midwives recommendations

Delivering Knowledge: Laura's Top Midwife Reads and Essential Recommendations

Laura Ward

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Nurturing Wisdom: Laura's Handpicked Resources for Women's Wellness

In the domain of women's health, midwives play a vital role as trusted guides, providing unwavering support and expert knowledge throughout the various stages of pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. Throughout this blog, I share my handpicked selection of resources including books, podcasts and products that come highly recommended by midwives. These carefully curated recommendations aim to empower and educate women on their maternal and wellness journeys. Whether you're in search of guidance, inspiration or practical solutions, come along as we explore the invaluable insights cherished by midwives for the women under their care.

Book Recommendations

1. Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering by Sarah J. Buckley

An authoritative guide to natural childbirth and postpartum parenting options from an MD who home-birthed her own four children.

Sarah Buckley might be called a third-wave natural birth advocate. A doctor and a mother, she approaches the question of how a woman and baby might have the most fulfilling birth experience with respect for the wisdom of both medical science and the human body. Using current medical and epidemiological research plus women's experiences (including her own), she demonstrates that what she calls "undisturbed birth" is almost always healthier and safer than high-technology approaches to birth. Her wise counsel on issues like breastfeeding and sleeping during postpartum helps extend the gentle birth experience into a gentle parenting relationship.

Print length: 347 pages

Publication date: 2-12-2008

ISBN:  978-1-58761-322-7 

gentle birth gentle mothering

2. Mindful Hypnobirthing by Sophie Fletcher

Hypnotherapist and experienced doula Sophie Fletcher shares with you the secrets to having a safe, natural and positive birth. Using a powerful combination of mindfulness, hypnosis and relaxation techniques, Sophie will ensure you feel genuinely excited and completely prepared for birth.

With stories from women who have successfully used the tools in this book, and downloadable hypnosis and relaxation tracks, discover how to:

- use your mind and body together to stay focused and in control
- draw on visualisation and breathing techniques to help birth progress
- feel positive and empowered, before, during and after you give birth

Reassuring, practical and based entirely on what works, 
Mindful Hypnobirthing is your essential guide to giving birth the way you want to.

Print length: 246 pages

Publication date: 6-3-2014

ISBN-13:  978-0-09-195459-8

Mindful Hypnobirthing

3. Up the Duff by Kaz Cooke

Australia’s most trusted advisor on women’s health delivers the lowdown on pregnancy, birth and how to best prepare for life with a baby. There’s no bossy-boots advice – just lots of cartoons and the soundest, sanest, wittiest advice you’ll ever get.

Inside there’s the crucial week-by week info on what’s happening to you and the baby, coupled with the hilarious diary of Hermoine the (even more) Modern Girl, and everything you need to know about preparing for pregnancy and birth: info on conceiving and the latest in IVF; crying, eating, weeing, sleeping, working; partners, bosoms, busybodies and bunny-rugs; nausea, stretch marks and other 'side effects' mucking with your ‘glow’; the very latest tests – what they are, what they're for and when you should have them; healthy foetal growth, development and movements; the best services, websites and books on everything pregnancy; 'natural childbirth' vs medical intervention; baby clothes and nappies; travel, safety, and how to be rude to complete strangers; labour, caesareans and pain relief; breastfeeding and what it's life’s like with a newborn baby.

Up the Duff has all you need to know on pregnancy and childbirth: the scary parts, the funny parts, the joyful parts – and your private parts.

Check out her other books here: https://kazcooke.com.au/

Print length: 536 pages

Publication date: 30-09-2019

ISBN-13:  978-0-09-195459-8

4. Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage by Rachel Read

It's time for a childbirth revolution.

Childbirth has always been, and always will be, a significant rite of passage that transforms a woman into a mother. However, the modern approach to maternity care fails women, families and care providers with outdated practices that centre the needs of institutions rather than individuals.

In this book, Rachel Reed demonstrates how childbirth can be reclaimed to centre women and support birth physiology. The book weaves history, science and research with the experiences of women and care providers to create a holistic, evidence-based framework for understanding birth. It takes the reader on a journey through childbirth physiology and practices and focuses on what can be done to create change one mother at a time, one birth at a time.

Reclaiming childbirth as a rite of passage acknowledges that self-transformation occurs regardless of how the experience unfolds. It recognises that mothers hold the power and expertise when it comes to birthing their babies. This book encourages women to find their individual pathway through their rite of passage and requires care providers to consider how their actions and interactions influence women's experiences.

Whether you are a parent, care provider or educator, this book will transform how you think and feel about childbirth.

Read more about Rachels amazing work here 

Print length: 358 pages

Publication date: 27-02-2021

ISBN-13:  9780645002508

Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage

5. Life, Almost by Jennie Agg

A powerful, personal reflection on miscarriage from an acclaimed health and science journalist, drawing on original interviews and ground-breaking research to offer fresh insight into this underacknowledged subject.

After losing four pregnancies with no obvious cause, Jennie Agg set out to understand why miscarriage remains such a profoundly misunderstood, under-researched and under-acknowledged experience.

Part-memoir, part-scientific investigation, Life, Almost documents Agg's path to motherhood and her search for answers. Tracing each tentative step of her fifth pregnancy - as her body becomes a creature she does not wish to spook - Agg dismantles the myths that we unquestioningly accept about our reproductive lives

Drawing on pioneering research and interviews with world-leading experts, Life, Almost is a ground-breaking book that will change how you think about miscarriage, and a moving reflection on grief and love at the edge of life as we understand it.

Print length: 320 pages

Publication date: 09-03-2023

ISBN-13:  9781911709046

life, almost

6. Womb: The Inside Story of Where it all Began by Leah Hazard

The size of a clenched fist and the shape of a light bulb--with no less power and potential. Every person on Earth began inside a uterus, but how much do we really understand about the womb?

Bringing together medical history, scientific discoveries, and journalistic exploration, Leah Hazard embarks on a journey in search of answers about the body's most miraculous and contentious organ. We meet the people who have shaped our relationship with the uterus: doctors and doulas, yoni steamers and fibroid-tea hawkers, legislators who would regulate the organ's very existence, and boundary-breaking researchers on the frontiers of the field.

With a midwife's warmth and humour, Hazard tackles pressing questions: Is the womb connected to the brain? Can cervical crypts store sperm? Do hysterectomies affect sexual pleasure? How can smart tampons help health care? Why does endometriosis take so long to be diagnosed? Will external gestation be possible in our lifetime? How does gender-affirming hormone therapy affect the uterus? Why does medical racism impact reproductive healthcare?

A clear-eyed and inclusive examination of the cultural prejudices and assumptions that have made the uterus so poorly understood for centuries, Womb takes a fresh look at an organ that brings us pain and pleasure--a small part of our bodies that has a larger impact than we ever thought possible.

life, almost

Podcast Recommendations

1. The Midwives' Cauldron

Join us as we hubble, bubble, toil, and trouble our way through aspects of midwifery, birth, lactation, and womanhood. We tackle and discuss a variety of topics within the sphere of womanhood, birth, and lactation and what this entails in today's society. We want to be able to share in the strengths of women gathering together and being more informed, for their birth, their feeding experience, and the transition into knowing ourselves better. This is the podcast to connect us as a greater circle of women united.

The Midwives

2. The Great Birth Rebellion

Hosted by Dr Melanie Jackson, The Great Birth Rebellion dismantles western beliefs and management of birth and presents an evidence-based alternative to modern birth practices. We believe that calculated rebellion against medicalised maternity care is the evidence-based and preferred path to having a great birth. This is the great birth rebellion.

The Great Birth Rebellion

3. Australian Birth Stories

At Australian Birth Stories we believe that a positive birth experience is dependent on two things: your ability to make informed decisions and those decisions being supported and respected by your care provider

Australian Birth Stories

4. Birthing at Home: A Podcast

Hosted by Elsie. Homebirth mama x2, mental health nurse, and an ex-student midwife that still has a strong passion for birth and supporting women.

Sharing stories from births at home around Australia. Using the power of story telling, this podcast will hopefully empower, inspire, and motivate

Birthing at Home: A Podcast

Product Recommendations

1. TENS Machine

Introducing TENS Machine Hire Perth: Your Ultimate Natural pain management solution for labour in Australia, featuring TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation). A portable TENS machine delivers effective pain relief through a mild electrical current delivered via the use of electrode pads placed onto your lower back. The TENS Machine is a highly popular form of birth pain relief, known for its portability and battery-operated design. This makes it an ideal choice for labouring at home or in the hospital. The beauty of the TENS is that it can be utilised when labouring at home or in hospital. The TENS machine emits electrical pulses, which serve a dual purpose. First, they block pain signals from reaching your brain, reducing your perception of pain. Second, they stimulate the release of endorphins. Endorphins are your body's natural feel-good hormones, promoting an overall sense of comfort and well-being. This dual-action approach not only provides effective pain relief but also serves as an invaluable distraction during contractions. A must have tool for every woman's birthing tool kit. 

TENS Machine Hire Perth

2. Natural Wooden Birth Comb

Using a wooden birth comb for labour pain is an age-old practice rooted in traditional wisdom. This comb is designed to provide relief and support during the intense contractions of childbirth. When held in the palm of the hand, the comb's teeth stimulate acupressure points, releasing endorphins and promoting relaxation. It also provides another layer of distraction from the sensations of labour. Its rhythmic motion can serve as a focal point, helping the labouring individual to breathe through each contraction and maintain a sense of calm amidst the intensity of labour. 

natural wooden birth comb

3. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary Sage - what is it and what does it do? The reason that’s often given for clary sage bringing on labour is that it increases your levels of the hormone oxytocin – which is a hormone that, at the right levels, stimulates your uterine muscles to contract and also increases the production of prostaglandins that increase contractions further.

Using clary sage during menopause, labour and in postpartum may help ease stress and pain levels. It also works wonders for period pain as well as helping to ease symptoms of PMS

doterra clary sage essential oil

4. Made to Milk Breastmilk Saver

The Breastie is here to save your precious liquid gold! This is every breastfeeding mum’s bestie!! By suctioning it to your breast, it catches milk that would otherwise be lost during a letdown. Great for using whilst feeding on the opposite side or to help relieve engorgement.

Our Breastie is made from 100% food grade silicone.
BPA Free, No Phthalates, it's Hypoallergenic and easy to use.

You will love these features:

  • Handy suction base, spill proof lid, and stopper also included (no one wants to cry over spilled milk)
  • Lightweight and compact design perfect for traveling
  • Holds 120ml of breast milk
  • No assembly required
  • Dishwasher and steam sterilizer safe
  • Convenient to relieve extra engorgement
  • Catch your liquid gold when feeding on the opposite breast, don't let it go to waste!

Supplied by our friends at Made to Milk  https://www.madetomilk.com.au/ 

doterra clary sage essential oil

5. Made to Milk Deluxe Hot Chocolate

Imagine the hot, sweet notes of rich Peruvian cocoa mixed with our gorgeously soft brewer's yeast swirling over your taste buds.

Our brand new lactation hot chocolate is a milk-making masterpiece!

Better yet....our Deluxe Hot Chocolate is GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE and SOY FREE!

Tested by both breastfeeders & their partners alike, this hot chocolate mix is a hands-down winner for everyone and I guarantee you'll be enjoying it long after your breastfeeding journey is over!

Enjoy your Deluxe Hot Chocolate like you enjoy your lover – sweet, rich and hot…or as cold as ice.

BONUS! Each Deluxe Hot Chocolate packet includes two recipes on the back:



Enjoy it in so many ways mama, and don't forget to share your photos with us on Instagram or Facebook ! #madetomilkmama

Shelf life: 18months+

Ingredients: Cocoa, Cane Sugar, Gluten Free Brewers Yeast.

Supplied by our friends at Made to Milk https://www.madetomilk.com.au/ 

deluxe hot chocolate
Meet Laurs

The Author: Laura Ward

Laura is a dedicated midwife with one decade of experience guiding women on their journey to motherhood. Throughout her career, she has had the privilege of supporting numerous women through various birthing experiences. These experiences have deepened her appreciation for the importance of women feeling heard, in control, respected and informed throughout the childbirth process

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