Question #3 There is so much information out there, what books do you recommend?
It is important to read books that both help you prepare (give you the info you need) and fill you with the confidence, the belief that this is doable, that you need just as much and maybe even more than information to have a great birth experience.
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
Birthing from Within
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (and if you like that, then her groundbreaking Spiritual Midwifery)
Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf (a bit scarye but really relevant for Americans especially)
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Childbirth
Dr. Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding
There are many more, but these are my favourites.
I never recommend What to expect” in the circles I travel in, it is referred to as “what to expect when you’re expecting a ceasarean”
Look for future posts with movies, childbirth education classes, and websites
If you want to learn how best to help an expectant mother have a happy and healthy childbirth, The Birth Partner, Third Edition is the only book you’ll need. For almost 20 years, husbands, partners, friends, relatives, and doulas have turned to this book for guidance on being a supportive partner in the delivery room. The expanded third edition includes the most up-to-date information about techniques, devices, and medications for easing labor pain; tests and treatments of the fetus and newborn; strategies to help labor progress; potential medical procedures and interventions; and how best to help the mother during the early days after the birth. And, with its easy-to-use format and new illustrations, the The Birth Partner is the essential guide have on hand in the delivery room.
Dad is currently reading The Birth Partner, but I plan to read it, too. It was lent to us with high praise and recommendation from a lovely couple who delivered their son without an epidural or need for medical intervention.
Using history as her guide, nationally recognized midwife Gaskin explores what she hopes will be a renaissance in natural childbirth, something that she’s been advocating since the mid-1970s. By focusing on how women of ancient civilizations and other modern peoples give birth, Gaskin puts our own hypersensitivities in perspective, uncovering a beautiful, sometimes orgasmic experience rather than a dreadful, painful one. Sure, pain is part of childbirth, but preparing for the pain in a realistic rather than sentimental way—whether giving birth at home or in a hospital—can be the key to a woman’s ability to deal with it naturally. Within the pages of personal anecdotes, some touching, some startling, from Gaskin’s patients and colleagues, every woman is sure to find something to relate to, whether or not she chooses to have a medicine-free labor. The helpful back matter features a glossary, a detailed resource list including advocacy groups and Web sites, and a bibliography that includes periodicals, rounding out an extremely comprehensive and up-to-date guide on the topic
I’m currently reading this book. Ina May Gaskin offers a fair examination of the childbirth options in our country, but focuses heavily on approaching child birth from a woman-friendly—rather than doctor-friendly—perspective. She logically and reasonably explains the body and mind connection, and its role in childbirth. She doesn’t sugar-coat the painful and laborious aspects of giving birth; she knows that having honest expectations of delivery will make it a better experience for the mother and her labor partner(s) regardless of what method(s) the laboring woman chooses.