I asked the question because I am currently re-reading Birthing from Within for the sixth time. When I read this book, I find I always learn something new, gain fresh insight, or have ideas reinforced/validated. I read it for the first time during my first pregnancy and have read it during two subsequent pregnancies (and now again, during my fifth pregnancy) as well as two other times seeking insights and application for the birth classes I teach.
I asked this question and then went out of town for the day. When I returned, it absolutely made my day to see many responses to my question with lots of great books listed. Three other commenters shared that Birthing from Within is their favorite too and then there were over 30 other posts with other people's perennial favorites! Here is the list--I hope it will remind you to revisit some old treasures in your personal library.
- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (this, and/or Spiritual Midwifery received NINETEEN recommendations!)
- Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley MD (x's 2)
- Journey into Motherhood, edited by Sheri Menelli. The commenter said, "LOVED it. read it over and over. Full of inspiring, uplifting, wonderful birth stories."
- Heart and Hands, by Elizabeth Davis (x's 2)
- "Anything written by Sheila Kitzinger. She is my fave birthy authoress!" [note from Molly: she is definitely one of my top favorites as well!]
- Hypnobirthing, by Marie Mongan (x's 3)
- Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born, by Tina Cassidy
- The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin (x's 4)
- Your Best Birth, by Ricki Lake
- Gentle Birth Choices, by Barbara Harper (x's 2). Comment from FB fan: "It's the book I give to non-birth nuts to help them understand why I do what I do."
- Open Season, by Nancy Wainer. Comment from fan: "get's at the heart of things on every level-body, mind and politics" [note from Molly: I LOVE this book too. Very fire-y!]
- Orgasmic Birth, by Debra Pascali-Bonaro
- Osceola Guide to Natural Childbirth
- Birthing in the Spirit, by Cathy Daub
- Under the Apple Tree, by Helen Wessel
- Rediscovering Birth, by Sheila Kitzinger. Comment from fan: "that was the book that really opened my eyes when pregnant with my second child. It's a beautiful book." [I agree!]
- The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, by Henci Goer
- Baby Catcher (x's 2)
- Birth Book, by Raven Lang. Comment from fan: "Just ordered another copy and I am 60!! I had it with my first born 34 years ago! Gave it away~thought it was out of print and discovered how to get a copy. It influenced me more than any other!" [Note: Birth Book is available in a limited edition from CfM!] Another fan then shared this nice story: "OOOOOH, I do love that one. I married into the most amazing family. My father-in-law's sisters gave me that one and this heirloom copy of Spiritual Midwifery (held together with tape and hairbands) when I married their nephew, to make sure I walked a clear road to birth! (OK...even typing this story has me tearing up! Never fails!)"
- The Vital Touch, by Sharon Heller was recommended as, "Not so much a 'birth book' per se, but more of a 'importance of touch and listening to our infants and children' kind of a book.
P.S. I kept accidentally typing "perineal favorites" as my title ;-D