When I'm not at doula network meetings, meeting with clients, attending births, getting ready for the "Yeah, Baby!" expo or wasting time at mothering.com, I'm probably reading. I've always loved reading. It's less strenuous than housecleaning and less boring than sleeping.
The books on the shelf in the picture are my small collection of books about doula-ing, midwifery, pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. On the shelves pictured: I've got:
The Doula Book
The Doula Advantage
The Birth Partner
Nurturing the Family: The Guide for Postpartum Doulas
Gentle Birth Choices DVD
Healthy Birth Your Way DVD
Giving Birth DVD
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth
Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
Midwifery & Childbirth in America
Paths to Becoming a Midwife
Sisters on a Journey: Portraits of American Midwives
Giving Birth by Catherine Taylor
Vaginal Politics: A Midwife's Story
Diary of a Midwife by Juliana van Olphen-Fehr
Heart & Hands: A Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy and Birth by Elizabeth Davis
Birthsong Midwifery Workbook
Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
Mother's Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth
Childbirth Without Fear by Grantley Dick-Read
Husband-Coached Childbirth by Robert Bradley
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
Gentle Birth Choices by Barbara Harper
Immaculate Decpetion II by Suzanne Arms
Birthing From Within
The Baby Book by Sears
The Breastfeeding Book by Sears
The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers
Nursing Mother, Working Mother
Old issues of Midwifery Today
Binder from DONA training
And that's not even counting the ones that I have out from the ICAN library and the public library, and my own books that are in other parts of my house that didn't make it into the picture. This October will make it ten years and eight months that I've been reading voraciously about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, nutrition, positive discipline and homeschooling. Ever since I found out I was pregnant with my oldest, I've made a study of childbearing and rearing.
My first doula client (who ended up being the third birth I attended) was someone I met when I was reading The Doula Book on the elliptical machine at the YMCA. She asked me if I was a doula, I told her that I was working on my DONA certification and I ended up getting to attend her birth. The important lesson I learned that day was "Take the Doula Books to Public Places." Now, whenever I get a new one, I read it at the Y.
The benefit to my clients, I believe, is that when they hire me, they're hiring someone who's probably read the answer to their question somewhere and even has that book to lend them. I have a working library both in my head and on my shelf.
Today, I added to my collection when a member of the Syracuse Attachment Parenting yahoo group listed a bunch of books for sale. She had been considering a career in midwifery and I guess it just didn't work out that way. I hope she'll know that her books are going to be well-loved and read over and over again.
One of the books I got today was Diary of a Midwife by Juliana van Olphen-Fehr. I'm planning to start reading it sometime tonight, so look for a review here in the next couple of days.