Doula-recommended books

Not all books on birth or breastfeeding are equally helpful. Here are some that as a doula, I can recommend to my clients as helpful and easy-to-use references:

Birth Books:

I’ve written a book with Jan Mallak, founder of our doula group, “Heart and Hands” SM: Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way. It is available now and I recommend it!

Currently, I recommend Fertility Cycles and Nutrition, by Marilyn Shannon. This book does not discuss birth, but is helpful with the nutrition information that can help you prevent pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure and other problems that pregnant women would like to avoid. She also describes how to get pregnant using nutrition and your fertility cycles. It is a very helpful book.

To learn about the birth process: Easing Labor Pain by Adrienne Lieberman. This book shows you position changes and discusses different pain relieving techniques. Also look at Rediscovering Birth by Sheila Kitzinger. Rediscovering Birth is a historical and anthropologic look at women’s birth choices. It can give you another perspective on how capable women are of giving birth. It also has some interesting illustrations and photos of birth in other cultures. Finally, I have to recommend We Are All Water Babies by Michele Odent. This is the book that got me interested in being a doula. It is a picture book about babies, pregnant women and water. This book has a spirit of fun. It describes why women and babies are drawn to water. Why taking your baby to a water baby’s class is a good idea. It shows how water is helpful for a laboring woman and how to get the most out of using water for lab

Breastfeeding books to read before the birth

Here are some good books to help you breastfeed with confidence:

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International Book). This book gives you good information about the ins and outs of breastfeeding. Remember, it is an art, not a science!

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers: The Most Comprehensive Problem-Solution Guide to Breastfeeding from the Foremost Expert inNorth America by Dr. Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman. This book is helps you diagnose your problems and come up with good solutions.

The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need To Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning by Martha Sears and William Sears. They are excellent at helping you build attachment parenting and nursing skills.

By Teresa Bailey

Teresa Bailey is a master doula in Pittsburgh

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