There are so many birth books on the market it’s hard to know where to start.  

I wanted to cut through the noise a little bit and just guide you to a few of my favourite books that helped me change my mindset for my freebirth, understand more about what’s wrong with the system and how to birth unassisted.  

So, this small list of books is a good place for you to start to combine all those aspects without having to read 100 books.  

Today I’m going to share my top 3 books and why they are my favourite all time books and why you should read them for your freebirth.

1.  Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method the Natural Approach to a Safe, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing by Marie F. Mongan 

This book was one of the first that I read when I was planning for my VBAC in the hospital.  I picked up a free slightly used version from someone’s porch one day organised through Gumtree.  

I was so excited to read this book as at the time there was so much hype around hypnobirthing, and I always wanted a waterbirth so the two felt hand in hand.  

What I didn’t expect was a story that left such a remarkable imprint on my memories that I don’t think I will ever forget.  

If you love learning through stories this book is the book for you.   

Marie shares her emotional birth stories of how she was treated birthing in the system back when twilight birth was happening.   

She shares how her Dr. betrayed her confidence and trust not just once but a number of times during two of her births.  

And she shares how she was able to finally have her drug-free birth and show that Doctor just how powerful and amazing her birthing body was.  It was a real heart tug story.  

That story alone was well worth making this one of the best books I’ve ever read on the market today and that is without the hypnobirthing information!  

If I’m honest I didn’t pick much upon the hypnobirthing side.   

Reading how to do hypnobirthing from a book isn’t my learning style. I prefer being taught by a teacher by watching and then practising either in person or through video.  

If you prefer learning like me you prob won’t learn much outside of the fundamentals of hypnobirthing – but if you are the type who can learn through reading then you will get an awesome story and learn hypnobirthing all in one!

2.  Home Birth On Your Own Terms: A How-To Guide For Birthing Unassisted by Heather Baker  

I love a good “how-to book”.  It’s great to be inspired and read birth stories and learn from other people’s experiences (one of the most exciting ways to learn in my opinion).  

But you can’t seem to beat a good old fashioned “how to book” for practical steps to achieve something.  

I loved this book for freebirth or unassisted birth because it is a step-by-step playbook of what to expect and how to support yourself in an unassisted birth.  

I had completed two freebirth courses prior to my freebirth and I hands down think this book is a much better guide than both of them put together.   

I was gifted some little coloured tabs that I used when reading the book to mark some of the important pages that I wanted to revisit so when I had fear or saw someone’s birth story I could flip to the page and learn what I would do if that happened.  

This is a good one to sit down with your partner and explore each section together so they can get the answers they need to know.  

You can just take what information you like and leave the rest.  The beauty of planning a freebirth is that you get to choose what happens.  

This book covers: 

  • how to do your own prenatal care 
  • common discomforts in pregnancy 
  • herbal and homeopathy uses 
  • supplies you need for your birth 
  • labour stages and how to manage them 
  • birth affirmations 
  • avoiding issues and complications 
  • what to do for emergencies 
  • postpartum care for mom and baby 
  • how to register your baby with the state 
  • unassisted birth stories 

This book is packed with photographs!! A MUST HAVE, especially in places that have little to no access to quality medical care/hospitals near the birthing mother.

3. New Active Birth: A Concise Guide to Natural Childbirth by Janet Balaskas 

This book is an oldie but a goodie.  I like the rawness of this book. It isn’t fancy or glamorous.  It’s just going to teach you the fundamentals of active birth.  

After having experienced two unneeded surgical births in the hospital this book was a real eye-opener to me on how important it is that a woman is active and upright during birth. Helping her baby to come down through gravity and following her body’s natural movements.  

What I took away from this book for me and it will be different for everyone is that I could be active birthing while just sitting up.   

I tied this into my knowledge on physiological & instinctive birth that I learned later in my birth journey.  

Take the lessons with a grain of salt and follow your body’s instinctive cues. You don’t have to practice – just listen to your body’s wisdom.


The Final Thought: 

There is a long list of amazing books out there for you to read about birth.   

Be careful who you let be your teacher at birth and make sure that you gravitate towards books that feel aligned and right for you.  

Take the teachings with a grain of salt, in other words, take what you want from it, the lessons and tidbits and do what feels right for you.   

Use the wisdom from those women who have birthed before you to guide you and understand your rite of passage to birthing the way you want to.     

I used to spend hundreds of dollars buying books that just sat on my shelves – but now I like to borrow books from my local library.  It saves me money but also means I’m not cluttering my house up with stuff.  

Where you save money from books etc you can invest into purchasing much-needed items for your birth or postpartum support. (just a little money-saving tip).  

Let me know what you thought about this blog by sending me an email or DM on Instagram  

Feel like you want more support?  

I offer pregnant women who are planning to freebirth support, guidance and birth knowledge and I invite you to see if one of my offerings call out to you. You can find out more about my offerings here.  

If you are unsure if one of my services is right for you, I invite you to send me an email and let’s have a chat!  

Until next time,  

Ashley x

Ashley Winning - The Motherhood Circle
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Homebirth: How to get the emotional & mindset support you need in pregnancy.

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