Christian Childbirth Handbook

cchcoverYou are already parenting your new baby, making decisions that affect his or her life even before he or she was conceived. As you move closer to your baby’s ‘Birth Day,’ parenting includes preparing to give birth and care for your newborn.

Preparing to give birth involves your body, your mind and your spirit. Your body must be strong and ready to do the work, your mind must understand the process and be ready to make decisions and your spirit must be willing to submit to the call of God. The Christian Childbirth Handbook helps you do all three.

Written from a Biblical perspective, the Christian Childbirth Handbook explores how being a Christian affects the childbirth experience. It discusses how faith impacts labor and how biblical principals direct your decision making process. Unafraid of difficult topics, the Christian Childbirth Handbook explores pain in labor, challenges in labor and the way childbirth is portrayed in the Bible.

Like a childbirth class in a book, the Christian Childbirth Handbook provides you with information, journaling questions, challenging activities, labor rehearsals and more. Use it to supplement the childbirth class you are taking, or to prepare when childbirth classes are not available.

Honest and accurate, the Christian Childbirth Handbook discusses the options available to you and the ways they can affect the labor process. Learn how to discover the comfort measures that are most likely to work for you. Discover the common side effects of pain relief, and what you can do about them if you decide to use medication. Explore the decisions you will need to make as you plan for your baby’s birth.

Unique Features

  • Drawings and diagrams your husband won’t blush at – to help you understand what you are reading.
  • Activities to help you understand the material you are learning.
  • Journaling questions to encourage prayer over the topics being discussed.
  • Labor Rehearsals you can do at home.
  • Advice from other mothers and Christian professionals.
  • Articles from leaders in the Christian Childbirth community help you prepare for labor and learn about resources available through their organizations.
  • Includes information about parenting a newborn and family adjustments.

The Christian Childbirth Handbook is laid out by subjects and topics as they may be taught in a childbirth class. Each topic is an educational unit on its own, or can be read with the entire subject. This gives tremendous freedom to the reader to move throughout the book in a way that suits their need and ability to learn.

The topical format also makes the text easily adapted for use in childbirth education classes, allowing teachers to assign specific reading assignments targeted to the day’s topics. It will fit as easily into a four week class as a ten week class. Midwives and doulas will find it easy to recommend specific topics for clients to read.

Each subject is concluded with activities and journaling questions intended to help readers process the information from the book.


Foreword: Putting God into Your Birth by Jan Tritten, Founder, Editor-mother of Midwifery Today

Subject One: Christian Childbirth
Topic 1 : What is Christian Childbirth?
Topic 2 : How faith affects labor
Topic 3 : Biblical Principles for Childbirth
Topic 4 : Forming Opinions
Article : The Curse by Kathy Nesper of Apple Tree Family Ministries

Subject Two: Healthy Pregnancy
Topic 1 : God’s design and control
Topic 2 : Stewardship of Good Nutrition
Topic 3 : Stewardship of Adequate Exercise
Topic 4 : Spiritually Healthy Pregnancy
Article : Making Positive Lifestyle Changes by Christy Callahan

Subject Three: Labor Process
Topic 1 : Overview of Pregnancy and Childbirth
Topic 2 : Measuring Progress in Labor
Topic 3 : Before Labor Begins
Topic 4 : Early Labor
Topic 5 : Active Labor
Topic 6 : Transition
Topic 7 : Second Stage
Topic 8 : Third Stage
Article : Why We Labor by Nerida Walker, author God’s Plan for Pregnancy of New Life Ministries

Subject Four: Birth Planning
Topic 1 : Birth Planning
Topic 2 : Should I Write a Birth Plan?
Topic 3 : Writing a Birth Plan
Topic 4 : Using your birth plan
Topic 5 : Birth Planning and Guilt
Topic 6 : Styles of Care
Article : Supportive Community by Doran Richards, author Celebration of Pregnancy of Blessing God’s Way

Subject Five: Childbirth Pain
Topic 1 : Why pain in labor?
Topic 2 : Factors that affect pain
Topic 3 : Fear and Pain
Topic 4 : Coping with Pain
Topic 5 : Personal Pain Coping Strategies
Topic 6 : Abnormal Pain in Childbirth
Topic 7 : How Painful is Labor?
Article : More Than Conquerors! by Kelly Townsend, author Christ Centered Childbirth

Subject Six: Staying Comfortable
Topic 1 : Providing Comfort
Topic 2 : Using Touch During Labor
Topic 3 : Positions for Labor
Topic 4 : Movement in Labor
Topic 5 : Using Water for Labor
Topic 6 : Relaxation for Labor
Topic 7 : Comforting Environment
Article : Herbs for Labor by Shonda Parker, author Naturally Healthy Pregnancy of Naturally Healthy

Subject Seven: Options for Labor
Topic 1 : How and Why
Topic 3 : Birth Place and Attendant
Topic 2 : Routine Hospital Procedures
Topic 4 : Induction Options
Topic 5 : Pain Management Options
Topic 6 : Newborn Care
Topic 7 : From Decision to Reality
Topic 8 : Making Decisions in Labor
Article : Home Birth by Marlene Waechter, Certified Professional Midwife

Subject Eight: Labor Challenges
Topic 1 : Labor Challenges
Topic 2 : Normal Variation or Emergency?
Topic 3 : Before Labor Begins
Topic 4 : During Labor
Topic 5 : Cesarean Surgery
Article : The Miracle of Waterbirth by Barbara Harper, author Gentle Birth Choices of Waterbirth International

Subject Nine: Getting to Know Your New Baby
Topic 1 : Your Newborn Baby
Topic 2 : Your Baby as a Person
Topic 3 : Feeding Your Baby
Topic 4 : Parenting a Newborn
Article : The Baby God Gave You – Perfect? by Sharon Tilotta of First Birth Ministries

Subject Ten: Your New Family
Topic 1 : God’s Design for Family
Topic 2 : Mom’s needs postpartum
Topic 3 : Dad’s needs postpartum
Topic 4 : Sibling Adjustments
Article : Adjusting to Life with a New Baby by Tina Ellis, author Pregnancy=40 Weeks of Preparation

Sample Menus
Overcoming Fears
Birth Planning Checklist
Comfort Measures Checklist
Midwife Interview Questions
Birthplace Checklist
Breastfeeding Questions
Childbirth Verses
Global Birth Issues

What are people saying?

“The Christian Childbirth Handbook” by Jennifer Vanderlaan is a fully comprehensive and informative resource covering all aspects of childbearing. Jennifer has gone beyond general facts and birthing information by drawing readers attention to include God throughout the birthing process. After all he is the one who created us to conceive, carry and deliver our children!
Nerida Walker founder New Life Ministries Bringing life to barrenness

When I was pregnant with my first child I had never even heard of the concept of childbirth classes specifically geared toward Christian couples. My husband and I prayed often about the pregnancy, that the baby would be healthy, that the birth would go well. But we never specifically looked to see what the scriptures had to say about childbirth. In Christian circles we are encouraged to apply our faith to all areas of our lives, but I had never been specifically challenged to apply my faith to birth. I am very encouraged to see a growing movement, such as is represented by this author’s work, geared toward doing exactly that.
Jenn Riedy mom of 4, BabyBodyBirth Board Member and instructor