The best books that inspire confidence for natural childbirth and homebirth

Lynn M. Griesemer Author Of Take Back Your Birth: Inspiration for Expectant Moms
By Lynn M. Griesemer

Who am I?

After giving birth in the hospital four times in what I experienced as “assembly-line obstetrics,” I decided that my fifth child would be intentionally born at home with just me and my husband present. It forever changed our lives and I’ve been an advocate since 1998, with the publication of Unassisted Homebirth: An Act of Love. I’m considered a pioneer in the unassisted birth community. Women are disappointed and disillusioned with their birth experiences and I help put to rest the idea of a painful, discouraging birth experience, replacing it with the manifestation of your inner desires. A satisfying and successful birth is within reach.


I wrote...

Take Back Your Birth: Inspiration for Expectant Moms

By Lynn M. Griesemer,

Book cover of Take Back Your Birth: Inspiration for Expectant Moms

What is my book about?

“Is this procedure absolutely medically necessary?” and “What do I want for my childbirth experience?” are two questions to ask while preparing for birth. Take Back Your Birth ignites the heart, the mind, and the emotions. 

Will you make decisions and take actions based on your inner yearnings? Do you have a vision for your birth experience? Do you want complete freedom for your birth or do you prefer a system that helps shape it? If you’re educated on the birth process and make decisions that you are comfortable with, then your birth can be the beautiful experience it was meant to be. Take Back Your Birth emphasizes inner preparation and goal setting for your birth, something which is sorely lacking in our culture.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is readers supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Birth and the Dialogue of Love

By Marilyn A. Moran,

Book cover of Birth and the Dialogue of Love

Why this book?

This classic and groundbreaking book is an exploration of the “interpersonal aspect of childbirth for husband and wife and its effect on their growth and development in two-in-oneness," says author Marilyn A. Moran, the first advocate for husband and wife unassisted homebirth. “Childbirth is a dialogue, not a monologue…It is imperative that couples abandon the doctors’ quasi-pathological approach to birth…When an obstetrician steps in between the lovers at the moment of birth to catch the baby, the cyclic giving and receiving of significant genital gifts is shattered.”

Women are the main connoisseurs of childbirth books, but when my husband opened this book, he devoured it within three days and was completely convinced of planning a husband and wife homebirth. The book made so much sense to us. After four hospital births, we went on to have two unassisted homebirths, and Birth and the Dialogue of Love was pivotal.


Home Birth On Your Own Terms

By Heather Baker,

Book cover of Home Birth On Your Own Terms

Why this book?

This book is comprehensive: it describes self prenatal care, what to do if you encounter complications during labor and birth, and discusses postpartum care. Photos and birth stories can put a couple at ease as they plan for their upcoming birth. My daughter birthed her first baby unassisted and this was her favorite book during pregnancy.


Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth

By Robert A. Bradley,

Book cover of Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth

Why this book?

The public tends to put more credibility when they see a doctor approve childbirth information. The Bradley Method is a proven and universal method that encourages and teaches natural childbirth – and, includes the father of the baby. While I believe that giving birth should be initiated and orchestrated by the baby, the mother and father are primary participants in the event. 

The Bradley Method helps couples prepare for a drug-free childbirth, discusses natural solutions for challenges during pregnancy, and focuses on bonding between mother, baby and father. This book is one of the most respectful books for couples planning to give birth.


Unassisted Childbirth

By Laura Kaplan Shanley,

Book cover of Unassisted Childbirth

Why this book?

Unassisted Childbirth shows how birth can be straightforward and relatively painless if we remove technological and psychological interference. Laura is considered the pioneer of “UC,” Unassisted Childbirth, also known as Freebirth. She states that fear is a main culprit and the body’s reaction is commonly fight or flight, sending women into long, difficult labors and deliveries. 

My husband and I appreciate Laura’s work in the unassisted birth area because it is inspiring and logical. She has encouraged thousands of couples for over 35 years in the pursuit of an unhindered, natural birth.


Emergency Childbirth: A Manual

By Gregory J. White,

Book cover of Emergency Childbirth: A Manual

Why this book?

When my husband and I were preparing for our unassisted homebirth, we had two books by our nightstand: Birth and the Dialogue of Love, and Emergency Childbirth. Emergency Childbirth was originally published by the Police Training Foundation and was used by emergency medical technicians for unexpected childbirth situations. One part of the book explained what to do if a baby is coming quickly and stated that any normal eight-year-old could handle it. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in natural childbirth, home birth, and childbirth?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about natural childbirth, home birth, and childbirth.

Natural Childbirth Explore 10 books about natural childbirth
Home Birth Explore 6 books about home birth
Childbirth Explore 19 books about childbirth

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Giving Birth with Confidence, Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care, and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth if you like this list.