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Childbirth Education and Doula Care

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Featured Books

Bearing Witness: Childbirth Stories Told by Doulas. Lisa Doran & Lisa Caron, Editors, $20.00

Bearing Witness is an anthology written by doulas — women working with birthing families. These stories speak of the joy and also of the frustration that comes with the job. Sometimes funny, often difficult to hear, the tales told in Bearing Witness bring a new dimension to our understanding of modern birth practices.


Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-emergence of Woman-Supported Birth in America. Christine Morton & Elayne Clift, $23.95

What are doulas and where did they come from? Why do women become doulas? What does it mean to be a doula?  BIRTH AMBASSADORS answers these questions by connecting narrative accounts with critical sociological analysis of the dilemmas and issues embodied in doula history and practice. Based on historical research and interviews with currently practicing doulas and leaders in the field, BIRTH AMBASSADORS argues that the doula role is underpinned by ideological commitments to several overlapping and, at times, conflicting ideas around childbirth. These include an understanding of pregnancy and birth from the midwifery model, a belief in women's right to make informed choices regarding their health care, the need for patient/consumer advocacy and unconditional emotional support for women’s choices about their births.


Birth In Focus: Stories and Photos to Inform, Educate and Inspire. Becky Reedhiller, $33.00

Birth In Focus offers the reader a chance to see birth made real. Water birth, breech birth, twin birth, Caesarean birth — all are shown in ‘photo stories’, with accompanying text written both by the woman and her midwife, and sometimes also the partner or a child who was present. Clear images of the birth process provide an excellent educational tool for students, as well as offering inspiration to those who may not have had the opportunity to see birth in this way. A chapter on reflection points for practitioners will help professionals and birth supporters explore further the issues highlighted in the individual stories.

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The Birth Partner: a Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions, 4th Edition, Revised. Penny Simkin, $25.95

For the partner or support person who wishes to be truly helpful in the birthing room, this book is indispensable. This completely updated edition includes thorough information on:

  • Preparing for labor and knowing when it has begun
  • Normal labor and how to help the woman every step of the way
  • Epidurals and other medications for labor
  • Non-drug techniques for easing labor pain
  • Caesarean birth and complications that may require it
  • Breastfeeding and newborn care
  • And much more

Fully revised in its fourth edition, The Birth Partner remains the definitive guide for preparing to help a woman through childbirth and the essential manual to have at hand during the event.


Called to the Childbirth Profession: Opportunities for Doulas, Birth Educators, and You. Donyale Abe, $42.95

Learn how to get started and how to grow your career as a childbirth professional. This valuable resource lists 66 roles for individuals to pursue in the field of childbirth. From doulas, midwives, and lactation consultants, to baby planners, fitness instructors, and massage therapists, this book will show you how to follow your dream.


Calm Birth: Prenatal Meditation for Conscious Childbirth, Revised. Robert Bruce Newman, $23.50

A resource for pregnant women and birth workers looking for empowering mind-body practices for a healthier kind of birth, this edition, revised with updated research and new material, shows how we can restore childbirth to its sacred status. The Calm Birth method, based on successful programs of the Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, combines three proven practices — relaxation, meditation, and healing — with current scientific knowledge to nurture the expectant mother’s natural ability to give birth in true harmony with her body and her baby. Newman contextualizes the multilayered method within the existing literature of mind-body medicine and meditation science, as well as the meditation traditions from which two of the methods originate.

This revised edition contains updated research in the fields of meditation, birth, and the prenatal period, two new birth stories, three new chapters, and new photo documentation.

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The Community-Based Doula: Supporting Families Before, During, and After Childbirth. Rachel Abramson, Ginger Breedlove, & Beth Isaacs. $34.50

In The Community-Based Doula, the authors highlight how Chicago Health Connection’s community-based doula model extends this role into a long-term relationship, providing support during pregnancy, birth, and the early months of parenting. This book provides research-based evidence of the profound effects doulas can have in the lives of mothers, newborns, their families, and their communities. It also serves as a call to action. The Community-Based Doula provides information and analysis to help social support, home-visiting, and medical and nursing care programs to find new ways to address the needs of birthing families and to relate to the culture, values, and language of young mothers who face difficult challenges.


Creating and Marketing Your Birth-Related Business, 2nd Edition. Connie Livingston & Heather Livingston, $25.50

Creating and Marketing Your Birth-Related Business is a business marketing book for community-based perinatal practitioners. It will assist you in having the business you want and need, allowing it to be an empowering force and lucrative venture at the same time. With lists, charts, and practice exercise, Creating and Marketing Your Birth-Related Business is a workbook to meet you where you are and where you want to go in your profession.


Doulas and Intimate Labour: Boundaries, Bodies and Birth. Edited by Angela Casteñeda & Julie Johnson Searcy, $29.95

The scholarship in this volume draws attention to doula work as intimate and relational while highlighting the way boundaries are created, maintained, challenged, and transformed. Intimate labour as a theoretical construct provides a way to think about the kind of care doulas offer women across the reproductive spectrum. Doulas negotiate boundaries and often blur the divisions between communities and across public and private spheres in their practice of intimate labour. This book weaves together three main threads: doulas and mothers, doulas and their community, and finally, doulas and institutions. The lived experience of doulas illustrates the interlacing relationships among all three of these threads. The essays in this collection offer a unique perspective on doulas by bringing together voices that represent the full spectrum of doula work, including the viewpoints of birth, postpartum, abortion, community based, adoption, prison, and radical doulas.. As doulas move between worlds and learn to live in liminal spaces, they occupy space that allows them to generate new cultural narratives about birthing bodies.

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Dynamic Positions in Birth: a Fresh Look at How Women's Bodies Work in Labour. Margaret Jowitt, $21.95

Most women give birth in hospitals, institutions modelled around the needs of the people who work there. The delivery room is designed around the obstetric bed which was designed for the benefit of the obstetrician rather than the woman giving birth. Despite research showing the benefit of upright positions in labour and birth, many women still give birth in the semi-reclined position, pushing their baby out against the forces of gravity. The author argues that unnatural positions make labour and birth more painful and difficult for modern women than it was for their ancestors. How did we come to put the needs of care givers above those of the labouring woman? Is there anything that can be done?

Starting with a short history of birth furniture, Dynamic Positions in Birth goes on to explore the anatomy and physiology of labour from an evolutionary perspective and explores how rethinking positions for labour and birth could benefit mothers and their babies. Equally important is the need to change attitudes to birth so that women are encouraged to play a more active part in the birth of their babies instead of being subjected to clinical interventions designed to mitigate the adverse effects of labouring in a starkly unnatural environment.

Margaret Jowitt argues that it is possible to give women labouring in hospital a better chance of giving birth naturally. The book concludes by calling for a fresh look at the environment for birth. Delivery rooms can be made more user friendly by introducing  furniture designed around women’s need for physical support during labour as well as for the birth, and by hiding away  the more alarming technology unless it is needed. Women need a less forbidding environment and more encouragement to move freely and adopt positions  which will enhance their chance of achieving a normal birth.


Evidence and Skills for Normal Labour and Birth, 2nd Edition: a Guide for Midwives. Denis Walsh, $60.50

Despite the emphasis on promoting evidence-based or effective care without the unnecessary use of technologies and drugs, intervention rates in childbirth continue to rise rapidly. This book emphasizes the importance of translating evidence into skilful practice. It updates the evidence around what works best for normal birth, aspects of which still remain hidden and ignored by some maternity care professionals. Beginning with the decision about where to have a baby, through all the phases of labour to the immediate post-birth period, it systematically details research and other evidence sources that endorse a low intervention approach.

Using evidence drawn from a variety of sources, EVIDENCE AND SKILLS FOR NORMAL LABOUR AND BIRTH critiques institutionalized, scientifically managed birth and endorses a more humane midwifery-led model. Packed with up-to-date and relevant information, this text will help all students, practicing midwives and doulas keep abreast of the evidence surrounding normal birth and ensure their practice takes full advantage of it.

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The Gentle Art of Newborn Family Care: a Guide for Postpartum Doulas and Caregivers. Salle Webber, $29.95

THE GENTLE ART OF NEWBORN FAMILY CARE is a complete manual for the aspiring professional doula, and for anyone helping a family after the birth of a child. It is offered with an attitude of reverence for new life, a willingness to offer service, and an understanding of the importance of the quality of a baby and mother’s earliest experiences.


Hypnobirth: Evidence, Practice and Support for Birth Professionals. Teri Gavin-Jones & Sandra Handford, $62.50

Hypnobirth involves preparation for childbirth using tried and tested hypnotherapy techniques in harmony with midwifery best practices and increasing numbers of women are turning to the technique. Written by two experienced practitioners, this is the first evidence-based practice book for medical professionals on this subject. Chapters include coverage of:

  • What hypnosis is and the history of hypnobirth
  • The power of the mind and the effect of language
  • Relaxation and breathing techniques
  • The neocortex and hormones

Throughout the book the authors provide health professionals with information and evidence-based findings to support the use of hypnobirth. The book includes case studies, scripts and reflective questions to encourage a deeper understanding of the techniques and issues and to engage and inspire the reader.

Hypnobirth is essential reading for midwives, obstetricians, student midwives, doulas and any practitioner involved in preparing and supporting pregnant women for labour.


Innovative Teaching Strategies for Birth Professionals, 2nd Edition. Connie Livingston, $26.95

Every family experience with pregnancy, birth, and parenting is unique. You, as a birth educator, play a vital role in the family’s psychosocial adaptation. This relationship is built on trust, security, validation, caring, and support. Innovative Teaching Strategies for Birth Professionals, written by the president of the International Childbirth Association, provides many examples of how you can teach about birth in a meaningful way and ease families’ transition during the childbearing year.

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Keep the Fires Burning: Conquering Stress and Burnout as a Mother-Baby Professional. Micky Jones, $23.95

Are you a busy mother-baby professional who is stressed to the max? Do you find the 24/7 lifestyle of always being on call for your clients, family obligations and the necessity to build a business more than you can handle? You may be preaching, "Take care of yourself!" to new parents, while suffering from stress-induced illness and disease. In Keep the Fires Burning, author Micky Jones provides concrete evidence of the consequences of putting everyone else's needs before your own and gives practical suggestions for taking back your life and your health. This book covers:

  • The reality of work as a mother-baby professional
  • The six flames that can destroy your passion - individual stress, secondary stress, vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, burnout, and depression
  • How empathy affects your work
  • How who you are, what work you do, and your sphere of influence impacts how stress affects you
  • Life strategies to eliminate stress
  • A personal self-care plan for home and work

If you love your work, but are stressed and/or burned out and want a balanced life, this book can help! Find out how Micky Jones found her way back to the balanced life she loves and how you can employ her techniques to make your life better.


The Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Dystocia, 4th edition. Penny Simkin, Lisa Hanson & Ruth Ancheta, $59.99

The third edition of The Labor Progress Handbook remains an unparalleled resource on simple, non-invasive interventions to prevent or treat difficult labor. Retaining the hallmark features of previous editions, the book is replete with illustrations showing position, movements, and techniques and is logically organized to facilitate ease of use. This edition includes two new chapters on third and fourth stage labor management and low-technology interventions, a complete analysis of directed versus spontaneous pushing, and additional information on massage techniques. The authors have updated references throughout.

The Labor Progress Handbook continues to be a must-have resource for those involved in all aspects of birth by providing practical instruction on low-cost, low-risk interventions to manage and treat dystocia. 


Listening Visits in Perinatal Mental Health: a Guide for Health Professionals and Support Workers. Jane Hanley, $67.00

Listening Visits in Perinatal Mental Health focuses on how women and families suffering from perinatal mental illness can be supported by a wide range of practitioners. Based on the skills of attentive listening, it is designed for use by health professionals and support workers concerned with maternal mental health and the mental health of the family.

With chapters focused on listening to mothers, fathers and infants and paying attention to cultural diversity, Listening Visits in Perinatal Mental Health builds on the knowledge that many professionals working with new mothers already have about perinatal mental health. It focuses on developing the skills needed to put this knowledge into practice and includes case examples and follow-up activities throughout.

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Living Colours. Anne Curtis, $25.00

This beautiful anatomy colouring book was created by a midwifery student. A perfect gift for anyone amazed by the beauty of human development.


Nurturing New Families: a Guide to Supporting Parents. Naomi Kemeny, $19.95

Supporting a family in the days and weeks after a baby is born is a precious gift indeed — as the mother recovers her strength and responds to her baby's needs, the care of a postnatal doula, friend or family member can be invaluable.

In this guide to warm, mother- and- baby-centred postnatal care, Naomi Kemeny draws on her wealth of experience as a midwife, children's nurse and postnatal doula to explain in detail how to 'mother the mother' — by listening to what she needs and supporting her as she adapts to her new role. This insightful book is both a useful guide to the work of a postnatal doula, and a must-read for anyone wanting to help a new family cope with those intense yet magical early days with a newborn.


Pain in Childbearing and Its Control: Key Issues for Midwives and Women. Rosemary Mander, $65.99

Focusing on the mother's experience of pain and her contribution to its control, this accessible text covers the background to historical and scientific understanding of pain and considers methods of researching and measuring pain.

Now in its 2nd edition, Pain in Childbearing and its Control explores pregnancy, labour and puerperal pain, along with fetal and neonatal pain. As well as approaching the topic in considerable depth, the word 'pain' is interpreted broadly. Throughout the text, research-based theoretical approaches to pain and pain control are presented within the context of care. The possibility of caring interventions being iatrogenic, or aggravating the woman's pain, lends this book a perceptively political orientation. Pain in Childbearing and its Control will be invaluable to midwives and a wide range of care providers who seek to assist the woman in coping with her experience of childbearing and any associated pain.

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Pain Management for Childbirth DVD: Volume 1 Comfort Techniques. InJoy Productions, $49.99 (29 minutes) Note: InJoy DVDs are sold for Home Use Only; and for sale only within Canada. All other users can contact Parentbooks for more information

Volume 1 of this 2 volume set provides an understanding of labor pain – why it occurs, what to expect and how to manage it without pain medications. This DVD demonstrates physical and mental techniques and includes footage of a couple having their first child, using a variety of comfort techniques and delivering their baby naturally. 

Pain Management for Childbirth DVD: Volume 2 Analgesics & Epidurals. InJoy Productions, $49.99 (28 minutes) Note: InJoy DVDs are sold for Home Use Only; and for sale only within Canada. All other users can contact Parentbooks for more information

Volume 2 of this 2 volume set provides expectant parents with an understanding of the two most common labor pain medications. Using real labor footage and 3d animation, viewers will learn how pain medications are administered, how they work and the risks and benefits of each. The DVD includes footage of a single mother who chooses to have an analgesic and then later, an epidural.


Pathways to Positive Parenting: Helping Parents Nurture Healthy Development in the Earliest Months. Jolene Pearson, $55.50

An essential resource for all professionals who work with families of infants, this valuable handbook serves as a parent educator’s guide to coaching and supporting new parents.

The curriculum provides professionals with innovative teaching techniques, and practical and effective strategies that are field-tested, science-based and can be applied immediately in work supporting the development of positive parenting skills. The book also includes information on important topics such as postpartum depression, tummy time, breastfeeding, safe sleep, and coping with crying.

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The Science of Mother-Infant Sleep: Current Findings on Bedsharing, Breastfeeding, Sleep Training, and Normal Infant Sleep. Wendy Middlemiss & Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Editors, $19.95

The Science of Mother-Infant Sleep is a compilation of recent articles that address these important questions. The goal was to bring together recent evidence about the safety of sleep practices so that parents and professionals can make informed, evidence-based decisions. The Science of Mother-Infant Sleep is a collaborative project by an international working group of experts on mother-baby sleep. Topics include:

  • Bedsharing: What should parents avoid and how can they make it safe? Does it increase the risk of SIDS? What is its impact on breastfeeding? 
  • Sleep-Training and Cry-It-Out Techniques: Do they impact infant health and development? What should parents know? 
  • Involving Parents in Decisions about Infant Sleep: What is normal infant sleep? How can parents calm a crying baby?

Understanding Birth: a Comprehensive Guide, 2nd Edition DVD. InJoy Videos (2 DVDs, 135 minutes & 48 minutes) $129.95 Note: InJoy DVDs are sold for Home Use Only; and for sale only within Canada. All other users can contact Parentbooks for more information

The second edition of this award-winning program includes current, evidence-based information, all new footage, and an overall fresh look. As viewers follow the featured families from pregnancy through postpartum, they see a variety of labor experiences, including a natural birth, interventions, and an unplanned cesarean section.

 2 DVDs are included with the purchase: Understanding Birth 2nd Edition Express condenses the full-length program and provides the most sought-after topics in less than an hour. The package includes a Facilitator Guide that provides discussion questions and information about the featured families.

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Complete Booklist

Bearing Witness: Childbirth Stories Told by Doulas. Lisa Doran & Lisa Caron, Editors, $20.00

Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-emergence of Woman-Supported Birth in America. Christine Morton & Elayne Clift, $23.95

Birth In Focus: Stories and Photos to Inform, Educate and Inspire. Becky Reedhiller, $33.00

The Birth Partner: a Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions, 4th Edition, Revised. Penny Simkin, $25.95

Called to the Childbirth Profession: Opportunities for Doulas, Birth Educators, and You. Donyale Abe, $42.95

Calm Birth: Prenatal Meditation for Conscious Childbirth, Revised. Robert Bruce Newman, $23.50

Comfort Measures for Childbirth. (DVD, 91 Minutes) Penny Simkin, $82.95

The Community-Based Doula: Supporting Families Before, During, and After Childbirth. Rachel Abramson, Ginger Breedlove, & Beth Isaacs. $34.50

Creating and Marketing Your Birth-Related Business, 2nd Edition. Connie Livingston & Heather Livingston, $25.50

Doulas and Intimate Labour: Boundaries, Bodies and Birth. Edited by Angela Casteñeda & Julie Johnson Searcy, $29.95

Dynamic Positions in Birth: a Fresh Look at How Women's Bodies Work in Labour. Margaret Jowitt, $21.95

Evidence and Skills for Normal Labour and Birth, 2nd Edition: a Guide for Midwives. Denis Walsh, $76.90

The Gentle Art of Newborn Family Care: a Guide for Postpartum Doulas and Caregivers. Salle Webber, s

Hypnobirth: Evidence, Practice and Support for Birth Professionals. Teri Gavin-Jones & Sandra Handford, $62.50

Innovative Teaching Strategies for Birth Professionals, 2nd Edition. Connie Livingston, $26.95

Keep the Fires Burning: Conquering Stress and Burnout as a Mother-Baby Professional. Micky Jones, $23.95

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The Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Dystocia, 4th edition. Penny Simkin, Lisa Hanson & Ruth Ancheta, $59.99

Listening Visits in Perinatal Mental Health: a Guide for Health Professionals and Support Workers. Jane Hanley, $67.00

Living Colours. Anne Curtis, $25.00

Miracle of Birth 3: Five Birth Stories DVD. InJoy Videos, $49.99 (51 minutes/5 segments) Note: InJoy DVDs are sold for Home Use Only; and for sale only within Canada. All other users can contact Parentbooks for more information

Nurturing New Families: a Guide to Supporting Parents. Naomi Kemeny, $22.99

Pain in Childbearing and Its Control: Key Issues for Midwives and Women. Rosemary Mander, $65.99

Pain Management for Childbirth DVD: Volume 1 Comfort Techniques. InJoy Productions, $49.99 (29 minutes) Note: InJoy DVDs are sold for Home Use Only; and for sale only within Canada. All other users can contact Parentbooks for more information

Pain Management for Childbirth DVD: Volume 2 Analgesics & Epidurals. InJoy Productions, $49.99 (28 minutes) Note: InJoy DVDs are sold for Home Use Only; and for sale only within Canada. All other users can contact Parentbooks for more information

Pathways to Positive Parenting: Helping Parents Nurture Healthy Development in the Earliest Months. Jolene Pearson, $57.95

Positions for Labor: Maternal Movement and Optimal Fetal Positioning DVD. InJoy Videos, $39.99 (19 minutes) Note: InJoy DVDs are sold for Home Use Only; and for sale only within Canada. All other users can contact Parentbooks for more information

Relaxation, Rhythm, Ritual: the 3 R's of Childbirth. Penny Simkin, DVD $72.50, 15 minutes

The Science of Mother-Infant Sleep: Current Findings on Bedsharing, Breastfeeding, Sleep Training, and Normal Infant Sleep. Wendy Middlemiss & Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Editors, $19.95

Stages of Labor, 3rd Edition. InJoy Productions, $49.99 (27 minutes) Note: InJoy DVDs are sold for Home Use Only; and for sale only within Canada. All other users can contact Parentbooks for more information

Supporting Women for Labour and Birth: a Thoughtful Guide. Nicky Leap & Billie Hunter, $69.95

Understanding Birth: a Comprehensive Guide, 2nd Edition DVD. InJoy Videos (2 DVDs, 135 minutes & 48 minutes) $129.95 Note: InJoy DVDs are sold for Home Use Only; and for sale only within Canada. All other users can contact Parentbooks for more information

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