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Homebirth Bookshelf

Birth as an American Rite of Passage
by Robbie E. Davis-Floyd; Paperback Reissue edition, published 2004 by University California Press

Review: In this revision of her Ph.D. dissertation in anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, Davis-Floyd explains why most obstetric interventions are unnecessary and even dangerous. Included is in-depth information on the belief that most obstetric practices are actually birth rituals based on our cultural values, which view the medical profession as the ultimate authority. Davis-Floyd describes each intervention and the symbolic cultural value it represents. This book is a real eye-opener about our technocratic society's views on childbirth.

To Purchase: | (Canada) | Amazon.UK

The Birth Partner
by Penny Simkin; Paperback, published by Harvard Common Press, 2001
Review: The role of birth partner is a tough one. A birth partner may be expected to help a laboring woman make decisions and help her get through the pain and discomfort of childbirth. During this high-intensity time, the birth partner--whether father, partner, or friend--needs a book that can give thorough information for studying ahead of time, yet can be easily referenced in an emergency or for quick answers during labor and delivery. The Birth Partner fills both needs.

To Purchase: | (Canada) | Amazon.UK

Birth Reborn
by Michel Odent; Paperback, published September 1994
Review: Birth Reborn describes Odent's confidence in a woman's innate ability to give birth naturally when given adequate support and a comfortable, safe environment in which to deliver her baby. Information is given on how to receive proper prenatal care, put together a positive birth team and how to create the best birthing environment.

To Purchase: | Amazon.UK

Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
by Pam England; Paperback, 331 pages, published July 1998 by Partera Press

Review: Pam England's Birthing From Within explains her holistic approach to childbirth. England uses journal writing, meditation and birth art to prepare expectant mothers and to help them work through their fears of birth. Birthing From Within helps expectant mothers to discover what they want for their birth so they have an empowering experience. This book is recommended for expectant parents and childbirth educators alike.

To Purchase: | (Canada) | Amazon.UK

Gentle Birth Choices: A Guide to Making Informed Decisions About Birthing Centers, Birth Attendants, Water Birth, Home Birth, Hospital Birth
by Barbara Harper RN; Paperback, 320 pages, published August 2005 by Healing Arts Press

Review: In Gentle Birth Choices, Harper explains the benefits of gentle birthing: birthing at home, in a birth center, in water, etc. Harper describes the evolution of childbirth from a normal, natural occurrence to the technological, medically-controlled illness it has become. Included in this book is a foreward by Robbie Davis-Floyd (author of Birth as an American Rite of Passage) and photographs by birth photographer Suzanne Arms. There is also a video of the same name available.

Read our interview with author Barbara Harper

To Purchase: | (Canada) | Amazon.UK

Heart and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth
by Elizabeth Davis; Paperback, 312 pages, 4th edition, published November 2004 by Celestial Arts

Review: Elizabeth Davis' Heart and Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth is a wonderful resource for midwives and expectant parents as well. Using her midwifery background, Davis gives thorough information about all aspects of midwifery, including prenatal care, pregnancy and birth complications, and postpartum issues. This book contains realistic drawings and explanations of the psychological aspects of birth. I consider Heart and Hands a must-read for all expectant parents.

To Purchase: | (Canada) | Amazon.UK

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
by Henci Goer; Paperback, 367 pages, published October 1, 1999 by Perigee

Review: In "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth," Henci Goer gives clear information on making informed choices in childbirth. Goer discusses many options and helps women avoid unnecessary intervention in pregnancy and birth. This book provides current research and is a must-read for all expectant parents.

To Purchase: | (Canada) | Amazon.UK