The world of pregnancy and birth literature is HUGE. To get you started, here are some books and sites that I recommend for your pregnancy, birth and postpartum preparations.
FACTS AND FIGURES
If you’re feeling a little fed up with being told what to expect now you’re expecting… this will give you real information, from actual studies. The author emphasises that she is not there to tell you what to do, but to provide the information so that you can decide what’s best for you.
This wonderful website shares the results of many studies and reports into pregnancy and birth related issues. A really great resource for finding answers quickly.
PREPARING FOR LABOUR
These books approach labor preparation from the mental side. They share many coping techniques, how to face and dispel your fears, and put you in a great place to feel emotionally ready for birth. Birthing from Within is the original; Ancient Map is a newer, updated book full of ways to connect with your body and your baby.
The Last Days of Pregnancy – Jana Studelzka for Mothering.com
This beautiful essay puts into words perfectly the feelings many mothers to be experience in the final weeks of pregnancy – the time of “in-between”.
Active Birth – Janet Balaskas
This book is a great focus on remaining mobile and active during labor. It includes a great section on prenatal yoga and body preparation (complete with fabulous photos of a lady in a striped unitard). It combines evidence, recommendations and tools to prepare for your birth.
YOUR BIRTH OPTIONS
All In Good Time: Induction – Catherine Bell
Catherine Bell’s blog, BellaBirth, is super informative in general (her mantra is Informed Birth Preparation) and this page is full of information on the different induction methods that exist, and many evidence based articles on the topic of induction. If it is something you are considering or a position you find yourself in, I highly recommend these articles.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering – Sarah J Buckley MD
Sarah Buckley is a highly respected doctor and her advocation of undisturbed, normal birth is backed up with the science in this book. She explains how our hormones work to birth our babies, how to make hospital environments work for you, and lays out detailed information about your choices in birthing. She has a unique perspective, due to being a medical doctor who has homebirthed her children.
The First Forty Days – Heng Ou
Full of warming recipes, advice, encouragement and tips for preparing the home and yourself for the immediate postpartum period. A lovely book to show you the importance of nurturing and nourishing both mother and baby.
The Fourth Trimester – Kimberley Ann Johnson
Focussed on healing your body, mind and spirit in the three months after your baby is born, this book has a holistic approach. Relationships, the transition into being a new family and owning your birth experience are also covered.
On Postpartum. – Beth from loveasbigasyourhead.com
A beautiful, honest, evocative essay on how postpartum feels to this mum.
The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety – by Katherine Stone at postpartumprogress.com
This website is a wonderful resource for mothers and families experiencing PPD and PPA, and this article in particular is a great one for helping to make sense of the way you feel and typical behaviours you might show if you are suffering PPD or PPA. I like it as it makes a point of showing that every individual has a different experience.