A Doula's Guide to Educational Resources for a Natural Childbirth

Updated: Jan 20

Dear Doula, I want to have a natural childbirth but I feel overwhelmed, with no idea where to start. There's so much to learn. Can I really do all of this? Signed,

Every Overwhelmed Expecting Parent Ever

The Age of Information (And Overwhelm)

We now have access to vast amounts of information on any topic at the tips of our fingers. One quick search pulls page after page of insight. This is an amazing time to be living in, but it comes with its downsides. The mass amount of info has diluted authentic and useful knowledge by overflowing us with opinions, agendas, and marketing schemes. It's left many feeling out of focus and lost in a sea of "advice".

After spending nearly 15 years sorting through scientific studies, advice articles, and reading book after book, I've collected a strong foundation of educational resources I want to share with you to help guide you onto a solid path of understanding. As an active birth doula, I've seen what works in practicality and what doesn't. Here are my top sources for you to explore.

Top Websites I Share With All My Clients

These are a few keys to having a successful natural childbirth and a healing postpartum. The information and education found on these websites, or single articles, are top-tier hidden gems!

  1. Spinning Babies - Comfort in Pregnancy and Easier Birth

  2. Evidence Based Birth®

  3. Use Your BRAIN Acronym Tool | Mother Rising

  4. How to Labor Naturally by Understanding Hormones | Lamaze Childbirth Class

  5. Free Visual Birth Plan Template (Doctors & Nurses Love This!)

  6. Postpartum Lying-In Plan

  7. KellyMom.com Breastfeeding and Parenting

The Books You Need Today

Whether you listen on Audible, borrow from your local doula, or order your own copy, these are books that are worth their weight in gold! And if you can only pick one book to read, number 4 is it!

  1. Ancient Map for Modern Birth by Pam England

  2. Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond by Nancy Bardacke and Donna Postel

  3. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

  4. The Birth Partner by 5th Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Partners, Doulas, and Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin

Top YouTubers to Know About

YouTube is a wealth of information, both good and bad. Here are a few of the best content creators who really know their stuff! Saving your favorites on a playlist on your own YouTube account can help you easily refer back to the most impactful videos you find along the way.

  1. Bridget Teyler

  2. Mandy Irby - The Birth Nurse

  3. Mama Natural

  4. Alice Turner

Miscellaneous Advice That Can Change Your Whole Experience

  1. Look into hiring a doula! Doulas are walking encyclopedias of wisdom, tools, and local resources. We have key insight into the "underground world" of birth and know how to navigate the unexpected nature of birth with our eyes closed. If you've collected enough knowledge to last a lifetime but are worried about implementing it when the time comes, a doula is designed to help turn birth dreams into realities.

  2. Make sure your healthcare provider is already in alignment with your birth wishes. The chances of you changing your doctor or midwife's mind about how they've spent decades practicing are slim to none. It's important to ask questions early on in your journey and find a new care provider who best suits you. This will eliminate a large portion of stress and anxiety around implementing your birth plan.

  3. Take a private childbirth class. While hospital childbirth classes can serve as a wonderful tool for educating newcomers on your hospital's policies and procedures, it's not always the best at ACTUALLY preparing parents for handling their natural childbirth and postpartum experience. Look for a local class taught by a doula or private childbirth instructor. Email them before committing and ask for a complete syllabus of topics and lectures. This will give you an in-depth and comprehensive look at what's being offered from each class in your area.

You can do this! Take it one day at a time and enjoy the journey.

Namaste Friends

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