I’m not sure anyone can be prepared enough for the day you become a parent – this new little human relying on you to care and shape them… but let’s give it a go!
Here are my top 5 book recommendations before baby arrives.
1.Yoga for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond by Francoise Barbira Freedman
While baby is in utero, it’s all about you! Learn positive benefits of yoga with this quick reference. It provides breathing techniques and simple steps to practice poses for early, mid & late-pregnancy as well as postnatal yoga from birth to 16 weeks! Best part – most of it is filled with pictures!
2.The Birth Partner (Third Edition) – A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas and Other Labor Companions by Penny Simkin
Penny Simkin is the founder of DONA (formerly Doulas of North America) and has a wealth of knowledge about birth. This is the ultimate reference for anything birth-related. While this is a longer read, it can also just be used as a reference if you have specific questions. Pack it in your hospital bag, just in case!
3.Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel
For those of you wanting a “natural” birth but feel more comfortable in a hospital, this book’s for you! Being your own advocate and listening to your body gets more difficult when surrounded by hospital staff trying to speed up your labor and get you out. This book explains how to evaluate medical advice and avoid unnecessary interventions so you can have the best of both worlds – natural in a hospital. It’s not an oxymoron!
4.Breastfeeding Made Simple Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher IBCLC, FILCA and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett PH.D., IBCLC
Love love love this book! Such an easy read, makes so much sense. We trust our bodies know how to make a baby; we need to trust our bodies know how to nourish our baby!
5.Easy Labor by William Camann M.D. and Kathryn J Alexander, M.A.
I had the opportunity to meet William Camann after reading this book and what a pleasure it was! For anyone who fears pain during childbirth, this is a great read. This book includes an abundance of doctors/medical providers and Mom perspectives, which help wrap your head around what you might want or can expect.
What are your favorite getting-ready-for-baby books?
So you’ve read a bunch of books and you’ve thought about every scenario of how your birth could go… now its time to boil it all down and create a plan for how you want it to go.
First, I recommend American Pregnancy Association's checklist:
https://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/birth-plan/. Once you see the list of options, you can research each and see if you have a preference. If not, no worries, don’t include it!
Next, use this box format to organize your thoughts.
Now you’re ready to finalize your plan. Start with a short intro paragraph introducing you and your partner. Note that you “understand certain emergency or other medical circumstances may not allow for the accommodation of all your goals listed below.”
Then write your plan in bullet form and keep it simple & direct. Try to condense it all so it fits on one page. You obviously don’t need to include everything, just include those areas that are important to you and keep it positive!
Be sure to review it with your doctor and/or doula prior to birth and pack a few copies in your hospital bag so you have it with you.
Finally… relish in the newfound feeling of accomplishment. Another “to-do” checked off your list!