31 books like Blessed Events

By Pamela E. Klassen,

Here are 31 books that Blessed Events fans have personally recommended if you like Blessed Events. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

Ann W. Duncan Author Of Sacred Pregnancy: Birth, Motherhood, and the Quest for Spiritual Community

From my list on exploring the spirituality of pregnancy and birth.

Who am I?

I became a mother while a graduate student. Bombarded by societal expectations and advice on pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, I quickly combined this life experience with my scholarly interests and wrote a dissertation on Christian women and childbirth. I later began to explore expressions of religion and spirituality outside of traditional religion – a topic that found expression in my book Sacred Pregnancy. I am a professor of American Studies and Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD and have a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Ann's book list on exploring the spirituality of pregnancy and birth

Ann W. Duncan Why did Ann love this book?

My book and other books profiled here point to the potential of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood as an opportunity for ritual and meaning making and as lightning rods for societal expectations and norms.

In this powerful book, Roberts takes on the ways in which these opportunities are inequitably available in the United States. With maternal mortality among black women alarmingly high, this book demonstrates that the struggle for reproductive justice must be part and parcel of any rethinking of how we experience and support childbirth in the United States.

By Dorothy Roberts,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Killing the Black Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Killing the Black Body remains a rallying cry for education, awareness, and action on extending reproductive justice to all women. It is as crucial as ever, even two decades after its original publication.
 
"A must-read for all those who claim to care about racial and gender justice in America." —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
 
In 1997, this groundbreaking book made a powerful entrance into the national conversation on race. In a media landscape dominated by racially biased images of welfare queens and crack babies, Killing the Black Body exposed America’s systemic abuse of Black women’s bodies. From…


Book cover of Birth as an American Rite of Passage

Ann W. Duncan Author Of Sacred Pregnancy: Birth, Motherhood, and the Quest for Spiritual Community

From my list on exploring the spirituality of pregnancy and birth.

Who am I?

I became a mother while a graduate student. Bombarded by societal expectations and advice on pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, I quickly combined this life experience with my scholarly interests and wrote a dissertation on Christian women and childbirth. I later began to explore expressions of religion and spirituality outside of traditional religion – a topic that found expression in my book Sacred Pregnancy. I am a professor of American Studies and Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD and have a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Ann's book list on exploring the spirituality of pregnancy and birth

Ann W. Duncan Why did Ann love this book?

This book is a classic and essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of thinking and practicing of childbirth in the United States. 

More than that, it makes a compelling argument that birth should be seen as an American rite of passage. Through a history of the development of current norms and rituals of childbirth as a medicalized procedure and comparison of that paradigm to more holistic treatments of pregnancy and birth, Davis-Floyd opens the door to thoughtful and sustained attention to the support and options we provide birthing people moving forward.

By Robbie Davis-Floyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Birth as an American Rite of Passage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic book, first published in 1992 and again in 2003, has inspired three generations of childbearing people, birth activists and researchers, and birth practitioners-midwives, doulas, nurses, and obstetricians-to take a fresh look at the "standard procedures" that are routinely used to "manage" American childbirth. It was the first book to identify these non-evidence-based obstetric interventions as rituals that enact and transmit the core values of the American technocracy, thereby answering the pressing question of why these interventions continue to be performed despite all evidence to the contrary. This third edition brings together Davis-Floyd's insights into the intense ritualization of…


Book cover of Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution

Jennifer Banks Author Of Natality: Toward a Philosophy of Birth

From my list on birth, one of our greatest underexplored subjects.

Who am I?

I grew up in a family that was focused on people, poetry, and politics. My parents both worked with children with disabilities in Massachusetts and my mother ran a daycare center in our house. As a reader, student, poet, and then editor, I’ve drawn on those experiences and expectations, and have searched through books looking for their echoes. Since 2007, I've edited books at Yale University Press where I'm currently Senior Executive Editor. I have a BA from Cornell University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. I've also worked in various publishing roles at ICM, Continuum, and Harvard University Press.

Jennifer's book list on birth, one of our greatest underexplored subjects

Jennifer Banks Why did Jennifer love this book?

This remarkable book is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious and omnivorous prose accounts of birth in the English language.

I encountered it early in my research on birth, when I was hungering for books that explored it as a topic of broad human concern and that went beyond the strictly personal. In critiquing the “institution” of motherhood, and the exploitation that has accompanied it for many women, Rich simultaneously unearths the power within birth – its fertile creativity – and imagines new ways of understanding it.

Rich is a wonderful stylist who uses what she calls an “odd-fangled” approach. I’ve loved this book for its “odd-fangledness” but also for how Rich combines critique with love, anger with reverence.

By Adrienne Rich,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Of Woman Born as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Of Woman Born, originally published in 1976, influential poet and feminist Adrienne Rich examines the patriarchic systems and political institutions that define motherhood. Exploring her own experience-as a woman, a poet, a feminist and a mother-she finds the act of mothering to be both determined by and distinct from the institution of motherhood as it is imposed on all women everywhere. A "powerful blend of research, theory, and self-reflection" (Sandra M. Gilbert, Paris Review), Of Woman Born revolutionised how women thought about motherhood and their own liberation. With a stirring new foreword from National Book Critics Circle Award-winning writer…


Book cover of Imagery, Ritual, and Birth: Ontology between the Sacred and the Secular

Ann W. Duncan Author Of Sacred Pregnancy: Birth, Motherhood, and the Quest for Spiritual Community

From my list on exploring the spirituality of pregnancy and birth.

Who am I?

I became a mother while a graduate student. Bombarded by societal expectations and advice on pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, I quickly combined this life experience with my scholarly interests and wrote a dissertation on Christian women and childbirth. I later began to explore expressions of religion and spirituality outside of traditional religion – a topic that found expression in my book Sacred Pregnancy. I am a professor of American Studies and Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD and have a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have!

Ann's book list on exploring the spirituality of pregnancy and birth

Ann W. Duncan Why did Ann love this book?

Hennessey’s book looks directly at how birthing people use specific objects, ritual, poetry, and other aspects of material culture to infuse experiences of birth with ritual and being.

She blends theory with specific and captivating examples to develop a social ontology of birth – in other words, a description of how meaning in birth is created through these objects. What emerges is a striking case for the potential of birth for ritual and meaning and the necessary interweaving of religion, nonreligion, and a sense of the sacred.

By Anna M. Hennessey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Imagery, Ritual, and Birth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Every human being is born and has gone through a process of birth. Yet the topic of birth remains deeply underrepresented in the humanities, overshadowed by a scholarly focus on death. This book explores how imagery is used ritualistically in religious, secular, and nonreligious ways during birth, through analysis of a wide variety of art, iconography, poetry, and material culture. Objects central to the book's study include religious figurines, paintings about birth, and other items representative of pregnancy, crowning, or giving birth that have an historical or original meaning connected to religion. Contemporary artists are also creating new art in…


Book cover of Birth and the Dialogue of Love

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

From my list on confidence for natural childbirth and homebirth.

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.

Lynn's book list on confidence for natural childbirth and homebirth

Lynn M. Griesemer Why did Lynn love 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.

By Marilyn A. Moran,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Birth and the Dialogue of Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marilyn A. Moran's seminal work on couples childbirth brought back to print for future generations to enjoy. From Marilyn's introduction in her own words - "This 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." Author Marilyn A. Moran, the first advocate for husband and wife unassisted homebirth says, “Childbirth is a dialogue, not a monologue. The husband gives his wife a love gift and nine months later, she gives the gift of a baby into his loving hands. She’s present and accepting of his…


Book cover of Home Birth On Your Own Terms

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

From my list on confidence for natural childbirth and homebirth.

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.

Lynn's book list on confidence for natural childbirth and homebirth

Lynn M. Griesemer Why did Lynn love 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.

By Heather Baker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Home Birth On Your Own Terms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Women feel they have no option but to give birth alone: the rise of free birthing.

Home Birth On Your Own Terms
Second Edition!!! Are you looking for a natural pregnancy and birth book? If you are planning a home birth or need a freebirth or unassisted birthing plan, then Home Birth on Your Own Terms is the book for you. Do you dream of a healing, peaceful birth at home, but maybe you need a comprehensive guide and resources to make it happen? Are you planning a home birth and want to make sure you know what to do…


Book cover of Unassisted Childbirth

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

From my list on confidence for natural childbirth and homebirth.

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.

Lynn's book list on confidence for natural childbirth and homebirth

Lynn M. Griesemer Why did Lynn love 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.

By Laura Kaplan Shanley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Unassisted Childbirth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

According to Laura Kaplan Shanley, a renowned leader in the natural-birth movement, childbirth is inherently safe and relatively painless — provided we refrain from physical or psychological interference. The problems often associated with birth can be traced to three main factors: poverty, unnecessary medical intervention, and fear. When these causes are eliminated, most women can give birth either alone or with the help of a partner, friends, or family.This third edition of Unassisted Childbirth leads with a history of childbirth and then describes how most deliveries occur today, detailing why these processes don't serve mothers or babies. The information in…


Book cover of Emergency Childbirth: A Manual

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

From my list on confidence for natural childbirth and homebirth.

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.

Lynn's book list on confidence for natural childbirth and homebirth

Lynn M. Griesemer Why did Lynn love 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. 

By Gregory J. White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Emergency Childbirth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Emergency Childbirth is a manual when a baby arrives unexpectedly. Originally published by the Police Training Foundation. This is extremely helpful when a baby arrives and there is no further resources available.


Book cover of Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife

Wendy Kline Author Of Coming Home: How Midwives Changed Birth

From my list on the history of childbirth.

Who am I?

I am a history professor at Purdue University and the author of several articles and three books that focus on controversies surrounding women’s reproductive health. I have also appeared on national television and radio, most recently on the PBS documentary, American Experience (the Eugenics Crusade), as well as the Vox/Netflix documentary “sex, explained.”

Wendy's book list on the history of childbirth

Wendy Kline Why did Wendy love this book?

I could not put this book down. Vincent is a licensed home birth midwife in California, and Baby Catcher represents her accounts of many of her clients’ births. Her stories capture the diversity of experiences, the fears and joys of each mother who has opted for an out-of-hospital birth, and the beauty of bringing new life into the world. I have assigned this book in college courses and students love it; they come out angry at how broken our system is when it comes to maternity care.

By Peggy Vincent,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Baby Catcher as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A former nurse chronicles her journey into midwifery, from her dissatisfaction with formulaic delivery room procedures in the 1960s to her eventual career as a "baby catcher," and chronicles her diverse birth experiences, the women she has encountered along the way, and role of midwifery in the Unit


Book cover of Call the Midwife

Sylvia Vetta Author Of Food of Love: Cooking Up a Life Across Gender, Class and Race

From my list on memoirs which help us understand the world.

Who am I?

For The Oxford Times, I wrote the lives of 120 inspirational people from five continents. My 3 novels are inspired by real lives including the charity founder Nancy Mudenyo Hunt and the artist Qu Leilei, the hero of Andy Cohen’s film Beijing Spring. Stories of 30 not-famous choir members in I Love you All show that we are each unique. My memoir has a particular purpose. I dug deep into my life and my husband Atam’s to reveal the intersection of gender class and race—the barriers that shaped my life and how Atam and I tried to transcend them.

Sylvia's book list on memoirs which help us understand the world

Sylvia Vetta Why did Sylvia love this book?

I was born in my parent’s house which, like all in our area, had no central heating. That was the reality of giving birth in the forties and fifties in England. Jennifer’s memoir of midwifery in working-class Poplar, in the docklands of London, gave rise to one of the most popular TV series. The BBC has taken the story beyond Jennifer’s memoir but the tone is the same. The TV series, like the book, tackles difficult social, cultural, and economic issues, with insight, compassion, and humour. I aimed to tackle issues of class, gender, and race in my memoir in a similar tone.

By Jennifer Worth,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Call the Midwife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The highest-rated drama in BBC history, Call the Midwife will delight fans of Downton Abbey

Viewers everywhere have fallen in love with this candid look at post-war London. In the 1950s, twenty-two-year-old Jenny Lee leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in London's East End slums. While delivering babies all over the city, Jenny encounters a colorful cast of women—from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with twenty-four children who can't speak English, to the prostitutes of the city's seedier side.

An unfortgettable story of motherhood, the bravery of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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