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Thread: Good book for partners on labour, birth and support skills?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2007

    Question Good book for partners on labour, birth and support skills?

    I've been meaning to ask for ages I just keep forgetting.

    I want to find a good book for Shel about labour and birth.

    Basically, she knows nothing (but that's ok, because I think a lot of partners wouldn't know much at first either). I'd really love to find a book that explains it easily, and something that exlplains the physiological side of it, so she knows whats happening. She's really scared, and I think it's because all she's heard is horror stories and she's not really sure of what labour and contractions actually are, and where the pain comes from etc. She also has no idea how to support me either, so I'd love something that might be able to incrase her confidence.

    I'm going to buy "Birth Skills" by Juju Sundin, I have heard its really good. Does it assume that the reader knows a bit about what actually happens, or does it explain the whole labour/birthing process as well as skills. Is it just aimed at birthing mothers, or partners as well?

    I'll buy a few different books to explain everything, just not sure what to buy.

    Are there any birthing books aimed specifically at partners? I have seen 'dad' ones, though I don't know if its aimed at males or at partner IYKWIM. Neither of us have a problem buying a 'dad' book if the content is aimed at partners (like supporting your partner etc), but if its mainly male-focused (like lots of male issues) I'm not sure if its going to be relevant, or if Shel is going to be able to relate. She really wants to learn, but I don't really have anything as most of the stuff I have learnt is on the forums, and she's not a sit at the computer and read kind of person, she'd prefer to have an actual book that she can take places and read anytime.

    Ok, I hope you all get what I mean. TIA

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia


    Men at Birth is good, and I believe it could be for any partner. When I supported my sister (single) with my mum, mum said to me, 'I really know how it feels to be the dad now - its so hard.' She also had a new found appreciation for the work I do and how helpful it is in an emotional situation. The partner is someone who has the loving connection but not the knowledge and experience about birth. So I think it would be a good one. Also there is the Birth Partner by Penny Simkin.

    Be careful which ones you buy - you don't want to bombard partners with birth knowledge when they will forget it all on the day (which is where a doula will help) so keep it relevant with things that will help your partner understand how they might feel and what might go on (like the two above books) rather than a birth skills one you mention. New Active Birth is a MUST read too, for every birthing woman as a first point of call.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2004


    Get the Pink Kit. Doesn't deal much with the actual "theoretical" aspects of labour (but there's plenty of books for that) but it DOES teach your partner lots of practical support skills, how to deal with things emotionally etc. And it's not aimed at 'dads" its written for anyone supporting. You will get alot from it too

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    I second the Pink Kit. Great tips for partners. A couple of others than helped me were:

    Birthworks - a compassionate guide to being with birth by Jenny Blyth - a gorgeous and wise Australian woman


    The Birth Partner - everything you need to know to help a woman through childbirth by Penny Simkin

    Another tool I like to offer my clients is birth videos (DVDs) - if a picture tells a thousand words, watching a few of these is a way to learn a lot fast, and a great supplement to reading.

    If you'd like a list of one-line videos, I have a collection I can email you, just drop me a line at [email protected]

    All the best.

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