One perk I offer in my birth doula package is access to my lending library about pregnancy, birth, and newborns. My library is still growing and I plan to add to it forever (because you can never have too many book!), but here’s a look at my top three on my shelf right now:
1. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina Many Gaskin
Ina May Gaskin is a midwife genius with piles and piles of wisdom born of experience. This book is half birth stories (gotta love ‘em!) and half explanations of physiological principles related to birth. Here’s a favorite: Sphincter Law. Sphincters are ring-shaped muscles that occur in a few places in your body, notably your throat and cervix. And it turns out that relaxing one set of sphincter muscles helps others in the body to relax and open! So blowing out with “horse lips” and making low, loose vocalizations helps your cervix to relax and dilate. This and other gems are found in Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth!
2. The Gift of Giving Life: Rediscovering the Divine Nature of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Felice Austin, Lani Axman, Robyn Allgood, Heather Farrell, and Sheridan Ripley
This book is a beautiful collection of essays and birth stories written by LDS mother and birthworkers. In it, the authors faithfully discuss the divine role that women play as co-creators with God. It addresses topics from infertility to the role of agency in birth to infant care. It’s an empowering, thought-provoking, and life-changing read!
3. Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth by Marshall H. Klaus, John Kennell, and Phyllis H. Klaus
Did you read that subtitle? A shorter, easier, and healthier birth—how awesome is that? This one’s an oldie, but a goodie! Referencing evidence collected in studies around the globe, the authors explain in depth the way that having a doula can positively affect your birth experience.
Here are the other titles on my shelf: