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Top 5 Natural Childbirth Books You Need to Read to Be Prepared

by Ivy B

Top 5 natural childbirth books you’ll want to read if you’re interested in natural pregnancy and birth.

I’m a firm believer in reading books (or articles) to prepare for just about any major part of your life.

For me, having a baby was one of the most humongous decisions I would ever make.  From the moment I was ready to get pregnant, I began reading ways to get pregnant naturally and how to have a healthy pregnancy.  When I struggled to get pregnant, I researched ways to improve fertility, and a lot of the changes I made were dietary.

Still, childbirth, for me, was regarded as nearly as important a factor in the health of my baby … right next to having a healthy pregnancy.

Though I used to believe I would ask for doctors to knock me out so I didn’t feel a thing, when it came down to it, I hated needles.  I was (and still am) terrified of needles.  Thus, I went on the search for information about having a drug-free birth.   Could I do it?  No one seemed to ever have conveyed any sense of calm or normality of a natural birth.  Frankly, they all made me scared of labor.

After having read a lot, all plans for medical intervention (epidurals) during labor and childbirth went out the window.  Not only was I frightened of needles, but after reading and watching videos, I was bothered that we’ve been conditioned to think we need a doctor to monitor and manage every step of a long-time natural process.

Thanks to plenty of reading and a natural birth class, I successfully achieved two natural births.  Preparation and knowledge are both wonderful tools for wrapping your mind around a subject you can’t truly understand until you’re there.

So, if you’re interested in natural birth, these are the Top 5 rated natural childbirth books currently on Amazon.

(Because I know birth is a touchy subject, let me be clear here! I say this is what I decided was right for me and my baby.   My body, my baby.  I am not saying this is, or should be, every woman’s decision in every case.  Your body, your baby.  I’m not arguing that.)

Top 5 natural childbirth books you need to read! Preparing for natural birth, mama? You'll love these natural birth books that focus on mind, body, and outside support to achieve your dream birth. Be prepared and have confidence in labor. | www.sahmplus.com
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Top 5 Natural Childbirth Books You Need to Read

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth “Updated With New Material”
  • Random House
  • Ina May Gaskin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages – 03/04/2003 (Publication Date) – Bantam (Publisher)

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is a highly recommended natural childbirth book, plus it’s an Amazon Best Seller!  If you’ve ever watched an Ina May video, you know she’s a powerful and supportive individual who feels strongly about a woman’s ability to birth her child.  My childbirth instructor and former L&D nurse was a fan of her work.

Natural Hospital Birth 2nd Edition: The Best of Both Worlds
  • Gabriel, Cynthia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages – 05/15/2018 (Publication Date) – Harvard Common Press (Publisher)

As a mom who achieved two natural births in a hospital, I would have LOVED to have read this book.

There was a lot of discussion about whether or not I’d be able to have the birth I planned because my husband wanted us to use the hospital.  The hospital we were to have our first baby at was not well-known for being natural-birth friendly.  It was kind of a sad joke … like “good luck.”  And when it came time to actually go the first time, I panicked.  I tried to stay in the bathroom at home so my husband couldn’t take me.

I lost the fight, but I totally won at having my natural hospital birth.  I bet this book would have eased some of the anxiety I had about hospital births.

The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Howland, Genevieve (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages – 04/25/2017 (Publication Date) – Gallery Books (Publisher)

If you need some positive thoughts about natural pregnancy and childbirth, this may be just the book for you!

You’ll find advice from moms who have been there, as well as advice and information from a Certified Nurse Midwife, Registered Nurse, doula, and lactation consultant.  This book sounds like a well-rounded one to prepare you for all things natural pregnancy and birth.

Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition
  • McCutcheon, Susan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages – 02/06/2018 (Publication Date) – Plume (Publisher)

I have a friend who swears by this book.  As I read the description, I feel like I shake my head at every point it makes, so I know this would be a terrific read for someone seriously interested in experiencing natural birth.

This book focuses on your body, your mind, and outside forces that can make or break the natural birth plan.  Things like fear of childbirth, having a supportive partner, and ways to get your body ready for labor , and how to get the information you need to make important decisions are all discussed in this book.

Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Bardacke, Nancy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages – 07/10/2012 (Publication Date) – HarperOne (Publisher)

While this is a top-rated book, there’s a bit of discussion on the reviews section.  Some people are saying the author writes too much storytelling into the book.  However, Nancy Bardacke aims to teach you to practice mindfulness during birth.  She also teaches the immediate- and long-term benefits which go beyond giving birth.

Someone suggested that she uses techniques with ice to help train your mind for labor.  I can attest to practices with ice having been the most effective way to help me understand how to deal with labor pains when they begin.


I know I said I was going to share the TOP 5 Natural Childbirth Books.  However, I’d be remiss not to tell you about the one book that gave me all the information I needed to achieve my natural hospital birth!

I absolutely adored The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth.

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth
  • Henci Goer (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages – 08/01/1999 (Publication Date) – TarcherPerigee (Publisher)

I read this book thoroughly after deciding natural birth was the way I wanted to go.  My husband said I was crazy for everything I spouted off.  Then, we went into a Natural Birth class, lead by a former L&D nurse and 4x natural birth mom.  In our class, she echoed every word of this book through her own knowledge and experience and changed my husband’s idea of birth in a hospital forever.

That said, this book is FULL of information my instructor backed up in every lesson in our birth class.  So, I 100% believe this should be in the top natural childbirth books women should read if they’re hoping for natural birth.

Did you read natural childbirth books?  What was/were your favorite/favorites?

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