As part of your training and certification, you’ll read a number of books from our reading list and write a book review on each. You’ll describe what you’ve learned as a result of reading the book, and reflect on how this learning will impact your work as a birth professional.

We’ve specified the edition for many of the books listed. It is recommended to read this edition but not essential – if the only copy you can access, such as through a public library, is an older edition of the same book this is fine.

There are five categories on the reading list – History & Narratives; Parent-Focused; Politics & Evidence-Based; Skills Development; and Working With Challenges. When choosing your books for a course, each of them must be from a different category on the list. For example, for the Birth Doula course you might choose a book from the Working With Challenges category and another from the Politics and Evidence-Based category. If you are also doing the Breastfeeding Counselor course you could choose two of your three books from these same categories, but then need to select the final one from a different category.

List Last Updated: June 4th, 2018

You can read about all the books below or download the full or summary list at these links:
Full Reading List
Summary Reading List

Reading Requirements

If you are doing more than one course you will be required to read the number of books applicable to each course. For example, if you are studying the Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator courses, you will be required to read 2 books for the Birth Doula course, and a further 3 books for the Childbirth Educator course. All books must be read after you have started your training.

Birth Doula: 2 books
Postpartum Doula: 2 books
Childbirth Educator: 3 books
Breastfeeding Counselor: 3 books

History and Narratives

When I First Held You: 22 Critically Acclaimed Writers Talk About the Triumphs, Challenges, and Transformative Experience of Fatherhood

Editor: Brian Gresko
Format: Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook, and Audio CD
Published: 2014
Amazon Description: Becoming a father can be one of the most profoundly terrifying, exhilarating, life-changing occasions in a man’s life. Now 22 of today’s masterful writers get straight to the heart of modern fatherhood in this incomparable collection of thought-provoking essays. From making that ultimate decision to have a kid to making it through the birth to tangling with a toddler mid-tantrum, and eventually letting a teen loose in the world, these fathers explore every facet of fatherhood and show how being a father changed the way they saw the world—and themselves.

Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery

Author: Rachel Adams
Format: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback
Published: 2014
Amazon Description: Rachel Adams’s life had always gone according to plan. She had an adoring husband, a beautiful two-year-old son, a sunny Manhattan apartment, and a position as a tenured professor at Columbia University. Everything changed with the birth of her second child, Henry. Just minutes after he was born, doctors told her that Henry had Down syndrome, and she knew that her life would never be the same. In this honest, self-critical, and surprisingly funny book, Adams chronicles the first three years of Henry’s life and her own transformative experience of unexpectedly becoming the mother of a disabled child. A highly personal story of one family’s encounter with disability, Raising Henry is also an insightful exploration of today’s knotty terrain of social prejudice, disability policy, genetics, prenatal testing, medical training, and inclusive education. Adams untangles the contradictions of living in a society that is more enlightened and supportive of people with disabilities than ever before, yet is racing to perfect prenatal tests to prevent children like Henry from being born. Her book is gripping, beautifully written, and nearly impossible to put down. Once read, her family’s story is impossible to forget.

Baby Dust

Author: Deanna Roy
Format: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback
Published: 2011
CBI Review: This book is actually a novel rather than a non-fiction book on loss and grief. The author wrote it after compiling the stories of many women who she connected with through her online pregnancy loss website. However, it is so beautifully written, and the emotions described articulate the grief experienced after the loss of a baby, that we have included it in our reading list.
Amazon Description: The five women sitting in the circle of chairs all had great dreams of motherhood. Then their babies died. Melinda sees blood on the floor every day after her loss. Dot believes the wrath of God caused her baby to die. Teenage Tina is trolling internet dating sites for a father for another baby, and Janet’s failure to cry means her wedding is off. Stella, the support group leader, must help them while facing the old choices that cost her ever having a family of her own. Based on the stories of dozens of real survivors, Baby Dust is a moving tribute to the strength of mothers who must endure this impossible loss.

Rediscovering Birth

Author: Sheila Kitzinger
Format: Hardcover and Paperback
Published: 2011
Amazon Description: For thousands of years women have given birth among people they know in a place they know well. Knowledge is shared between the participants and birth is a social event. In this new, revised edition of her classic book, Sheila Kitzinger explores the universal experience of pregnancy and birth. She looks closely at the place of birth, what is done to help women in childbirth and examines the bond traditionally formed between mothers and midwives.

Birth Without Violence

Author: Frédérick Leboyer M.D.
Format: Hardcover and Paperback
Published: 2009
Amazon Description: Birth without Violence is the first book to express what mothers have always known: babies are born complete human beings with the ability to experience a full range of emotions. First published in 1974, it revolutionized the way we perceive the process of birth, urging us to consider the birth from the infant’s point of view. Why must a child emerge from the quiet darkness of the womb into a blaze of blinding light and loud voices? Why must an infant take its first breath in terror, hanging upside down as its vulnerable spine is jerked straight? Why must the infant be separated from its mother after spending nine months inside her nourishing body?

Examining alternatives to technocentric approaches to childbirth, this new edition of the classic text, complete with a new author preface, shows us how we can ease the transition from womb to world without trauma or fear. Birth without Violence illustrates how to create an environment of tranquility in which to welcome our children: a relaxed mother, gentle lighting, soothing atmosphere, and a warm bath that mirrors the child’s prenatal surroundings. Dr. Leboyer’s simple techniques demonstrate how a birth without violence has far-reaching implications for improving the quality of human life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Arms Wide Open: A Midwife’s Journey

Author: Patricia Harman
Format: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback
Published: 2012
Amazon Description: In this prequel to the highly praised The Blue Cotton Gown, Patricia Harman reaches back to her youthful experiments in living a fully sustainable and natural life in the 1960s and ’70s in rural Minnesota and on a commune in Ohio, forming alliances with the eco-minded and antiwar counterculture. From those riveting days as a self-taught midwife, delivering babies in cabins and on farms, sometimes in harrowing circumstances, Patsy takes us into the present day, where she faces the challenges of running a women’s health clinic with her husband, mothering adult sons, and holding true to her principles and passions in the twenty-first century.

Safer Childbirth? A Critical History of Maternity Care 3rd edition

Author: Marjorie Tew
Format: Paperback
Published: 1998
Amazon Description: In the text’s first edition, Marjorie Tew showed through her painstaking statistical analysis of perinatal mortality rates for hospital and home, that for some women hospital birth might actually be more dangerous than home birth. These findings and further compelling evidence gathered by the House of Commons Health Committee in 1992 should have revolutionized the direction of maternity care. This third edition considers the evidence on which the recommended changes in policy were made and the implications of implementing them.

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

Author: Margaret Charles Smith and Linda Janet Holmes
Format: Hardcover and Paperback
Published: 1996
Amazon Description: 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. Believed to be the oldest living (though retired) traditional African American midwife in Alabama, Smith is one of the few who can recount old-time birthing ways.

The Tentative Pregnancy: How Amniocentesis Changes the Experience of Motherhood

Author: Barbara Katz Rothman
Format: Hardcover and Paperback
Published: 1993
Amazon Description: As more and more women are having children when they are over thirty, amniocentesis, is becoming a routine part of prenatal care. In this groundbreaking book, Barbara Katz Rothman shows how this simple procedure can alter the way we think about childbirth and parenthood, forcing us to confront agonizing dilemmas: What do you do if there is a “problem” with the fetus? What kind of support is available if you decide to bring up a handicapped child? How can you come to terms with the decision to terminate a wanted pregnancy? Drawing on the experience of over 120 women and a wealth of expert testimony, Rothman’s important book is a must for anyone thinking of having a child.

Parent-Focused

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 20th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

Author: Toni Weschler
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2015
Amazon Description: In celebration of its 20th anniversary, a thoroughly revised and expanded edition of the leading book on fertility and women’s reproductive health.

Since the publication of Taking Charge of your Fertility two decades ago, Toni Weschler has taught a whole new generation of women how to become pregnant, avoid pregnancy naturally and gain better control of their gynecological and sexual health by taking just a couple minutes a day using the proven Fertility Awareness Method.

The Natural Pregnancy Book, Third Edition: Your Complete Guide to a Safe, Organic Pregnancy and Childbirth with Herbs, Nutrition, and Other Holistic Choices

Author: Aviva Jill Romm
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2014
Amazon Description: Every mother wants the best for her unborn child, from the baby’s conception to birth. What’s more, every mother wants clear, straightforward information delivered in a calm, empowering voice from someone who knows the facts. Enter Dr. Aviva Jill Romm, an expert in natural childbirth with more than twenty years of experience in both alternative and allopathic medicine. In this newly revised third edition, Dr. Romm takes a holistic approach, emphasizing natural remedies wherever possible and providing up-to-date advice on herbs that promote wellness during pregnancy, and alleviate such familiar concerns as anxiety, fatigue, morning sickness, and stretch marks. With tips for a nutritious diet, exercise and posture, and information on the emotional and physical changes that childbearing brings, The Natural Pregnancy Book is your comprehensive guide to a safe, healthy pregnancy, as nature intended it.

Parenting for a Peaceful World 2nd edition

Author: Robin Grille
Format: Paperback
Published: 2013
Amazon Description: Imagine a world where war, tyranny, human rights abuses and ecological destruction are relics of the past. What if the means to create such a reality were in the hands of mothers and fathers, and all those involved in the care and education of children? Parenting for a Peaceful World is a fascinating look at how parenting customs have shaped societies and major world events. It reveals how children adapt to different parenting styles and how these early experiences underpin the adults they become. In this expansive book, Robin Grille draws on revolutionary new research to argue that the safeguarding of children’s emotional development is the key to creating a more peaceful and harmonious world. Parenting for a Peaceful World is a book for parents, child health professionals, and adults learningto be whole again. It is a manifesto for policy-makers and a resource for teachers. If the findings outlined in these pages are put into practice, the result may be a revolution of peace, humanity, and a world beyond our imagining.

Home Birth: a practical guide 4th edition

Author: Nicky Wesson
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2011
Amazon Description: Home Birth is essential reading for all couples considering having their baby at home.
Striking a perfect balance of practical information, compelling personal stories and research evidence, leading childbirth educator Nicky Wesson shows how giving birth to your baby in your own home can be the most exciting and fulfilling thing you ever do.

Birthing Normally After a Cesarean or Two

Author: Hélène Vadeboncoeur
Format: Paperback
Published: 2011
Amazon Description: This book is for any woman considering a vaginal birth after one or more previous cesareans. What are the risks? What are the advantages? What is the best choice in your particular case? The author, Hélène Vadeboncoeur, takes you through the research and also gives you a glimpse into other women’s experiences through the use of first-hand accounts. It was, in fact, the author’s experience of two very different births (one a cesarean, the next a VBAC) that inspired her to get a PhD. In her thesis she explored how women experience giving birth in hospital. Hélène wanted to consider questions about birth because this is such an important event in women’s lives. For over 10 years since then, she has divided her time between teaching and participating in research projects. (She is currently on the Board of the International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization.) She also regularly gives talks at conferences around the world. This means that you not only get the benefit of advice from a woman who’s been through both a cesarean and a VBAC, you also get taken through the most up-to-date research. Serious information is presented in an upbeat, readable style.

Vaginal Birth After Caesarean: The VBAC Handbook

Author: Helen Churchill and Wendy Savage
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2011
Amazon Description: Women are over four times more likely to have a caesarean birth now than they were thirty years ago and eight times more likely than they were fifty years ago. One of the main reasons that the rate is so high is that women are not encouraged to give birth vaginally once they have had a caesarean despite there being no evidence of the benefit of repeat caesareans for mother or child. Aimed at women who have had a caesarean or repeat caesareans, Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC) provides suggestions for constructive ways to achieve vaginal birth when this is the right option for mother and baby. As well as detailed explanations of all the pros and cons of VBAC, the book contains several real-life birth stories, a comprehensive glossary of terms and essential information for parents-to-be.

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices

Author: Sarah Buckley
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2008
Amazon Description: An authoritative guide to natural childbirth and postpartum parenting options from an MD who home-birthed her own four children. Sarah Buckley might be called a third-wave natural birth advocate. A doctor and a mother, she approaches the question of how a woman and baby might have the most fulfilling birth experience with respect for the wisdom of both medical science and the human body. Using current medical and epidemiological research plus women’s experiences (including her own), she demonstrates that what she calls “undisturbed birth” is almost always healthier and safer than high-technology approaches to birth. Her wise counsel on issues like breastfeeding and sleeping during postpartum helps extend the gentle birth experience into a gentle parenting relationship.

Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping

Author: James J. McKenna Ph.D.
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2007
Amazon Description: Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide is your guide to understanding how to make nighttimes with your baby safe, fun and relaxing! Written by James McKenna, the world’s authority on co-sleeping.

Politics and Evidence-Based

Your Baby’s Microbiome: The Critical Role of Vaginal Birth and Breastfeeding for Lifelong Health

Author: Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2017
Amazon Description: At least two amazing events happen during childbirth.

There’s the obvious main event, which is the emergence of a new human into the world. But there’s another event taking place simultaneously, a crucial event that is not visible to the naked eye, an event that could determine the lifelong health of the baby. This is the seeding of the baby’s microbiome, the community of “good” bacteria that we carry with us throughout our lives.

The seeding of the microbiome, along with breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact, kick-starts the baby’s immune system and helps protect the infant from disease across a lifetime. Researchers are discovering, however, that interventions such as the use of induction, augmentation, C-sections, and formula feeding interfere with, or bypass completely, the microbial transfer from mother to baby. These bacteria are vital for human health, and science has linked an imbalance in the human microbiome with multiple chronic diseases.

Drawing on the extensive research they carried out for their documentary film Microbirth, authors Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford reveal a fascinating new view of birth and how microscopic happenings can have lifelong consequences, for ourselves, our children―and our species as a whole.

Childbirth in the Global Village: Implications for Midwifery Education and Practice

Author: Dawn Hillier
Format: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback
Published: 2017
Amazon Description: Is the experience of childbirth becoming ‘globalised’?
Is the encroachment of the western medical model dehumanising a profoundly human experience?
If so, what can midwives and midwife educators do about it?

These are the questions at the heart of Childbirth in the Global Village which highlights the role that globalisation plays in changing childbirth practices and its implications for midwifery practice and education.
Built around the vivid personal stories of women and midwives experiencing childbirth in four very different cultures

Childbirth in the Global Village will resonate with the experience of midwives everywhere and makes a strong case for redesigning the midwifery curriculum to reflect the interconnectedness of childbirth, midwifery education and practice around the globe.

For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts Advice to Women 2nd edition

Author: Barbara Ehrenreich and Deidre English
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2013
Amazon Description: This women’s history classic brilliantly exposed the constraints imposed on women in the name of science and exposes the myths used to control them. Since the the nineteenth century, professionals have been invoking scientific expertise to prescribe what women should do for their own good. Among the experts’ diagnoses and remedies: menstruation was an illness requiring seclusion; pregnancy, a disabling condition; and higher education, a threat to long-term health of the uterus. From clitoridectomies to tame women’s behavior in the nineteenth century to the censure of a generation of mothers as castrators in the 1950s, doctors have not hesitated to intervene in women’s sexual, emotional, and maternal lives. Even domesticity, the most popular prescription for a safe environment for woman, spawned legions of “scientific” experts.

Barbara Ehrenreich and Dierdre English has never lost faith in science itself, butinsist that we hold those who interpret it to higher standards. Women are entering the medical and scientific professions in greater numbers but as recent research shows, experts continue to use pseudoscience to tell women how to live. For Her Own Good provides today’s readers with an indispensable dose of informed skepticism.

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

Author: Florence Williams
Format: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audio Book, and Audio CD
Published: 2013
Amazon Description: Did you know that breast milk contains substances similar to cannabis? Or that it’s sold on the Internet for 262 times the price of oil? Feted and fetishized, the breast is an evolutionary masterpiece. But in the modern world, the breast is changing. Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier, and attracting newfangled chemicals. Increasingly, the odds are stacked against us in the struggle with breast cancer, even among men. What makes breasts so mercurial―and so vulnerable?

In this informative and highly entertaining account, intrepid science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon’s office where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas to the laboratory where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk. The result is a fascinating exploration of where breasts came from, where they have ended up, and what we can do to save them.

Optimal Care in Childbirth The Case for a Physiologic Approach

Author: Henci Goer and Amy Romano
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2012
Amazon Description: What practices and policies best promote safe, healthy, satisfying labor and birth? What harms do routine or frequent use of tests, procedures, and restrictions introduce? What nonmedical factors drive the current maternity care system? Meticulously documented, Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach pulls back the curtain on medical-model management of childbirth.

Why the Politics of Breastfeeding Matter

Author: Susan Last and Gabrielle Palmer
Format: Kindle, Paperback, and Audio Book
Published: 2017
Amazon Description: Pinter and Martin’s Why it Matters series offer succinct, balanced and evidence-based introductions to the topics that affect family life in the 21st century. The Politics of Breastfeeding, first published in 1988, described how big business and vested interests influence the intimate relationship between mothers and their babies to the detriment of all, rich or poor, in the West or in the developing world. In Why the Politics of Breastfeeding Matter, the central ideas of The Politics of Breastfeeding are distilled into a concise form, making it the perfect introduction to understanding the complex forces that govern what many think of as a simple choice to breastfeed or not.

Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care

Author: Jennifer Block
Format: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback
Published: 2008
Amazon Description: A groundbreaking 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 labor 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 right being upheld? A wake-up call for our times, Block’s gripping research reveals that while emergency obstetric care is essential, we are overusing medical technology at the expense of maternal and infant health.

Appraising Research into Childbirth: An Interactive Workbook

Author: Sara Wickham RM MA BA(Hons) PGCE(A)
Format: Paperback
Published: 2006
Amazon Description: This title is directed primarily towards health care professionals outside of the United States. Concentrating specifically on research into midwifery and related disciplines, this book appraises eight previously published research articles that present both qualitative and quantitative research studies. Each of the various elements is analysed – from the methodology through to the interpretation of the results. Each article is annotated with notes and questions, thereby enabling the reader to actively participate in the appraisal.

  • Presents a range of quantitative and qualitative research articles relevant to midwifery practice in a unique workbook format
  • Enables readers to gain hands-on, practical experience of critiquing research
  • Supplementary tools, checklists, mnemonics and tables enable deeper understanding of the process of appraising research
  • Commentary and expert critique provided by lecturers in midwifery research
  • Contains a user-friendly guide to statistics

What’s Right For Me?: Making decisions in pregnancy and childbirth

Author: Sara Wickham RM MA BA(Hons) PGCE(A)
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2018
Amazon Description: The decisions that we make about pregnancy and childbirth can shape our experiences, health and lives, as well as those of our children and families. But many of those decisions are complex, confusing and made harder by the fact that we live in a world which is filled with options and opinions. This book is designed to help the reader think through their needs so that decision making becomes less daunting. It explains the different perspectives and approaches that people take towards childbirth and tips, tools and ways of thinking that will help you find the path that’s right for you.

Skills Development

Ancient Map for Modern Birth

Author: Pam England
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2017
Amazon Description: The integrative model of childbirth described in this book will provide women with the information needed to prepare for birth, how to think and feel about labor, and how to tell their story. During their childbearing year, women traverse two paths at once: an inner path of psychological and spiritual awareness and an outer path of practical approaches to birth in modern-day culture. The book combines scientific research with meditation, ceremony, art, and mythic stories, which not only prepares childbearing women to go beyond their edge into uncharted territory but to find their way home again. The underlying message throughout is not to strive for a perfect birth but to be mindful of the mythic journey, of all the mothers who have come before—an awareness that leads not only to the birth of a child but to the birth of a new self.

The Biological Guide to Motherhood

Author: Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2016
CBI Description: What hormones affect the many changes that occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding designed to make mothers better mothers? How does birth, breastfeeding, and skin-to-skin contact affect the release of these? How do birth interventions–epidurals, Cesarean sections, inductions, and pain relief–impact birth and your clients?

After many years of research, author, physician, and researcher Dr. Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg presents compelling scientific data that demonstrates the important role that hormones play in motherhood. In this book Dr. Uvnäs-Moberg describes how they help individuals access an inborn female competence that helps them transition to motherhood and give birth more easily, feel better after birth, breastfeed with fewer problems, and establish a good connection with their children. She also explains the impact on infants–helping them become better at handling stressful situations and impacting their future health. This book provides scientific data that shows the impact far beyond stimulation of uterine contractions during birth and milk ejection during breastfeeding.

Traumatic Childbirth

Author: Cheryl Tatano Beck, Jeanne Watson Driscoll, and Sue Watson
Format: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback
Published: 2013
Amazon Description: Postpartum depression has become a more recognized mental illness over the past decade as a result of education and increased awareness. Traumatic childbirth, however, is still often overlooked, resulting in a scarcity of information for health professionals. This is in spite of up to 34% of new mothers reporting experiencing a traumatic childbirth and prevalence rates rising for high risk mothers, such as those who experience stillbirth or who had very low birth weight infants.

This ground-breaking book brings together an academic, a clinician and a birth trauma activist. Each chapter discusses current research, women’s stories, the common themes in the stories and the implications of these for practice, clinical case studies and a clinician’s insights and recommendations for care. Topics covered include: mothers’ perspectives, fathers’ perspectives, the impact on breastfeeding, the impact on subsequent births, PTSD after childbirth and EMDR treatment for PTSD.

This book is a valuable resource for health professionals who come into contact with new mothers, providing the most current and accurate information on traumatic childbirth. It also presents mothers’ experiences in a manner that is accessible to women, their partners, and families.

Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You

Author: Jerome Groopman, MD and Pamela Hartzband, MD
Format: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audio Book, and Audio CD
Published: 2013
Amazon Description: Making the right medical decisions is harder than ever. We are overwhelmed by information from all sides—whether our doctors’ recommendations, dissenting experts, confusing statistics, or testimonials on the Internet. Now Doctors Groopman and Hartzband reveal that each of us has a “medical mind,” a highly individual approach to weighing the risks and benefits of treatments. Are you a minimalist or a maximalist, a believer or a doubter, do you look for natural healing or the latest technology? The authors weave vivid narratives of real patients with insights from recent research to demonstrate the power of the medical mind. After reading this groundbreaking book, you will know how to arrive at choices that serve you best.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 8th edition

Author: Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, and Teresa Pitman
Format: Kindle, Paperback, and Audio Book
Published: 2010
Amazon Description: It’s no secret that breastfeeding is the normal, healthy way to nourish and nurture your baby. Dedicated to supporting nursing and expectant mothers, the internationally respected La Leche League has set the standard for educating and empowering mothers in this natural art for generations.

Now their classic bestselling guide has been retooled, refocused, and updated for today’s mothers and lifestyles. Working mothers, stay-at-home moms, single moms, and mothers of multiples will all benefit from the book’s range of nursing advice, stories, and information—from preparing for breastfeeding during pregnancy to feeding cues, from nursing positions to expressing and storing breast milk.

The Attachment Connection: Parenting a Secure and Confident Child Using the Science of Attachment Theory

Author: Ruth Newton Ph.D.
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2008
Amazon Description: Studies in the 1950s revealed that young children hospitalized without their parents respond first by crying for them, then by showing signs of despair, and finally by emotionally detaching from the parents and acting indifferent to their absence. This detachment is hard to repair and highly detrimental to a child’s development-most children who feel they cannot rely on their parents grow up to become more emotionally insecure and less self-assured than their peers.

The Attachment Connection sorts out the facts from the fiction about parent-child attachment and shows how paying attention to the emotional needs of your child, particularly during the first five years of development, can help him or her grow up happy, secure, and confident. You’ll discover how your child’s brain is developing at each stage of growth and learn to use reasonable, easy-to-implement guidelines based on sound science to foster secure attachment, healthy social skills, and emotional regulation in your child.

Healthy Mother, Better Breastfeeding

Author: Francesca Naish and Janette Roberts
Format: Hardcover and Paperback
Published: 2002
Amazon Description: Francesca Naish and Janette Roberts have helped thousands of couples to have healthy babies with their guides to natural conception, pregnancy, and birth and bonding. Now they provide all the answers to successful breastfeeding using their tried-and-true natural methods, including: – Where it all begins – trusting your maternal instinct – Why ‘breast is best’ for baby and for you – Better breastfeeding practices, including successful attachment and positioning – How to improve your milk supply – Natural remedies for common problems: cracked nipples, mastitis, blocked ducts, colic, reflux, food allergies, biting – To wean or not to wean – Contraception during breastfeeding – An invaluable resources list, and much, much more.

How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine 5th edition

Author: Trisha Greenhalgh
Format: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback
Published: 2014
Amazon Description: In a clear and engaging style, How to Read a Paper demystifies evidence-based medicine and explains how to critically appraise published research and also put the findings into practice.

An ideal introduction to evidence-based medicine, How to Read a Paper explains what to look for in different types of papers and how best to evaluate the literature and then implement the findings in an evidence-based, patient-centred way. Helpful checklist summaries of the key points in each chapter provide a useful framework for applying the principles of evidence-based medicine in everyday practice.

This fifth edition has been fully updated with new examples and references to reflect recent developments and current practice. It also includes two new chapters on applying evidence-based medicine with patients and on the common criticisms of evidence-based medicine and responses.

Working With Challenges

How to Heal a Bad Birth: Making sense, making peace and moving on

Author: Melissa J Bruijn and Debby A Gould
Format: Paperback
Published: 2016
Amazon Description: How to Heal a Bad Birth is a straightforward guide for women who have experienced a difficult, disappointing or traumatic birth, and want to gain understanding and clarity about ‘what happened’ and why they feel so bad…and move on.

Written by the founders of Birthtalk.org™, this book works double-time as an indispensable resource for partners, family and health professionals, enabling them to offer meaningful support for a woman in this situation.

Battling Over Birth: Black Women and the Maternal Health Care Crisis

Author: Julia Chinyere Oparah, Helen Arega, Dantia Hudson, Linda Jones, and Talita Oseguera
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2017
Amazon Description: Black Women Birthing Justice is a collective of African-American, African, Caribbean and multiracial women who are committed to transforming birthing experiences for black women and transfolks. Our vision is that every pregnant person should have an empowering birthing experience, free of unnecessary medical interventions and forced separation from their child. Our goals are to educate, to document birth stories and to raise awareness about birthing alternatives. We aim to challenge human rights violations, rebuild confidence in our ability to give birth, and decrease disproportionate maternal and infant mortality.

Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician: Using the Evidence 4th edition

Author: Marsha Walker
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2016
Amazon Description: Awarded Third Place in the 2016 AJN Book of the Year Awards in the Maternal-Child Health Category!

Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician: Using the Evidence, Fourth Edition is an essential and practical reference guide for clinicians. Using a research-based approach, it includes literature reviews while covering incidence, etiology, risk factors, prevention, prognosis and implications, interventions, expected outcomes, care plans, and clinical algorithms. With a focus on the practical application of evidence-based knowledge, this reference offers a problem-solving approach to help busy clinicians integrate the latest research into everyday clinical practice.

Completely updated and revised, the Fourth Edition includes a new discussion of the vitally important newborn gut microbiome. In addition, it features new and more effective techniques for addressing breastfeeding barriers, new research, and the latest guidelines.

This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression

Author: Karen R. Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin M.D.
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2013
Amazon Description: If you or someone you love is among the one in seven women stricken by PPD, you know how hard it is to get real help. In this definitive guide, postpartum experts Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin offer compassionate support and solid advice on dealing with every aspect of PPD. Their proven self-help program, which can be used alone or with a support group or therapist, will help you monitor each phase of illness, recognize when you need professional help, cope with daily life, and recover with new strength and confidence.

Maternity Rolls: Pregnancy, Childbirth and Disability

Author: Heather Kuttai
Format: Paperback
Published: 2010
Amazon Description: Combining ethnology and memoir, this fascinating book describes the issues surrounding childbirth and motherhood for disabled women. The author, a paraplegic, tells about her own hunt for medical advice before getting pregnant—and then about the normal births of her two children—before widening the conversation to other disabled women and sympathetic members of the medical community.

Beyond the Blues, Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

Author: Shoshana Bennett and Pec Indman
Format: Hardcover and Paperback
Published: 2010
Amazon Description: Newly updated in 2010, Beyond the Blues contains the current information about risk factors, diagnosis, treatment options, and prevention of mood disorders in pregnancy and postpartum. Included is the most up-to-date research about medication use in pregnancy and in breast milk. Straightforward yet compassionate, it is required reading for all who work with pregnant and postpartum women, as well as for those suffering before or after the baby is born. This book is being used by the US Navy, Spectrum Health in Michigan, Durham Regional Health Department of Canada, New York State Department of Health, Broward Healthy Start Coalition of Florida, Clarian Health in Indiana, the International Childbirth Education Association, and many other organizations. This book is recommended by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and by actress Brooke Shields. A newly updated section for fathers/partners explains how to support an ill wife, as well has a discussion of how you, as a dad/partner may be feeling. This book tells how to screen for a trained healthcare provider, and discusses the variety of health and mental health care providers and their differences.

Disability in Pregnancy and Childbirth

Editor: Stella Frances McKay-Moffat BA(Hons) MPhil FPCert CertEd RN RM ADM
Format: Kindle and Paperback
Published: 2007
Amazon Description: This title is directed primarily towards health care professionals outside of the United States. A first in Midwifery publishing! No other book advises midwives on the special needs of mothers with disabilities. Although an increasing number of women with disabilities are having children, the needs of this minority group are not always being effectively met. Disability in Pregnancy and Childbirth provides essential practical information to healthcare professionals working with this group.

Women’s Health Communication: High-Risk Pregnancy and Premature Birth Narratives

Editor: Jennifer G. Hall
Format: Kindle and Hardcover
Published: 2015
Amazon Description: Women’s Health Communication explores and shares the stories of women who had a high-risk pregnancy and underwent premature labor or gave birth prematurely. This book discusses how women understand their experiences, cope with trying circumstances, and connect with others. Women’s Health Communication provides insight into women’s informational and support needs; delves into the range of emotions women experience; and examines how women seek out, avoid, and use the stories they encounter about pregnancy and birth to help them through their own traumatic experiences.

Questions About the Reading List

I read some of these books before I started training. Can I use these for my book reviews?

No. Any book reviews you write must be on books that you have read since you started your training. We are looking for reflection on the books you read and this developing skill across your learning journey.

English is not my first language. Can I read a book in a different language?

Yes, of course! If you can find the book in your preferred language it is fine to read it and complete your book review in English. Provided the book is on our reading list this is not a problem at all.

I am doing four courses. Does that mean I have to read the required number of books for EACH course?

Yes. If you were doing Birth & Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, and Breastfeeding Counselor you would read a total of 10 books. Within each course the books you select must be from different categories. For example, you might read a Parent-Focused and a Working With Challenges book for your Birth Doula course, then you might read a Parent-Focused, a Skills Development, and a History & Narrative for your Childbirth Educator course.

Other courses require a lot more reading. Why have you chosen to have a smaller number of books than most?

Much of the reading that is required in other courses is to provide information on physiology and skills development that cannot be covered in a weekend workshop. We, however, cover much of this material in your own evidence-based course manuals that you will work through as part of your training. You will already be doing much more reading through the course manuals so we do not require it in additional book reviews.

Why do I have to read from different categories?

The purpose of your book reviews is to gain a wider perspective. To achieve this we have put the books into categories to enable you to view these different perspectives on a variety of genres and writing styles.

These books are not available where I live. What should I do?

We have selected a large number of books that are available in Kindle and Audio Book formats. These can be downloaded to any device or read online through Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader.