Top 5 Pregnancy Must Reads
9 months of pregnancy is pretty long and although you might wish you were more like a goat with only a 4 month wait until birth, at least you’ve got a good while to prepare. Imagine if you spent those months educating ourselves and preparing positively for the big event and the stuff that comes after it.
At the weekend I said farewell to my lovely June Hypnobirthing group. I was talking to them about how the course doesn’t end there. It’s about the way it spurs you on to further your knowledge and practice the techniques. I suggested they read other books as well as the brilliant The Calm Birth Method they get on the course. Making empowered birth their normal.
I promised them I’d share with them my top 5 reads in pregnancy, so here goes-
1. The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill. If you’ve never heard of the Positive Birth Movement, you need to check it out. This was formed by the inspirational Milli Hill to challenge the negativity and fear of childbirth. She has now written this fantastic book, which compliments a Hypnobirthing course wonderfully. It’s massively readable a very choice centred just like a Hypnobirthing course. It covers everything from water birthing at home to an incredibly positive caesarian birth.
2. AIMS- Am I allowed? By Beverly A Lawrence Beech. When it comes to childbirth how often do you hear other people saying “I had to do…” or “I wouldn’t have been allowed…” Painting the picture that your baby’s birth is in the hands of someone else and you have to seek permission for things that you want. This is simply not true! You do the allowing. This book takes you through your rights and helps you weigh up pros and cons. It helps you become aware of all the choices you have available. And as the saying goes ‘If you don’t know your choices you don’t have any’.
3. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. I am in love with anything Ina May writes. If you don’t know already she is a legendary American midwife, a massive pioneer of empowering birth. This book starts with some inspiring positive birth stories. Now, they are a bit ‘far out, psychedelic, free love’ but the overall feel is how blumming incredible women are at this birth thing! It then goes on to talk about how birth works and all sorts of absolute golden nuggets of information. Seriously I can’t get enough of this book. I’ve read it about eight times!
4. Inducing Labour, Making informed decisions by Dr Sarah Wickham. Now this might be a strange one for me to recommend when you’re thinking ‘but I don’t want to be induced.’
Induced labour is when your labour is artificially started for you and in the UK rates of inductions have risen dramatically over the last few years. Now around 1 in 3 women have their labours induced and many more than that will be faced with making a decision about it. Therefore it’s really important to be informed about it. Knowledge is power both in helping you make decisions and also in terms of if you were to go ahead with an induction understanding the process. That way you are much more likely to have a positive experience.
5. The Food of Love by Kate Evans. Being informed and prepared ready for birth is so very important and that is going to help with the stuff that follows. However, I think we mustn’t forget about beyond the birth and preparing for parenthood. If you are choosing to breastfeed, for many women the early weeks can be challenging. Having an understanding of breastfeeding and milk production beforehand is so useful as is having a book you can refer to at 4am for a bit of reassurance. This book is exactly that! Plus the pictures are both hilarious and very useful.
This was a tough call to narrow it down because there’s tonnes of incredible books out there, all commited to supporting women and their partners. I also love anything by Michel Odent, Sheila Kitzinger and Janet Balaskas.