Books and Films
literature and visual media to help navigate the birth of your choice
In Your Hands
A video that gives great fathers the tools they need to be great parents.
"When I first came across the articles of Dr Robin Fancourt, her book Brainy Babies and the Brainwave Trust - I began to understand how fragile and impressionable young babies brains are... The neuroscience wasn't well defined back then, and most of us were unaware of how important of a baby's first three years...But it is available now. My intention with Great Fathers is to present this important information in a way that men can really take it in and encourages men to be the best fathers they can be."
Home Birth Bound
Maggie Banks, birth luminary talks about home birth in New Zealand.
In Home Birth Bound Maggie takes her readers on a journey of discovery about birth in New Zealand – the way it was, the way it is, and the way it should be. Be prepared to be touched emotionally; like a great novel Home Birth Bound has the potential to make you cry and make you angry. This is another welcome book to add to the home birth debate. Written in a clear and readable style it carries with it much passion and warmth from an author who has been through, and challenged, her experiences of hospital and home birth midwife, and mother.
Where the Heart Is
A collection of Home Birth stories from New Zealand.
In the medicalised world of birth that we currently face, many women (and maternity caregivers) seem to have lost touch with the reality that, for the majority of women, giving birth is a natural and healthy part of life that does not require medical interference. A select few of the birthing and midwifery population, however, believe in and trust the natural birthing process. This book is a compilation of the birth stories of these enlightened women. Their positive experiences are shared as a means of informing and inspiring others who are pregnant or contemplating motherhood. Purchase Online here
Breech Birth Woman Wise
Maggie Banks talks about breech birth and how to protect the knowledge on breech birthing
“Any midwife will feel the lick of the flame as she challenges the status quo,” writes Maggie Banks in her new book. Banks should know. Involved with childbirth and woman care since 1972, she became a registered midwife in New Zealand in 1987 and started her homebirth practice in 1989. She assisted women seeking an alternative to the medical approach to breech birth and from these experiences compiled research based information that provides readers with the plain facts about breech birth." Jill Cohen
This U.S documentary, examines a growing shift in the birthing industry: the rise of Caesarean sections and the idea of a “collaborative care”
This topical new documentary, directed by Brigid Maher, examines a growing shift in the birthing industry: the rise of Caesarean sections. With C-section rates dangerously over 30% in America, are midwives the solution? In recent years, the idea of a “collaborative care” practice where doctors and midwives manage women’s care together has begun to gain traction. Research has demonstrated that collaborative care models produce better outcomes for mother and baby, including fewer C-sections. This moving film provides an intimate lens into how midwives across the country work within and better the hospital system.
The Big Stretch
Designed to empower women, the Big Stretch is a beautiful journey through birth.
"This is one of the best films of its kind. The photography and film footage of pregnancy and birth is stunning. Deeply affirming, the messages contained within explore the transformations we experience through birth, and what can get in the way of a ‘good’ birth. This is EXACTLY the kind of film to be shown to secondary schools and every antenatal class around the world. There are no scary or traumatic images, but beautiful bold and flowing visions and words. This is a great work of art. I cried and laughed from beginning to end. " Patrick Houser
Freedom for Birth
An in depth documentary on the criminalisation of homebirth at a global level.
In many countries around the world, women are being denied the most basic human right of autonomy over their own bodies. They cannot choose how and where to give birth. In many countries, if a woman wants to have a home birth supported by a midwife, those midwives face criminal prosecution. Some midwives, like Ágnes Geréb in Hungary, are even imprisoned. Freedom for Birth calls for radical reform to the world’s maternity systems so that these Human Rights violations stop and women are afforded real choice as to how and where they give birth
A beautiful insight into the journey Ina May took to midwifery.
Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives captures a spirited group of women who taught themselves how to deliver babies on a 1970s hippie commune, rescued modern midwifery from extinction, and changed the way a generation thought about childbirth. Today, as nearly 1/3 of all US babies are born via C-section, they labor on, fighting to preserve their knowledge and pushing, once again, for the rebirth of birth.
The Business of Being Born
An indepth series of documentaries that cover the impact of how we birth.
Executive Producer Ricki Lake and Filmmaker Abby Epstein follow their landmark documentary, The Business of Being Born, with an all-new, four part DVD series that continues their provocative and entertaining exploration of the modern maternity care system. More Business of Being Born, available on November 8th, 2011, offers a practical look at birthing options as well as poignant celebrity birth stories from stars including Alanis Morissette, Gisele Bundchen, Christy Turlington-Burns, Cindy Crawford, Molly Ringwald, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Melissa Joan Hart.
The Face of Birth
The face of birth is one of the most comprehensive birth documentaries available.
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth
Sheila Kitzinger's one stop shop for the best advice on pregnancy and childbirth.
Childbirth Without Fear
Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how birth education started.
Foreword by Ina May gaskin Groundbreaking classic of natural childbirth, which started the revolution still going on today. Useful reading for women, pregnant women, mothers, midwives, obstetricians. In an age where birth has often been overtaken by obstetrics, Dr Dick-Read's philosophy is still as fresh as it was when he originally wrote this book. He unpicks every possible root cause of western woman's fear and anxiety in pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding and does so with overwhelming heart and empathy. Essential reading for all mothers-to-be!
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean
A handbook on how to achieve a physiological birth after caesarean.
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.
Rediscovering Birth is packed with information not only for prospective parents but for anyone interested in birth and women's lives and well being.
Lavishly illustrated, Rediscovering Birth is packed with information not only for prospective parents but for anyone interested in birth and women's lives and well being. Sheila explores the universal experience of pregnancy and birth. She looks closely at the place of birth, how women move in childbirth and what is done to help them. She examines the role of the midwife, and the bond traditionally formed between mothers and midwives.
Michel Odent uncovers what caesareans truly mean for birth.
How did a magnificent rescue operation become such a common way of giving birth? And how safe is it really? Why do some countries have 10 percent caesarean births, and some more than 50 percent? What are the very first microbes met by a caesarean-born baby? Is it easy to breastfeed after a caesarean? What do mother and baby miss out on by not sharing a vaginal birth? What do we know about the long-term consequences of being born by caesarean and of giving birth by caesarean? What is the future of a civilization born by caesarean?
Debra opens up a world where birth and orgasm work together.
Too many women experience birth as nothing more than a routine or painful event. Here is an enlightening book to help women attain the most empowering birth experience possible. Whether choosing to give birth at home, in a hospital, or in a birthing center, Orgasmic Birth provides all the necessary tools and guidance women need to birth on their terms. Featuring amazing stories from mothers and their partners and filled with practical advice and solutions, this one-of-a-kind resource is the next frontier of empowered, intimate childbirth.
Juju Sundin gives us birth skills essential for a peaceful and practical birth
JuJu Sundin has published and lectured extensively in many countries. She has been involved with the design and coordination of post graduate childbirth education courses in both health professional and consumer childbirth classes for many years. JuJu Sundin believes that even though birth is enormously challenging there is tremendous reward in even trying for a natural birth. And if you need (or choose) some medical assistance, JuJu works with her clients to look upon this as just another option within a range of all options available.
Holistic Midwifery Volume I
One of the most comprehensive resources for care during pregnancy and Holistic Midwifery
This truly comprehensive text covers basic female anatomy and physiology; philosophy of midwifery; maintaining maternal and fetal well-being; prenatal skills; making contact with clients and establishing care; prenatal fetal development and maternity care step-by-step through each trimester; problems associated with each trimester; problems that can occur at any time; and medical conditions that may pre-exist in pregnancy.
Holistic Midwifery Volume II
One of the best resources for Holistic Midwifery and care during labour and birth
This is the latest edition of this, now classic, text. There are a number of revisions that focus on clinical care, with particular emphasis on the latest material on neonatal resuscitation, assisting breech births and dealing with shoulder dystocia, among other additions. Volume II covers fetal and maternal anatomy relevant to labor and birth; the Cardinal Spiraling Movements of Birth (including summaries of all 8 formal positions for vertex, face, brow and breech presentations) attending both straightforward and complex labors, as well as well-baby and high risk newborn support and transport procedures.
A beautiful story written for children on welcoming a new baby into the home
On a winter night, in a cottage far away from the town, Mum's baby is ready to be born. The midwife arrives and the whole family prepares for the home birth. Written with honesty and warmth by Jenni Overend, whose own children were present at the birth of her youngest son, this moving portrayal celebrates the birth of a baby at home, with joy. This is a book for the whole family to share in preparation for a home birth or the arrival of a new baby. Jenni Overend, who passed away in 2011, lived in a small mountain township with her husband and four children.
Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering
Sarah Buckley draws a link between the way we birth and the way we parent.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering answers your important question and gives you the information you need to create a safe, satisfying, and gentle start to family life. Dr Buckley explains, in easy to understand language, the logic, safety and benefits of natural birth and gentle parenting, using the best medical evidence. She also explains the conditions we need to optimize the flow of the “ecstatic hormones” that every woman’s body produces during a natural labour and birth, and that continue to support her during early mothering.
Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapiens
Michel Odent talks about the outcomes from birth and how they drive evolution.
Michel Odent argues that the aspect of human lifestyle that has been most profoundly changed in recent decades is the period of time surrounding the birth of a child. Since this formative time is considered critical in defining our species, Homo sapiens, fundamental changes in this area should herald significant evolution in regard to how babies are born. This book is ‘for everyone except pregnant women… whose time is precious. They should be watching the moon, singing to their unborn babies in the womb and nurturing the life within them.’
The Food of Love
Kate Evans and her beautiful visual journey on the formula for successful breastfeeding.
"Motherhood, and breastfeeding particularly, can be a terribly earnest business and can consequently make for a deathly boring read. So it is refreshing when a writer comes along who can make a ‘how to’ motherhood book lively. Kate Evans is one such writer. Her style is relaxed, chatty and inclusive (not unlike really skilled bloggers), and her book about breastfeeding is both informative and enjoyable to read. Utterly charming" Blue Milk
Kate Evans's beautiful visual journey on how to make, grow and birth a baby.
'Bump is delicious and gorgeous and needed in this world. This purposeful and fun book will gently educate, encourage and inspire people everywhere.' –Midwife Evans deftly handles the physical and emotional changes that come with being pregnant, looking at the practicalities of every stage as well as the challenges that may arise. Her no-nonsense, quirky and accessible text is illustrated throughout with detailed artwork to guide the reader through the intricacies of human reproduction, whilst her customary laugh-out-loud cartoons demystify the complexities of pregnancy and birth.
A guide on active birth positions designed to assist mothers to birth well.
Janet Balaskas, founder of Active Birth, has been training birth professionals for more than 3 decades, influencing birth education and midwifery practice through out the UK and internationally. This training brings you the most up-to-date information about birth physiology, active birth in practice, and inspirational new teaching methods.The central aim of Active Birth is the empowerment of women, supported by their birth partners and attendants.
Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding
Ina May, homebirth wise woman gives her guide to breastfeeding.
Drawing on her decades of experience in caring for pregnant women, mothers, and babies, Ina May Gaskin explores the health and psychological benefits of breastfeeding and gives you invaluable practical advice that will help you nurse your baby in the most fulfilling way possible. Inside you’ll find answers to virtually every question you have on breastfeeding. Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding is filled with helpful advice, medical facts, and real-life stories that will help you understand how and why breastfeeding works and how you can use it to more deeply connect with your baby and your own body.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Ina May a leading midwife and activist, gives us a guide on childbirth
What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you. Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention.
Ina May's inaugural book on Spiritual Midwifery.
Here is the classic book on home birth that introduced a whole generation of women to the concept of natural childbirth. Back again are even more amazing birthing tales, including those from women who were babies in earlier editions and stories about Old Order Amish women attended by the Farm midwives. Also new is information about the safety of techniques routinely used in hospitals during and after birth, information on postpartum depression and maternal death, and recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives.
Birth Matters is a spirited manifesta showing us how to trust women and value birth.
Upbeat and informative, Gaskin asserts that the way in which women become mothers is a women's rights issue, and it is perhaps the act that most powerfully exhibits what it is to be instinctually human. Birth Matters is a spirited manifesta showing us how to trust women, value birth, and reconcile modern life with a process as old as our species. Renowned for her practice's exemplary results and low intervention rates, Ina May Gaskin has gained international notoriety for promoting natural birth.