As doulas, our clients expect us to be the experts. They put their trust in us to have the knowledge and experience in places where they don’t. Once you’ve completed Birth Beautifully’s extensive and thorough certification program, we encourage you to keep learning so you can be more confident, more knowledgeable, and more helpful for your clients.
Here are some books and resources we highly recommend for professional development.
- The Birth Partner, A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin. This is a great book that goes through the basics of birth support. Penny Simkin has been in the childbirth education and support field for more than 50 years and pioneered modern doula support.
- Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. This book delves into how birth is an emotional, transformative experience, as well as gives information on comfort measures during labor.
- The Doula Book: How a Trained Labor Companion Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth by Marshall H. Klaus, John H. Kennell, and Phyllis H. Klaus. This is an updated version of the book Mothering the Mother and adds new information and resources for women and their families.
- Homebirth in the Hospital: Integrating Natural Childbirth with Modern Medicine by Stacey Kerr, MD. This book offers many helpful ideas – practical and mental – on how to make the typical hospital birth setting feel more like home.
- The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger. A great resource full of illustrations and photos, and information to learn about all the options surrounding pregnancy and birth.
- Rediscovering Birth by Sheila Kitzinger. Kitzinger is a world-renowned childbirth educator and activist. In this book she discusses the emotions of pregnancy and the physical and spiritual experience of giving birth. She also discusses many pregnancy and birth traditions.
- The Cesarean by Michel Odent. Odent researches and reviews the use of Cesarean around the world. He addresses the relationship of surgical birth with the health of the baby, the effect on breastfeeding, and more, and discusses the long-term consequences of being born and giving birth in this way.
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International. A great resource on the basics of breastfeeding and how to support clients on their breastfeeding journey.
- Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy: A Photographic Guide for Mom and Those Who Help Her by Laura Keegan. This is a great resource for birth workers and clients and their families as they learn and navigate and support breastfeeding.
- When Survivors Give Birth by Penny Simkin and Phyllis Klaus. This book may be difficult for many, but it can help a doula learn how to be sensitive to previous life events and how to help prevent further trauma.
- Birth Ambassadors: Doulas and the Re-Emergence of Woman-Supported Birth in America by Christine Morton and Elayne Clift. This book goes through the history of the doula and how childbirth has changed throughout America.
- The Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Dystocia by Penny Simkin, Lisa Hanson, and Ruth Ancheta. This is a great go-to guide when a client’s labor is prolonged. Non-evasive suggestions are offered for situations such as stalled labor, or abnormally long second stage of labor.