Good Reads

Recommended Readings from “Richmond Doulas”

Thinking Woman’s Guide To A Better Birth Henci Goer
Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth Ina May Gaskins
Birthing From Within   Pam England
What Every Woman Should Know About Cesarean Section
Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity CareJennifer Block
Birth Reborn   Michel Odent

The Caesarean   Michel Odent

Birth as an American Rite of Passage Robbie Davis-Floyd

Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First   Marsden Wagner

October 2007 edition of Vogue Magazine article by Daphne Beale about homebirth and Cara the midwife

Sit Up and Take Notice: Positioning Yourself  For A Better Birth  Pauline Scott

After Baby’s Birth: A Women’s Way to Wellness  Robin Lim

The Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth  Shelia Kitzinger

Nursing Mother’s Companion (Huggins) or Bestfeeding (Renfrew, Fisher, Arms)

The Birth Book Bill and Martha Sears

Journey Into Motherhood  Sherri Menelli

The Birth Partner  Penny Simkin

The VBAC Companion  Diana Korte

Active Birth Janet Balaskas

Special Delivery Rahima Baldwin

The Baby Book  William and Martha Sears

Touch points Essential Reference: Your Child’s Emotional Development  Brazelton

The Happiest Baby on the Block  Harvey Karp

Articles of Interest

“The Hidden Risks of Epidurals” by Sarah J. Buckley

Epidurals have possible benefits but also significant risks for the laboring mother and her baby, including:

-Malpresentation of baby (due to slackened muscle tone and no upright positions)

-Increases use of instruments for delivery as result of the inability to push effectively

– Fever (due to maternal loss of temperature control)

-Decrease in mother’s blood pressure, decreasing oxygen to the baby

-Slows or stops contractions, thereby increasing need for Pitocin

These risks are well documented in medical literature but may not be disclosed to the laboring woman. Women who wish to avoid the use of epidurals are advised to choose caregivers and models of care that promote, support, and understand the principles and practice of natural and undisturbed birth.

Complete article available online at:

 “Ecstatic Birth” by Sarah J. Buckley

Mother Nature has gifted women with an exquisite hormonal orchestration that unfolds optimally when birth is undisturbed, enhancing safety for both mother and baby.  Four major hormonal systems are active during labor and birth.  These systems are common to all mammals and originate deep in our mammalian or middle brain.  For birth to proceed optimally, this part of the brain must take precedence over the neocortex, or rational brain. An atmosphere of quiet and privacy with, for example, dim lighting and little conversation, and no expectation of rationality from the laboring woman can help this hormonal shift to occur. Under such conditions a woman intuitively will choose the movements, sounds, breathing, and positions that will birth her baby most easily. This is her genetic and hormonal blueprint.

Available online at: