Our Favorite Doula Books and Why We Love Them
For doulas, continuing education is a necessary part of staying relevant and serving your clients in the most effective way possible. With birth, there is always more to learn. One great way to stay educated as a doula is by reading great doula books.
When developing the Birth Boot Camp DOULA reading requirements, we thought carefully and recruited many different people to choose the best books for our doulas that would help them in their practice. Some of our favorite doula books aren’t directly about helping a woman through labor. Topics we know are important to the professional doula include:
- Running a successful business
- Thinking and behaving in a professional manner
- Being sensitive to the unique birthing situation of each and every client even if we have never experienced what she has
- Understanding the unique role of the doula as a change agent in birth and respecting this power and place
- Being aware of postpartum and the unique and often ignored needs of the newly created mother
- Providing top-notch labor support
Here are some of our favorite doula books and why we love them. We hope you will check them out and benefit from them as well- even if you aren’t a Birth Boot Camp DOULA- because the world needs more awesome doulas and these books can help.
The Baby Catcher- by Peggy Vincent
This book, written by a Northern California midwife, chronicles her career and experiences as a busy home-birth midwife. There is much to be learned from each and every unique birth story. There is also so much that Ms Vincent teaches us as she discloses her feelings and thoughts and struggles as she supports women in birth and runs her own household.
Ms Vincent also shares an incredibly difficult birth experience that rocked the birth world and her own career. This story (we won’t give it all away) teaches doulas so much about liability, personal choice, and practicing as a doula in a way that protects you and your client. Check it out! The Baby Catcher is also a quick and enjoyable read. You’ll love it!
Mothering the New Mother– by Sally Plaskin
Postpartum could easily be called the last frontier of birth work. Often ignored, seldom talked about, and rarely understood, postpartum is like a secret society among women. The doula must be acquainted with the fleeting and often fragile state that is the new mother.
She is usually the only person who attended the birth and later attends the mother in her own home to visit she and the new baby. Learning the basics of what to expect and what to be aware of is a necessity for doulas as they support women- especially when so many suffer from postpartum mood disorders.
If you haven’t check out this book, look for it. It will change the way you view postpartum visits.
Cut, Stapled, and Mended- by Roanna Rosewood
Cut, Stapled and Mended is an honest look at the three births of one woman. Planning home births for all her babies but experiencing two cesareans before she achieved this goal, Ms Rosewood openly talks about this journey and the emotional turmoil throughout. As doulas we often support women whose birth desires are not met and it can be hard to understand where they are coming from and how deep their pain goes.
Ms Rosewood opens our hearts to the reality of dashed birth dreams and helps us understand them better as she shares her own heartbreak.
This is an incredible book for anyone working with birthing women- truly a must read and a page turner.
When Survivors Give Birth- by Penny Simpkin and Phyllis Klaus
When Survivors Give Birth is not an easy book to read, but it can help the birth worker learn to be more sensitive to every birthing woman and the need for respect. Sadly, women are not always respected during the birth process and are put in positions that can be triggering. This is an important book for any doula to read.
The Birth Book- by Dr Sears
The Birth Book is a classic birth prep book that runs through the basics of childbirth for anyone looking to learn more. Not only does it help the beginning doula learn some solid information about childbirth and comfort techniques, it also helps her know some great books to recommend to clients. The Birth Book is easy to read and has solid, quality information. Even if the information therein is well known to you, this is a great reference book for your clients.
Birth Ambassadors- by Morton and Clift
Birth Ambassadors reads like an academic thesis, contains extensive research on the roles and work of doulas, and is simply not read enough. Written by an anthropologist about her research on doulas, this incredible book delves into what a doula is and just how they create social change. It is eye opening and a necessary read for the serious doula who plans on truly improving birth.
We love these recommended doula books so much we made them required reading for our doula trainees. If you want to see the complete list of books we recommend for our doulas, check out the full reading list here.
May luck and learning be with you on your doula journey!