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Childbirth Resource Center

Books and Videos for Childbirth Preparation



    Cesearean and Vaginal Birth After Cesearean:

      Silent Knife: Cesearean Prevention and Vaginal Birth After Cesearean
      Nancy Wainer Cohen and Lois Estner

      Artemis Speaks
      Nan Koehler

      The VBAC Companion: The Expectant Mother's Guide to Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
      Diane Korte

      Obstetrical Myths Versus Research Realities
      Henci Goer

      Sit Up and Take Notice! Positioning Yourself for A Better Birth
      Pauline Scott

    Cultural and Historical Aspects of Childbirth:

      Immaculate Deception II
      Suzanne Arms

      Birth In Four Cultures: Holland, Sweden, The Yucatan and The United States
      Brigitte Jordan

      Pursuing the Birth Machine
      Marsden Wagner, M.D.

      Rediscovering Birth
      Shiela Kitzinger

      The American Way of Birth
      Jessica Mitford

      Birth Reborn
      Michel Odent

      Birth As An American Rite of Passage
      Robbie Davis-Floyd

    Childbirth Preparation (Physical, Emotional and Spiritual):

      Childbirth Without Fear: The Original Approach to Natural Childbirth
      Grantly Dick-Read, M.D.

      Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way
      Rosegg & McCutcheon-Rosegg

      Active Birth
      Janet Balaskas

      The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth
      Shiela Kitzinger

      Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide
      Penny Simkin, P.T.,Janet Whalley, R.N., B.S.N., Ann Keppler, R.N., M.N.

      Spiritual Midwifery
      Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives

      Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
      Ina May Gaskin, CPM

      Special Delivery: A Guide to Creating the Birth You Want
      Rahima Baldwin

      Pregnant Feelings: Developing Trust In Birth, A Workbook for Pregnant Women and their Partners
      Rahima Baldwin and Terra Palamarini-Richardson

      Transformation Through Birth
      Claudia Panuthos

      Birthing Normally: A Personal Growth Approach to Childbirth
      Gayle Peterson

      Birthing From Within
      Pam England & Rob Horowitz

      Woman to Mother
      Vangie Bergum

    Childbirth Choices:

      The Birth Center
      Victor and Salee Berman

      A Good Birth, A Safe Birth
      Korte & Scaer

      Gentle Birth Choices
      Barbara Harper, CNM

      The Waterbirth Book
      Janet Balaskas

      Homebirth: The Essential Guide to Giving Birth Outside the Hospital
      Shiela Kitzinger

      Home Birth
      Alice Gilgoff

    Labor Support and Doulas:

      Mothering the Mother
      Kennel and Klaus

      The Doula Book
      Kennel and Klaus

      Mind Over Birth
      Carl Jones

      The Birth Partner: Everything You Need to Know to Help a Woman Through Childbirth
      Penny Simkin, P.T.


      The Nursing Mother's Companion
      Kathleen Huggins

      The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
      La Leche League International

      The Breastfeeding Answer Book
      La Leche League International

      The Experience of Breastfeeding
      Shiela Kitzinger

      Breastfeeding Pure and Simple
      La Leche League

      So That's What They're For: Breastfeeding Basics
      Janet Tamaro

      The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child From Birth Through Weaning
      William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N.

      The Politics of Breastfeeding
      Gabrielle Palmer


      "Mothering Magazine"
      PO Box 1690
      Santa Fe, NM 87504
      Mothering Magazine

      "Midwifery Today"
      PO Box 2672
      Eugene, OR 97402
      Midwifery Today



      "Gentle Birth Choices"

      Both book and video available through Waterbirth International and Injoy Videos. Progressive, inspiring video features six births in water, including a vaginal birth after two cesareans, in birth centers and at home. Emphasizes the safety of birth outside the hospital and dispells myths about the benefit of routine use of medical interventions such as Electronic Fetal Monitors.

      "Born In Water"

      Also Available through Waterbirth International this is a beautiful and emotionally moving video that depicts the sensuality, intimacy and gentleness of family-centered waterbirth. Filmed at Andaluz Birth Center in South America and homebirths in Portland, OR (Spanish and English).

      "Water Babies: The Aquanatal Experience in Ostend"

      "This video explores the waterbirth experience in a small state hospital in Belgium, just two hours outside of Brussels. Dr. Herman Ponette, an early waterbirth pioneer, discusses his view of labor and birth in water. He facilitates the birth of a breech baby in water and then twins. Midwives discuss the incredible experience and mothers and fathers add their comments. Scenes of prenatal aquatic exercise classes and infant swim training round out this incredible video tape." (Qouted from the Waterbirth International website, where the video can be ordered).

      "Birth Into Being: The Russian Waterbirth Expereince"

      "Five totally natural waterbirths, including families birthing in the Black Sea and home births in a hand-made clear birthing pool are combined with the haunting music of Paul Winter. Barbara Harper, world waterbirth expert, along with Russian-born visionary, Elena Tonetti, went to Russia and brought back the footage to produce into this amazing video. "Incredible" says Midwifery Today Magazine. "Outstanding" says author Roberta Scaer (A Good Birth a Safe Birth) This is a fund-raising effort by Global Maternal/Child Health Association, as 50% of the profits will go back to Russia to aid with the home birth and waterbirth movement. Do your part to help support the Russian midwives. Order a copy today." You have seen nothing like this: women birthing in the open sea, infants swimming with wild dolphins! It will blow your mind! (Qouted from the Waterbirth International website, where the video can be ordered).


      "Birth Day"

      "This video is the birth of Tamaya Okumura Vinaver, filmed on location in Xalapa, Mexico in the spring of 1999. It was originally made for the Boston Museum of Science's 'Reproductive Exhibit'. Naoli beautifully narrates her labor, birth and early post-partum. The descriptions of her contracting belly are like poetry, as we watch her pick fresh herbs from her garden, serve lunch and then surrender to her labor in the Japanese-style bath tub. The older children watch and then join their new sister and parents in the tub. This video is short, but very powerful in communicating the power and beauty of home waterbirth." (Spanish and English) (Quoted from the Waterbirth International website, where the video can be ordered).

      "Spiritual Midwifery"

      Companion book by same name available. In this video, a compilation of births attended by The Farm Midwives over twenty years, shows how The Farm Maternity Center has impacted the childbirth scene in America by training midwives and delivering babies at home with remarkable maternal and infant outcomes since the 1970s. Features many births and interviews with The Farm Midwives. (Available at The Farm Website).

Choices In Childbirth:

    "Born In the USA"

    This documentary by Ken Schneider and Marcia Jarmel explores issues surrounding childbirth in America through the eyes of three caregivers including an obstetrician working at a teaching hospital in Philadelphia, a Licensed Midwife in Washington State doing homebirths, and a Certified Nurse Midwife working in the South Bronx, NY neighborhood of Morris Heights who delivers the midwifery model of maternity care to an underprivileged community."The film raises questions about technology, quality of care, and the external factors that impact our experience of childbirth." (Qouted from cover of video). A very thought provoking film that subtly demonstrates the differences between the midwifery and medical approaches to maternity care and their impacts on mothers, fathers and infants. This is a MUST SEE for all expectant parents who are considering hospital birth! (Available through Fanlight Productions 1-800-937-4113).

    "Once A Cesearean: Vaginal Birth After Cesearean"

    This is an amazing film that shows a woman having a breech vaginal birth after cesearean (VBAC) with Dr. Leo Sorger of Boston. The woman is supported by a doula and her husband, and there are informative interviews with obstetricians with opposing views on vaginal birth after cesearean (both pro and con) and with Nancy Wainer-Cohen, "mother" of the VBAC movement. This footage is amazing! A MUST for anyone considering VBAC or breech vaginal birth.

    "Special Delivery"

    Features three births: one at home, one in freestanding birth center, and one in the hospital, with positive use of an epidural. Emphasizes developing trust in birth and making informed choices to manifest the birth you desire, hosted by Rahima Baldwin, midwife/author of companion book by same name. (Available through Informed Homebirth or ).

    "Preparation for the Unexpected Cesearean"

    Filmed from the perspective of the birthing mother, this film expresses the factual and emotional issues encountered during an unexpected cesarean birth. Recommended for women who know that they must have a planned cesearean as well, with optional footage at end of film of an actual c-section (Available from Injoy Videos).

History of Childbirth and Midwifery:

    "The Timeless Way: A History of Birth from Ancient to Modern Times

    This video takes viewers on a journey from ancient times to the present showing how women in all countries and time periods have given birth. Documented in birth art and artifacts (sculptures, drawings and ancient tribal paintings) "the classic pose" is shown: with the birthing woman in an upright position with a helper in front and a helper behind, which "points towards a human way of giving birth". Explores childbirth practices in Europe, Africa and Asia throughout the middle ages and renaissance eras, describes birthing practices in America in the pioneer days through present times, exploring the evolution from woman-centered, midwife-attended childbirth to the modern doctor-centered system. Discusses the origins of the natural childbirth movement and the resurgence of midwifery, through which women reclaimed the ancient practices of woman-centered childbirth. Inspires women to consider these tried and true ways of giving birth, giving examples of how to carry on these traditions when giving birth in hospitals. (Available from Injoy Videos).

Childbirth Education and Labor Support/Doulas:

    "Blessing the Way: A Ritual Celebration of Pregnancy and Birth"

    This documentary by Laura Scheerer Whitney, anthropologist and childbirth educator, "explores 'the blessingway' ritual as a tool for healing and transformation during pregnancy. Weaving the heart-warming stories of two expectant mothers, each facing unique emotional challenges in their pregnancies, the film shows how the blessingway ceremony addressed their fears and paved the way to joyful birth. As an alternative to the American baby shower, the blessingway celebrates the journey into motherhood by creating a safe and sacred space for family and friends to deeply nurture the mother, not with material gifts, but with gifts from the heart. The film provides both inspiration and instruction to anyone yearning to create heart-felt ceremonies honoring the sacredness of all life passages." (Qouted from video cover). Filmed on location in Topanga Canyon, CA. (Available at Sage Mountain Films Website).

    "Special Women: How a Labor Assistant Makes Birth Safer, More Satisfying and Less Expensive"
    Hosted by Paulina Perez, RN/Doula, a perinatal nurse and board member of Doulas of North America, this inspiring video enlightens parents and professionals alike on the advantages of Professional Labor Assistants. Resources for finding a Labor Assistant in your area are included, as well as a special section for those interested in pursuing a career as a Professional Labor Assistant. Shows several births attended by doulas with women discussing how the presence of a professional labor companion helped them achieve the birth they desired. (Available from Injoy Videos or Cutting Edge Press).

    "Understanding Birth: A Comprehensive Guide"

    This all-in-one video gives information on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum depicts unmedicated, epidural, and cesarean births. Provides current information on interventions and prevention strategies, state-of-the-art labor animation, shows comfort techniques a newborn procedures, tests, bonding, and breastfeeding. (Available from Injoy Videos.

    "The Stages of Labor: A Visual Guide"

    Using state of the art 3-D computer animation, this video shows the process of birth from early labor through delivery of the placenta, interspersed with footage of women giving birth in the hospital. You will be very clear on how the process of birth works after watching this video.(Available from Injoy Videos).


    "Delivery Self Attachment"

    This awesome video depicts a newborn's ability at birth to crawl up the the breast and attach herself unassisted. If you ever wondered if pain medications given to mothers for childbirth affect babies, you will have no doubt they do after you see this film! (Available from Cutting Edge Press).

    "Breast Is Best"

    This beautiful and informative film made in Norway covers all aspects of breastfeeding including latch and postioning, pumping and storage, hand expression of milk, nursing preemies, twins and toddlers and dealing with common concerns such as mastitis. Unlike American breastfeeding films, it also depicts the sensuality of breastfeeding and shows the close bond between breastfeeding babies and mothers.(Norwegian and English). (Available from The Farm Bookstore).

    "Kangaroo Mother Care"

    In this video, Dr. Nils Bergman says kangaroo mother care (wearing the baby) is for all babies but especially premature ones. The video summarizes research and evidence to prove that the newborn thrives best on the mother's chest. Available from (Available from Cutting Edge Press).


        Waterbirth International

        Cutting Edge Press

        Cascade Birth Bookstore

        The Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators Bookstore

        ICEA Bookmarks

        The Farm Bookstore

        La Leche League

        The Bradley Method

        Informed Homebirth
        PO Box 1733
        Fair Oaks, CA 95628