This blog post was originally posted on June 14, 2018 by Amber Navarro (@mamasolbirth) who is a Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor and a Doula!She has some amazing reading suggestions while you are Growing Tiny Humans.
With so many options available, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes birth books. Quiet time can be a hot commodity for us parents too, so before we turn our precious moments alone during nap time or a kid free trip out of the house over to a birth book it helps to know it's worth devoting time to. With that in mind, I'm sharing a few of my top picks as a Birth Doula for books to read during your pregnancy journey in preparation for your birth. These are books I've read myself and recommend all the time to the families I support as a Doula.
I also want to mention, even though it feels different at times in the motherhood community, there is no perfect birth. There is only the perfect birth for you and your family. However, one of the best ways to work towards the birth you envision is by getting familiar with the emotional, physical, and physiological aspects of birth and exposing yourself to the power you have when it comes to decision making. The evidence actually tells us that even when births deviate from our vision, birthing people who feel prepared for these changes often still view their birth experience in a positive light. So really you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by adding to your bank of birth knowledge.
In addition to being able to learn or review some of the important milestones and decisions you might encounter during your pregnancy and birthing time, setting time aside to read is a great way to slow down during your pregnancy. You can use this time to practice or implement relaxation techniques, and it'll also give you a chance each day to intentionally connect with the tiny human you're growing. I've found that when I sit, take a moment to connect with my tiny human and note where we are in our journey, this is when he is most active. Knowing this, my intentional quiet time before I dive into reading or breathing practice each day has easily become something I look forward to and enjoy.
Don't be deterred by the Natural in the title if you're still exploring your vision for birth, what this book really offers is some good insight on how to prepare for birth in a hospital setting whether your goal is zero intervention or you're open to certain procedures or medications.
Not only is this a great option for the birthing person, but it's probably my top pick for your partner or the support person you'd like present during your birth.
This book covers it all - the physiological must-knows (think how the body functions during labor), the emotional transformation you're about to embark on, and it gives practical advice for preparing your body for birth right down to recipes and yoga poses.
I love this book because while it includes great information birthing people need to know, it also marries the scientific research we currently have with things like meditation and ceremony.
This is worth the read because it discusses decisions birthing families commonly encounter and some of the evidence available to us on these interventions. I'm a huge advocate for evidence-based care, so this one always comes to mind, and it's also a great resource for VBAC families.
Some additional options:
-Birthing from Within
-Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method
-Cut, Stapled, and Mended
*therapeutic option for birthing people attempting VBAC*
Now grab your pregnancy pillow, get comfy, and happy reading!