Let’s Talk Books!

I have read so many books in preparation for doula life and I plan on reading many more.

The required reading for becoming a birth doula are as follows:

  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
  • The Thinking Womans Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
  • Pushed by Jennifer Block
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Penny Simkin
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry

Then there’s the highly Suggested though not required:

  • The Labor Progress Handbook by Penny Simkin
  • Comfort Measures for Childbirth DVD by Penny Simkin

The required books for becoming a postpartum doula are as follows:

  • Mothering the New Mother by Sally Placksin
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Penny Simkin
  • The Baby Book by William Sears
  • What to Expect when you are Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads by Barbara Luke
  • Becoming Us, 8 Steps to Grow a Family that Thrives by Elly Taylor
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block video and/or book by Dr. Harvey Karp

I have read all of these books excluding the highly recommended birth doula books. I own The Labor Progress Handbook by Penny Simkin but have yet found time to read it. You must understand that I started my doula certifying journey about three months ago. That means if each book is about 300 pages long then I’ve read 3,300 pages in 90ish days. Actually that’s the first time I’ve done that math… It’s kind of crazy, especially since I know that some of those books were way more than 300 pages.

Anyways I’ve read some other books as well before I started this class. The reason being that I was planning on taking a local birth doula certification class and had bought all of the books for it, before I changed my mind to take the International Doula Institute online class. The books I ordered are below:

  • Birthing from Within by Pam England – I read this
  • The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin – Working on it
  • The Birth Book by William and Martha Sears – Eventually
  • The Doula’s Guide to Birth: Secrets Every Pregnant Woman Should Know by Ananda Lowe – Absolutely, eventually 🙂

And then there were recommended but not required readings for this class as well that I’d like to read but haven’t even looking into ordering them yet. I would also like to mention that some of the books I borrowed from the library because I just can’t afford to buy 5-10 $30 books at a time (I may be financially stable but not that financially stable).

  • Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally by Janet Balaskas
  • Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) by Nancy Wainer Cohen and Lois Estner

Now then I may have read all of the books that I said but I’ve also slipped a few romance novels in there now and then. It was just to save my sanity and to get my brain to quit dreaming about attending births, whether it was mine or a clients. I still get those dreams every once and a while but not as frequently now that I’ve allowed for some self care. I’ll speak more on this importance on this in a later post, but basically you should realize that you can’t ‘put all of your eggs in one basket’.

I completely understand and encourage everyone to read as much as they can on birth, current hospital policies, the history of birth and labor, anything you can get your hands on. Continuing your education and staying up to date is important. You want to be able to give the best information to your clients so that they can make their best decisions possible.

I know I will keep up to date, will you?


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