I have been reading a lot of books this pregnancy. And combined with the books I read the first go around, I wanted to review the books I have read (the links are my affiliate links) about pregnancy and birth:
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
This book is so overrated and really not that helpful. It’s essentially set up like a giant Q&A book but always just tells you in the end to see your doctor if you have questions about something, which is what you should do in the first place! The best part is reading about your growing baby week to week. The worst part is the repeativeness, the lack of focus, and the general surface level that everything is touched upon. Good for a first pregnancy to get a few answers, but not neccessary to buy. You can get most of the information covered in this book with an on-line search.
The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth
William and Martha Sears
I love that this book offers a (mostly) non-biased approach to your decision to birth how you want. It’s main goal is to educate you so you can make the decision that is best for you. It has lots of information about different stages of birth, medicines, procedure, and more. It even has a whole chapter devoted to having a VBAC, which I greatly appreciated, as well as on C-sections, and writing a birth plan. It’s very thorough and has helpful, practical advice for how to manage labor pains. While it does advocate unmedicated births, I still found it very insightful.
Husband-Coached Childbirth: The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth
Robert A. Bradley
I was really excited to read this book because I have heard about The Bradley Method well before I even thought about having my own child. But, that excitement soon fizzled upon reading this book. It really was more of an advertisement to take the Bradley classes. It wasn’t a how-to do the method, just a selling of it. I was very disappointed because of that. Also, it was definitely geared towards the husbands, which wasn’t super helpful to me, the woman. And man oh man did it repeat itself over and over again. And based upon my reading of this book, I don’t know if I completely agree with his philosophy about birth – humans are not animals… While I don’t discredit the Bradley Method, I do not recommend wasting your time reading this book.
Active Birth : The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally
Loved this book! It is super informative and non-judgmental about birth. But, it gives you step-by-step directions on how to do various yoga poses (so you don’t have to get a separate book to tell you how to do them), complete with pictures and the reasons why these poses are beneficial in pregnancy/birth. They also have lots of diagrams and pictures about various birthing positions you can take and so much more. It’s a very practical resource for anyone who is going to be giving birth, medicated or not.
Twins! Pregnancy, Birth and the First Year of Life
I bought this book with my twin pregnancy, but to be honest, it really wasn’t all that helpful. It mostly contained stories from other families who had given birth to twins and the questions they had in a group discussion. It was slightly weird because of that. I wouldn’t recommend wasting the time to read this if pregnant with twins.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Ina May Gaskin
This was the first book I read about natural childbirth but it really should be the last because of the dozens and dozens of natural birth stories that are shared at the beginning of this book. Some are very inspiring to read. Some are of VBAC deliveries. This book, though, is very biased about natural childbirth and super hippy-ish at times (a little too all-naturale for me). Also, Ina May toots her own horn about “The Farm” (the place where she has been delivering babies naturally for years) and all of her amazing statistics in comparison to national statistics. She’s very anti-hospitals and OB/GYNs in general. But, this book made me feel super empowered as a woman! Made me think that my body can do this thing! It made me think of childbirth in a very postive light and greatly encouraged me to try natural childbirth. It is for those reasons I would still recommend reading this book!
I would love to know what some of your favorite (and even least favorite) pregnancy and birth books are. I’m always looking for good, informative, helpful books.