The following recommended reading is merely that – a recommended list of reading for pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting and beyond. Some of the books deserve comments about how wonderful they are so the italicized comments are my own opinions about each recommendation. Reading is so important and valuable – for women, children and families.

I strongly believe reading is a lifelong adventure.

Interested in other non-bookish recommendations (podcasts, cookbooks, instagram accounts…)? Scroll to the bottom of the page.

Need a jumpstart in your reading life – Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks! Join Audible through this link and help support A Midwife Nation.

Books on pregnancy…

  • Birth and Power: A Savage Enquiry Revised by Wendy Savage
  • Birth Matters by Ina May Gaskin
    • A stark reminder of how birth should be and the interventions that often intrude into an otherwise normal process. An excellent read.
  • Childbirth Wisdom: From the World’s Oldest Societies by Judith Goldsmith
  • Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick-Reed
  • Creating Your Birth Plan: The Defining Guide to a Safe and Empowering Birth by Marsden Wagner and Stephanie Gunning
  • Effective Birth Preparation: Your Practical Guide to a Better Birth by Maggie Howell 
  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Dr. Sarah J. Buckley
  • How to Avoid an Unnecessary Cesarean: A Handbook for Women Who Want a Natural Childbirth by Helen Churchill and Wendy Savage
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
    • Excellent, heartfelt, REAL stories about natural labor and childbirth, with emphasis on minimal interventions and healthy body/mind connection for the woman, fetus/infant and family.
  • Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond by Nancy Bardacke
    • My #1 recommendation to women asking for the book to help them successfully prepare for pregnancy, birth and postpartum (and beyond). If I could hand this book out at every new OB visit, I would.
  • Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel
    • An excellent resource for the mama that wants to deliver in the hospital but equally desires a natural birth.
  • Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols
    • Recommended by a blog reader!
  • The Faceless Cesarean by Caroline Oblasser
  • Your Best Birth: Know All Your Options, Discover the Natural Choices, and Take Back the Birth Experience by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
  • The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin
    • Excellent read for any person planning support a woman in labor. My husband even read this while I was IN LABOR with my daughter.

Books on breastfeeding…

Books about the postpartum period…

Books about midwifery and birth…

  • BIRTH: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy
  • Birth in Four Cultures: A Crosscultural Investigation of Childbirth in Yucatan, Holland, Sweden and the United States by Brigitte Jordan
  • Birth Models that Work by Robbie Floyd-Davis
  • Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must be Fixed to Put Women and Children First by Marsden Wagner
  • Granny Midwives and Black Women Writers: Double-Dutched Readings by Valerie Lee
  • Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Hearts by Carol Leonard
  • Mainstreaming Midwives: The Politics of Change by Robbie Davis-Floyd and Christine Barbara Johnson
  • Midwifery for Expectant Parents: A Modern Guide to Choosing the Birth That’s Right for You by Augre Thompkins, CNM
  • Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying, and Pleasurable Birth Experience By Elizabeth Davis and Debra Pascali-Bonaro
  • PUSHED: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block

Books for midwifery students…

Books on parenting…

Books for women or about women’s health…

Books on healthcare, public health or global health…

  • Better by Atul Gawande
    • Another hit by Dr. Gawande. This book examines how we must all do better in the details of healthcare – from a polio outbreak to reducing infection rates in a skilled surgeon, a must read for all in health care.
  • Factfulness by Hans Rosling
    • A book recommended off the What Should I Read Next podcast! It’s full of facts and data about the state of the world. The big takeaway: the world is a lot better off than you think it is!
  • On Call in the Arctic: A Doctor’s Pursuit of Life, Love, and Miracles in the Alaskan Frontier by Thomas A Sims
  • The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
    • A great peek into the mind of a surgeon frustrated by the weaknesses of the U.S. health care system – and a plan for how to make it better. A quick, captivating read for anyone that’s ever received health care.

Want even more? Try these other awesome non-pregnancy or non-bookish recommendations that I recommend on a regular basis to patients, mamas, colleagues and friends:



  • From Freezer to Table by Polly Conner and Rachel Tiemeyer
    • Love, love, love this book. This cookbook is one of the only reasons my family eats good, home cooked meals during the week. I regularly include this book with baby gifts and wedding gifts.
  • From Freezer to Cooker by Polly Conner and Rachel Tiemeyer
    • This book released January 14th, 2020 and the recipes are delicious, nutritious and easy to make! We use my crockpot at least three times a week to make the recipes in this short, we’re fans. Get your hands on a copy today.





Have a great book or resource to share? Send me an email at

Need a jumpstart in your reading life? Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks. Join Audible through this link and help support A Midwife Nation. New to audiobooks? I recommend you start with The Dutch House by Tom Hanks. You can’t go wrong with an audiobook narrated by Tom Hanks!

This page contains Amazon affiliate links for some recommended products. This means A Midwife Nation may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. All profits from affiliate links support A Midwife Nation’s mission to make midwifery the standard of care for women everywhere. Thank you in advance for the support and happy reading!