- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth- I love this book! It was such an empowering, informative, and comforting read when I was struggling to decide on natural birth.
- The Best Birth: Your Guide to the Safest, Healthiest, Most Satisfying Labor and Delivery- I know a lot of natural birth advocates don't like this book because of how much it feeds into some of the standard medical practices that make a natural hospital birth difficult. I agree with those concerns, but when I was dealing with figuring out if a natural birth was for me, this book did a good job of breaking down some of the polarization of the discussion, and I appreciated that.
- Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care --An eye-opening account of some of the standard medical practices surrounding U.S. childbirth. Having this information helped me know what to question and research further.
Equally Shared Parenting
- Halving It All: How Equally Shared Parenting Works--A thorough look at some of the complications of equally shared parenting. It's accessible and includes interviews with equally sharing couples, so it's not just presented as an idealized hypothetical.
- Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year--A beautiful memoir about the first year of parenting from the endlessly talented Anne Lamott
- Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent--A fascinating examination of cross-cultural parenting practices. This book was a huge help when I started to feel crazy for making some parenting decisions (like occasional bed-sharing and breastfeeding past six months) that were different from most of the people around me.
Children and Media Influence
- Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture--A look at the pervasiveness of "girly" culture, princesses, and a sea of pink
- The Mouse that Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence--A sometimes terrifying look at Disney's marketing practices