My Favorite Books
I have a lot of clients ask me for recommended books for pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding. I have read thousands of pages of books for my doula and childbirth education training, and I definitely have some that I love and always recommend to people!
For the First Time Mama
I really enjoy "The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth" by Genevieve Howland. Genevieve does a beautiful job laying out all the phases of pregnancy in a simple to understand but really informative way. This book is full of Genevieve's quirky humor, cute illustrations, and a lot of stories from fellow real-life mamas. With a different, fun focus that she talks about each week, this book stays interesting and informative from start to finish.
For the Mama wanting to prevent pregnancy or get pregnant
"Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler is a wonderful resource for those wanting to learn more about their fertility cycle. This book will teach you how to chart your cycles using a variety of techniques to either optimize your chances of getting pregnant, or to prevent pregnancy. She even discusses how to use these methods when you aren't having regular cycles (breastfeeding, anyone?). Every women should read this if she wants to learn more about her body and fertility.
For the Mama who didn't get the birth she envisioned
"Cut, Stapled and Mended" by Roanna Rosewood is a narrative driven story of a mom who had a traumatic birth story, followed by another traumatic birth story, followed by the healing and cathartic birth of her daughter. Her story is beautifully written and very poetic (and at times, really funny). Rosewood does a beautiful job telling her story, and those who have had a traumatic birth experience may find healing in her words.
For the birth worker (or Mama!) looking to dive deep
"Optimal Care in Childbirth" by Goer & Romano is no walk in the park to get through, with loads of studies, statistics, and complicated anatomical terms. That being said, it offers some really fantastic insights into the physiological and anatomical sides of childbirth. This book definitely requires a knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of birth, so I would recommend checking out a book like "Heart and Hands" by Elizabeth Davis (another favorite of mine) before trying this one.
As an added benefit to signing up as my client, my childbirth education and doula clients have free access to my lending library of literature free of charge! What are your favorite recommended books and why?