Many of Dustin and my friends have recently conceived so I figured I would share here rather than give each mom unsolicited advice. Early on in my pregnancy we did not have cable so I opted to ready various books to prep me for the birthing process. My three personal favorites were the following. As a disclaimer, I am not affiliated with these books or websites in anyway, I am not being paid to promote these items, these are my books I either purchased with my own money, borrowed from the library or received as gifts from family.
Deliver This! Make the Childbirth Choice That’s Right for You . . . No Matter What Everyone Else Thinks by Marisa Cohen. This book I highly recommend because before you commit to a certain way to birth your child, this book gives many pros and cons to different methods and alternatives in a mostly objective way starting out with the least intervention to the most intervention. Through this book I was able to make what I believe was a well informed decision on how to birth my child. What matters most is that the mother and child experience the birthing process in the safest manner possible to each family. Each experience is unique and there is no right or wrong way to birth. My only qualm about this book was how they sterotyped different types of lifestyles i.e. veganism etc but that just emphasizes the “No matter what everyone else thinks” bit.
With that being said, after weighing my options I promptly started reading Hypnobirthing The Mongan Method: A Natural Approach to a Safe, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing by Marie Mongan M. Ed. M. Hy. I looked into Hypnobirthing as I thought that it would be most in line with my views. I mean, who doesn’t want the birthing process to be more comforable after all that the media tells us about the delivery process? Dustin’s mom recommended I look into LaMaze classes which are similar but she had no experience with it so Hypnobirthing it was for me. We found a local teacher who is also a doula and she was absolutely the best instructor! We ended up birthing before finishing the 5 week course but in the few weeks that we spent in her class, listening to affirmations, and reading the book, I was able to achieve the birthing process that I aimed for. Read more about my personal experience here. If my testimonial does not convince you and you are really into celebrities, Jessica Alba did hynobirthing for her children. I don’t follow her much as a celebrity but I do like some of her Honest Company products for our household since they rate pretty well on EWG cosmetics database.
As a standard “your baby is now the size of a cantelope” book and basic what to pack in the hospital bag, what to eat to help different parts of your baby that are developing etc. book, Pregnancy: The Beginner’s Guide by DK was excellent to have. The cover is a little girly and juvenile, but the graphics inside were overall aesthetically pleasing and easy to read. This book is filled with tons of facts and statistics without all the scary, things that can come with birthing. The book is written as a page a day format until full gestation, but often I found myself skipping around admiring how visually appealing the layout was.
The one book that I did not like at all was Oops! How to Rock the Mother of all Surprises by Tracy Moore. Reviews are mixed on Amazon, but I found myself hating the book. Was my child planned for? No not necessarily, but I felt that I could hardly relate to the author because my lifestyle prior to pregnancy was hardly a smoke cigarettes all day, drink liquor all night, and party myself into a hot mess until stumbling into work for morning kind of lifestyle. Maybe I was bummed that I didn’t go to concerts all that much before pregnancy, or maybe being out late while pregnant is frown upon in the author’s social circles, but I hardly appreciated the tone of the book that shone pregnancy as an equivalent to being grounded from the party night life that the author was so used to. If that sounds like your lifestyle before pregnancy, by all means, this may be the book for you to give you the sarcastic humor you need to get through all the morning sickness, but it just was not my cup of tea.
Overall, these books have provided a lot of information for me to consider and possibly remember. Dustin found Pregnancy: The Beginner’s Guide very useful because it also had tidbits of information to include fathers. Reading books in general help to expand personal knowledge and can alter perception for the better or worse. Have you read any of these books or plan on reading any of these? Let me know in the comments below!