Book Reviews by ICAN

By: Diana Korte, et al

Thorough, sensible, and extremely well organized, these knowledgeable authors cover topics of pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum care for mother and child in an accessible, very easy-to-follow format. The authors present clear-headed information on everything from finding a birth attendant to questions for the hospital to understanding your feelings about it all.

By: Janet Balaskas

As the title implies, this book is about staying active in childbirth. Going beyond simply stating the importance of being active, this book goes into great detail about HOW to be active, including detailed descriptions, illustrations, and even showing how your birth partner can support and encourage an active birth.

By: Gayle Peterson

An informative and extremely practical guide that makes childbirth a rewarding experience. The tools provided in An Easier Childbirth simplify this process. Peterson describes techniques for coping with pain, including relaxation and visualization. She explains the importance of having realistic expectations and discusses how mother, baby, and family can bond together following the birth. The book also includes invaluable material on physical exercises, the natural flow of labor, and ideas for transforming fear.

By: Peggy Vincent

In a joyous, often hilarious ode to the Birkenstock-scuffling, tackle box-toting mobile midwives who flourished in the 1980s, Peggy Vincent chronicles her abundant life as a professional Baby Catcher. Like the most courageous home births, this collection of birth experiences refuses anesthesia: plenty of bellowing, sweating, bleeding, and pushing accompany nearly all of the more than 40 tales. Tough confrontations with stubborn physicians, panicky labor partners, and one particularly nasty calico cat are dabbed with as many keen insights as Vincent's quieter, more heart-rending newborn encounters.

By: Bruce Flamm, M.D.

Although this book is out-dated, this question-and-answer format book still speaks true to the fact that vaginal birth after cesarean is a safe option that women have the right to choose for themselves.

By: Robbie E. Davis-Floyd

"Whether you are a proponent of 'natural' or 'prepared' childbirth, Davis-Floyd's exhaustive look at the rituals of the modern hospital variety is eye-opening and informative at least, and at best a call to action." Tara Aronson, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

By: Sheila Kitzinger

As research discloses the risks of intensively managed hospital birth, increasing numbers of women are considering alternatives. This new updated edition of Sheila Kitzinger's pioneering work gives them the facts. Highly informative yet sensitively written, and supported by firsthand accounts of women's personal experiences of birth, this is the essential guide for every woman considering her options.

By: Pam England & Rob Horowitz

This holistic approach to childbirth examines this profound rite-of-passage not as a medical event, but as an act of self-discovery. Exercises and activities such as journal writing, meditation, and painting are designed to help mothers analyze their thoughts and face their fears during pregnancy. A wonderful resource for women planning for a new birth, or for women looking to do some emotional work on healing from a past birth experience.

By: Sheila Stubbs

Told by a REAL professional- not a doctor, not a midwife, but a mother herself. Besides a few typographical and grammatical errors, this book is an easy read in which the author talks about her journeys in birth and parenting. Many women who have read the book admit to frequently laughing out loud, crying, and nodding in agreement as the author tells it like it is.

By: Marsden Wagner

Highly respected with excellent credentials, Dr. Wagner takes a look at the trends in birthing interventions and their ramifications. With the epidemic of interventions, inductions, cesarean sections, and against-label use of Cytotec, along with the lack of access to midwifery care, this book gives an insightful critique of the multiplying interferences in birth in America today.

By: Chrissie Gallagher-Mundy

Covering the basics of what to expect during a cesarean, this book gives great details and tips about what to expect afterwards. Along with breastfeeding information, it also breaks down what to expect, and some suggestions on what you can do, during the first days and weeks of cesarean recovery.


Cesarean mothers tell their stories and feelings of loss, pain, anger, sadness and more in their very own words. A very emotional read, this compilation shows that a cesarean section surgery is not just another way to have a baby, and that how the mother feels about her experience does matter.

By: Roanna Rosewood

Cut, Stapled and Mended: When One Woman Reclaimed Her Body and Gave Birth on Her Own Terms After Cesarean, a memoir by Roanna Rosewood, nailed some of my inner-most thoughts that, to this day, I still struggle to explain in words. It is as if the author was in my head sharing my thoughts & feelings about my own births.  read more »

By: Angela Hoy

This compilation of true stories of VBAC as told by the mothers themselves show the challenges often faced by mothers having to fight for their right to give birth vaginally. This book can be useful in preparing for the conflicts that VBAC moms often face, and many women who have read this book claim that they learned a lot about the importance of finding truly supportive care providers, positive support, and being critical in choosing their place of birth for their VBACs.

By: Carl Jones

At the writing of this book, 1 in 4 babies were born by cesarean section surgery- today, that number is 1 in 3 babies. Most women who have a cesarean suffer pain and disappointment and search out ways to avoid the experience again. Filled with authoritative and practical information, this book points the way toward safe and positive vaginal birth for both first-time and post-cesarean parents.

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