93 books like Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn

By Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, Ann Keppler , Janelle Durham , April Bolding

Here are 93 books that Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn fans have personally recommended if you like Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Spiritual Midwifery

Robbie Davis-Floyd Author Of Birth as an American Rite of Passage

From my list on childbirth in the US from a childbirth expert.

Who am I?

I am a medical/reproductive anthropologist, and my passion for this topic stems from my own two birth experiences: one was an unnecessary cesarean which left me with PTSD, and the other was a vaginal birth at home, which left me feeling empowered—if I could do that, I could do anything! After my first birth, I started asking other women about their birth experiences, and came up with the question that guided my PhD research and became the subject of my first book, Birth as an American Rite of Passage. Given that birth is so unique for every woman, why is it treated in such standardized, non-evidence-based ways in US hospitals? 

Robbie's book list on childbirth in the US from a childbirth expert

Robbie Davis-Floyd Why did Robbie love this book?

I love this book because it was the very first to talk about spirit and energy in the birth process. In it, world-famous midwife Ina May Gaskin describes how she learned about births from attending them, later studying with a doctor. She describes many births on the farm in which she and her midwifery colleagues learned that birth is a spiritual process that is deeply affected by the energy in the room. They learned to "suss out" that energy and to send people with negative energy out of the birthing room. And they learned that if you change the energy in positive ways, you also change the outcome of the birth in positive ways. In other words, change the energy = change the outcome!

By Ina May Gaskin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Here is the 4th edition of the classic book on home birth that introduced a whole generation of women to the concept of natural childbirth. Back again are even more amazing birthing tales, including those from women who were babies in earlier editions and stories about Old Order Amish women attended by the Farm midwives.

Also new is information about the safety of techniques routinely used in hospitals during and after birth, information on postpartum depression and maternal death, and recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives.

From the amazing birthing tales to care of the newborn, Spiritual…


Book cover of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Robbie Davis-Floyd Author Of Birth as an American Rite of Passage

From my list on childbirth in the US from a childbirth expert.

Who am I?

I am a medical/reproductive anthropologist, and my passion for this topic stems from my own two birth experiences: one was an unnecessary cesarean which left me with PTSD, and the other was a vaginal birth at home, which left me feeling empowered—if I could do that, I could do anything! After my first birth, I started asking other women about their birth experiences, and came up with the question that guided my PhD research and became the subject of my first book, Birth as an American Rite of Passage. Given that birth is so unique for every woman, why is it treated in such standardized, non-evidence-based ways in US hospitals? 

Robbie's book list on childbirth in the US from a childbirth expert

Robbie Davis-Floyd Why did Robbie love this book?

I love this book because the first part of it is filled with wonderful birth stories that show how world-famous midwife Ina May Gaskin and her midwifery colleagues at the Farm learned how to attend births by helping the birth energy to flow untrammeled. And the second part is an excellent guide to navigating the over-medicalization of childbirth in the US. Drawing on her 30+ years of experience, Ina May shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the women-centered Midwifery Model of Care, this book gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body-spirit connection to how to give birth without technological intervention.

By Ina May Gaskin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ina May's Guide to Childbirth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you.

Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention.

Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice, this invaluable resource…


Book cover of Giving Birth with Confidence

Robbie Davis-Floyd Author Of Birth as an American Rite of Passage

From my list on childbirth in the US from a childbirth expert.

Who am I?

I am a medical/reproductive anthropologist, and my passion for this topic stems from my own two birth experiences: one was an unnecessary cesarean which left me with PTSD, and the other was a vaginal birth at home, which left me feeling empowered—if I could do that, I could do anything! After my first birth, I started asking other women about their birth experiences, and came up with the question that guided my PhD research and became the subject of my first book, Birth as an American Rite of Passage. Given that birth is so unique for every woman, why is it treated in such standardized, non-evidence-based ways in US hospitals? 

Robbie's book list on childbirth in the US from a childbirth expert

Robbie Davis-Floyd Why did Robbie love this book?

This is the only pregnancy and childbirth guide written by Lamaze International, the leading childbirth education organization in North America. I love this book because it provides clear information for pregnant women. The authors present: information to help expectant women choose their maternity care provider and place of birth; practical strategies to help them work effectively with their care provider; information on how pregnancy and birth progress naturally; and steps childbearers can take to alleviate fear and manage pain during labor. Previously titled The Official Lamaze Guide, this 3rd edition has updated information on: how vaginal birth, keeping mother and baby together, and breastfeeding help to build the baby’s microbiome; how hormones naturally start and regulate labor and release endorphins to help alleviate pain; and obstetric practices that can disrupt the body’s normal functioning.

I love this book because, unlike the popular book What to Expect When You're Expecting…

By Judith Lothian, Charlotte DeVries,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For a Safe and Healthy Birth… Your Way! Giving Birth with Confidence will help take the mystery out of having a baby and help you better understand how your body works during pregnancy and childbirth, giving you the confidence to make decisions that best ensure the safety and health of you and your baby.

Giving Birth with Confidence is the first and only pregnancy and childbirth guide written by Lamaze International, the leading childbirth education organization in North America. Written with a respectful, positive tone, this book presents:

• Information to help you choose your maternity care provider and place…


Book cover of Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care

Robbie Davis-Floyd Author Of Birth as an American Rite of Passage

From my list on childbirth in the US from a childbirth expert.

Who am I?

I am a medical/reproductive anthropologist, and my passion for this topic stems from my own two birth experiences: one was an unnecessary cesarean which left me with PTSD, and the other was a vaginal birth at home, which left me feeling empowered—if I could do that, I could do anything! After my first birth, I started asking other women about their birth experiences, and came up with the question that guided my PhD research and became the subject of my first book, Birth as an American Rite of Passage. Given that birth is so unique for every woman, why is it treated in such standardized, non-evidence-based ways in US hospitals? 

Robbie's book list on childbirth in the US from a childbirth expert

Robbie Davis-Floyd Why did Robbie love this book?

I highly recommend this book because it is an excellent exposé written by a well-known journalist on what is wrong with childbirth and maternity care in the US. As I do in my book, Block shows that in this country, more than half of laboring women are unnecessarily given drugs to induce or speed up labor, and one-third have cesareans. Block poignantly asks, "When did birth become an emergency instead of an emergence?" She examines childbirth as a reproductive rights issue, insisting that women have the right to an optimal birth experience, and that right is not being upheld. Block's research reveals that while emergency obstetric care is essential, we are overusing medical technology at the expense of maternal and infant health. 

By Jennifer Block,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A ground-breaking narrative investigation of childbirth in the age of machines, malpractice, and managed care, Pushed presents the complete picture of maternity care in America. From inside the operating room of a hospital with a 44% Cesarean rate to the living room floor of a woman who gives birth with an illegal midwife, Block exposes a system in which few women have an optimal experience. Pushed surveys the public health impact of routine labour inductions, C-sections, and epidurals, but also examines childbirth as a women's rights issue: Do women even have the right to choose a normal birth? Is that…


Book cover of What Makes a Baby

Beth Cox Author Of All Bodies Are Wonderful: An Inclusive Guide to talking about you!

From my list on embracing who you are.

Who am I?

I’m an inclusion consultant working with publishers to help ensure all children are included in books. It’s easy to forget how important embracing all types of bodies is when thinking about diversity and inclusion. But inclusion is essentially about welcoming and appreciating all different types of bodies. The best way to promote this is to build a sense of awe about how bodies are created, understand the science behind why differences occur, and see that bodies come in many shapes and forms, and are all beautiful. There are so many books that can help with this, but alongside my book, the books on this list are a great place to start.

Beth's book list on embracing who you are

Beth Cox Why did Beth love this book?

My son is donor conceived, and I’m a solo parent by design, so how he was made is something we’ve talked about since he was tiny. (Although the conversation was rather one-sided for a number of years!)

When I discovered this book it quickly became a favourite as it’s so inclusive! The way it’s presented transcends gender and family set up, meaning you can use it to discuss any or all of the ways a baby can be made. Understanding how babies come into the world and grow helps children to realise the importance of their own bodies. 

By Cory Silverberg, Fiona Smyth (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked What Makes a Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the 2014 Lambda Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult

“What Makes a Baby is extraordinary! Cory is a Dr. Spock for the 21st century.”—Susie Bright

“A Truly Inclusive Way to Answer the Question 'Where Do Babies Come From?': The new book What Makes a Baby offers an origin story for all children, no matter what their families look like." —The Atlantic

"This is a solid, occasionally quirky book on an important topic."—School Library Journal

Geared to readers from preschool to age eight, What Makes a Baby is a book for every kind of family and every kind of kid.…


Book cover of Making a Baby

Elizabeth Rhodes Author Of Feminism Is for Boys

From my list on inclusive children’s books.

Who am I?

I’m a feminist author, illustrator, and UX designer who thrives on projects that help to improve awareness, healing, and community around marginalized identities. When I became a mother, I realized the importance of teaching and educating children around inclusivity and empathy. When we allow children to open their minds and question stagnant culture, we set the stage for real and meaningful collective growth. I center my work around this goal and focus on inclusive themes, often from perspectives that are unexpected.

Elizabeth's book list on inclusive children’s books

Elizabeth Rhodes Why did Elizabeth love this book?

This inclusive guide to how every family begins is exactly the book I was looking for to help my daughter understand such important topics. Covering everything from sex, IVF, adoptions, surrogacy, vaginal birth, cesarian, miscarriage, and more. I believe starting these conversations young helps to build trust and confidence in the parent-child relationship. To make a baby you need one egg, one sperm, and one womb. 

By Rachel Greener, Clare Owen (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making a Baby as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

This inclusive guide to how every family begins is an honest, cheerful tool for conversations between parents and their young ones.

To make a baby you need one egg, one sperm, and one womb. But every family starts in its own special way. This book answers the "Where did I come from?" question no matter who the reader is and how their life began. From all different kinds of conception through pregnancy to the birth itself, this candid and cozy guide is just right for the first conversations that parents will have with their children about how babies are made.


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 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 The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-To-Be

Shoshana S. Bennett Ph.D. Author Of Postpartum Depression for Dummies

From my list on for dads and dads-to-be.

Who am I?

After life-threatening postpartum depression in the 1980s, I became a pioneer of maternal mental health in the U.S. I’ve helped moms and moms-to-be finally receive the support they deserve. Between masters’ degrees, Ph.D., teaching credentials, and becoming licensed as a clinical psychologist, I wrote four books and enjoy interviews on radio and TV. Training health professionals and my clients to develop a wellness strategy for motherhood has been my life’s passion. A few years ago I realized that during this movement, dads’ experiences had been disregarded and minimized, and my mission then shifted to parental mental health. Dad’s worries and needs are important too.

Shoshana's book list on for dads and dads-to-be

Shoshana S. Bennett Ph.D. Why did Shoshana love this book?

I highly recommended The Expectant Father because it’s packed with month-to-month essential emotional and even physical changes that fathers-to-be may experience. One of the most outstanding features of this book is that it incorporates the knowledge of expert OBs, parent educators, and researchers in the field. This wonderful book also covers all issues regarding infertility and various birthing methods.

By Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash Rudick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Expectant Father as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Expectant Father is the best-selling pregnancy guide for men, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. This reassuring month-by-month overview gives you the tools you need to support your partner, prepare for your baby's arrival, and take care of yourself during this exciting time. It concludes with two special sections: one on labour and delivery, guiding you through the big day; and the other on what comes next, covering the first few months after the baby's arrival.

This new edition of The Expectant Father is updated from cover to cover with the latest information on fertility options, delivery options,…


Book cover of Breastfeeding…Naturally

Koa Lou Whittingham Author Of Becoming Mum

From my list on for new and expectant mothers.

Who am I?

I’m a clinical and developmental psychologist, a parenting researcher at the University of Queensland, and a mother. My research is focused on applying and commitment therapy (ACT) to parenting including the parenting of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. I wrote Becoming Mum while becoming a mother for the first time. In fact, much of the book was written while I cuddled my new baby, my laptop propped up on my knees so I could write! I am also the first author of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy the Clinician’s Guide to Supporting Parents. It is the first clinical manual on using ACT with parents.

Koa's book list on for new and expectant mothers

Koa Lou Whittingham Why did Koa love this book?

If you are intending to breastfeed, then it is important to pick up a book on breastfeeding. Don’t make the mistake of being so focused on pregnancy and birth that you forget about lactation. There are several good options for breastfeeding books. As an Australian mother, I turned to the Australian Breastfeeding Association and I made sure I read Breastfeeding…Naturally. It gave me the knowledge I needed to know.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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