A good sista-friend of mine is having her first baby in a few months. She asked me about my birth experience and inquired about what I read to prepare myself for natural birth.

Needless to say there are tons of books out there to be read on the subject of natural birth. When I was pregnant I bought some that I thought might be interesting. Some of them I actually read; some I didn’t.

I went through my personal collection again and prepared the following list for her on the topic of natural birth (just click on the photos for more info):

Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally by Janet Balaskas

Janet Balaskas is the founder of the Active Birth Movement and has a birthing center in London. I read this book after I had baby. It’s all about preparing your physical body for natural birth. It breaks down prenatal yoga movements and describes how these actions and being active during labor will assist you in giving birth. I really liked it. It totally makes sense to move during labor. Movement helped me tremendously to get my baby down and out.

Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England and Rob Horowitz

Birthing from Within is a childbirth preparation course that uses birth art as a way to empower mamas to birth consciously. This is the childbirth preparation class that my partner and I did. I loved the artsy aspect to preparing for childbirth and it creatively helped us acknowledge any fears we were having about birth and parenting. We definitely left the class more confident with the choices we had made and ready for baby to arrive. I absolutely loved, loved, loved it!

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing by Marie F. Mongan

Marie F. Mongan created this birthing method. You can check it out on the HypnoBirthing website. I used the Rainbow Relaxation CD to help me practice the techniques. I even listened to it during labor. I believe I started listening to them too late into my pregnancy (at 34 weeks). It didn’t give me a lot of time to really get into it.

Women that I have doula-ed for that have used this method really had peaceful and fast labors. I highly recommend it. You can buy it on the website or on Amazon.

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices by Sarah Buckley and Ina May Gaskin

I bought this book early in pregnancy. I have to be honest–I didn’t read that much of it. It has a lot of good information, don’t get me wrong. I just think I was looking for “something” else.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

Ina May Gaskin is a world renown midwife and was one of the founding members of The Farm. The Farm started as a caravan of school buses traveling across the country. During their travels, the community delivered numerous babies and felt that there was a dier NEED to be able to birth their babies. With the help of a local doctor, they taught themselves how to deliver babies. Sounds like a revolution to me!

I truly love this book. I read this before I became pregnant. It has BEAUTIFUL birth stories and gives me warm fuzzy feelings. It is a great read for anyone wanting to read about the emotional side natural birth.

The Natural Pregnancy Book: Herbs, Nutrition, and Other Holistic Choices by Aviva Jill Romm M.D. and Ina May Gaskin

One of the U.S.’s first Certified Professional Midwives (CPM), Aviva Romm has been a homebirth midwife and herbalist for over 20 years. I really enjoyed reading this book. Anyone looking for more info about natural pregnancy should consult this book.

Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives by Deepak Chopra M.D. and David Simon M.D.

Deepak Chopra. What more can I say. I love him. I read this during my pregnancy. I really liked this book. It made me feel all peaceful and free (lol). I would read this on the public transportation on the way to and from work. It kept me from killing someone (again; lol).

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer and Rhonda Wheeler

Again, I have to tell you that I did not read this one either (smile). This book has really good information though for folks that need that. I think how it describes interventions and caesareans are truly accurate. May be a good book to look at.

Holistic Parenting from the Pan-Afrikan Perspective by Iya Raet

One of my favorite books. Iya Raet put together a book that truly needed to be published. I am ravenous for books that specifically talk about raising conscious and vegan Black children. I still refer to this book often and recommend it to all my Black mamas that I doula for. There is no other book like it. Check out Iya’s blog here. You can also find them on Facebook.

We need more books and community for our babies. Seems like some of us need to get to writing (wink, wink fellow bloggers). I look forward to hearing what books you all referenced in pregnancy.

Please share!!