Resources & Recommendations

These are my “greatest hits” of parenthood and family life: the books and experts that I find myself recommending again and again because they have been so powerful to me, as well as my own products.

The Guide to Postpartum Thriving downloadable workbook
–by Allison Evans–

You are not simply having a baby. You are becoming a mother. It’s one of the biggest transitions of your life. With the right mindset and support, it can also be one of the sweetest. That’s what “Nest” is all about. With five themes to support the whole woman – body, mind, soul, and spirit – this downloadable guide will help you create a gentler, more joyful postpartum. You’ll gather the support, not just the stuff, that enable you and baby to thrive.

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BP5BiggestFearsChildbirth and Postpartum: Overcoming Your Five Biggest Fears digital course
–by Allison Evans–

This video-based, self-paced, online course addresses the top concerns I encountered as a childbirth educator. It gives first time expectant parents the most basic information, strategies, and skills they need to look forward to their baby’s birth with confidence and enjoy an easier birth. Short, to the point, super informative and fun to watch and do, the course can be completed from any device in under 2 hours.

Sign up on Udemy

Childbirth and Postpartum: The New Dad’s Guide digital course
–by Allison Evans–

This video-based, self-paced, online course was tailor-made for first time expectant fathers who want to help with birth and postpartum but aren’t sure how. Developed in partnership with a dad of three, this course tells you, step-by-step, what a mother wants and needs from her partner to stay comfortable during birth and for a gentle postpartum. It also offers proven communications strategies for greater intimacy and a stronger marriage after baby.

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Rediscovering Birth, book by Sheila Kitzinger

Kitzinger is a world-renowned birth educator and activist. This book is a fascinating and beautifully written history and sociology of birth. It totally reframed birth for me – from a traumatic medical event into a deeply meaningful and empowering rite-of-passage.

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering:  A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices, book by Sarah J. Buckley, M.D.

Buckley is an Australian doctor and four-time homebirth mother. Her scientific and clinical expertise combine with her parenting experience to create a comprehensive book of tremendous value. She is also a beautiful writer.

What Mothers Do, Especially When It Looks Like Nothing, book by Naomi Stadlen

Written by a therapist who runs a circle for new mothers, this book captures exquisitely what it feels like to be a new mother. Organized by the themes raised by the mothers in the circle, chapter titles – such as, “I get nothing done all day,” and “So tired I could die” – are in their own words.

Momma Zen, book by Karen Maezen Miller

Reading this spare, lyrical memoir of a Buddhist priest was, for me, like finding an oasis in the desert. Reading how she – even she – was unprepared for and humbled by motherhood, captured my heart. Her writing is clear and resonant, like a prayer bell, and only improves with rereading.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, book by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlisch

This classic is a practical, easy guide to effective two-way communication with your child. It’s based on an idea that children are people, too, and respond best when they are treated with respect. Topics include helping children deal with their feelings; engaging cooperation; encouraging autonomy; praise, and others.

Elevating Childcare website and Unruffled podcast, by Janet Lansbury

Lansbury is an infant and toddler specialist, but her messages about allowing feelings and maintaining boundaries are vital not only to parenting at any age, but to relationships of any kind. Her compassion for and understanding of the point of view and capacities of children are remarkable. She is also a fine writer.

When Your Kids Push Your Buttons: And What You Can Do About It book, by Bonnie Harris

Parents and children are going to disagree. Often, we parents experience these inevitable disagreements as threats to our authority, and a power struggle ensues, ending with the parent forcing her will on the child or capitulating — in other words, with everyone losing. Harris shows us parents how to take responsibility for our part in the conflict and learn how to neutralize our reactions. The result is calmer, wiser leadership from parents and deepened communication and relationship with the child. Organized by topic with scores of helpful examples and exercises. I also recommend Harris’s Connective Parenting website and her podcast, Tell Me About Your Kids.

Byron Katie, Loving What Is

Unlike the rest of these recommendations, Katie is not a childcare expert. But she understands how to end suffering through understanding. Her Inquiry method (“The Work”) transformed all my relationships and helps me find clarity and freedom every day.

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