Required Reading


Reading is a requirement in order to complete your training and obtain certification. The number of books you must read is dependent on which program you are enrolled in, so be sure to check the appropriate training page to find out how many you must read. Books marked with an asterisk (*) are required, while unmarked books are suggested. CAPPA suggests you read books on the subjects you are least familiar with. Many of the books listed below can be purchased in our shop.

Labor Doula  Postpartum Doula   Childbirth Educator

Lactation Educator  New Parent Educator   Pregnancy Fitness Educator

Labor Doula

You are required to read a minimum of five (5) books in addition to the CAPPA Labor Doula Manual, The Understanding Birth, and The Understanding Breastfeeding booklets. Optimally, you should read at least one book from each section.  Always check to make certain you are reading the most current edition of each book.

General Reading (everyone must read):

Doula Studies & History of Birth:

  • The Doula Advantage – Rachel Gurevich
  • Special Women – Paulina Perez
  • The Doula Book – Klaus, Klaus, Kennell
  • Birth as an American Rite of Passage – Robbie Davis-Floyd
  • Birth – Tina Cassidy
  • Birth Matters – Ina May Gaskin
  • Round the Circle – Julie Brill

Labor Support Skills:

  • The Nurturing Touch at Birth – Paulina Perez
  • The Birth Partner – Penny Simkin
  • The Labor Progress Handbook 4th edition – Penny Simkin, Ruth Ancheta
  • The New Active Birth, Revised Edition – Janet Balaskas
  • Easing Labor Pain – Adrienne Lieberman
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin
  • Fathers at Birth – Rose St. John
  • Labor Pain: A Natural Approach to Easing Delivery – Nicky Wesson
  • Mindful Birthing – Nancy Bardacke

Pregnancy & Birth:

  • The Greatest Pregnancy Ever – Laurel Wilson, Tracy Wilson Peters
  • The Attachment Pregnancy – Laurel Wilson, Tracy Wilson Peters
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth & the Newborn – Simkin, Whalley, Kepler
  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering – Sarah J. Buckley, MD
  • Optimal Care in Childbirth – Henci Goer & Amy Romano
  • You Best Birth – Ricki Lake
  • A Good Birth, A Safe Birth – Diana Korte & Roberta Scaer
  • Gentle Birth Choices – Barbara Harper
  • The Mother Of All Pregnancy Books – Ann Douglas
  • Healthy Beginnings – Giving your baby the best start from preconception to birth – The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

Breastfeeding:

  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers – Dr. Jack Newman & Teresa Pitman
  • Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide To Breastfeeding, Revised Edition)
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – La Leche League International
  • Breastfeeding Made Simple – Nancy Morbacher & Kathleen Kendall-Tacket
  • Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding – Ina May Gaskin

Special Situations:

  • The VBAC Companion – Diana Korte
  • When Hello Means Goodbye – Kirk & Schweibert
  • Ghostbelly – Elizabeth Heineman
  • When Survivors Give Birth – Penny Simkin
  • Survivor Moms – Mickey Sperlich & Julia Seng
  • Companioning at a Time of Perinatal Loss – Jane Heustis, RN, Marcia Jenkins, RN

Postpartum Doula

Please choose books from each of the following categories. You will need to read a nine (9) books from the categories below, in addition to the CAPPA Postpartum Doula Manual, The Understanding Mother and Baby Care Booklet, and The Understanding Breastfeeding Booklet.

Category 1: General Reading (everyone must read):

Category 2: The New Mother and Family (choose 1 from this category):

  • Mothering the New Mother, 2nd Edition by Sally Placksin
  • Nurturing the Family: The Guide for Postpartum Doulas by Jacqueline Kelleher
  • The Gentle Art of Newborn Family Care by Salle Webber
  • The Mommy Plan by Valerie Lynn
  • Maternity Leave: A New Mother’s Guide to the First Six Weeks Postpartum by Cheryl R. Zauderer
  • Nurturing Beginnings Guide to Postpartum Care for Doulas and Community Outreach Workers by Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Jane Arnold with Marcia Ringel

Category 3: The Newborn (choose 2 from this category):

  • The Baby Book by Drs. William and Martha Sears
  • Heading Home with Your Newborn from Birth to Reality by Laura A. Jana and Jennifer Shu
  • Gentle Baby Care: No-cry, No-fuss, No-worry–Essential Tips for Raising Your Baby by Elizabeth Pantley
  • The Mother of All Baby Books by Ann Douglas
  • Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five by Penelope Leach
  • Your Baby is Speaking to You by Kevin Nugent
  • Your Amazing Newborn by Marshall Klaus
  • Touchpoints: Birth to Three by T. Berry Brazelton
  • Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina

Category 4: Breastfeeding (choose 1 from this category):

  • The Nursing Mother’s Companion, 6th Edition by Kathleen Huggins
  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers  by Dr. Jack Newman & Teresa Pitman
  • Breastfeeding Made Simple by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Nancy Mohrbacher, and Dr. Jack Newman
  • Breastfeeding Solutions: Quick Tips for the Most Common Nursing Challenges By Nancy Mohrbacher
  • Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple by Nancy Mohrbacher

Category 5: Postpartum Mood Disorders (choose 1 from this category):

  • This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman & Valerie Rasking
  • Beyond the Blues: A Guide to Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression by Shoshana S. Bennett
  • Depression in New Mothers by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
  • I’m Listening by Jane Honikman

Category 6: Special Circumstances (choose 2 from this category):

  • Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More! 3rd Edition by Karen Kerkoff Gromada (La Leche League International)
  • Twinspiration by Cheryl Lange
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins by Dr Marc Weissbluth
  • How to Survive Twins: Your Definitive Guide to The First 6 Months by Carol Malone and Steve Malone
  • The Premature Baby Book by Dr William Sears
  • Preemies – Second Edition: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies by Dana Wechsler Linden, Emma Trenti Paroli, Mia Wechsler Doron
  • The Essential C-Section Guide: Pain Control, Healing at Home, Getting Your Body Back, and Everything Else You Need to Know About a Cesarean Birth by Maureen Connolly and Dana Sullivan
  • Strategies for the C-Section Mom: A Complete Fitness, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Guide by Mary Beth Knight

Category 7: Bonding and Relationships (choose 1 from this category):

  • The Earliest Relationship by T. Berry Brazelton & Bertrand Cramer
  • Bonding by Marshall Klaus, John Kennell, and Phyllis Klaus
  • The Attachment Pregnancy by Tracy Wilson Peters and Laurel Wilson
  • Becoming Us: 8 Steps to Grow a Family That Thrives by Elly Taylor

 Category 8: Calming, Soothing, Infant Sleep (choose 1 from this category):

  • The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns by Elizabeth Pantley
  • Sweet Sleep by Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith, Teresa Pittman
  • Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Co-Sleeping by James J. McKenna
  • Baby Calm: A Guide for Parents on Sleep Techniques, Feeding Schedules, and Bonding with Your New Baby by Sarah Ockwell-Smith

Childbirth Educator

Students must read seven (7) books from the categories below in addition to the CAPPA Childbirth Educator Manual, The Understanding Birth Booklet, The Understanding Breastfeeding Booklet, and The Understanding Mother & Baby Care Booklet.

General Reading:

  • CAPPA Childbirth Educator Manual (provided at training for Traditional students; mailed to Online/Distance students)
  • The Understanding Booklets Bundle (Birth, Breastfeeding, and Mother & Baby Care)

One (1) selection from this list on Public Speaking:

  • Present Like a Pro (Maxey & O’Conner)
  • The Exceptional Presenter (Koegel)
  • Presenting to Win (Weissman)
  • Speak Up!: A Woman’s Guide to Presenting Like a Pro (Maxey & O’Conner)

One (1) selection from this list on Adult Learning Principles:

  • How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching (Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, Norman and Mayer)
  • Planning Programs for Adult Learners (Caffarella & Draffon)
  • Learning in Adulthood (Merriam, Caffarella, Baumgartner)
  • Understanding and Promoting Transformative Learning (Cranton)
  • Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn (Wlodkowski)

One (1) selection from this list on Breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers (Nancy Mohrbacher & Kathleen Kendall-Tackett)
  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers (Dr. Jack Newman & Teresa Pitman)
  • The Nursing Mother’s Companion (Kathleen Huggins)
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International)

One (1) selection from this list on Pregnancy, Labor & Birth:

  • The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth (Sheila Kitzinger)
  • Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth (The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective)
  • The Greatest Pregnancy Ever (Tracy Peters and Laurel Wilson)
  • The Attachment Pregnancy (Tracy Peters and Laurel Wilson)
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (Penny Simkin, R.N. Janet Whalley, R.N. Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham)

Three (3) selections from this list of Other Recommended Titles:

  • How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint (David Phillips)
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (Ina May Gaskin)
  • Birth as an American Rite of Passage (Robbie Davis-Floyd)
  • Birth (Tina Cassidy)
  • Gentle Birth Choices (Barbara Harper)
  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering (Dr. Sarah Buckly)
  • The Birth Book (Sears & Sears)
  • The Nurturing Touch at Birth (Paulina Perez)
  • When Hello Means Goodbye (Kirk & Schwiebert)
  • A Good Birth, A Safe Birth (Diana Korte & Roberta Scaer)
  • The VBAC Companion (Diana Korte)
  • Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy (Elizabeth Somer)
  • Becoming Us: 8 Steps to Grow a Family That Thrives (Elly Taylor)
  • Round the Circle: Doulas Share Their Experiences (Julie Brill)

Lactation Educator

Students are required to read the CAPPA Lactation Educator Manual and The Understanding Breastfeeding Booklet, as well as one (1) of the following **Texts and four (4) *Self Select Books OR two (2) **Texts and none (0) of the *Self Select Books.

General Reading (everyone must read):

**Texts List (choose 1 below and 4 Self Select Books OR 2 below and 0 Self Select Books):

  • **Breastfeeding and Human Lactation by Jan Riordan
  • **Counseling the Nursing Mother by Lauwers and Swisher
  • **Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple by Mohrbacher

*Self Select List (choose 4 below if only 1 Text selected):

  • Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Mohrbacher and KendallTackett
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League International
  • Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction Surgery by Diana West
  • Birth & Breastfeeding by Michel Odent
  • Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby and Relactation by La Leche League International
  • Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins and More by Karen Kerkoff Gromada
  • Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner
  • The Nursing Mother’s Guide to Weaning by Kathleen Huggins and Linda Ziedrich
  • Supporting Sucking Skills in Breastfeeding Infants by Genna Watson
  • Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding by Linda J. Smith and Mary Kroeger
  • Sweet Sleep by Diane Weissinger, Diana West, Linda J. Smith
  • Balancing Breast and Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals by Amy Peterson and Mindy Harmer
  • Clinics in Human Lactation: Breastfeeding the Late Preterm Infant by Marsha Walker
  • Clinics in Human Lactation: Pumps & Pumping Protocols by Marsha Walker
  • Clinics in Human Lactation: Emotional and Physical Trauma by Dianne Cassidy
  • Clinics in Human Lactation: Clinics in Human Lactation: Non-Pharmacologic Treatments for Depression in New Mothers by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

Recommended Books for Further Education:

  • Coach’s Notebook: Games & Strategies for Lactation Education by Linda J. Smith
  • The Breastfeeding Atlas by Barbara Wilson-Clay and Kay Hoover
  • Medications & Mother’s Milk by Thomas Wright Hale, R.Ph. Ph.D.

New Parent Educator

Please choose books from each of the following categories. You will need to read nine (9) books from the categories below, in addition to the CAPPA New Parent Educator Manual, The Understanding Your Newborn, The Understanding Breastfeeding, and the Understanding Mother and Baby Care booklets. Always read the most current edition available.

**Please note: This program is brand-new and some of the links are under construction!**

General Reading (everyone must read):

Category 1 – Adult Learning and Public Speaking (choose 2 from this category):

  • The Exceptional Presenter: A Proven Formula to Open Up and Own the Room (Koegel)
  • Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds (Gallo)
  • From Telling to Teaching: A Dialogue Approach to Adult Learning (Norris)
  • Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults (Vella)
  • Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults (Vella)
  • Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn: A Comprehensive Guide for Teaching All Adults (Wlodkowski)
  • Present Like a Pro: The Field Guide to Mastering the Art of Business, Professional, and Public Speaking (Maxey & O’Connor)
  • How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching (Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, Norman and Mayer)
  • TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking (Anderson)

Category 2 – The New Mother (choose 1 from this category):

  • Mothering the New Mother, 2nd Edition (Placksin)
  • The Mommy Plan (Lynn)
  • Maternity Leave: A New Mother’s Guide to the First Six Weeks Postpartum (Zauderer)

Category 3 – The Newborn (choose 2 from this category):

  • The Baby Book (Sears)
  • Heading Home with Your Newborn from Birth to Reality (Jana & Shu)
  • Your Baby is Speaking to You (Nugent)
  • Your Amazing Newborn (Klaus)
  • Gentle Baby Care: No-cry, No-fuss, No-worry–Essential Tips for Raising Your Baby (Pantley)
  • The Mother of All Baby Books (Douglas)
  • Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five (Leach)
  • Touchpoints: Birth to Three (Brazelton)
  • Brain Rules for Baby (Medina)

Category 4 – Parental Relationships (choose 1 from this category):

  • Becoming Us: 8 Steps to Grow a Family That Thrives (Taylor)
  • And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives (Gottman &‎ Gottman)

Category 5 – Additional Topics (choose 3 from this category):

  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers (Newman & Pitman)
  • Breastfeeding Made Simple (Kendall-Tackett & Mohrbacher)
  • Beyond the Blues: A Guide to Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression (Bennett)
  • The Earliest Relationship (Brazelton & Cramer)
  • Bonding (Klaus, Kennell & Klaus)
  • The Attachment Pregnancy (Peters & Wilson)
  • Depression in New Mothers, 3rd Edition: Causes, Consequences and Treatment Alternatives (Kendall-Tackett)
  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Twins (Weissbluth)
  • How to Survive Twins: Your Definitive Guide to The First 6 Months (Malone & Malone)
  • The Premature Baby Book (2004) by Dr William Sears
  • Preemies – Second Edition: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies (2010) by Dana Wechsler Linden, Emma Trenti Paroli, Mia Wechsler Doron
  • The Essential C-Section Guide: Pain Control, Healing at Home, Getting Your Body Back, and Everything Else You Need to Know About a Cesarean Birth (Connolly & Sullivan)
  • The Wonder Weeks: How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward (Plooij & van de Rijt)
  • Calm the Crying: The Secret Baby Language That Reveals the Hidden Meaning Behind an Infant’s Cry (Dunstan) *DVD may be substituted for the book
  • The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns (Pantley)
  • Sweet Sleep (Wiessinger, West, Smith &Pittman)
  • Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Co-Sleeping (McKenna)
  • Baby Calm: A Guide for Parents on Sleep Techniques, Feeding Schedules, and Bonding with Your New Baby (Ockwell-Smith)

Pregnancy Fitness Educator

Students must read four (4) books from the categories below in addition to the CAPPA Pregnancy Fitness Educator Manual and The Female Pelvis (Calais-Germain).  Please use the most recent version of each book listed.

General Reading (everyone must read):

  • CAPPA Pregnancy Fitness Educator Manual (provided by CAPPA at the time of enrollment)
  • The Female Pelvis: Anatomy & Exercises (Blandine Calais-Germain)

Fitness & Exercise – Choose one (1) from the following list:

  • Active Birth, Revised Edition (Janet Balaskas)
  • Expecting Fitness (Birgitta Gallo)
  • Easy Exercises for Pregnancy (Janet Balaskas)
  • Exercising through your pregnancy (James F.Clapp)
  • Motherwell Maternity Fitness Plan (Bonnie Berk)

Nutrition – Choose one (1) from the following list:

  • Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy (Elizabeth Somer)
  • Nutrition in Pregnancy & Lactation (Worthington-Roberts, Vermeesch, & Williams)

Pregnancy, Labor & Birth – Choose any two (2) from the following list:

  • The Birth Book (Sears & Sears)
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth, & the Newborn 4th Edition 2010 (Penny Simkin)
  • The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth (Sheila Kitzinger)
  • The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth (Henci Goer)
  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (Ina May Gaskin)
  • The VBAC Companion (Diana Korte)
  • Preventing Preterm Birth (Michael Katz)
  • Every Pregnant Woman’s Guide to Preventing Premature Birth (Barbara Luke)
  • The Pregnancy Bed Rest Book (Amy E. Tracy)
  • Mind Over Labor (Carl Jones)
  • Easing Labor Pain (Adrienne Lieberman)
  • The Labor Progress Handbook (Penny Simkin)

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