Waterbirth International recommends the books and videos on this page as valuable sources of information for parents, supporters and professionals alike. Click the image or title to purchase the item on Amazon.
BIRTH PREPARATION and BIRTH
Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper
In “Gentle Birth Choices” Barbara Harper, nurse, former midwife, and mother of three, helps parents to plan a meaningful, family-centered birth experience. The DVD blends interviews with midwives and physicians and shows six actual births, including water birth, home birth, and vaginal birth. A powerful instructional tool for expectant parents, midwives, hospitals, birth centers, and doctors.
Birth without Violence by Frederick Leboyer
Examining alternatives to technocentric approaches to childbirth, this new edition of the classic text, complete with a new author preface, shows us how we can ease the transition from womb to world without trauma or fear. Birth without Violence illustrates how to create an environment of tranquillity in which to welcome our children: a relaxed mother, gentle lighting, soothing atmosphere, and a warm bath that mirrors the child’s prenatal surroundings. Dr. Leboyer’s simple techniques demonstrate how a birth without violence has far-reaching implications for improving the quality of human life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (Sears Parenting Library) by William Sears and Martha Sears
Prepare for a safe and joyful birth-with the help of America’s foremost baby and childcare experts Since women enjoy more birthing options today than ever before, the path toward a safe and satisfying birth can be fraught with important decisions. Planning, understanding the resources available to you, and developing your own birthing philosophy can make all the difference. In this comprehensive, reassuring, and authoritative guide, Dr. Bill and Martha Sears, the pediatrics specialists whose books on pregnancy, babies, and parenting have become widely praised bestsellers, thoroughly explore the abundant choices couples face when anticipating the birth of their child.
The Art of Giving Birth: With Chanting, Breathing, and Movement by Frédérick Leboyer M.D.
Dr. Frédérick Leboyer explores the birth process from the mother’s perspective. Through the heartfelt letters of women sharing their experiences, which are accompanied by his advice and commentary, he reveals how women can develop the skills needed to create a successful and joyful birth. Dr. Leboyer stresses that proper breathing is the most important component for women going through childbirth. The breathing should come from the lower belly and the exhalation should be accompanied by a musical tone. Without this musical dimension, breathing is merely a physical exercise.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you. 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.
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
As an intelligent woman, you are probably used to learning as much 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.
Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
In YOUR BEST BIRTH, internationally known advocates of informed choice Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein inspire women to take back the birth experience, with essential advice on:Positive and negative effects of epidurals, Pitocin, and other drugs and interventions, Inducing vs. allowing your labor to progress naturally, The truth behind our country’s staggering C-section rate, Assembling your birth team and creating your birth plan. With chapters such as “Obstetricians: Finding Dr. Right,” “Epidurals: You Haven’t Got Time for the Pain,” and “Electronic Monitors: Reading between the Lines,” Lake and Epstein will encourage you to consider whatever your doctor, mother, and best friend may suggest in a new light.
Ancient Map for Modern Birth by Pam England
The integrative model of childbirth described in this book will provide women with the information needed to prepare for birth, how to think and feel about labor, and how to tell their story. The book combines scientific research with meditation, ceremony, art, and mythic stories, which not only prepares childbearing women to go beyond their edge into uncharted territory but to find their way home again. The underlying message throughout is not to strive for a perfect birth but to be mindful of the mythic journey, of all the mothers who have come before—an awareness that leads not only to the birth of a child but to the birth of a new self.
The Healthy Pregnancy Book: Month by Month, Everything You Need to Know from America’s Baby Experts (Sears Parenting Library) by William Sears and Martha Sears
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.
Welcoming Consciousness: Supporting Babies’ Wholeness from the Beginning of Life-An Integrated Model of Early Development by McCarty PhD RN, Wendy Anne
Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology has been studying our earliest development from the baby’s point of view for over 30 years. Findings reveal we are conscious, aware beings who already have a sense of self as we begin human life. This book explores the mysteries of our multidimensional nature and the extraordinary stories babies, children, and adults tell us of their life in the womb and during birth.
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.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices by Sarah Buckley, MD
Sarah Buckley might be called a third-wave natural birth advocate. A doctor and a mother, she approaches the question of how a woman and baby might have the most fulfilling birth experience with respect for the wisdom of both medical science and the human body. Using current medical and epidemiological research plus women’s experiences (including her own), she demonstrates that what she calls “undisturbed birth” is almost always healthier and safer than high-technology approaches to birth. Her wise counsel on issues like breastfeeding and sleeping during postpartum helps extend the gentle birth experience into a gentle parenting relationship.
Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation by Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa and Cindy Crawford
From internationally renowned yoga teacher Gurmukh comes a book on pregnancy unlike any other. Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful is a treasury of wisdom, information, and inspiration for pregnancy and motherhood based on the spiritual and physical practices of Kundalini yoga, which Gurmukh has taught for the last thirty years. With illustrated, step-by-step instructions, she teaches time-tested techniques, meditations, and exercises that will help you physically, mentally, and spiritually. In the timeless way that women have passed down wisdom surrounding birth and child rearing to one another for centuries, Gurmukh weaves folk stories and contemporary testimonials into a program designed to help you get profound results in the shortest possible time.
The Birth Partner, 4th Edition, Completely Revised and Updated: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions 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.
BREASTFEEDING and PARENTING
You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development from Birth to Age Six by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
Some of the most important learning years happen before your child reaches school. In You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, respected Waldorf educator Rahima Baldwin Dancy explains the different stages of learning that children go through from birth to age six, giving you the wisdom and understanding to enrich your child’s natural development in the right way at the right time. Today’s society often pressures us into overstimulating young children with flashcards, workbooks, videos, and electronic gadgets in a well-meaning attempt to give them a head start. But children are not little adults—they learn and grow in radically different ways at different ages, and what we do to help could actually hurt instead.
Windows to the Womb by David Chamberlain
Windows to the Womb is an eloquent guide through the first nine months of life from conception to birth. In the past, the invisible physical processes of fetal development were mysterious and largely unexplainable, but in the past half-century, breakthroughs in embryology, interuterine photography, ultrasound, and other sensitive instruments of measurement have enabled us to make systematic observations inside the womb. We now understand that fetuses are fully sentient and aware beings. In this new climate of appreciation for the surprising dimensions of fetal behavior, sensitivity, and intelligence, this book brings a host of new information to light about the transformative journey each one of us must undergo in the womb.
Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
Drawing on her decades of experience in caring for pregnant women, mothers, and babies, Ina May Gaskin explores the health and psychological benefits of breastfeeding and gives you invaluable practical advice that will help you nurse your baby in the most fulfilling way possible. Inside you’ll find answers to virtually every question you have on breastfeeding.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Completely Revised and Updated 8th Edition by Diane Wiessinger and Diana West
It’s no secret that breastfeeding is the normal, healthy way to nourish and nurture your baby. Dedicated to supporting nursing and expectant mothers, the internationally respected La Leche League has set the standard for educating and empowering mothers in this natural art for generations. Now their classic bestselling guide has been retooled, refocused, and updated for today’s mothers and lifestyles. 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.
The Baby Book, Revised Edition: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Sears Parenting Library) by William Sears M.D. and Martha Sears
The Baby Book is unrivaled in its scope and authority, and presents a practical, contemporary approach to parenting that reflects the way we live today. Focusing on the essential needs of babies–eating, sleeping, development, health, and comfort–it addresses the questions of greatest concern to parents. The Searses acknowledge that there is no one way to parent a baby, and they offer the basic guidance and inspiration you need to develop the parenting style that best suits you and your child. The Baby Book is a rich and invaluable resource that will help you get the most out of parenting–for your child, for yourself, and for your entire family.
Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers by Marcy Axness
If we really want to change the world, let’s raise a generation “built for peace”… from the very beginning. Parenting for Peace is a user-friendly scientific roadmap for how to do exactly that… while bringing more joy into family life!Parenting for Peace details a unique seven-step, seven-principle matrix for hardwiring our babies and children with the brain circuitry for such essential peacemaker capacities as self-regulation, empathy, intelligence, trust and imagination. The win-win is that a child wired in this vibrantly healthy way is a joy to parent, and as an adult has the heart to embrace and exemplify peace, the mind to innovate solutions to social and ecological challenges, and the will to enact them.Parenting for Peace offers readers a user-friendly shortcut around today’s information overload, because it gives them the most important research from dozens of leading experts woven together with its own empowering perspectives on bringing more joy into family life.
Natural Health after Birth: The Complete Guide to Postpartum Wellness by Aviva Jill Romm
New mothers need care and support to adjust to the myriad challenges facing them after birth: changing body image, lifestyle, work arrangements, and relationships. Midwife, herbalist, and mother of four, Aviva Jill Romm shares her insights into how to make this crucial time a happy one. She provides essential advice for preparing for the postpartum period, coping during the first few days after the birth, establishing a successful breast-feeding relationship, getting enough rest, eating well even with a hectic schedule, and finding time to regain strength and tone with gentle yoga exercises. Woven throughout are helpful herbal tips and recipes to make the first year of motherhood a naturally healthy one.
The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning by William Sears M.D.
In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in breastfeeding. Yet first-time mothers often lack the support and the knowledge they need. Many of the available books fail to address the practical challenges that confront many women (especially women who work outside the home) when they choose to breastfeed. For these women, The Breastfeeding Book is a godsend — with comprehensive, reassuring, authoritative information.
The Attachment Parenting Book : A Commonsense Guide to Understanding and Nurturing Your Baby by William Sears M.D. and Martha Sears
Might you and your baby both sleep better if you shared a bed? How old is too old for breastfeeding? What is a father’s role in nurturing a newborn? How does early attachment foster a child’s eventual independence? Dr. Bill and Martha Sears — the doctor-and-nurse, husband-and-wife team who coined the term “attachment parenting” — answer these and many more questions in this practical, inspiring guide. Attachment parenting is a style of parenting that encourages a strong early attachment, and advocates parental responsiveness to babies’ dependency needs. “The Attachment Parenting Book” clearly explains the six “Baby B’s” that form the basis of this increasingly popular parenting style: Bonding, Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Bedding close to baby, Belief in the language value of baby’s cry, Beware of baby trainers.Here’s all the information you need to achieve your most important goals as a new parent: to know your child, to help your child feel right, and to enjoy parenting.
Unlatched: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy by Jennifer Grayson
Since the rise of artificial formula, we have turned a biological process into a never-ending controversy: A mother breastfeeding her three-year-old son on the cover of Time magazine sets off a firestorm. Facebook takes down photos of women nursing, citing the content as “offensive.” The pope weighs in, urging mothers to nurse their children in church or elsewhere “without thinking twice.” So how did we get here? What are the consequences of surrendering eons of human evolution for a mode of feeding so alien? Growing up, journalist Jennifer Grayson thought nothing of the fact that she was bottle-fed. But when she became a mother, Grayson considered the impact of missing out on this profound connection. Her book is a worldwide search for answers about the first, most fundamental experience of newborn life.DVDS and STREAMING VIDEO
DVDS and STREAMING VIDEOS
Gentle Birth Choices: Birth as Every Woman Would Like it to Be (DVD) by Barbara Harper
This DVD presents all the options for natural childbirth, (standing, squatting, waterbirth, home birth), with information about midwives, vaginal birth after caesarean, birth centers and circumcision, with national experts. Based on Barbara Harper’s book, Gentle Birth Choices, this documentary presents birth as every woman would like it to be. It beautifully reveals the magic and the mystery of birth through the experience of six women actually giving birth — where and how they choose (standing, squatting, waterbirth, homebirth). They are family-centered and attended by midwives or OB/GYN. Many have a concern about having unnecessary hospital birthing procedures, and this documentary guides women in their desire to be in charge of their birth experience, answers questions couples have about birth, and dispels many commonly held beliefs.
What Babies Want – An Exploration of the Consciousness of Infants by Debbi Takakawa
What Babies Want is a heart-opening film that brings together ground-breaking information about who babies truly are, what they know, and how we can support them to be their best as they develop and grow. The film is alive with captivating stories and remarkable personal experiences of infants, children and adults.
The Milky Way is a documentary exposé about breastfeeding in the United States. It will make every viewer rethink how we treat mothers. The film will empower women to trust their body, their baby, and themselves in their unique journey.
Starring:Jennifer Davidson, Jay Gordon MD, Alanis Morrisette.
The Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake
The Business of Being Born explores the history of obstetrics, the history and function of midwives, and how many common medical practices may be doing new mothers more harm than good.
Starring: Mary Helen Ayres, Julia Barnett Tracy, Sylvie Blaustein
Runtime: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Also available on DVD from Netflix
Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret by Debra Pascali-Bonero
An award-winning feature documentary that has aired around the world. 7 women and their partners invite you to share their most sacred moments. Joyous, sensuous and revolutionary, Orgasmic Birth inviting viewers to see the emotional, spiritual, and physical heights attainable through natural childbirth.
Pregnant in America by Steve Buonaugurio
Pregnant in America is a motivational, and inspirational documentary made by film maker Steve Buonagurio about the birth of his daughter Bella. Shocked by the greed of U.S. hospitals, insurance companies and medical organizations, Steve and his wife Mandy set out to create a natural home birth in a world where everything is anything but natural. The film is as much educational as it is entertaining and prepares excepting parent for their uncertain journey of being pregnant and having their baby.
Dr Jack Newman’s Visual Guide to Breastfeeding helps you to understand how breastfeeding really works in a step-by-step comprehensive format. This aid provides evidence-based, up-to-date information for parents and healthcare professionals. This video is designed to make the breastfeeding experience a success and a pleasure for mothers and babies. In it, Jack Newman and Edith Kernerman answer a wide variety of questions, from how to ensure that baby is getting milk to how to avoid and overcome some of the most common problems associated with breastfeeding.