Our Top Resources on Pregnancy and Birth, Breastfeeding, Newborn Care, Postpartum Depression and Online Resources


There are many, many books on the market giving advice about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, baby care tips and postpartum depression.  It can be overwhelming.  We offer you a few book titles that have been read by many of the doulas, considered to be helpful or exceptional by past clients or are authored by people we feel represent the best in the field. Our hope was to give you information and suggestions from many perspectives; obstetricians, pediatricians, midwives, doulas, social workers and parents.

Books can be a great source of information but parenting is life’s greatest “on the job training” and what works in one household may not in the next.  As you get to know your baby and his temperament the perfect technique or strategy will take shape. Trust your instincts, accept advice or suggestions with an open mind and be willing to ask for help when you need it. Before you know it you will be the expert for your precious little baby.


Our Top 5 Books on Pregnancy and Birth


Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds 

By Cynthia Gabriel. Harvard Common Press, 2011.

A pregnancy guide for women who wish to achieve a natural birth in the hospital setting. Ms. Gabriel is a doula, medical anthropologist and mother of three who offers tools and inspiration to help you release your fears, engage the hospital staff in your birth plan and avoid unnecessary interventions.


Birthing From Within

By Pam England and Rob Horowitz. Partera Press, 1998.

A holistic and thoughtful prospective on preparing for birth and motherhood.  This book focuses on supporting a woman’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.  It encourages becoming personally aware of the power of your thinking through journaling and birth art exercises.


The Birth Partner (4th Edition)

By Penny Simpkin. Harvard Common Press, 2013.

A guide for partners, labor companions and doulas supporting the mother during labor and birth.  Ms. Simpkin, founder of Doulas of North America, shares her vast body of research that states a woman well supported by caring, compassionate individuals during childbirth will experience life long benefits.


Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth

By Ina May Gaskin. Bantam Books, 2013. 

World-renowned midwife Ina May Gaskin shares a wealth of knowledge generated by three decades of experience.  Her book emphasizes the natural birth process and offers tips for maximizing the reader’s chances of an unmedicated birth.

A Good Birth: Finding the Positive and Profound in Your Childbirth Experience

By Anne Drapkin Lyerly. Penguin Publishing, 2013.

This book draws on birth stories told by women from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.  Dr. Lyerly an OB/GYN, demonstrates that what matters in childbirth goes beyond the thinking of “healthy baby, healthy mom” and reveals the universal needs of childbearing women to feel connected, safe and protected.

Our Top 3 Books on Breastfeeding


The Nursing Mother’s Companion 6th Edition

By Kathleen Huggins, R.N. M.S.  Harvard Common Press, 2010.

Ms Huggins comprehensive book on breastfeeding has been respected by professionals and well loved by new parents for the past 25 years.  Her practical tips and sound information equips new moms to nurse their babies successfully from the first days and weeks at home through to weaning.  The revised book includes topics on nursing after a cesarean birth, nursing a near term (3-5 weeks premature) baby, expressing, storing and feeding breast milk, introducing solids, as well as reviews of breast pumps and other nursing equipment.


Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding (Revised Edition)

By Dr. Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman. Harper Collins, 2014.

Canadian Pediatrician Dr. Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman executive director La Leche League Canada have collaborated on the revised edition of this practical guide helping new mothers get off to a good start breastfeeding their newborn.  The book covers the most common problems in the early weeks of nursing.  It addresses concerns about helping the baby get a good latch, reassuring signs baby is getting enough milk, ways to increase supply if baby isn’t getting enough, how to avoid sore nipples and much more.  Their goal is to provide the new mom with effective strategies and solutions to make breastfeeding work for you.


So That’s What They Are For; Breastfeeding Basics

By Janet Tamaro. Adams Media Corp; 2nd Edition, 1998.

The target audience for this book includes those who are thinking about breastfeeding to those who are planning to breastfeed and the mother who is having difficulty breastfeeding and is thinking about stopping.  It is lighthearted in tone but provides practical tips and suggestions with empathy and support to help you successfully breastfeed your baby.

Our Top 5 Books on Newborn Care


Touchpoints-Birth to Three, 2nd Edition

By T. Berry Brazelton MD. De Capo Press, 2006.

In this newly updated edition Dr. Brazelton offers sound advice and information on prematurity, sleep patterns, early communication, toilet training, co-sleeping, play and learning, safety and many more topics. This comprehensive book takes parents well beyond the newborn period.


Your Child at Play; Birth to One Year

By Marilyn Segal, PhD. Harper Collins Publications, 1998.

This easy to read book is organized in a month-by-month format. Each chapter focuses on the developmental stage for each month.  It offers suggestions of ways to interact with your baby taking into account his intellectual, emotional, social and physical development.  Subsections focus on motor skills, seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing the baby.  Simple games encourage parents and caregivers to engage with their baby during daily activities like mealtime, bath time, diaper changes and quiet time.  


Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Fathers

By Gary Greenberg. Simon and Schuster, 2004.

A wonderful book written in the style of a Scout Manuel is meant to be an indispensable survival guide for the burgeoning new dad.  The wry sense of humor gives new dads insight into important things like changing a squirmy baby in a packed stadium, how to baby proof a hotel room in four minutes flat and tricks to stay awake (or at least upright) at work after a long night with a newborn.


The Baby Book; Everything You Need to Know about Your Baby from Birth to Two Years

By William Sears MD, Martha Sears RN et al. Little Brown and Company, Revised Edition, 2003.

A practical guide for new parents focusing on the basic needs of babies and toddlers while answering the questions that are the greatest concerns to today’s parents.  The authors appreciate that there is no one way to parent your baby and offer basic guidance to find the techniques that best suit you and your child.

The Happiest Baby on the Block

By Harvey Karp MD. Bantam Books, Reprint Edition, 2007.  

Pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp explains the confusing period of early infant development and offers 5 S’s to help calm a crying newborn. Swaddling, side lying, shushing, swinging and sucking can trigger the “Calming Reflex” bringing peace and quiet back to the household.

Our Top 3 Books on Postpartum Depression


Down Came the Rain: My Journey through Postpartum Depression

By Brooke Shields.  Hyperion, 2005.

Actress Brooke Shields’ personal account of her struggles with postpartum depression after the birth of her first child.  She discusses the illness in the context of her own life and shares how she found a way out through talk therapy, medication and time.


This Isn’t What I Expected; Overcoming Postpartum Depression

By Karen R. Kleiman and Valerie Raskin. Da Capo Press, 2013.

Postpartum experts Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis Raskin offer sound, compassionate advice on dealing with all aspects of postpartum depression.  This self-help book will help readers understand the symptoms of PPD and distinguish it from “baby blues”, offer strategies to mobilize support from husband or partner, family and friends as well as ways to seek and evaluate treatment options.  

The Mother-to Mother Postpartum Depression Support Book

By Sarah Poulins. Berkley Trade, 2009.

Ms. Poulins has gathered “real life” stories from women from all walks of life who have suffered from postpartum depression and back to wellness. She takes great care to ensure the book represents the many different aspects of life with a new baby that have the potential to be challenging for any new mother.  The hope is that the reader will find hope and healing.

Our Top 6 Online Resources for Expectant Mothers


Spinning Babies

Helpful information about techniques to utilize to optimize maternal and fetal positions. Spinning Babies encourages pregnant women to be proactive during pregnancy to use activities that encourage balance, gravity and movement.



The International Cesarean Awareness Network’s mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean. (VBAC)


Giving Birth with Confidence

A Lamaze blog for real women sharing stories, finding answers and supporting each other.


The Cord Blood Center

Provides information for expectant mothers and families considering cord blood banking. Information available about private and public banking to help families make the right decision for their loved one.


Postpartum Support International

Postpartum Support International offers essential information about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including risk factors, symptoms and treatments.


La Leche League of MD-DE-DC

La Leche League of MD-DE-DC offers local groups, led by experienced mothers who have been accredited as Leaders by La Leche League International to provide fee education, information and support to women who want to breastfeed.

Local Resources



By Your Side Birth Services is there to support families before, during and after the birth of your baby.  If you have a concern, one of the providers listed may have just the answer for you. Chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists may be able to alleviate the aches and pains of pregnancy or help reposition a breech baby.  Lactation consultants, therapists, new mom support groups and concierge service providers may ease the transition of new parents into their role as mom and dad.  Help and support are available.



Block Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Center offers an array of services for pregnant women and their families.   

Kadin Family Chiropractic and Wellness Center.  Dr. Katherine Kadin, DACCP specializes in prenatal, pediatric and family wellness.


Counseling Services

Rock Creek Counseling Chana Lockerman, MSW< LICSW, LCSW-C specializes in the concerns of new and expectant parents. Home visits are available for new parents and others who prefer counseling at home.

Counseling for Individual, Couples, Parents & Families Jennifer Kogan MSW, LICSW offers counseling for individuals, couples, parents and new families.  Ms. Kogan offers a complimentary phone consult to discuss your needs and see if her services will be a good fit for you and your family.

Happy Parents, Happy Babies Emily Griffin, MSW, LICSW, LCSW-C specializes in providing new parent counseling to you and your family in the comfort of your home.  


Support Groups

Heal from Within offers acupuncture and fertility workshops to assist women on their journey to fertility.  Monthly drop in support groups are open to all women who are struggling with infertility.

Holy Cross Hospital offers support for new moms in a discussion group facilitated by experienced childbirth educators. Mother to Mother Support affords moms an opportunity to get out, meet other moms and their babies and have their questions addressed about all aspects of caring for a newborn. Groups meet Wednesday mornings 10-11:30AM

Shady Grove Adventist Hospital offers a weekly new mother support group to help you transition to your new role.  Babies under the age of 9 months are welcome to attend with their moms. Groups meet at the hospital on Monday mornings 10:30am-12:30pm. Registration is recommended but not required.


Breastfeeding Support and Concierge Services

The Breastfeeding Center in Washington DC offers classes to prepare you to breastfeed, understand the basics of pumping as well as strategies to successfully continue nursing when you return to work.  A weekly support group meets every Tuesday from 11:30am-1:00pm or 1:30-3:00pm designed for new moms to include discussion of all things related to helping you successfully nurse your newborn.

Eat-Sleep-Love Jessica Brody offers an array of maternity and parenting services to families in the DC metropolitan area. Her team is prepared to offer individual support on topics including fertility, breastfeeding, sleep issues and more, helping you to simplify your parenting journey.

Queen Bee Concierge provides personal assistance for busy moms and families.  The services include personal shopping, bed rest or NICU assistance, diaper delivery and much more.  If you need help juggling a busy life, new baby or a major event this customized concierge service is there to help.