This article provides resources for promoting health-balance-support during the pregnancy, birth and nursing stages of life for the baby, mother and father/co-parent.
It is most definitely *not* meant as a complete substitute for healthcare from a certified medical provider.
One of my mentors, Dr Aviva Romm, says it best – “When in doubt, check it out”. Get proper medical care when you need it.
**Huge gratitude to the dedicated and loving mothers who freely shared their advice, wisdom, knowledge and recommendations with me.**
Birth Control & Conception
~ “Taking Charge of your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement and Reproductive Health” by Toni Weschler
This classic work has extensive information on the Fertility Awareness Method for non-hormonal birth control, pregnancy achievement or overall reproductive awareness.
~ Ayurveda and Conception
~ Ayurveda – Preparing for Conception
~ Ina May Gaskin
A well respected source of information for many areas of the pregnancy-birth process.
Her website includes a TEDTALK video, books and several in depth articles.
~ “The Natural Pregnancy Book” by Aviva Romm
One of the standard references in the western herbal community. The author is a mother – grandmother – MD – midwife – herbalist.
~ Aromatherapy & Pregnancy
A research paper exploring the controversy surrounding the use of essential oils during pregnancy
~ Protecting Your Baby’s Microbiome
~ Ina May Gaskin (see “Pregnancy” above)
~ The Bradley Method
A time tested approach to natural birthing that includes father participation.
Local in-person classes are available and recommended for the most benefit.
~ “Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation” By Pam England and Rob Horowitz
“a holistic approach to childbirth that examines this profound rite-of-passage not as a medical event but as an act of self-discovery.”
“For use during birth, the book offers proven techniques for coping with labor pain without drugs, a discussion of the doctor or midwife’s role, and a look at the father’s responsibilities.”
“Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is a process of continuous learning and adjustment; Birthing From Within provides the necessary support and education to make each phase of birthing a rewarding experience.”
~ “The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother” by Heng Ou & Amely Greeven
This book gets rave reviews from every mother I know who has used it. Based on time tested ideas from Chinese culture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
From a mother/ herbal colleague:
This book has outstanding information on how to help a new mother conserve and replenish energy and how to be a thoughtful/helpful visitor/partner in the special postpartum days and weeks.
It also has great recipes for food and teas/medicine that help to replenish the Chi-Vital Force of the mother after giving birth.
~ “Sitting Moon: A Guide to Natural Rejuvenation After Pregnancy” by Daoshing Ni A book on postpartum care from the Chinese Medicine perspective. Not a lot of recipes, but more traditional medicine info than the other sources.
~ “Zuo Yuezi: An American Mother’s Guide to Chinese Postpartum Recovery”
by by Guang Ming Whitley
A very plainly laid out and simple book that breaks down the basics of postpartum care from the Chinese Medicine perspective.
~ Ayurvedic Postpartum Care: the 42 Days of Recovery
General Parenting & Healthcare for the Child up to Age Two
~ “An Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants”
by Mary Bove
~ “Naturally Healthy Babies and Children”
by Aviva Romm
from a friend and herbal colleague…
a must have reference. I can’t tell you how many late nights I’ve been up worried with a sick kid and re-read a section. It’s not just her advice, but that she helps you decide what you can feel confident healing at home and when you need to seek medical care. That is what I love best about this book.
~ “The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day”
by Meg Cox
~ “Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness With Children”
by Thich Nhat Han
~ “The Nursing Mother’s Herbal”
by Sheila Humphrey
She has a list of many herbs and a safety rating that indicates the degree of caution require. This is surprisingly hard info to come by.
An extensive website full of articles and a helpful blog
~ The Weston Price organization has extensive articles for children’s health based on traditional diets from several cultures, backed by modern research.
~ Kelly Brogan MD
Excellent resources for women’s health, parenting, and children’s health.
~ Heather Dessinger
Excellent resource for parents.
~ “Nourished Beginnings: Baby Food”
By Renee Kohley
What to feed baby and family at various stages. There are all nutrient dense recipes for families with children of any age.
Also recommend is her blog:
for practical ideas for parents who want to feed their kids low-sugar, nutrient-dense, gluten-free foods. She makes tons of accommodations for all kinds of food allergies and sensitivities.
~ Genevieve Howland
Great blog for pregnancy, birthing, parenting and women’s healthcare
~ The Little Herbal Apothecary
A helpful blog with many articles geared to parenting, birthing and children’s health care.
Resources for Fathers and Birthing Partners
~ “Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Partners, Doulas, and All Other Labor” (5th Edition)
by Penny Simkin
Review of this book is here: