There are a ton of good books out there about pregnancy and birthing.
Books that I read :
- The Pregnancy Book: Month-by-Month, Everything You Need to Know From America's Baby Experts - I really liked this book, I felt like it was a good balance between the extremes of everything natural and everything medical.
- The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth (Sears Parenting Library) - I have not read this book, but its is by Dr. Sears and I have liked most of his other advice.
- The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy - I didn't care for this book because her info is not medically based and in some cases I felt she was just plain wrong. However, I have a friend who loved this book. I think this would be a good book to read if you are interested in a more traditional hospital birth.
- I'm Pregnant! Now What Do I Eat? - This book has good information, however in my first trimester just looking at most of the recipes made me ill. I think the food was a bit out of my "normal" range and that, combined with nausea killed any interest in new food adventures.
- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - A must read for moms who want a natural birth. She was so inspiring, well researched and while she explained possible issues, I didn't feel like I was being scared into not having a baby at the hospital.
- The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth - This book was informative for someone who would like a natural birth, but I didn't feel like it empowered me for a natural birth like Ina May did. She spoke a lot more about the "dangers" of a hospital birth.
- Husband-Coached Childbirth (Fifth Edition): The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth - This was the first book that I read after I was pregnant. It was a good book with good ideas for a natural birth and displayed well researched ideas that questioned "routine" hospital birth practices.
- *Warning* this book is a bit outdated and a by today's standards some of his statements could be taken as sexist. An example that I can think of right now is, that he referred to a woman's breasts and "sweater ornaments". Outdated terms aside, this book did convince me to seek a Bradley method child birth class.
- Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First - If you feel like you are getting a lot of information that is pro medicated hospital birth, this is a good book to balance your decision out. I would recommend reading this book before you get pregnant because it talks about some scary stuff, but also gives a good starting point on what questions you should ask your OB if anything in the book concerns you.
- Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth
- What to Expect When You're Expecting: Fourth Edition - I didn't read this book because the author doesn't have any medical background and getting facts was important to me. I know many moms who swear by this book though. I had heard that this book can be a bit "scary" and because I am a worry wart to begin with I though I would stay away and this comment from amazon was enough to put me over the edge.
- BabyCenter - I would not credit this a leader in a sound and researched birth information, but it does have some great information for starting points for your own research.
- Most hospitals will hold classes on child birth, they may hold many classes that cover specific topics so that you can pick and choose the classes that interest you.
- I did end up taking the breastfeeding course offered by our hospital and my husband took the class offered for Dads, but I did not take their birth class.
Many communities have non-hospital affiliated classes available.
- One popular example are the Bradley Method classes. Name sound familiar? Yes, he is the "sweater ornament" person, but his method of "Husband Coached Childbirth" is popular and boasts being quite effective.
- For those of you local to Kalamazoo, a popular spinoff of the Bradley Method classes are hosted by Birth Kalamazoo. This class teaches elements of the Bradley method, but also incorporates other methods and ideas of natural child birth.
- I read the books listed above, I borrowed most of them from friends, the library or other (free) resources.
- I googled any questions I had about different methods, keeping in mind that not everything on the internet is true.
- I took the Best of Natural Child birth class from Birth Kalamazoo, taught by Jessica English.
- I took the Breastfeeding class from our local hospital.
- Dad took a "Daddy boot camp" class through the hospital as well.
What books did you read?
Did you read "What to expect when you're expecting"? Did you like it?
What websites did/do you use?
Next week: The last post in this series "what to pack" and the first post where we really start looking at ways to save money.