Here are some of my favorites:
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer: Particularly if you’re planning a hospital birth, this book is a must-read. It is full of research but also includes easy to reference bulleted lists regarding specific interventions and choices.
Birthing from Within by Pam England: Disclaimer–parts of this book might seem kooky. However, I credit this book with taking away any fear I had about birth. And it has some cool ideas (pun intended) like holding a piece of ice in your hand and practicing relaxation to prepare for labor.
Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System must be Fixed to put Women and Children First by Marsden Wagner: from the feisty and outspoken former Director of Women’s and Children’s Health at WHO, an insider’s perspective of the “whys” of American childbirth.
Birth as an American Rite of Passage by Robbie Davis-Floyd: An anthropologist’s study of current childbirth “rites” in America and how they steal power from women.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin: What do you say about Ina May? She is the crunchy Farm midwife who developed the Gaskin Maneuver–the only obstetrical maneuver to be named after a midwife.
“The Business of Being Born” : If you have netflix, go ahead and queue this one! It releases in February to the public. Our babywearing group recently sponsored a local showing of this film and it is powerful to watch. I’m recommending it to all the women I know–pregnant or not.
There are so many more…but begin with these or recommend your own in the comments. I’ll be adding as I read!