Useful resources

Support Networks:

Where would we new parents be without our trusted NCT! Here you will find many resources, courses and opportunities to meet other like-minded parents.

The NHS choices pages gives detailed links on all matters related to pregnancy and childbirth and beyond.

St. John’s Ambulance (among other providers) run baby first aid courses. It’s always good to have essential life saving tips at hand for those very unpredictable moments.

If you have any concerns on postnatal depression or any other worry please consult Association for Post Natal Illness

Birthing Evidence and Guidence:

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is an inspiring read and gives women the opportunity to take back the fear of childbirth by regaining confidence in their bodies. It tells you everything you need to know to have the best birth experience for you – whether in a hospital, birthing centre or the comfort of home.

  • What really happens during labour
  • How to create a safe, comfortable environment for birth in any setting
  • Tips for maximising your chances of an unmedicated labour and birth
  • The risks of anaesthesia and caesareans — what your doctor doesn’t necessarily tell you

Childbirth without fear: Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth by Grantly Dick-Read

In an age when normal birth can still be overtaken by obstetrics, Grantly Dick-Read’s philosophy is still as fresh and relevant as it was when he originally wrote this book. He unpicks the root causes of women’s fears and anxiety about pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding with overwhelming heart and empathy. As one of the most influential birthing books of all time

Book cover: The Oxytocin factor
The Oxytocin factor: Tappig the hormone of calm, love and healing by Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg

In recent years there have been exciting scientific discoveries about a hormone whose amazing role in the human body has long been neglected. Oxytocin is the powerful hormone involved in bonding, sex, and childbirth, as well as in relaxation and feelings of calm. It is the mirror image of the stress hormone adrenaline, which triggers the ‘fight or flight’ systems in the body. Much has been written about the latter, but the many-sided importance of oxytocin is at this point only known to those working in obstetrics and physiology and to some psychiatrists.

The Oxytocin Factor is the first book to reveal the importance of the whole oxytocin system for a general audience. Both the new research findings and the potentially beneficial applications of this hormone in reducing anxiety states, stress, addictions, and problems of childbirth are fascinating and of great significance in all our lives.

Book cover: Birth Reborn
Birth Reborn: What Childbirth should be. by Michel Odent

For over 40 years Michel Odent has been the world’s leading ‘birth guru’. He has pioneered a new philosophy of childbirth, making it a natural experience for women and providing settings that allow a woman to give birth her own way. Women become their own birthing experts, if they follow their instincts they can birth naturally, with the minimal intervention of medical science. Many of the birthing practices that Michel Odent has advocated are now common useage, including the creation of more homely birthing rooms, birthing pools and water births, labour without drugs and ensuring that the mother plays the key role in the experience of birth. Michel Odent has returned birth to how it should be. ‘Birth Reborn’ gives expectant mothers the confidence and information they need in order to trust themselves to give birth without the drugs and medical procedures that are being increasingly recognised as harmful to the mother and to the baby’s future development.

Book cover: New Active Birth
New Active Birth: A concise guide to natural childbirth by Janet Balaskas

Janet Balaskas is a pioneer in active birth, she has been talking about movement and activity during birth since the 1908s in the UK. Janet is the founder of the Active Birth Movement. The mother of four children, she trained with the National Childbirth Trust and is a counsellor for childbirth. “New Active Birth” will help you and your partner prepare for and experience an Active Birth. Naturally, throughout time and the world over, women have chosen to walk, stand, squat and lie — to move their bodies freely and actively to find the most comfortable positions for labour and birth. It is only we in the west who have the extraordinary notion that a woman should lie on her back in a position that defies the laws of nature and gravity. With this book, you can learn to develop all your body’s resources to deal with the instinctive experience of childbirth.

Spinning Babies

This is a fabulous site for all your questions on optimal foetal positioning. But this site is a lot more than that. There are tons of resources on active pregnancy and birth and will really help you understand your pregnancy related physiology.

Book cover: The Water Birth Book
The Water Birth book by Janet Balaskas

This is the indispensable handbook for parents contemplating a water birth and the midwives who will attend them in labour.

This is a comprehensive guide to all aspects of water birth from the leading name in natural and active births, Janet Balaskas.

Introducing a deep pool of warm water to the birthing room — either at home or in hospital — is a good way of making labour shorter, easier and more comfortable, increasing the mother’s sense of privacy and making the baby’s entry into the world gentle and free from trauma.

The Waterbirth Book is a straightforward, detailed and supportive guide for both parents and medical staff, providing all the necessary advice for parents contemplating a waterbirth either at home or in a hospital. It includes:

  • the history of birthing in water
  • the benefits of water in labour — pain relief, hormonal effects, speed of labour and more
  • choosing a waterbirth — other birth choices, practical considerations, professional support
  • preparing for a waterbirth — hospital facilities, pool hire, learning to be at ease in the water
  • using the pool in labour — the practicalities, what to expect

Full of inspiring stories and black and white photographs the book provides a fascinating document of home births with water from the past 15 years.

Pregnancy/Postnatal — Care and Advice:

Book cover: Eating white you are pregnant

A good little handy guide by the Foods Standards Agency to healthy eating during pregnancy.

Book cover: Feelings after birth
Feelings after Birth: NCT Book of Postnatal depression by Heather Welford

Baby Feeding:


Cherubs provide unparalleled breastfeeding support in Cheshire.

If you have any questions on breastfeeding then KellyMom is a brilliant website for evidence based advice. It is one of the most trusted site for both parents and professionals. I would recommend you check their article base whenever in doubt before going anywhere else on the topic of baby feeding.

La Leche League, Breastfeeding network was founded in the 1950s and continues to be a great source of advice and help for all breast feeding mums around the world.

Book cover: Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding.

This deeply compassionate and comprehensive guide to making breastfeeding a joyful experience for both mother and child. Drawing on her decades of experience in caring for pregnant women, mothers, and babies, Ina May Gaskin’s newest book explores the health and psychological benefits of breastfeeding. Inspiring as well as informative, “Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding” is a powerful and practical guide filled with helpful advice, medical facts and real-life stories that will help mothers understand how and why breastfeeding works and how they can use it to more deeply connect with their children and their own bodies without fear, inhibition, or embarrassment.

Book cover:

Dr Jack Newman is a Canadian physician who has put together some fabulous resources in breastfeeding. You can watch some of his videos on latch and general breast feeding support on his website.

Baby Sleep!!

Professor James KcKenna is one of the world’s best known authority on mother and infant bonding. His work at the Mother-Baby Behavioural Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre dame provides essential resources and great inspiration for those among us who wish to ignore the self declared experts in baby sleep and rely on anthropological and well balanced infant research in considering sleep options for our babies and toddlers.

Baby Massage And Reflexology

Mumma Love Organincs

Parenting Blogs and General Tips:

A great little treasure trove is for all sorts of articles and resources to help you navigate through the murky world of parenthood. I routinely fins myself going to this website for inspiration, for support and sometimes just to learn!

Another great little resource for bringing up children in a sensitive and respectful manner is the legendary site called Aha! parenting run by Dr. Laura Markham trained as a Clinical Psychologist, earning her PhD from Columbia University. But she’s also a mom, so she translates proven science into the practical solutions you need for the family life you want.

Thinking of Others:

If you live close to London, Manchester or Leicester and can donate your umbilical cord then please visit Anthony Nolan for all the details on how you can save a life from blood and bone marrow cancer.

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