When I was pregnant I there were so many books, I didn't really know where to start, I felt overwhelmed - and some of the books I read were less than supportive, poking fun at pregnant women wasn't the kind of text I needed! So to help you out, I decided I'd make a short list of the books I found along the way, that I really loved.................
P.S. I don't agree with everything each book has to say, but I cherry pick out of them, finding what works best for me - I do that with about everything I read!
- Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful by Gurmukh.
This is an easy read, and personally I found it was uplifting and inspirational. Gurmukh looks at pregnancy, birth and motherhood through a very grounded but spiritual lense and each chapter closes with a meditation to practice with. Honestly, I still go back to this book, for enjoyment, inspiration, and insight - I believe the meditations are helpful even after pregnancy (and I've got to and say, I didn't do many of them during pregnancy - I know I should have!) But mediations or not, I still think it's an amazing book. Reading this feels very gentle, and supportive. Lots of great stories, examples and wisdom to keep you feeling feminine and beautiful, trusting yourself and your experience.
- Hypnobirthing, The Mongan Method by Marie F. Mongan.
I tried to read this during my first pregnancy and I just couldn't get through it, there were aspects of it that really just turned me off......But then a friend of mine read it, practiced at home, and used the breathing techniques outlined, during the birth of her second baby and she had the most wonderful experience (though she said it was still intense and painful at times). So I revisited it. I used some of the techniques suggested, with success (though I still experienced the intensity and painfulness of birth too - I wasn't one of those women you see on youtube smiling in bliss while she breaths her baby down). I think there's a lot of great stuff in here, good basic information about pregnancy, labour and birth, and ideas to consider.........But, I don't think it's the total solution for every woman. (I could be wrong about that?)
- Birthing from within by Pam England and Ron Horowitz
Awesome book! Though, I've gotta tell you, sometimes I did find it a little bit fringey for my liking, so I just skimmed over those parts - on the other hand, there's a lot of really helpful, inspirational, healing, supportive and restorative work in here. It covers a LOT. Could be really helpful to a variety of different people. There are a lot of exercises to play with at home, it's a really indepth guide through pregnancy and birth.
- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
You can't really go past this classic. Ina May is like the queen of invention, She gets women and how we work and she's been an amazing powerhouse for midwives - especially in the USA. Great stories of inspiration in this book, along with some really helpful advice. It's a beautiful book for women.
- Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, by Dr. Christiane Northrup
This book was AMAZING for me. It's kind of like a guide to the woman's body - there are chapters dedicated to anything and everything to do with women. Of course there's a pregnancy chapter - I think I read and re-read that chapter an easy 20 times. It was really really helpful for me for so many reasons - stories, insight, inspiration, and a woman's doctor's perspective............I kinda think every woman should have a copy of this book, as I suspect that many of us don't deeply understand our bodies they way we could, and this is an excellent jumping off point - it covers a HUGE amount.
- Gentle Birth by Dr. Sarah Buckley
To be honest - I can't properly review this, as,I'm currently working on reading it - I have a nasty habit of reading about five books at a time, so it takes me forever to get through one! But I'll write more about this one later.......I did want to include it, because I think there's some really great perspectives and information here for women - and a lot of women recommended it to me, so I feel I should pass it on regardless of where I'm at with it.
O V E R T O Y O U
If your pregnant, look for books that align with you and your values. Sometimes friends recommend something that's worked for them, and it's not a fit for you, (none of these books might suit you) so choose carefully what you read and nourish yourself with during this time.
Ask yourself what it is you need to know, and how it is you want to be inspired - jump onto Amazon and search titles or categories and read through the first few pages to get a feel for different books and authors.
Digital copies are cheaper than paper copies (and better for the environment!) so if you're not already using it, kindle from Amazon is a free app you can get - and that gives you access to books immediately.......In saying all that I still love to have my favourites in print.
Also if you figure you're too busy to read - you might want to check out Audible - another free app from Amazon. Most books are available in audio format these days, so you may feel that it's easier to listen while you drive? Bonus - you usually get one or two (I forget)! free books to listen to when you first sign up!!
Books are like food for your soul.