My birthday is coming up, and I have a serious love of books. I’ve been poking around looking for newer books that I might be interested in checking out, and this is my short list! Ok, it isn’t that short, but I LOVE to read and I really feel like this should just be expected from me as a birth geek. (I’m also not suggesting that you all buy me a birthday present!) I promise that I am not advocating that you do nothing but read about birth geeky things; I certainly don’t. BUT, if you are looking for some newer books to pep up your professional reading list or book club, these might be something that you check out. These are in alphabetical order by author’s name so don’t think I’m playing favorites with books that I haven’t read yet! Please note, the links to the books are affiliate links and we may get a little money if you click through at buy from Amazon. (Not a way to get rich btw!)

The New Birth Geek Book List:

Britta Bushnell, Transformed by Birth: Cultivating Openness, Resilience, and Strength for the Life Changing Journey from Pregnancy to Parenthood  (Jan 28, 2020)

Britta Bushnell handed me a copy of this book at a recent conference, even though Robin had her all kinds of worried that I was going to skewer her for her use of the word culture. (I’m not scary, I promise!) I honestly love Britta’s perspective and am soo very excited to dive into this one! It’s the only one on the list that I already have in my possession. Here is her website if you want to know more about her too.

Amy Brown Informed is best: How to spot fake news about your pregnancy, birth and baby (November 7, 2019) and A Guide to Supporting Breastfeeding for the Medical Profession (Dec 20, 2019)

Dr. Amy Brown is a rock star of a prolific academic who is also kind and passionate about changing the landscape for breastfeeding parents. I have loved her previous books, and I’m soooo very excited for these next two that are coming out by her. She has a fantastically pragmatic and evidence based approach, and may make you stand up and cheer with her brilliance. These two books look to be especially prescient and needed, and great resources for breastfeeding geeks!

Aimee Chase Present, Not Perfect for Pregnancy: A Mindfulness Journal for Mothers-to-Be  (Available now.)

This looks like the kind of journal that I would have loved to have when I was pregnant. Why do I want to read it as a childbirth professional? My thought is that it might be something I could gift to my clients who deal with anxiety. I also like to know what resources are out there that my clients might find helpful.

Natalia Hailes, Ash Spivak, & Louise Reimer Why Did No One Tell Me This?: The Doulas’ (Honest) Guide for Expectant Parents Paperback (April 7, 2020) 

When I first read this title, I was so excited that someone had already written the book that I wanted to write. Yes, seriously! I think doulas have a great perspective, and I would love to read about what other doulas think parents need to hear. We have a unique perspective about birth and early parenthood, and I want to read about it too!

Milli Hill Give Birth Like a Feminist (available now)

The title alone reeled me in for this one, but I also really appreciate Milli Hill’s challenge to the medical model in all of her writings. Reading her other writings in The Guardian and The Telegraph have really made me more curious about what is contained here. As a medical anthropologist, I’m also excited to read a journalistic take on this discussion!

Kimberly Ann Johnson The Fourth Trimester Cards (November 12, 2019)

Written by the author of The Fourth Trimester (available now), these cards look like something that I might use with my doula clients and childbirth education students. I love to have this kind of thing on hand to show people and remind them of all the amazing things happening around them, within them, and to them. I also think people need to be reminded of the 4th trimester, so these cards could be a way to make them feel like shifting is good.

Chavi Eve Karkowsky High Risk: A Doctor’s Notes on Pregnancy, Birth, and the Unexpected (March 10, 2020)

I appreciate being reminded of the medical perspective. I want to have empathy for all the medical professionals that I work with on a regular basis. This might be a way to do that.

Jill Koziol (Author), Liz Tenety (Author), Diana Spalding (Author) The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama: Redefining the Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Journey (April 14, 2020)

I swear that not one single week goes by that someone doesn’t send me a Motherly article to read because it resonated with them. I want to read what is included in this book!

Sarah Menkedick Ordinary Insanity: Fear and the Silent Crisis of Motherhood in America (April 7, 2020)

Cultural critique + America + Motherhood= right up my alley!

Kim Woodard Osterholzer A Midwife in Amish Country: Celebrating God’s Gift of Life (Available now) 

I am always asking the home birth midwives around me to tell me stories from Amish births. I used to live in Northeast Ohio, which has a large Amish population. I love learning more about Amish culture, and not just because I’m a German speaker, so I’m guessing this book might be interesting to me.

Rachel Reed Why Induction Matters (Dec 3, 2019)

I would LOVE to have a book that I could recommend that is an evidence based exploration of induction decision making. That is what this book aims to be, and I want to read it.

Penny Simkin The Birth Partner’s Quick Reference Guide and Planner: Essential Labor and Childbirth Information for a New Mother’s Partner and Helpers (January 7, 2020)

I wish everyone who accompanied anyone into a birthing space would read The Birth Partner, but the truth is that they aren’t going to. This book looks like a great way to bridge that gap with the same intent.

Agnes Wold & Cecelia Chrapkowska

Parenting the Swedish Way: Debunking Myths about Pregnancy and Infancy, and Replacing Hearsay with Science (March 12, 2020)

I am a little obsessed with how the Swedes do things, and I promise that isn’t just my love of IKEA and Alexander Skarsgard talking. Swedish parenthood is fascinating to me, and I would love to read more about that perspective. This seems like a great book for doing that. 

I hope you found a few books worth picking up to read in this list. My wish-list is typically much longer than my actual list of what I get read, but its ok to have goals! What are you reading right now? What is your favorite book that you read for professional development this past month?

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