This list is by no means complete, as every year sees new midwifery textbooks and manuals as well as biographies of midwives and novels with a midwife as the protagonist. 

Midwifery & Childbirth in America
by Judith Pence Rooks This is the ultimate resource on the topic of midwifery in America; covers the history and development of nurse-midwifery and direct-entry midwifery; the quality, effectiveness, and safety of midwifery; midwifery in other countries, and much more. Rooks also makes recommendations to improve childbirth in the future. Every midwife needs this book!


Paths to Becoming a Midwife: Getting an Education by Jan Tritten and the Midwifery Today staff Designed for the aspiring midwife, discusses the available educational paths to midwifery. Birth Work, edited by Lauren Hunter A sixty-page spiral, soft-bound, coffee-table size anthology of poetry and black-and-white photographs about childbirth authored by midwives, nurses, childbirth educators, doulas, and mothers. Fifty-four poems are presented with accompanying photography and illustrations. In addition each author has written a small vignette about herself and the inpiration for her poetry. The book has wide appeal not only for health care providers but also for mothers and those who have experienced or wish to experience childbirth. Retails for $24.99 plus shipping.


Promoting Midwifery – Ideas for Midwives and other Birth Professionals
With sections including defining your service, creating an image, increasing your visibility in the community, networking, promotional materials and evaluating your promotion techniques.
Only $7.95 + $1.00 shipping&handling


The Red Tent by Anita Diamant Based on the story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob in the Book of Genesis: told in her voice, this richly imagined and absorbing novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood – the world of the red tent. Dinah, like her aunt Rachel, is a midwife, a calling that affects the course of her life.






Get Through Childbirth in One Piece : How to Prevent Episiotomies and Tearing by Elizabeth G. Bruce

80-90% of women delivering vaginally in the United States will receive an episiotomy. The vast majority of these surgeries are unnecessary and preventable. Using only the latest research, Elizabeth Bruce, MA, CCE, shows you how to take responsibility for your own birth. Helpful subjects include proven advice for avoiding perineal damage before, during, and after delivery; why a tear is preferable to an episiotomy; optimal positioning for delivery; the benefits of waterbirth, doulas, and midwives; how to choose a good care provider; building your confidence to birth; inspiring stories from real women who have birthed babies large and small with their perineums intact!


Runa’s Birth by Uwe Spillman and Inga Kamieth This is a wonderful book about home birth, written from the point of view of the new baby’s big sister. It “sensitively takes young and old to Lisa’s home and explains … how birth takes place. There is … the immense joy following birth and above all the certainty that everything is normal and natural. The story and the pictures radiate peace and harmony, take on a childlike onlook, and help children prepare for the upcoming event without scaring them. This book is highly recommended for midwives and families.” (Deutsche Hebammenzeitschrift, 7/2001)




Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf The feminist and author of such books as THE BEAUTY MYTH and FIRE WITH FIRE reflects on pregnancy and motherhood in American culture. Reflecting on her own pregnancy, and sharing the thoughts of other first-time mothers, Wolf explores how and why pregnancy is a sometimes difficult emotional experience for many women. Also discussed is how the medical industry fails to provide women with much of the emotional support they need during pregnancy, and how businesses often make few concessions for new families.


Diary of a Midwife: The Power of Positive Childbearing by Juliana van Olphen-Fehr The personal story of one courageous midwife and her experiences; an inspiration!


Pregnancy Stories: Real Women Share the Joys, Fears, Thrills, and Anxieties of Pregnancy from Conception to Birth by Cecelia A. Cancellaro. This book is full of the stories that pregnant women tell to their best friends, their sisters, and to one another at their prenatal exercise classes; the stories that they frequently do not tell to their midwives or doctors. For pregnant women, the stories in this book will be an enormous source of support and relief: “I am not the only one out here with these fears or problems.” For midwives, nurses, childbirth educators and others who care for pregnant women, this book can be an inspiration on how to change one’s practice, counseling, and teaching to address the conflicts and concerns that women are facing as they grapple with all the information thrown at them and try to make decisions about their pregnancies. Textbooks on Midwifery and Obstetrics

Midwifery: Community-Based Care During the Childbearing Year by Linda V. Walsh, W.B. Saunders This exciting new text prepares students and beginning practitioners for midwifery practice in a rapidly changing health care system. It stresses evaluation of research findings used in clinical decision-making, using a midwifery model of care for healthy pregnant women. The influence of individual and community culture, values, and beliefs is included in all aspects of the care model, with the woman as the central figure in the assessment of her health care needs and the determination of the most appropriate care processes. It continually stresses that the role of the midwife is to advocate for the woman while creating a climate of care that recognizes the healthy aspects of pregnancy.

Holistic Midwifery: A Comprehensive Textbook for Midwives in Homebirth Practice (Volume I: Care during Pregnancy) by Anne Frye. Labrys Press, Portland, Oregon, 1995 Comprehensive says it. This text is geared toward direct-entry midwives who will attend home births; it includes information on everything from anatomy and physiology to special circumstances and problems.

Healing Passage: A Suturing Manual for Midwives by Anne Frye. Labrys Press, Portland, Oregon Classic reference for midwives and students, includes pertinent anatomy, many detailed line drawings Varney’s Midwifery: Third Edition by Helen Varney. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1997

This is the classic textbook used in nurse-midwifery education programs. Includes chapters on the profession of midwifery, health care for women, antepartum care, intrapartal care, newborn care, and postpartal care, and a very useful chapter on skills necessary to practice midwifery. “Practical Skills Guide for Midwifery,” Recommended by NARM