Birth & Family Life
A blog about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding,
parenthood & everything in between...
parenthood & everything in between...
Like many women expecting a baby, there was a book that was referred to me to learn about what to expect...turns out it wasn't right for me. I found this out too late after my first baby, but my wonderful doula for baby number 2 provided a selection of books that were more about what I wanted to learn. While preparing to certify as a Birth Boot Camp instructor, I read some of the same books as well as new ones. I had to share as they are so helpful for those interested in learning what their bodies are capable of and how to help your body excel with nutrition, exercise and relaxation.
Here is a my list of top 3 "general pregnancy books" to get you started. They are focused a lot on pregnancy; what's happening, how what you do can affect your body and briefly the birth/postpartum time. There are more that I'll write about later that are more specific about certain subjects including birth, breastfeeding, postpartum and babies.
1. The Healthy Pregnancy Book by William Sears, MD, Martha Sears, RN, Linda Holt, MD and BJ Snell, PhD, CNW. My favourite part of this book was the detailed discussions about the importance of nutrition before, during and after pregnancy. Many books tell you to eat good, but this book really gives you details as to what to eat and how it affects you and the baby. Their Rules of Two really stuck with me: "eat twice as often, eat half at much at a time, chew twice as long, take twice the time to dine."
I also really enjoyed the alternative view points: a pediatrician, a nurse, an ob-gyn and a midwife. I felt it was a balanced viewpoint focused on natural births that are empowering. Their is still a chapter on what can go wrong in pregnancy covering high-risk as well as issues that may occur; low risk and typical pregnancies are the focus. The book was also recently updated, so you can find comfort that the book is current.
There are sections for you to track what is happening month to month, which is a wonderful way to remember how you were feeling while it was happening. They also cover the birth and postpartum week, but in not as much detail. They have full books dedicated to those subjects. The Sears family is world renowned for health, attachment parenting and great information. I highly recommend the book.
As a side note, I have met Dr. Sears several times and he is a phenomenal speaker with a great deal of passion. He is a big believer in good health coming from good nutrition. He is a big part of the Juice Plus+ community and recommends them as a supplement in his books. You can find more information about Juice Plus+ here (note: we are a Juice Plus+ family and I distribute them) or ask me!
2. The Complete Book of Pregnancy & Childbirth by Shelia Kitzinger. Shelia was a brilliant human. She wrote many wonderful books and was a big believer in trusting birth. This book is filled with great information including many pictures of labouring and pushing positions. Practicing these positions before baby can help fill your toolbox with positions to ease pain. Other great topics include preparing a sibling for the birth and why writing down birth ideals can be helpful, especially the atmosphere of the room, no matter where you are birthing.
3. The Mother of all Pregnancy Books by Ann Douglas. Ann Douglas is Canada's foremost pregnancy writer. It is a great book filled with advice from parents as well as her knowledge. Pretty much every topic is covered between pre-pregnancy and postpartum. Their are charts and tables to help visually compare topics and Canadian statistics. Canadian statistics are harder to find in many books as the focus tends to be on US statistics and research. Canada is slightly different from the US due to a smaller population and different healthcare. There is a complaint chapter which I found easy to read and use...what symptoms should be reported to your caregiver immediately and what complaints are typical of pregnancy. She discusses the major typical complaints, what causes them and how the woman can help reduce the complaint.
What's Your Favourite Pregnancy Book?Did you have a favourite pregnancy book? Share it below in the comment section! You can find all of my recommended pregnancy, labour, breastfeeding and postpartum books and videos over in the Lending Library...they are available to be borrowed by all students and clients!
With Love & Light,
We’re continuing our series on how childbirth classes can help beyond the birth of your baby. Previously, we talked about how prenatal classes can help you while being tattooed…now let’s talk…about talking…
The time before baby arrives is the perfect time to work on your partnership and your communicating skills. Here are three ways childbirth classes can help you communicate beyond labour.
1. Time is Set Aside Weekly to Check In and Focus on Baby
If this is your first baby, you may be filling your days with work, trying to get as much accomplished as you can before baby arrives. Tying up projects, getting stuff ready for baby…being busy. Your prenatal classes will be scheduled time for you and your partner to turn off the rest of the word each week and focus on yourselves and the baby. No phone calls, no text messages or emails…just you, your partner, the instructor and other couples in the same space as you. Practicing the comfort techniques and relaxation skills will bring the focus back to each other. Asking specific questions, working together in the games and being together as you hear the sounds of labour can strengthen your bond.
2. Homework Does Your Relationship Good
Setting aside time outside of class to review your skills and answer the questions is another way to focus on each other and the baby on the way. Again, halting the busy-ness in our lives by asking each other questions and LISTENING to the others responses. Letting your partner view their thoughts (and it works both ways) and really listening is important now as well as later. Once baby arrives, things don’t go back to normal, they will reach a new normal. If you are talking and listening to each other before baby arrives, there’s a really good chance it will continue after baby arrives.
3. Being on the Same Page Helps Ease the Changes
Going into labour with each partner on the same page and understanding the needs of the other can help ease labour…it can be an enjoyable bonding experience. And then comes a wee babe that seeks comfort from mom ALL THE TIME. Breastfeeding a newborn is a big job and requires a lot of focus on the babe. Sometimes this can be tricky for the partner as they aren’t sure how they can help out. A good childbirth class with help the partner finds ways to bond with babe and really support the new team without feeding being part of the process. Ensuring Mom has healthy postpartum snacks and water is an important job!
Your partner will also need support. This article has lots of great tips on how to support your partner postpartum. It can be hard on the partner that is not feeding the baby. So much comfort and love happens during those feeds and they may be really trying to support momma; feeling left out is a normal feeling but it can be helped.
I offer 10 week series of Birth Boot Camp prenatal/childbirth classes in Calgary Alberta. Times not work for you and your partner? You can take Birth Boot Camp online, complete with all the great information!
With Love & Light,