
BIRTHING FROM WITHIN: AN EXTRA-ORDINARY GUIDE TO CHILDBIRTH PREPARATION BY PAM ENGLAND
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 after 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.
PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH, AND THE NEWBORN (4TH EDITION): THE COMPLETE GUIDE [PAPERBACK] BY PENNY SIMKIN, APRIL BOLDING, ANN KEPPLER, JANELLE DURHAM, JANET WHALLEY
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide is already one of the bestselling pregnancy books on the market, with more than one million copies in print! Now newly revised and redesigned, this comprehensive, authoritative “bible” provides expectant couples with abundant, valuable information about pregnancy, labor, birth, the postpartum period, and newborn care. This award-winning book presents the latest research-based information on pregnancy, birth, and early parenthood, including:
- New information on complementary-medicine approaches such as acupuncture
- Updated information on interventions during childbirth
- Revised statistics and discussions on cesarean birth and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)
- New advice on informed decision-making, one of the hottest topics in maternity care today
- Plus much, much more! The book has been redesigned so it’s more accessible and reader-friendly, with more photos, illustrations, and boxed features that allow for important information to be highlighted. Also included in the new design are fun and informative sidebars, such as “Common Q&As” about pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care; “In Their Own Words,” in which parents describe their pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting experiences from their point of view; and “Fact or Fiction?” in which the authors present common misinformation and the facts. New to this edition is an accompanying website, www.PCNGuide.com, where readers can find additional maternity care information as well as helpful forms and worksheets.
Husband-Coached Childbirth (Fifth Edition): The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth ( Paperback) by Robert A. Bradley (Author), Marjie Hathaway (Author), Jay Hathaway (Author), James Hathaway (Author)
Now completely revised and updated for today’s parents-to-be…The book that started a revolution in the birthing experience and helped millions of women and their partners to a safe and natural childbirth.
The Bradley Method has changed the way men and women—and the medical establishment—think about childbirth today. Now this new, updated edition of the groundbreaking work by Robert A. Bradley, M.D., has all the information you need to approach a natural childbirth safely, confidently, and wisely. From the reasons to choose the Bradley Method to the steps you will take as your birth day approaches—and after the birth of your baby—this book is designed to help couples share completely in the birthing experience.
- Build better, deeper, and more trusting communication skills with your partner in preparation for a drug-free childbirth
- Learn the physical, emotional, and mental relaxation techniques essential to a natural childbirth
- Discover how you and your doctor can work together toward your natural delivery
- Monitor your weight, nutrition, and your overall well-being during pregnancy
- Use natural prevention methods for the most common pregnancy problems
- Get the most out of the bonding experience you will share with your baby and your partner
With its time-tested wisdom, medical soundness, and reassuring first-person accounts of natural childbirth, this book is the “gold standard” of childbirth books. The Bradley Method is an essential guide for anyone considering childbirth without unnecessary medications or medical intervention and to share fully in your child’s arrival into the world.