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4 Essential Books to Read in Pregnancy

What would be the four books I would recommend to myself when I was expecting our first baby?




When I was about 10 weeks pregnant, I walked into the book shop and stood in the pregnancy & labour section. I didn't know which book to choose or which criteria to take into consideration. Every book had brilliant reviews and peaceful photos of a mother and her baby. So I picked a couple of books without much thought behind it.


Fortunately, a friend of mine gave me an amazing book written by highly experienced midwife and that became my pregnancy bible. During my second pregnancy, I already knew the direction I would like to take and I was reading books about natural birth and the logic and studies behind it.


Here are the top four books I would recommend.


1. Michel Odent – Birth Reborn

For over 40 years Michel Odent has been the world's leading 'birth guru'. He has pioneered a new philosophy of childbirth, making it a natural experience for women and providing settings that allow a woman to give birth her own way. Women become their own birthing experts, if they follow their instincts they can birth naturally, with the minimal intervention of medical science.


Many of the birthing practices that Michel Odent has advocated are now common usage, including the creation of more homely birthing rooms, birthing pools and water births, labour without drugs and ensuring that the mother plays the key role in the experience of birth. Michel Odent has returned birth to how it should be.


'Birth Reborn' gives expectant mothers the confidence and information they need in order to trust themselves to give birth without the drugs and medical procedures that are being increasingly recognised as harmful to the mother and to the baby's future development.

I read several books from Michel Odent and each one of them fascinated me. He is a legend and I hope for more doctors and midwives with his approach to birth.

2. Ingeborg Stadelmann - A Consultation with a Midwife

Ingeborg Stadelmann is Germany’s most popular Midwife and mother of three children. She wrote her book for expectant parents and fellow midwives. Consultation with a Midwife takes readers from the beginning of pregnancy to childbirth, then going on to discuss breast-feeding and the postnatal phase. It provides advice and tips on herbal medicine, homoeopathy and aroma therapy.

This book is a veritable treasure trove for anyone seeking information on natural pregnancy, childbirth and childbed.

»Since the publication of ›Consultation with a Midwife‹, there has been a perceivable change in the way pregnancy, childbirth and childbed – until the end of the breastfeeding period – are dealt with.« Magdalene Weiss, Former president of the German Midwives’ Association

Sensitive, natural guidance through pregnancy, childbirth, childbed and breast-feeding with herbal medicine, homoeopathy and aroma therapy.


This booked guided me through both of my pregnancies and it is like a pregnancy & labour Bible to me. I attended Stadelmann's seminar about homeopathy and aromatherapy during my second pregnancy and it had a hugely positive impact on my second birth.

3. Katherine Graves – The Hypnobirthing Book: An Inspirational Guide for a Calm, Confident, Natural Birth.



Childbirth can be an empowering and positive experience that you treasure for the rest of your life. KG Hypnobirthing teaches simple and gentle techniques that have a profound effect on you and on your baby. KG Hypnobirthing can reduce the need for pain relief and shorten labour, and you are more likely to experience a natural, calm, comfortable birth. It actively involves the father; you will both learn skills to instil confidence about the birth and your role as parents. The Hypnobirthing Book and CD is a complete antenatal preparation which guides you to achieve the birth you want - for you and for your baby.


Thanks to Hypnobirthing I understood the principle of painfree birth. I realised where the pain was coming from and why it was unnecessary. So many 'aha' moments for me.

4. Ina May Gaskin - Ina May’s Guide to 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.

Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice.

Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth takes the fear out of childbirth by restoring women’s faith in their own natural power to give birth with more ease, less pain, and less medical intervention.


A hippie woman who never intended to be a midwife and became an advocate of natural birth in USA. The book shows how the conditions and environment that surround labouring woman are essential - and their statistics prove it.
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