Pregnancy and labour resources

I have read through quite a few books and articles on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, and so on. Not all of them I found helpful. Below is the list of those resources that provided me with the most useful information in the most usable form.


Books

Ina May's Guide to ChildbirthIna May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin – the first part of the book is a collection of birth stories of women that have given birth on The Farm in Tennessee. The Farm is a community founded by Ina May, her husband, and several others in 1971, where one of the founding principles was giving women freedom to organize their own system of birth care. The midwives at The Farm have been consistently having lower intervention and Caesarean rates than the national average, and they have conducted single deliveries, twin deliveries, and various types of breech deliveries. The second part of the book covers the essentials of pregnancy and birth.

Spiritual MidwiferySpiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin – this is an earlier book written by Ina May in 1975. It also starts with birth stories. The second part of the book covers female anatomy and physiology as it pertains to childbirth and has more in-depth notes on psychology, energy levels, birth complications, multiple deliveries, and required supplies.

Birthing from WithinBirthing from Within, by Pam England and Rob Horowitz – this book explores attitudes towards labour, their expression in art, dealing with pain in labour, and covers tips for fathers and birth companions.

Ina May's Guide to BreastfeedingIna May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, by Ina May Gaskin – Ina May shares her experience on breastfeeding initiation, common issues and their correction, sleeping arrangements, breastfeeding multiples, shared nursing, and the need to recover the nursing culture in the Western society.

Baby LoveBaby Love: A Tradition of Calm Parenting, by Maud Bryt – a wonderfully calm and logical book by a Holland author, that makes common baby-caring tasks seem easy and stress-free. Here you can find tips on breastfeeding, diaper change, dressing the baby for a particular weather, introducing solids, sleeping and bathing routines, and swaddling the baby.


Films

Relaxation, Rhythm, RitualRelaxation, Rhythm, & Ritual: The 3 Rs of Childbirth, by Penny Simkin – this film consists of scenes of contractions from 10 separate women, each illustrating a way of creating their relaxation, rhythm, and ritual in labour.

Business of Being BornThe Business of Being Born, by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein – this film takes a look at the sorry state of the obstetrical care in USA, specifically as it relates to childbirth. It covers the demonization of the midwives in the early 20th century, the move of the birth into the hospital, the big business approach to birth care, the currently-present domino effect of interventions and drugs administered at the hospitals, and the alternative – birth with the midwives, and specifically the home birth.

Comfort Measures for ChildbirthComfort Measures for Childbirth, by Penny Simkin – this DVD illustrates many labour pain relief measures, as well as techniques to change a position of a baby when the progress of labour has slowed down. Each technique is explained in detail and illustrated by expectant couples. Penny Simkin also explains what happens to the pelvic bones when a particular position is used, showing how it would help the baby shift or turn.

Birth as We Know ItBirth as We Know It, by Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova – the author was one of the creators of a Black Sea birth camp in Russia in 1980s, where women came a few months before pregnancy and learned relaxation techniques. The film includes footage of women giving birth in the Black Sea, as well as having water birth at home. It provides an insight into the power of the female body and conscious childbirth. In addition to the breech, twin, home birth, and water birth, the film includes a self-assisted birth by a midwife Tanya Sargunas.

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