Here are some useful articles and links that relate to many of the topics and issues referred to on this website, to give you more information and understanding.
What must I bring to hospital ?
Midwife-led versus other models of care for childbearing women
(from the World Health Organization Reproductive Health Library)
Midwifery: Evidence-Based Practice, a Summary of Research on Midwifery Practice in the United States
The late doyen of all things natural, who wrote these columns especially for Origin.
Books and other media
Here is a guide to our most recommended books and documentaries/movies for pregnancy, birth and beyond.
What Does a Doula Do?
by Kim Turton
This book invites you to witness the sacred miracle of birth, with reverence and love. How birth can be a joyful, easy, happy experience for you and your baby!
The Child within the Lotus; Human Behavior from Birth. by Margaret Stephenson-Meere
Blending current western knowledge with eastern wisdom, this book is a guide on how to nurture a child both physically and spiritually through all stages of growth.
Birth Reborn: What Childbirth Should be.
by Michel Odent
Childbirth ought to be a natural experience for women, where women have control of their own bodies and Michel Odent has pioneered a number of practices that provide a setting for a woman to give birth her way. Practices such as providing homely birthing rooms, the first birthing pools, labour without drugs, giving the midwife a key role and a new style of antenatal education.
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
by Henci Goer
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.
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
Ina May Gaskin, USA’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.
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding, by Ina May Gaskin
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.
Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin
From the amazing birthing tales to care of the newborn, Spiritual Midwifery is still one of the best books an expectant mother could own.
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.
Mama Bamba Way:The Power and Pleasure of Natural Childbirth, by Robyn Sheldon
By focusing on the richness and magic in birth and its potential to transform, this gentle guide helps expectant mothers develop awareness of self, of baby, and of each birthing moment.
Birth without Violence, by Frédérick Leboyer M.D
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.
Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta, by Ina May Gaskin
Birth Matters is a spirited manifesta showing us how to trust women, value birth, and reconcile modern life with a process as old as our species.
Gentle Birth Choices, by Barbara Harper
Recommended by Lamaze International as one of the top ten books for pregnant women and their families.
Natural Birth: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Breastfeeding, by Kristina Turner
In our society childbirth is often viewed as something to be feared and even to be avoided, through elective caesarian or extreme pain suppression.
A Passion for Birth: My Life: Anthropology, Family and Feminism, by Sheila Kitzinger
An inspiration to many, Kitzinger talks candidly about her set-backs and failures as well as her achievements, the sexual exploitation and abuse that she encountered in her continuous and untiring struggle against the medicalization of childbirth.
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, by Sheila Kitzinger
All the information expectant parents need to make their own decisions about everything–from which tests to allow to how to handle pain to where to give birth.
Rediscovering Birth, by Sheila Kitzinger
For many years she has maintained that when birth is reduced to a medical process the experience is diminished and the mother degraded, and that even when the birth is complicated, human relationships are vitally important.
The Year After Childbirth: Enjoying Your Body, Your Relationships, and Yourself in Your Baby's First Year, by Sheila Kitzinger
A supportive, illustrative guide for new mothers explains the physical changes they should expect, the impact of a child on new fathers, the adjustments to be made in a couple’s emotional and sex lives, breastfeeding, and more.
Labyrinth of Birth: Creating a Map, Meditations and Rituals for Your Childbearing Year, by Pam England
Designed to transform the experience of childbirth, this manual calls upon the use of the timeless and powerful symbol of the labyrinth in 12 simple meditations and ceremonies.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. by Diane Wiessinge
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 Birth Partner, 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.
Spirit in Pregnancy and Birth: Practical and Spiritual Care, Ceremonies and Celebrations, by Colette van Heerden
Bring greater spiritual awareness and presence into your pregnancy and the birthing process by following the practical and spiritual care, ceremonies and celebrations presented in this book.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn, by Penny Simkin
This comprehensive, authoritative “bible” provides expectant couples with abundant, valuable information about pregnancy, labor, birth, the postpartum period, and newborn care.
The basic needs of a labouring woman, by Ruth Ehrhardt
This book is inspired by the work of Dr Michel Odent. Dr Odent started his medical career as a surgeon and became involved in birth when he was put in charge of a hospital in Pithiviers, outside Paris. He soon realised that hospitals were not conducive to a woman in labour.
You Are Your Child's First Teacher, by Rahima Baldwin Dancy
You Are Your Child’s First Teacher was the first book in America to popularize the insights of Rudolf Steiner, founder of the Waldorf schools, regarding the developmental needs of young children.
Sacred Pregnancy by Anni Daulter; Babies in Mind, by Jenny Perkel
Sacred Pregnancy was written to help the pregnant woman journey within herself to prepare for the birth of her baby.
Water, Birth and Sexuality: Our Primeval Connection to Water and Its Use in Labour and Therapy, by Michel Odent
Dr Odent takes as his starting point the world-famous work on childbirth at Pithiviers, where he first noticed the strong attraction to water that many women have during labour.
Birth As We Know It -Educational DVD-ROM, Directed by Elea Tonetti-Vladimirova
The midwife community calls this film “the most profound and comprehensive guide to conscious birth in the world”, because it delivers a powerful transmission of what it really takes to give birth consciously and gracefully.
Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally, by Janet Balaskas
Janet Balaskas led a movement of women who refused to give birth lying down. She has been teaching women about “active birth” ever since.
Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) , by Lois J Estner
The bible of cesarean prevention.
HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing, by Marie F. Mongan
Childbirth is not something to be feared; it is a natural expression of life. With HypnoBirthing, your pregnancy and childbirth will become the gentle, life-affirming process it was meant to be.