Read any number of pregnancy books, such as What to Expect When You Are Expecting (I do have What to Expect The First Year on my bookshelf) or the Iovine books (I admit I used to own two – one on pregnancy and one on “gear”), and you’ll likely encounter the information that is considered to be “mainstream”. Some of us have never been able to swim in that particular stream, and most who think like me tend to swim upstream.

This is a resource for people like me who start out trying to swim in the stream and eventually start working their way upstream, intentionally against the main stream’s strong and persistent current. It is easy to find the mainstream – it’s where most people want you to be. If you follow the main stream you won’t cause as many problems. People like me often get involved in problems, not because we want to, but because we HAVE TO. I didn’t come to believe what I believe and know what I know because I enjoy being in the minority or being argumentative. I’m here because I need to be here, and furthermore, I was forced here by previous experience and the alarming status of maternal/fetal  health “care” in the U.S.

This list is fluid. I’m not going to wait until I have a certain number of resources to post it. No – as I continue to learn, this list will continue to evolve. If you have suggestions for this list, please let me know and I will consider adding them once I’ve had the opportunity to review them.

Getting Started

Trying to wade through all of this information is an overwhelming task, but theseresources have been incredibly helpful for me:

  • ICAN (especially their “White Papers”)
  • Childbirth Connection (this links to their Best Evidence: VBAC or RCS page, but I recommend being well-acquainted with the entire site; this is an ESSENTIAL site)
  • Henci Goer has excellent literature summaries in The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth. If you don’t already own this book, run and get it!
  • Conscious Woman Webinars – explore advanced doula training, activism, healing from birth trauma, legal issues, and more through this well-planned and organized group.
  • Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First, Chapter 6, by M. Wagner. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press, 2006.
  • Articles and other publications by Sarah Buckley, Michael Odent, and Marsden Wagner (all three are medical doctors)
  • Articles and other publications by Ina May Gaskin, Henci Goer, and Gloria Lemay, three of the biggest names in the natural childbirth “movement”

VBAC Resources to Consult

  • Planning a VBAC (one woman’s extensive researching journey to VBAC and HBAC)
  • Birth After Cesarean .
  • Algert CS et al. “Labor before a primary cesarean delivery: reduced risk of uterine rupture in a subsequent trial of labor for vaginal birth after cesarean.” Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Nov;112(5):1061-6.  [Link to abstract.]
  • Landon MB, et al. “Risk of uterine rupture with a trial of labor in women with multiple and single prior cesarean delivery.” Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jul;108(1):12-20. [Link to full text] Probably the most important and compelling current research on this subject.

Homebirth Resources to Consult

  • YouTube videos
  • Penny Simkin’s The Birth Partner
  • Ina May Gaskin’s books
  • One study that always comes up in discussions of homebirth is “A Prospective Study of Planned Homebirths by Certified Professional Midwives in North America,” by K. Johnson and B. Daviss. British Medical Journal 330, no. 7505 (2005).
  • The Business of Being Born, a feature documentary film by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein (available via Netflix)
  • Another movie, Orgasmic Birth – I’ve heard good things about it, so don’t let the title throw you off!