My Lending Library :)

For the last year and a half, I have been buying birth books.  Pretty much anything I can get my hands on haha.  I am always amazed when I see what books I have, or rather how many I have, and then amazed that I have actually read all of them.  Most I don’t really like much anymore since my views have changed so much, but they were all key in learning and growing and helping me understand how to truly help women.

So, without further ado, the books in my collection (and a rating of how many stars I think they are) (also these are in alphabetical order 🙂 ):

  1. Active Birth by Janet Balaskas **** – I love how this book truly talks about active ways to labor, and not just relaxation.  And I love the prenatal yoga stuff they included in this book
  2. Babywise by Ezzo – Ya, this one gets no stars from me.  I got it just to read what the fuss was about, and since I am anti-CIO to begin with, this just reaffirmed that the man is crazy and the book is just awful and shouldn’t be used on children.
  3. Before We Are Born by Saunders – ** It was good to read about pregnancy, but it is a very old book, so most information is very outdated, and very medical.
  4. Birth Arts Doula Distance Certification Program by Demetria – **** I love this book, just because it explains how to be a doula in a way you want.  Just an excellent program all around.
  5. The Birth Book by Dr. Sears – *** I do love this book, but again, since it was written in the 1990’s, it is outdated and does have great information, but not truly prudent to our decade since things have changed so much.  Plus, a lot of the book talks about how you need to discuss things with your doctor, when I think research yourself is more key and then go to your doctor with worries after that.
  6. Birthsong Midwifery Workbook by Singingtree – ***** I love this book.  Discusses everything you might need to know when first starting to become a midwife, and is a coloring book for the anatomy sections so you learn anatomy and color to remember.  It is just an incredible book.
  7. Birth Without Violence by Frederick Leboyer – **** This book does show that calm birth is so much better for baby.  I don’t agree with the doctor taking the baby and bathing them for an hour after birth, as I think skin to skin is very important, but it does show that a calm birth can do wonders for a baby and a calm beginning to life can make them more calm in life.
  8. Birthing From Within by Pam England – **** I love the birth art sections of this book.  When I first read it I thought it was really hippy and didn’t like it very much, but I reread it recently, and absolutely love it all.  The birth art actually helped me work through my birth with Glade and I can actually talk about it now.  Now not crying is a different thing, but I am getting there.
  9. Blessingways by Maser – *** It is very general information on blessingways, how to plan one, what to do, why they are awesome, things like that.  I really like the information.
  10. Born in the USA by Marsden Wagner – ***** I LOVE THIS BOOK.  It is very clear cut and easy to understand, but it also points out the problem with obstetrics in our country.  It is written beautifully, and has so much amazing information.
  11. Conceptions and Misconceptions – *** I haven’t been able to completely finish this one, but so far it is really good.  It isn’t as good as Taking Charge of Your Fertility, but a pretty good fertility book, especially if you are considering going the medical route to having a child.
  12. The Doula Advantage by Rachel Guerivich – ***** This book is the best doula book EVER.  It describes all three types of doula and says EXACTLY what they do.  It is the best book if you are considering becoming a doula or considering hiring a doula.
  13. The Doula Guide To Birth by Ananda Lowe – *** This is a great beginner book if you are interested in pregnancy and birth.  I really like it, but it is very basic, so no new information for me.
  14. Experiencing Infertility by Debby Peoples – **** This book is excellent for working through your infertility and helping you decide what to do next.  The secondary infertility section is lacking, but I wasn’t surprised.
  15. The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine – ZERO stars this books is one of the worst pregnancy and birth books written.  It actually beats out What to Expect.  Just skip this book entirely.
  16. Getting Pregnant When You Thought You Couldn’t by Helane S. Rosenberg – ** This book is a lot of what I already learned about fertility, so it wasn’t anything new.  At all.
  17. Getting Ready for Childbirth by Fenton Dorchak – * This book was definitely written in the 1970’s.  Not only is it very very 1970’s birth, it just pours fear through the entire thing.
  18. Heart and Hands by Davis – ***** Great book! Says everything you need to know about being a midwife at home, and pretty much about risking out, problems in pregnancy, and things that can happen in birth.  A very good book overall.
  19. Hormone Replacement Therapy by Betty Kamen – * I thought this was crap.  It was old, so it doesn’t have the new technology, and a lot of the information is just bad.
  20. How to Be a Successful Fertility Patient by Peggy Robin – * I hate books that teach you to be a good patient.  Why can’t people just educate themselves without people of “medical authority” chastizing them for it?!!
  21. Husband Coached Childbirth by Robert Bradley – *** This book had great information about how relaxing during contractions is great, and how to have your husband help you, but overall not impressed anymore.  He is very pro-episiotomy, and very pro-keeping woman in bed for labor.
  22. Hygieia by Jeannine Parvati – This book was great for herbal remedies for lots of things.  I really love it.
  23. HypnoBirthing by Marie F. Mongan – *** Again, this book has great information on relaxation, but is very pro keeping women completely relaxed and not upright in labor and delivery.  It is great to relax during contractions and hypnosis can be great for it, but upright and active birth is best for descent and dilation.
  24. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin – *** I love birth stories, but when I read it again they were very controlled birth.  A lot of exams, a lot of natural induction, a lot of waters being broken, and not much just letting the body be.  The second section is great and I learned a lot about birth and how it is best left alone, but overall I am not impressed with Ina May anymore.
  25. Infants and Mothers by T. Berry Brazelton – * This book was just a waste of $0.50 haha.  So outdated and no good information at all.
  26. Infant Massage by Vimala Schneider – **** I love the idea of infant massage.  This book was so great in explaining it, and I really love it.  I can’t want to do it with my next.
  27. Laborynth by Birthing From Within – ***** I love the idea of drawing laborinths for labor.  You go through a lot of wrong turns and other things on your way, and in the end get to your baby.  I also love the drawing of them.  I have tons of them all over my notebooks.
  28. The Mother of All Pregnancy books by Ann Douglas – *** This book is great.  Talks about all of pregnancy and birth and very basic and easy to understand.  I really enjoyed this book.  It is an easy read, and even most Barnes and Noble stores carry it.
  29. Neonatal Resuscitation Textbook by the AAP – ***** I believe every person working with birth needs to have training in this, especially homebirth or birthing center midwives.  I was unable to get certified, but will be in the future.  It is a great book, but I can definitely see in this book how doctors and nurses are so terrified of labor and delivery going on its own.  The book spills nothing but fear, and that isn’t the way it should be.  It is great to be trained in it, but when you control so it doesn’t happen, it happens more often.
  30. Nursing Your Baby by Karen Pryor – **** This is a very basic little book that talks about nursing, and used to be put out by the LLLI.  It is out of print, but a good book.
  31. Obstetric Myths versus Research Realities by Henci Goer – ***** I love all the studies in this book, especially when she breaks them down and puts the vital parts in for you.  The information is great.  However, it is all technical, so it is a hard book to read in one sitting.  I am still trying to get through it haha.
  32. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin – *** I wasn’t impressed with this book.  I read it about a year into my studies, so I knew all the information in it.  It is great for first time women or women that don’t understand it all, but it was very basic.
  33. Pregnant And Lovin’ It by Lindsay Curtis – * This book is just awful.  Written in the 1980’s so it is very medical, as it is written by an OB, but it is just really bad.  All about talking to your doctor and nothing about educating and informed decision.
  34. Pushed by Jennifer Block – ***** I LOVE THIS BOOK.  The beginning is a little hard to read, but once you get into it it flows.  Has a lot of information on birth and the hospital, and how much is truly hurting women.  It is a book every woman wanting to have a baby needs to read.
  35. Resolving Infertility by Resolve – **** This book was great for infertility and how to work through it.  Definitely a great infertility read.
  36. Silent Knife by Cohen and Estner – ***** The best cesarean and VBAC book I have ever read.  Sooo much incredible information, and I have cried multiple times reading it.  Very powerful, and truly a wonderful book.
  37. Special Women by Paulina Perez – ** This book was very hard to read for me.  Her writing isn’t very interesting to me, and so I was unable to truly get into it.  It had great information, but very boring.
  38. Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin – *** This book is good for the information in the back about women and birth, but again, not much of an Ina May fan :).
  39. Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler – ***** The BEST book on learning about your cycles and about charting them.  Now, not all women will fall under the catagories in this book, but if you are unable to get pregnant the first year, try this book.  You might just be having sex the wrong days.  Not every woman ovulates day 14 and has their period on day 28.  We are all different.
  40. The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger – **** I love this book.  How it is laid out, everything.  Very basic, but also very easy to read.
  41. The Day My Baby Was Born by McMeekan-Cates – * Really awful book.  All the stories have epidurals and fear and just not good birth stories.  A very very bad book.
  42. The Doula Book by Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus – ** I already knew most of this, and since I believe The Doula Advantage is a much better book, it just was a repeat for me.
  43. The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer – *** I know I am one of the few, but this book didn’t really do much for me.  It was great on information, but overall very general and didn’t really make me feel informed.  Most women love it, so don’t just go by my thoughts :).
  44. The Vaccine Book by Dr Sears – ***** This gives information on every vaccine, what goes into it, what they are for, when they are given.  I don’t like how he pretty much says that all are needed, but it was great in helping us make the decision to delay and then pick and choose which vaccines our next baby gets.
  45. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by the La Leche League – ***** The best breastfeeding book I have read.  Then again, I have only read a couple, so I don’t know much, but it laid out all the information and was awesome about helping women breastfeed against the odds.
  46. Three in a Bed by Deborah Jackson –  **** This book was great on cosleeping.  How to handle the questions, had great information on safety, and even how to handle your relationship when cosleeping.  A very basic and yet great book on cosleeping.
  47. What to Expect Before You’re Expecting by Murkoff – ** This had some good information on how to improve your fertility before you are even trying to conceive, but in the end it is just another what to expect book.  Nothing new, and a lot of “go ask your doctor”.
  48. What to Expect The First Year – by Murkoff – ** We used the milestones for Glade, but made sure to do it a month behind since she was a preemie, but again, a lot of “go ask your doctor” and a lot of fear if your child wasn’t doing everything on time.
  49. What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Murkoff – * I’ve already made my feelings known on this book, but I love the layout, just hate the book.
  50. Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake – **** This is a very basic book that gives the information that was given in the movie on paper.  Very unbias information on drugs, hospitals, everything.  And I love the birth stories of all the celebrities in the book.
  51. Your Pregnancy and Birth by ACOG – ZERO stars.  This book is the devil.  Stay away.
  52. Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Curtis – * I love the layout, but didn’t like the book much.  Very medical, and not trusting.
  53. Your Premature Baby  by Manginello – *** This book was great on how to handle a preemie and other things.  Very old, so it isn’t accurate, but very good book.

    So there we go! I am sure I will have more, but it is nice having a record of them all :).

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    5 Responses

    1. Awesome! Congrats on having such a great big beautiful library! And thanks for reviewing them all, its helpful 🙂

    2. Hey, you might be interested in http://www.paperbackswap.com to get rid of some of those lemons and get something you want. I have gotten TONS of books on this site! It’s great!

      • It might sound weird, but I like keeping the bad ones on hand just for reference haha. And to reaffirm why I do what I do. But I am definitely going to check out that site, sounds awesome!

    3. Husband Coached Childbirth was the very first “natural childbirth” book I read when I was preparing for my 1st son’s homebirth. I was so excited when it came in, and I wanted to love it so badly, but when I finished it I was just inexplicably irritated. After processing that for a long time (and reading better books/info), my issues with it were A) the episiotomy factor (obviously) and B) how paternalistic he is. God help any woman who hasn’t been so graciously “taught” by this man how to have a baby. The more I think about this these days, the more I want to snap at any male who cares to issue his own childbirth advice to a woman.

      Also, I have yet to read any Gaskin, though Spiritual Midwifery is on my Amazon wish list, but kudos to you for not automatically bowing down to the legend, lol. I believe in following our own style and calling out interference when we see it.

      • That was my problem with the book too! It seemed so condescending most the time. “Women can do this” however “they need their husband to guide them”…. Ugh. Yes, having your husband is great, but really?? The whole book just felt like he wanted women to lie down in bed, be quiet, and just be the good patient so he could cut them to “deliver” their babies. You said it perfect!!

        And thank you! I love how she has brought back midwifery, but hate her style haha.

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