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Reading List

My favourite reading lists are ones which are diverse and cover different areas. I have done this here, with books which help fuel women's inner fires, inform on alternative health and care, discuss research facts vs actual medical practice, and so on. Books on freebirth are also included of course!

Women Who Run With The Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estes

A book which teaches about women's innermost psyche through storytelling. It speaks of women's power, intuition, knowing and helps women to reconnect with knowledge which is often undermined by the dominant technocratic knowlege system of our society.

Unassisted Childbirth - Laura Shanley

One of the pioneers of the freebirth movement in the U.S., Laura Shanley shares her thoughts and experiences on freebirth.

Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year - Susun Weed

This book is nicely laid out with sections from preconception to postpartum and everthing in between. It is a good resource for freebirthers as the information enables freebirthers to deal with some problems at home easily, while avoiding the need to transfer to hospital.

Emergency Childbirth: A Manual - Dr. Gregory White

This is an ancient text on how to handle childbirth that occurs outside of hospital, written for the layperson by a doctor. Some of the medical information in here is outdated obviously, however he does offer some good tips. What is most interesting about this book is how SLIM it is, and 'so simple that even an 8 year old could assist'. Modern doctors would have women see birth as a complex, highly risky process requiring professional assistance. The contrast is interesting!
Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth - Henci Goer

This book covers evidence based care for pregnancy and childbirth for the layperson. It is easy to read for those not interested in scientific research and data - however, the references are included in the book, they just are not the focus.
Obstetric Myths vs Research Realities - Henci Goer

A book on evidence based care which focuses on research into caesareans, electronic fetal monitoring, postdates, breech babies and the like. It is a great book as it highlights the divide between actual obstetric practice and the research. Good for addressing the common myths and misconceptions! Has lots of research summaries and abstracts.
Birthing from Within - Pam England

A creative book which focuses on creative outlets for women to work through previous experiences or expectations of birth, and to prepare for an upcoming birth. This book is considered empowering by most women, and I believe the activities within can be useful.
Silent Knife - Nancy Wainer Cohen

A book on caesareans. If you were to buy only one book to be informed on caesarean surgery, this is the book! It covers everything!
The Power of Pleasurable Childbirth - Laurie Morgan

A lovely book on freebirth which argues the case for freebirth over homebirth, and discusses how childbirth can be pleasurable rather than painful as is commonly expected.
Childbirth Without Fear - Dick Grantly-Read

A very old book which went out of print and came back in print! It is worth reading as it discusses the mechanics of fear and its link to pain and sub-optimal childbirth experience.


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