This will be my 14th year I have been involved with maternity care and I am still very much a student. The more I learn the more I want to know! Plus the changes that happen and the new understandings of information keep me constantly reading and learning.
Therefore I have put together a list of my top 5 books that I think are simply incredible classics and I would love everybody to read. I’d lend you a copy, but these don’t stay on my shelf for long!
1. Let’s ease in gently with Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. Originally published in 1976 this classic book on home birth on a farm in Tennesey has some inspirational birth stories and significant statistics on midwifery practice.
2. Childbirth in the age of plastics by Michel Odent. A French obstetrician who started working in 1949, Michel Odent is one of the world’s leading voices for natural birth. In this book he considers contemporary medical history from a different perspective and makes clinicians question routine medical practices.
3. The Womanly Art of breastfeeding by La Leche League. 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. This book is more of a guide so doesn’t need to be read cover to cover but can instead be dipped in to answer any breastfeeding questions. Don’t be put off by the title or the cover pic.
4. The politics of breastfeeding by Gabrielle Palmer. This book blew my mind when I read it because it is an exposure of the underhand marketing techniques used by big companies to undermine women’s confidence and in particular breastfeeding. I guess we all think we are immune to it but this book suggests different.
5. Childbirth without fear by Grantly Dick-Read. Originally published in 1933, Grantly Dick-Read is the pioneer of pain free birth and hypnobirthing. His theory is that if women can control what he calls the “fear-tension-pain” cycle (which you learn about on the hypnobirthing course), then women will have more control of the birthing process.
OK I couldn’t quite stick to a top 5, as I also want to include The Hypnobirthing book by Katherine Graves. This is used in the course and is described as being an inspirational guide for a calm, confident and natural birth. It explains how and why hypnobirthing works, as well as the visualisation and relaxation exercises to practice in preparation for your birth.
My current book is Why hypnobirthing matters by Katrina Berry which is an easy read about all aspects of hypnobirthing- (perhaps one for sceptics to start with?).
What books would you recommend? I’d love to find out. Deb x