51 books like Spiritual Midwifery

By Ina May Gaskin,

Here are 51 books that Spiritual Midwifery fans have personally recommended if you like Spiritual Midwifery. 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 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 Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide

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 puts parents in control and because it's based on the latest medical research and recommendations. It provides the information and guidance that pregnant families need to make informed decisions that reflect their preferences, priorities, and values. Throughout, the presentation is crystal-clear, the tone is reassuring, and the voice is empowering. And the language is inclusive, reflecting today's various family configurations such as single-parent families, blended families formed by second marriages, families with gay and lesbian parents, and families formed by open adoption or surrogacy. From sensible nutrition advice to realistic birth plans, from birth doulas when desired to cesareans when needed, from reducing stress during pregnancy to caring for themselves and their babies after birth, this pregnancy guide speaks well to the needs of parents-to-be.

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

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Parents love this book because it puts them in control; experts love it because it's based on the latest medical research and recommendations from leading health organizations. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn provides the information and guidance you need to make informed decisions about having a safe and satisfying pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period--decisions that reflect your preferences, priorities, and values.

Unlike pregnancy guides that can overwhelm and alarm by telling you up front all the things that can possibly go wrong, this book first describes normal, healthy processes, their typical variations, and the usual care practices for monitoring them.…


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 Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta

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?

Ina May Gaskin is one of the most influential midwives in the United States, whose birth manuals are widely read. This, her most recent publication, speaks to the importance of empowering women, valuing birth, and providing and supporting women’s choice of birthplace. It is smart, very readable, draws on scientific evidence, and makes you think.

By Ina May Gaskin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Upbeat and informative, Gaskin asserts that the way in which women become mothers is a women's rights issue, and it is perhaps the act that most powerfully exhibits what it is to be instinctually human. Birth Matters is a spirited manifesta showing us how to trust women, value birth, and reconcile modern life with a process as old as our species. Renowned for her practice's exemplary results and low intervention rates, Ina May Gaskin has gained international notoriety for promoting natural birth. She is a much-beloved leader of a movement that seeks to stop the hyper-medicalization of birth-which has lead…


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 Listen to Me Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife

Tracey Rose Peyton Author Of Night Wherever We Go

From my list on race and reproductive rights.

Who am I?

I’m a fiction writer interested in exploring big historical moments through the lives of ordinary people. The extensive fight for reproductive rights and bodily autonomy for women, specifically black women, has long been a concern, admittedly for selfish reasons. This ever-shifting terrain—from eugenics and sterilization to coerced birth control and the rise in maternal mortality rates—was initially perplexing to me and it took a great deal of reading to make sense of it. Such research not only informed my historical novel, Night Wherever We Go, but much of how I understand the world. I’d argue one can’t fully comprehend the current abortion rights moment without understanding how race and reproduction are so deeply intertwined.

Tracey's book list on race and reproductive rights

Tracey Rose Peyton Why did Tracey love this book?

This account of Smith’s lauded 35-year career as a midwife in rural Alabama is fascinating.

What I appreciate about this book most is how it maps out the growing tensions that developed between African-American lay midwives and the medical establishment, once the Department of Labor began to regulate midwifery practices in the early twentieth century.

From increased scrutinization and criminalization of folk traditions, like medicinal teas and oil massages, licensed midwives with clinical training found themselves hamstrung by increasing regulation, until they were pushed out of the field altogether in the late 1970s.

The vacuum of maternal healthcare left in their wake has been devastating. Such that, we’re still seeing repercussions to this day. 

By Margaret Charles Smith, Linda Janet Holmes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Listen to Me Good as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Margaret Charles Smith, a ninety-one-year-old Alabama midwife, has thousands of birthing stories to tell. Sifting through nearly five decades of providing care for women in rural Greene County, she relates the tales that capture the life-and-death struggle of the birthing experience and the traditions, pharmacopeia, and spiritual attitudes that influenced her practice. She debunks images of the complacent southern “granny” midwife and honors the determination, talent, and complexity of midwifery.

Fascinating to read, this book is part of the new genre of writing that recognizes the credibility of midwives who have emerged from their own communities and were educated through…


Book cover of Muslim Midwives: The Craft of Birthing in the Premodern Middle East

Uriel Simonsohn Author Of Female Power and Religious Change in the Medieval Near East

From my list on women in medieval Near Eastern history.

Who am I?

I’m a historian of Muslim – non-Muslim relations in medieval Islam. In all of my publications I've been concerned with the social intersections of different religious communities in the medieval Islamic world, whether through human agency or via institutional arrangements. My goal has been to de-center Islamic history by approaching it from its margins. Hence the choice to study the role of women as agents of religious change in my last monograph Female Power and Religious Change in the Medieval Near East. In this book I address two historical questions which I've always been passionate about, namely the Islamization of the Near East and the place of women in pre-modern Near Eastern societies. 

Uriel's book list on women in medieval Near Eastern history

Uriel Simonsohn Why did Uriel love this book?

Giladi's Muslim Midwives takes the reader into the hidden layers of the domicile; an intimate space, where only few could participate in one of the most dramatic moments, if not the most of them, in a human's life – birth.

Midwives, although biologically apart, were assigned with a crucial place within the household, thus assuming capacities that by far exceeded their formal tasks within their respective communities.

By Avner Giladi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book reconstructs the role of midwives in medieval to early modern Islamic history through a careful reading of a wide range of classical and medieval Arabic sources. The author casts the midwife's social status in premodern Islam as a privileged position from which she could mediate between male authority in patriarchal society and female reproductive power within the family. This study also takes a broader historical view of midwifery in the Middle East by examining the tensions between learned medicine (male) and popular, medico-religious practices (female) from early Islam into the Ottoman period and addressing the confrontation between traditional…


Book cover of Virgin River

Marie Jones Author Of Those We Trust

From my list on leave you breathless with love, danger, and suspense.

Who am I?

I love romance, a true romantic from the day I was born. I also love crime/thriller/twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting to turn the page. As a writer, it was the most natural choice to combine all of these to bring to you as a reader love, passion, danger, shady criminal underworld, and jaw-dropping cliffhangers mixed in with twists you never saw coming. A love story that has you hopelessly entwined with them. A beautiful backdrop of the highlands of Scotland that creates its own unique story –mystical, mighty, and carrying its own hidden dangers.

Marie's book list on leave you breathless with love, danger, and suspense

Marie Jones Why did Marie love this book?

Quite simply, Robyn is a masterclass at writing beautiful romances and nothing comes better than her Virgin River series. 

Her characters are full of depth and conflicts, and the setting of the stories are in beautiful landscapes I want to travel to. There are many great sub-stories to be drawn happily into and of course, who can resist a HEA?

By Robyn Carr,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Virgin River as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Netflix Original Series

Read the book that started it all!

13 Million Copies Sold

Sometimes all you need is a fresh start

When recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees an advert for a midwife in the remote town of Virgin River, she decides this is the perfect place to escape her heartache.

However, her hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is uninhabitable, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. But when a tiny baby is abandoned on a front porch, Mel must decide whether to stay and help or…


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…


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