When you realize you’re pregnant, the first thing you do is start asking questions, and reading- a lot! With so much to read it can feel like being in school full-time, but not every read is going to make you feel confident and secure in your body and the amazing process about to unfold. Expectant mama Angela Simmons and I have chosen a group of books we love that we want to share that support empowered pregnancy and mindful childbearing. We wanted to keep this list short and sweet, please share your favorites! If you are pregnant or know someone who is, this is a great list for them to get started with.
In Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy, maternity lifestyle maven Latham Thomas shares the tips and techniques to support a blissful journey to motherhood. She shows you how to make room for your pregnancy, assess your current diet, banish toxic habits, and incorporate yoga to keep your mind, body, and spirit in balance. Throughout, you’ll get tips to help reduce stress; alleviate common discomforts; demystify birth plans, labor coaches, and midwives; whip up pampering treats like homemade shea butter and coffee sugar scrub; and indulge in over 50 delicious, nutrient-rich recipes to nourish both you and your “bun.” Mama Glow also features a postpartum wellness plan to guide you back to your prebaby body, troubleshoot breastfeeding problems, and embrace your abundant new life.
Mama Glow includes:
• Illustrated exercises for a fit, fabulous, and comfortable pregnancy
• Fleshed-out cleansing programs to boost fertility
• A simple formula for deconstructing those crazy cravings
• Yoga sequences designed for prepregnancy, each trimester, and postpartum
• Checklists for your prenatal pantry, finding a birth coach, and packing your birth bag
• Glow foods to help you snap back to your fab prebaby body
Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth– What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you. Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention.
Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice, this invaluable resource includes:
• Reducing the pain of labor without drugs–and the miraculous roles touch and massage play
• What really happens during labor
• Orgasmic birth–making birth pleasurable
• Episiotomy–is it really necessary?
• Common methods of inducing labor–and which to avoid at all costs
• Tips for maximizing your chances of an unmedicated labor and birth
• How to avoid postpartum bleeding–and depression
• The risks of anesthesia and cesareans–what your doctor
doesn’t necessarily tell you
• The best ways to work with doctors and/or birth care providers
• How to create a safe, comfortable environment for
birth in any setting, including a hospital
Dream Birth: Transforming the Journey of Childbirth Through Imagery – Bringing a new life into the world is the most profound act of creativity in the human experience. “By communicating with your body through the language of dreams and imagery,” teaches Dr. Catherine Shainberg, “you can experience the journey of childbirth we were meant to have—exhilarating, natural, and overflowing with love.” With DreamBirth®, this leading imagery expert offers practical exercises and guidance becoming an active participant in all four phases of childbirth—conception, pregnancy, labor, and post–partum care. Created as an essential resource for parents, midwives, fertility experts, and any birth care professional, DreamBirth includes:
- Instruction in using imagery and conscious dreaming to activate the creative power of your mind and the deep wisdom of your body
- Pre–conception and conception—practices for preparing to conceive and calling to the spirit of your child
- In–depth guidance for navigating each trimester of pregnancy, the two stages of labor, and essential early bonding
- Effective imagery for dissolving anxiety around childbirth
- Techniques for fathers and partners, and much more
Bountiful, Blissful, Beautiful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation – From internationally renowned yoga teacher Gurmukh comes a book on pregnancy unlike any other. Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful is a treasury of wisdom, information, and inspiration for pregnancy and motherhood based on the spiritual and physical practices of Kundalini yoga, which Gurmukh has taught for the last thirty years.
With illustrated, step-by-step instructions, she teaches time-tested techniques, meditations, and exercises that will help you physically, mentally, and spiritually. In the timeless way that women have passed down wisdom surrounding birth and child rearing to one another for centuries, Gurmukh weaves folk stories and contemporary testimonials into a program designed to help you get profound results in the shortest possible time.
The sections in this book cover each trimester of pregnancy as well as delivery and life with the baby. In her wise, gentle, and comforting voice, Gurmukh suggests meditations, exercises, and yoga positions to respond to the various needs of expectant and new mothers as you undergo dramatic body changes. Gurmukh also helps you explore and, when necessary, heal your own history and unconscious attitudes about pregnancy, birth, and parenting.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering- An authoritative guide to natural childbirth and postpartum parenting options from an MD who home-birthed her own four children.
Sarah Buckley might be called a third-wave natural birth advocate. A doctor and a mother, she approaches the question of how a woman and baby might have the most fulfilling birth experience with respect for the wisdom of both medical science and the human body. Using current medical and epidemiological research plus women’s experiences (including her own), she demonstrates that what she calls “undisturbed birth” is almost always healthier and safer than high-technology approaches to birth. Her wise counsel on issues like breastfeeding and sleeping during postpartum helps extend the gentle birth experience into a gentle parenting relationship.