Post # 1
I just finished reading The Big Book of Birth by Erica Lyon. It was fantastic! It really went in depth on the stages of labor, without being overly clinically. Nothing in the book “scared” me or made me fearful of the things that could go wrong. It was definitely pretty pro-natural but wasn’t too “crunchy” or overbearing in its stance. It accepted that all types of births happen, and it made me feel more confident in my ability to birth with the techniques it presented.
Does anyone else have any recommendations for books along these lines?
Post # 3
anything by Ina May Gaskin. srsly… anything she writes about childbirth is gold.
Post # 4
I wrote a post about Birth Skills by Juju Sundin a week out so ago, if you look back a page or two you’ll see my review 🙂 thanks for your recommendation, I’ll look it up!
Also second Ina Mae!
Post # 5
I also vote for Ina May Gaskin!! All her books are fabulous. Read the breastfeeding one too. It really helped me to see birth as a natural process versus something to be feared, etc.
Post # 6
Your best birth by Ricki Lake provided a lot of insight about birth options available.
Post # 7
@brikee: Thank you!
I’ve been trying to read Active Birth by Janet Balaskas… And it’s just not doing it for me. It’s soo boring.
Post # 8
Another vote for Ina May here. Her Guide to Childbirth is the only pregnancy-related book I read. It got me really excited about trying for a natural birth and taught me to never doubt what my body is capable of.
Post # 9
Breastfeeding Made Simple — if you want to breastfeed. Tons of good information and helpful advice. It’s well worth reading cover to cover before you give birth.
Ina May is good too — but crunchy.
Post # 10
Another Ina May fan here. It’s the only book I read before DD was born and it completely took away all my fears about birth.
Post # 11
@bluegreenjean: Thank you! I definitely need some breast feeding advice. I tried with my other two but didn’t have anyone to help me figure it out :/
Post # 12
Another vote for Ina May! She is both extremely knowledgeable and a good writer (she got an English degree before she became a midwife, and it shows!). Because she is a midwife, she focuses on natural, intervention-free approaches to childbirth, but her books contain good info for any woman planning any kind of birth.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth would be the first one I’d recommend. Part One consists of individual women’s birth stories, which are interesting; Part Two goes into more detail of the physiology of birth, and was the part I found most helpful. My DH also read it and learned a lot from it (although he skipped Part One).
Another excellent Ina May book is Birth Matters. It contains a lot of the same information as Guide To Childbirth, but in more condensed form.
She is also famous for Spiritual Midwifery, which is interesting to read because it gives you a sense of her trajectory: it was first published in the ’70s and is a lot more “crunchy” and “hippie” in its language (especially the birth stories section!). By comparing it with her more recent books, you can see how professionalized she has become over the past decades, while retaining the same commitment to natural, low-intervention birth throughout her career. There is some repetition between books, which is to be expected since she needs to make sure new readers have the necessary background information for each one.
I haven’t yet read Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding, but I definitely will be!
Another author you may want to check out is Henci Goer. She is a doula and childbirth activist and has a definite pro-natural-birth and anti-intervention bias, which she is very clear about, but her books are also firmly grounded in the scientific research on birth and associated interventions. Goer focuses on the scientific side of birth – the research into how interventions impact outcomes and morbidity and mortality rates. If you have been reading Rebecca Dekker’s Evidence Based Birth blog and have found it valuable, you may appreciate Henci Goer’s Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities and/or Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth. (The two books cover much of the same ground, so you may want to just read one or the other; Thinking Woman’s Guide is the shorter, more condensed version and OMvsRR is the full, expanded version). She also has a new title out, Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach, which I have not read yet (waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail), but Rebecca Dekker gave it an excellent review on Amazon.
Post # 13
I just finished reading The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy and I really enjoyed it. To be honest you won’t get a lot of medical advice from the book but you get to hear honest stories about real mothers and their experiences. The author shares stories of her own pregnancies/birth as well as stories from her girlfriends. The book is chocked full of humour and it actually made me laugh out loud quite a few times. I found it quite refreshing to read this book after reading some of the “heavier” pregnancy books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting.