This book is a must-have for all pregnant women. It will inform and empower you on the true risks and benefits of interventions during birth as well as preparing you on your journey into motherhood. If you choose only one book, this should be it.
This book begins with an empowering collection of birth stories that will have you yearning to hold your own babe. It then moves into a well-referenced factual information for pregnancy and childbirth. She explores the mind-body connection thoroughly.
This book is based on the works of Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, the father of natural childbirth, who challenged the myth that a natural birth must be a painful one. He helped guide childbirth out of the twilight sleep era and into the modern approach to a natural birth. Dr. Michael Odent was a traditional obstetrician who became inspired by natural waterbirth and left his practice to turn to the field of homebirth.
This book is a companion to the Bradley Method, or Husband Coached Childbirth. It offers great detail on becoming an informed birth consumer by learning your options and how to plan the birth that best suits your situation.
Anything by Dr. Sears is a great preparation tool for childbirth and parenting. His books offer solid, evidence-based information for family centered care.
This book emphasizes the baby's role in being born as well as the emotional aspect of birth. It will inspire and empower you as it is filled with positive affirmations of birth. It is written in "hippyish" language that speaks to the era in which it was written. Still, it remains a timeless read.
While the "What to Expect.." volumes are a popular series, they are not included in our list. They provide a good overview of pregnancy and birth issues; however we find that they lack a balanced perspective on the risks of common practices and procedures which is essential knowledge for true informed consent during pregnancy and giving birth. As such, they do not appear on our list of must-read pregnancy books.
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