Looking for a resource on natural childbirth...


  • Specializes in NICU. Has 1 years experience.

I was hoping some of you L&D nurses and CNMs might be able to help me out. My cousin (who is not a medical professional) recently found out that she is pregnant and would very much like to have a natural delivery. She will be moving to a small town next month and may not have access to a midwife and her choices for an OB may be somewhat limited. She has asked me how she can avoid being pressured into unnecessary interventions, and I was hoping that someone might be able to recommend a book or website that focuses on how to achieve a natural childbirth in the hospital environment. I feel like her best bet is to educate herself, but I don't want her to go google crazy and find herself taking advice from a less than reputable website. Any help is greatly appreciated!


6 Posts

Specializes in OR. Has 1 years experience.

Check out Ricki Lake's documentary called "The business of being born." Very informative.


73 Posts

suggest the book 'pushed' by jennifer block. it's a wide-ranging book about the culture of childbirth in this country, and it covers a lot of ground (not suggestions for birthing positions, just knowing what you might be up against if you don't have providers who truly support natural childbirth. also, i really like 'the birth partner' (by penny simkin) for more practical info. have her look for a doula, too. good luck!


201 Posts

Specializes in Step-Down. Has 5 years experience.

When my sister had her first child 2 years ago she had the same desire to have a natural birth. She had her birth plan all played out in her mind and in paper months ahead of time. Well needless to say after being in labor for 20 min she screamed for an epidural which she said was amazing. She just had her second child 2 weeks ago and was in labor for 10 minutes and the baby flew out before the ambulance could arrive (she lives down the block from one of the biggest hospitals in long island and probably NYS) thankfully my brother in law was there. Mommy and baby are fine!


133 Posts

She should definitely look in to getting a doula for the birth. The Birth Partner is a great book and pretty much any book by Penny Simkin would be useful. Ricki Lake put out a book called "Your Best Birth" that is supposed to be good as well. Sheila Kitzinger's The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Birth is good and comprehensive.There are tons of other good comprehensive books out there: Birth Book (Martha Sears), Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, The Doula Guide to Birth (Ananda Lowe), Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn (Janet Whalley). Other books that lean more towards specific techniques and coping are: Active Birth, Birthing from Within, and the Bradley Birth Book.

She should avoid books like"What to Expect" or "Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy", those are more pop culture and What to Expect is very alarmist.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

17 Articles; 5,259 Posts

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

Throwing in my recommendation for 'Gentle Birth Choices' by Barbara Harper.


12 Posts

Though I don't have a book recommendation, I have 5 babies so I want to suggest that above anything else:

Tell her to remember that it is HER body and she can refuse anything she isn't comfortable with if she knows it's not necessary for her or baby's safety. IV's, Pitocin, unnecessary tests, etc.

For instance, I nursed my babies while they were getting their immunizations. Almost NO crying whatsoever. Shocks nurses every time. (though they still won't recommend to other mothers to do the same:confused:)They always say to lay the baby on the table (and pin their legs down) and there's no reason for that at all.

I have also refused fetal scalp monitoring when they were about to do that (with no reason, no heartrate problems), amnio, and unnecessary IVs. And asked for the nurse to let me get pictures and spend a little time with baby before they put in that nasty eye junk. Always nursed baby before they took them to nursery for a bath even way back years ago when they usually allowed only a few minutes with the baby. I just made them wait. It's MY baby.;)

So, in short..... have a lot of Mommy guts, follow your instincts, and STAND YOUR GROUND is my advice (a little harder to do for a first-time Mom-take it from me (it took me a while), but do-able.)

Sweet that you're helping her:redpinkhe. I wish her the best of luck.


20 Posts

From my personal experience:

Hire a doula and stay at home as long as possible (taking into account how far the hospital is, etc)

tablefor9, RN

299 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Home Health, Camp, Travel, L&D. Has 16 years experience.

Love Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. A little crunchy for some, but hey...it was the 70's.

Specializes in Women's Health. Has 38 years experience.
Love Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. A little crunchy for some, but hey...it was the 70's.

Hey we started the movement!!!:redpinkhe


350 Posts

Henci Goer's "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" is invaluable. She goes over all kinds of interventions and the research behind them or NOT behind them. ;)