Pregnancy and Birth Books
Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife tells the true story of a midwife who learned first-hand that birthing can be a beautiful and safe experience without the protocols and regimens of a hospital. This is the book that started me on the path to natural, home birth. It opened my eyes to the possibility of birthing somewhere other than a hospital, and made me realize just how wonderful birth could be. It is written almost like a fiction book, and I was riveted!
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is a book that gives understanding and confidence that a woman's body is designed to birth children. It also includes many birth stories, which are particularly beneficial in our culture where birth is looked at with fear and negativity.
Active Birth : The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally describes how a woman's body instinctively knows what positions are best for birthing, and details what happens during labor and birth. Being able to move around freely is essential to having a natural birth, as lying down can really make labor feel out of control and unbearable. This book is an excellent resource for anyone planning a natural birth.
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth is a great resource for understanding obstetrical interventions (such as epidural and labor-induction). It clearly explains the potential side effects and risks every woman should be aware of before undertaking labor and delivery.
Spiritual Midwifery is almost like a hippie-version of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. It includes birth stories, but also a large section on how birth occurs, what to expect, etc. I really enjoyed reading it.
The Garden of Fertility: A Guide to Charting Your Fertility Signals to Prevent or Achieve Pregnancy--Naturally--and to Gauge Your Reproductive Health is a great book for learning about how a woman's body signals fertility, how to increase fertility, and how to use this method of natural birth control.