I have always been into reading, but during pregnancy I was even more so. Especially during my first pregnancy – you know, before I had a little one to take care of and had more time available for reading. I read a lot of things, and like many pregnant women, I spent a lot of time reading about pregnancy and childbirth. There are a lot of books on pregnancy and childbirth out there to choose from. If you have a lot of time on your hands, feel free to explore any and all of them. If time is at a premium, here are a few titles that you may want to take a look at during the time that you do have available for reading.
The pregnancy classic “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” by Heidi Murkoff is a very good book, albeit a large one. If you are short on time and cannot read it cover to cover, use it as a reference to look up specific topics of interest. You can also use it to check up on what is happening during a particular stage of your pregnancy. I also liked “The Mother of All Pregnancy Books” by Anne Douglas, even though some of the material is similar it provided a slightly different perspective and I found it to be easy to read and hard to put down.
“Birthing From Within” by Pam England is an excellent book, and even though I was not able to have the birth experiences that I wanted to have due to preeclampsia during both pregnancies, I would highly recommend reading this book to any pregnant woman. It is important to think about your child’s birth before it happens, and to uncover any hidden fears or emotions that you may not realize that you have. Giving birth, whether for the first time or the third time is a life changing experience. By mentally preparing yourself for the birth of your child you will increase the likelihood that you will have the birth experience that you want. Even if your birth does not go as planned, I have found that the book prepared me well for healing from the birth experience.
Also, I really enjoyed reading “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin. I chose to work with midwives during both pregnancies and had vastly different experiences with hospital midwives and independent midwives. During my second pregnancy I had the good fortune of working with independent midwives right up until the very end of the pregnancy when they had to hand me over to a hospital for labor and delivery because I had developed preeclampsia and it was not safe to deliver at home. This book provides a wonderful combination of birth stories mixed with information about how midwives care for the families that they serve.