Books about reproductive health, Fertility Awareness, and Natural Family Planning

More about Katie Singer

Garden of Fertility Book CoverHonoring Our CyclesIn her books, The Garden of Fertility (2004) and Honoring Our Cycles (2006), Katie Singerintroduces Fertility Awareness (also called Natural Family Planning).With these methods, a woman who charts her temperature and cervical mucus can know when she is fertile and infertile. A woman who charts her fertility signs can also know whether she is ovulating or miscarrying. You can learn remedies for problems like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and fertility.

R E S O U R C E S   A N D   B I B L I O G R A P H Y
P r e g n a n c y   &   P a r e n t i n g and can help you find a midwife, a lactation consultant, or a doula in your area. A doula provides old-fashioned emotional and practical support through prenatal care, a (hospital) birth, and postpartum care.

Casey, Terry. Pride and Joy. About women who choose to be child-free.

The Compleat Mother, PO Box 209, Minot, ND 58702. This quarterly magazine is packed with heartfelt stories and excellent tips for pregnant and breastfeeding women. For a similar publication from the UK, check out

Faber, Adele and Elaine Mazlish, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, Avon Books, 1980. Written by mothers, this book presents wonderfully simple techniques for creating cooperation in your family (without nagging), how you and your children can learn to express feelings, how to find alternatives to punishment, and more. Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too is also clear and commonsensical. The Federation for Children with Special Needs, based in Boston, provides networking and training for families with children with special needs. 617.236.7210.

Kohler, Nan, Artemis Speaks: VBAC Stories and Natural Childbirth Information (available from the author, 13140 Frati Ln., Sebastopol, CA 95472). An excellent pregnancy guide, especially for women who seek a vaginal birth after a Ceasarean (VBAC). The La Leche League is an awesome (and free) international resource for breastfeeding mothers. Based in Schaumburg, IL, USA, their phone number is 847.519.7730.

Liedloff, Jean, The Continuum Concept, Perseus Books, 1975. In the early 1970s, Jean Liedloff spent two and a half years living with Stone Age Indians in the Venezuelan jungle. The experience demolished her Western concepts of how we should live. Her book describes the Indians' lives, and the idea that in order to achieve optimal wellness, all people--and especially babies--require the kind of experience to which our species adapted during the long process of our evolution. For an infant, this means constant physical contact with his or her mother (or another familiar caregiver as needed) while the mother goes about her business until the baby is able to crawl; sleeping in the parents' bed until leaving of his or her volition--commonly around two years old; having caregivers immediately respond to squirming and crying without judgement, displeasure or invalidation of the baby's needs, all the while showing no undue concern nor making the baby the constant center of attention. This is an exceptional and provocative book for anyone who cares about parenting or human nature.

Luke, Barbara, and Tamara Eberlein, When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: A Complete Resource, Quill, 1999. The Midwives Alliance of North America can help you find a midwife in your area. Call them at 888.923.6262. Also, check out Citizens for Midwifery at

Midwifery Today, PO Box 2672, Eugene, OR 97402; 541.344.7438. A quarterly journal for midwives, nurses, doulas, childbirth educators, doctors, parents, parents-to-be, and anyone who wants to learn more about pregnancy, labor, and birth:

Mothering Magazine, PO Box 1690, Santa Fe, NM 87504; 800.827.1061. Mothering advocates for families and children and addresses issues like homebirth, breastfeeding todlers, mothers with HIV, vaccination, home schooling, the family bed, and saying no to circumcision.

Naish, Francesca & Janette Roberts, Healthy Parents, Better Babies: A Couples Guide to Natural Preconception Health Care, The Crossing Press, 1999. Naish and Roberts, a naturopath and a nutritionist, outline how preconception health care can help you not only to conceive, but to carry a healthy pregnancy to term. Their excellent book is packed with information about detoxifying, clearing genito-urinary infections, nutrients for better babies, and more. This is a wonderful book for anyone who wants to strengthen her gynecological health with non-pharmaceutical remedies.

Odent, Michel, The Farmer and the Obstetrician, Free Association Books, 2002. In his newest book, Odent (the obstetrician who introduced the concepts of home-like birthing rooms and birthing pools in a French state hospital about 30 years ago) describes the striking similarities between the industrialization of farming and the industrialization of childbirth. Dr. Odent's website,, introduces a preconception program for detoxifying the body and carrying a healthy pregnancy to term.

Pepper, Rachel, The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians: Tips and Techniques from Conception to Birth, Cleis Press, 1999. Find a postpartum support group in your area.

Steingraber, Sandra, Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood, Perseus, 2001. This is one of the most beautiful books I've read. Steingraber, a poet and biologist, weaves her personal experience (beginning with the discovery of her pregnancy) with the intricate unfolding of embryonic organs, the astonishing transformation of the mother's body as it nourishes the new life, and the alarming extent to which environmental hazards--from industrial poisons found in amniotic fluid to the toxic contamination of breast milk--now threaten each crucial stage of infant development. This passionate, lyrical book calls for "the world's feast (to) be made safe for women and children. May mothers' milk run clean again. May denial give way to courageous action."

  • Pregnancy & Parenting