Today, I’m so excited to share with you some of my favorite resources for preparing for a natural birth! To be honest, I barely prepared for labor during my first pregnancy. I grew up hearing stories of my mother’s three quick and easy labors, and I just assumed I’d be the same way.
Boy, was I ever wrong! After a 16 1/2-hour, pitocin-augmented, catheter-in-place, medicine-induced hallucinations, 4th-degree-tear labor, my precious baby was born!
I love her birth story. It’s a story all right (and there’s lots more to it than the previous sentence!), but I learned so much through it that really prepared me for how I wanted things to go the second time around.
Reading good books was key. My husband and I didn’t take any childbirth classes (we couldn’t afford them!), so I basically self-educated before my second labor (and I’ll at least be skimming these again this time around!).
Without further ado, these are the resources I found most valuable:
1. The Birth Book
Hands down, this is my absolute favorite book to prepare for birth! I find the Sears family very balanced in their thinking. This book is especially helpful for women who desire a natural birth in a hospital setting.
2. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
OK, some people will crawl my case when I say this, but there were some parts of this book that I found a little strange. Nevertheless, Ina May is known as the modern midwife icon, and any woman desiring a natural labor should at least skim this book.
3. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
I’ve had several friends take the widely-known Bradley Method natural childbirth classes. My hubby and I just couldn’t afford them, but the book is chock full of great info.–at a fraction of the cost of the classes.
A documentary by former talk show host Ricki Lake, this film will make you re-think everything you’ve been taught about the way birth works in the United States. Now, I will say there is leaning towards home births in this video, but my take-away from it was that I just needed to be very prepared for a hospital birth. I’m not sure if it still is, but when I was pregnant with my toddler this was on Netflix!
5. Orgasmic Birth
I know, I know–the name! Yes, I don’t even like to say it (blush). But this documentary was super helpful when I watched it within days of giving birth to my second child. Now, I won’t say that my birth was all that this dvd portrays it can be, but I utilized many of the breathing and relaxing exercises that I saw the women in this video use. Now, be warned that this video does contain some nudity!
What are your favorite resources for preparing for birth?
Check out the other posts in this series:
OB or Midwife: Finding the Birth Provider that Works for You
A Comparison of Birth Settings: Home, Hospital or Birth Center
*There are affiliate links in this post. The funny thing is–they are not mine! Amazon affiliates is illegal in my state, so I invited my friend Stacy to use hers!
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