I often ask my guests what resources they recommend for pregnancy, birth and beyond and these are a few of the crowd favorites as well as my own most recommended books.
1. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Ina May Gaskin, America’s leading midwife, shares her birthing wisdom in this intuitive guide to childbirth. By sharing a wealth of knowledge generated by three decades of experience she explains why the natural birthing process, when left to its own devices, can proceed so beautifully on its own. I’m often told that the most loved part of this book is the birth stories at the end!
With Mindful Birthing, Nancy Bardacke, nurse-midwife and mindfulness teacher, lays out her innovative program for pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond. Drawing on research in neuroscience, mindfulness meditation, and mind/body medicine, Bardacke offers practices that will help you find calm and ease during pregnancy, birth and parenting.
3. Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Natural birth and parenting book from an MD who had her four children at home. She’s based in Australia and is basically the Ina May of Australia.
I borrowed this book from my midwife’s library when I was pregnant and it was one of my husband’s favorite books. He was pretty turned off (and somewhat offended) by all of the man cave books. This book had actually useful advice on guidance on how to be a supportive partner during labor and delivery.
This was recommended to me by podcast guest Elizabeth Quinn who has had two VBAC’s (vaginal birth after cesarean) after having two cesareans. She knows her stuff and I recommend this book to any woman who’s had a cesarean whether you’re considering a VBAC or not. Listen to Elizabeth’s birth stories here and here.
6. Active Birth
Janet Balaskas led a movement of women who refused to give birth lying down.She has been teaching women about “active birth” ever since. In this updated and Americanized guide, Balaskas explains how to prepare for and experience a truly natural birth. She leads the pregnant woman through yoga-based stretching exercises and massage practice, and describes the stages of labor and comfortable positions for each, at home or in a hospital.Balaskas has also included a chapter on water birth as well as postpartum exercises.
Gain a clear understanding about what you can expect when you’re plus size and pregnant. Learn how to reduce your increased risks and what activities you can do to start feeling better about your body today. Use the provided list of questions at your next appointment to make sure you have the size friendly healthcare provider you deserve. You’ll also be able to use insider tips to pick up on signs that a prospective provider might not be size friendly. Be empowered with clear action steps for eating healthy and being physically active throughout your pregnancy.