You might be surprised that the typical ‘expecting’ books didn’t make the list. We cut the fluff and go straight to the point with the best books to prepare you mentally for childbirth. Let us know in the comments if you have a suggested read to add to our list!
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
If you are finding it overwhelming with what you can & cannot do in pregnancy, this book is for you! The author has a strong economics background, which at first glance is surprising, but she has done all the research for you on all hot topics pregnancy & birth related. Oster does a meta analysis of pretty much everything, from caffeine intake to induction of labour, and translates her findings into layman’s terms. She also gives a great explanation of why health care providers can sometimes disagree with one another, based on experiences rather than science.
Her second, and much awaited book, CribSheet, focuses on the same idea, except for all things babies. Best practices from infant feeding, sleep, and baby gear are all reviewed objectively. Highly recommended for clients that like to know the facts!
The Mother of all Pregnancy Books by Ann Douglas
There are a lot of misconceptions our clients have about what to actually expect when having a baby. Many of those reasons are rooted in the fact that the majority of resources are American, with the authors’ experience of the medical system in the United States. Douglas’ guide is 100% canadian, which helps to fully understand what an expectant parent can face when making decisions about midwives vs. obstetricians, home vs. hospital, and what to prepare yourself for.
Look for her other books, The Mother of All Toddler Books, and her many other parenting guides.
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
Since we already know you are all about doula care, this book is definitely right up your alley. This book is written by one of the founders of the original doula organization, DONA International, and focuses the education on the support person. Whether you have a partner, friend, family member, doula or all of the above, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page on how best to aid you in this transition.
Reading this book will help you also understand the tools available to support you, potential changes in communication as labour intensifies, and what various medical terminologies mean to help you advocate for the options that resonate with you.
Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan
We highly recommend adding this book to your reading list if you have any anxieties around the birthing process. Even if you plan on using medications like an epidural, this book can be incredibly helpful to reduce fear. We should add that this title has nothing to do with hypnosis. There is no one waving a pendulum in front of your eyes to put you in a deep trance. The comfort strategies taught in the book involve a deeper understanding of what your body is doing in labour, and relaxation techniques to help your muscles work together. Breathing, positions, and mindfulness with guided meditations are the coping strategies Mongan teaches in her approach.
There are plenty of other amazing philosophies out there to read. Ask a team member what might really resonate with your preferences.
A Good Birth by Dr. Anne Lyerly
Having a good birth, isn’t just having a healthy baby at the end of it. Yes, medically speaking, the priority should always be safety, but this obstetrician dives deep into the importance of the emotional component of childbirth. Whether your ‘plan’ includes an unmedicated home birth, or having an epidural in the parking lot of the hospital (we’re just kidding on that possibility), this book is for you. The basis is the importance of the many needs of those giving birth, to feel connected, safe and respected. How to advocate for what you want, while still being medically sound.
What was your favourite read?
We would LOVE to know if there was a book you think we should add to the list.
Please leave a comment below!