I often get asked for resources women can access to help them have a positive birth and a positive postpartum.
I honestly think choosing a supportive caregiver, taking a hypnobirthing class, and creating a postpartum plan is all you need to do…but as an information seeker and an over-preparer, I totally get the need to not only do all the things but also read all the things!
And, as I know Google, chat boards, and even some books are more interested in fear mongering than in empowering women, I thought I should share a reading list that will leave you feeling like you can totally achieve that positive experience you are planning and preparing for!
Now obviously you don’t need to read all of these! Even if you are a super speed reader, I don’t think you could get through all of these in nine months!
Pick one or two that resonate with you and start there.
Most of these should be available via your local library. Or if you have friends who have prepared for a positive birth and a positive postpartum, check with them and see if they have any of these titles and if you could borrow them.
And remember, that while reading is an excellent way to expand your understanding, you also need to learn how to embody that knowledge.
There is a saying that knowledge is for the mind, experience is for the body. During birth, we want to shut off our minds and get into our bodies…and this is where the combination of reading and hypnobirthing is so valuable. When you take a course with me, I will help you put your knowledge to use!
Books for Pregnancy:
Expecting Better – real science combined with common sense, presented in a non judgemental way that allows you to make your own decisions
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide – this books helps you understand that you are an individual and that “one sized fits all” care probably isn’t going to be what is best for you
Informed is Best – a guide to help you evaluate information and evidence to decide what is right for you, your body and your baby
Books for Birth:
Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage – an amazing book that combines history, modern culture, and evidence to demonstrate how childbirth can be reclaimed to centre women and to support birth physiology
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering – Sarah Buckely combines science with the spiritual
The Positive Birth Book – the book that was birthed by the Positive Birth Movement, this book challenges the negativity and fear that we have come to accept is a part of childbirth
Give Birth Like A Feminist – your body, your baby, your choices
Birth With Confidence – this book changed the way I view birth and approach childbirth education
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – filled with practical advice and encouraging birth stories, this is the kind of booked that gets passed around between women who are wanting a positive birth
Why Induction Matters – with 45% of first time mothers being induced, it is important to understand the process
The Second Baby Book – acknowledges that while perhaps physically the same, preparing for your second birth can be very different than your first
Books for Postpartum:
The Positive Breastfeeding Book – no-judgement, non-preachy, evidence-based information to help you make the right decisions for you and your baby
The Fourth Trimester – normalises the experiences and emotions of new motherhood
First Forty Days – focusing on the transition to motherhood, this is a beautiful book, you will feel nurtured just reading it and will feel extra nurtured if you make some of the nourishing meals suggested
The Postnatal Depletion Cure – easy steps to help you feel less exhausted, less overwhelmed, and more like yourself
Baby Love – this one great for baby sleeping, feeding, and development basics, it is really practical and full of common sense advice
Baby On Board – outlines babies basic needs clearly and explains the biological science underpinning them
The Discontented Little Baby Book – practical and evidence-based strategies for helping you and your baby get more in sync
The Wonder Weeks – fabulous for normalising your postpartum experience by helping you understand your baby and their experience
How to Heal a Bad Birth – so helpful if you have experienced a difficult, disappointing, or traumatic birth, and want to gain clarity about what happened and understanding about why you can’t “just get over it”
Becoming Us – this one talks about how parenting is a partnership that is likely different than the relationship you had before becoming parents
Everyday Blessings – this is written by a mother and a father and beautifully shares both perspectives
What Happens Now – this one is written for dads and while I haven’t read it, my husband loved it
What books did you read to help you prepare?
And if you have already read all the things are are now wanting to learn how to utilise that knowledge to ensure a positive experience, start here!
Some links on this post are affiliate links, which means when you click on that link and make a purchase, this can result in a small commission in form of credit. It doesn’t cost you a cent, but as a small business, it helps me and allows me to keep reading birthing books so can keep educating myself and you!