There is so much to think about and do when you’re on your birth journey. Reading about other’s experiences and having some informative books by your side can help make the whole thing feel a lot more manageable. We recently talked with our doulas here at The Nesting Place to get their recommendations for birth books!

Is there a book that you really LOVED during your journey? Or a friend recommended? Let us know on Instagram.

The Nesting Place is not affiliated with any of the books listed below. We’ve added links to where you can purchase if one of them really piques your interest.

Brooke Shields Down Came the Rain

When you ask for book recommendations this one is always near the top of the list. Here is a quick synopsis.

In this compelling memoir, Brooke Shields talks candidly about her experience with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, and provides millions of women with an inspiring example of recovery.

When Brooke welcomed her newborn daughter, Rowan Francis, into the world, something unexpected followed–a crippling depression. In Down Came the Rain, Brooke talks about the trials, tribulations, and finally the triumphs that occurred before, during, and after the birth of her daughter.

The Nurture Revolution, Greer Kirshenbaum, PhD

This is one of the most unique books you’ll find! Greer Kirshenbaum, PhD. is a neuroscientist, doula, and parent, who shares the latest research and neuroscience to investigate the power of nurture for our children’s mental and physical health outcomes. Here is a summary:

How can parents best set their children up for success? In this revelatory book, Dr. Kirshenbaum makes plain that nurture is a preventative medicine against mental health issues. She challenges the idea that the way to cultivate independence is through letting babies cry it out or sleep alone; instead, the way to raise a confident, securely attached child is to lean in to nurture, to hold your infant as much as you want, support their emotions, engage in back-and-forth conversations, be present and compassionate when your baby is stressed, and share sleep. Research has proven that nurturing experiences transform lives.

The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: an All-Canadian Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between by Ann Douglas

The title of this one says it all – The Mother of All Pregnancy Books has information on anything and everything related to birth. It provides information on things like preparing your body for pregnancy; practical advice on how to increase your chances of conceiving quickly; the top ten worries for each trimester—and more.

The Simple Guide to Having a Baby: a Step-by-Step Illustrated Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Janet Whalley, Penny Simkin and Ann Keppler 

What’s helpful about this book is how straightforward it is. You won’t get super in-depth information on any one topic, but it will give you a great overview of the pregnancy and birth process and what to expect. It’s accessible for new parents who are going on this journey for the first time and looking to better understand what’s coming next.

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know by Emily Oster 

This book by Emily Oster helps to break a lot of the myths surrounding pregnancy and birth that are often perpetuated in our society. Her book helps to go deeper and pull back the curtain on a lot of the advice parents have been getting for years and years. This allows readers to become more informed and make decisions that are best for their situation. Here is a summary:

When award-winning economist Emily Oster was a mom-to-be herself, she evaluated the data behind the accepted rules of pregnancy, and discovered that most are often misguided and some are just flat-out wrong. Debunking myths and explaining everything from the real effects of caffeine to the surprising dangers of gardening, Expecting Bettering is the book for every pregnant woman who wants to enjoy a healthy and relaxed pregnancy—and the occasional glass of wine.

Optimal Care in Childbirth: the Case for a Physiologic Approach by Henci Goer and Amy Romano

This book from Amy Romano and Henci Goer takes a closer look at our collective approach to childbirth and whether we are doing things in the most optimal way. They look at a number of factors that may be driving decision making. Below is a synopsis:

What practices and policies best promote safe, healthy, satisfying labor and birth? What harms do routine or frequent use of tests, procedures, and restrictions introduce? What nonmedical factors drive the current maternity care system? Meticulously documented, Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach pulls back the curtain on medical-model management of childbirth.

Raising Confident Black Kids: A Comprehensive Guide for Empowering Parents and Teachers of Black Children

Raising Confident Black Kids includes everything Black and multi-racial families need to know to raise empowered, confident children. From the realities of living while Black to age-appropriate ways to discuss racism with your children, educator M.J. Fievre provides a much-needed resource for parents of Black kids everywhere.

The book includes topics like:

  • How to encourage creativity and build self-confidence in your kids
  • Ways to engage in activism and help build a safer community with and for your children—and ways to rest when you need to
  • How to explain systemic racism, intersectionality, and micro-aggressions

Why Did No One Tell Me This?: The Doulas’ (Honest) Guide for Expectant Parents

One of the more fun and entertaining books you’re likely to come across on your birth journey. Authors Natalia Hailes and Ash Spivak provide bite-sized pieces of advice interspersed with vibrant illustrations by artist Louise Reimer to break down the doubts and fears that often surround childbirth, empowering readers to explore their own individual needs, know their rights, and find their voice both during and after pregnancy. By addressing common fears, incorporating regular tips for partners, and providing information on a wide array of birth and parents styles, this unique and inclusive guide is the perfect tool for a new generation of parents.

Nine Golden Months: The Essential Art of Nurturing the Mother-to-Be

A unique read among the hundreds of pregnancy and birth related books you’re likely to come across. Nine Golden Months shares timeless guidance from the authors’ extraordinary circle of practitioners, guides, and wisdom-keepers specializing in prenatal care; it draws from Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, and features rituals and self-sourced wisdom, so that it addresses all aspects of a woman’s pregnancy experience: emotional, mental, physiological, and spiritual.

Love Letters For New Mothers: Wisdom from one mother to another

A brilliant idea for a book as this one combines love letters written from the heart by mothers across the world to new mothers. It celebrates the importance of mothering and the joy of creation. You’ll get a glimpse into a number of different perspectives while being inspired the entire time.