Sarah J. Buckley M.D. "Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering" Book Health, Work / Play / Leisure Suitable for stages: Pregnancy, 0 - 3 Months, 3 - 6 Months

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"Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices"


Best for

  • Expectant parents, mothers who are wanting a different birthing experience from their previous birth/s, or professionals interested in supporting expectant or new parents. 
  • It’s for those wanting to know more about their options around childbirth, who want to be informed and make decisions around their body and who are prepared to consider a broader view of the significance of birth. It doesn’t demand the reader accept all the ideas, but rather to take away what works for them as judged using their “most sensitive criteria". 


About the book

Dr Buckley has a beautiful way of explaining the value of and significance of birthing and mothering in a gentle, natural and instinctive way. 

She earns her reader's respect through her confident voice, knowledge of physiology and pharmacology as an MD, (with additional qualifications in obstetrics and family planning), ability to explain what the available research tells us, appreciation of the many aspects of health (including emotional/spiritual/psychological/sexual) and her wisdom as a mother of 4 who practiced what she advocates for and recounts her birth stories.

Birth is described as something empowering, energetic, an act of love not unlike making love, and transformational. She advocates for women to be informed, exercise their right for choice, and be actively involved in decisions around their body. She stresses the importance of protecting the space around the birthing woman to optimise their environment and situation to support their body and mind's optimum function during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Dr Buckley promotes many great books and resources such as those developed by popular childbirth advocates Michel Odent and Ina May Gaskin (who writes the Foreword). The book builds on their work by drawing together suggestions for the expectant mother to prepare her body and mind for birth and mothering. She also explains common birth interventions and common birthing practices with an in-depth analysis of the research and evaluation of birth choices. It makes the case for ‘undisturbed birth’ where the environment and support provided avoids unnecessary intervention. 

The latter chapters of the book explore 'gentle mothering' concepts. Dr Buckley encourages parents to draw on their instincts, intelligence, heart and mind to make their choices. She also acknowledges the path will contain challenges and traumas but a focus on self-care, space, healing and growth with kindness and compassion will serve the whole family. 

The reader can easily come out of reading this book feeling like the opportunity to give birth and become a mother is the greatest gift they could receive. It's possible to walk away feeling clear about what can happen during childbirth (and after) and empowered to make informed choices (through thinking and feeling) which optimise the birth of the mother (and father) and best serves the growing child.


  • easy to read and well researched - includes 1192 references within the 13 chapters 
  • 348 pages; Published 2nd December 2008
  • 10 glowing testimonials from prominent authors and organisations
  • Foreword by Ina May Gaskin - who has been described as "the mother of authentic midwifery" and author of Spiritual Midwifery, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding & Birth Matters
  • Covers gentle birth topics: Women's birth rights, instinctive birthing vision and tools, healing births, making wise decisions about your body and your baby, ultrasound scans, undisturbed birth, epidurals, natural third stage labour, Cesarean surgery, choosing homebirth
  • Covers gentle mothering topics: love, attachment and baby's brain; breastfeeding; the science of sharing sleep between mothers and babies (including 10 tips for safe sleeping)
  • 6 pages of resources on the topics covered in the book. She encourages readers to visit her website at for a full up to date list of resources.


About the Author

SARAH BUCKLEY, MD, is an internationally known authority on natural birthing and parenting choices. She has published numerous articles in Mothering magazine and Midwifery Today. She lives in Brisbane, Australia. 

Sarah Buckley might be called a third-wave natural birth advocate. A doctor and a mother who home-birthed her own four children, she approaches the question of how a woman and baby might have the most fulfilling birth experience with respect for the wisdom of both medical science and the human body. Using current medical and epidemiological research plus women's experiences (including her own), she demonstrates that what she calls ""undisturbed birth"" is almost always healthier and safer than high-technology approaches to birth. Her wise counsel on issues like breastfeeding and sleeping during postpartum helps extend the gentle birth experience into a gentle parenting relationship.  

RRP: $29.99

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