When I was pregnant I was extremely selective as to what I read about pregnancy and childbirth. I didn’t buy into websites that shared negative symptoms at each stage of pregnancy. I believed that all of the years of taking good care of my body would allow me to have a healthy pregnancy, and we are all unique anyway. Even with the unexpected complications at the very end of my pregnancy, I trusted my body to perform as I believed it could, and it did just that!
Woman are designed with an innate wisdom to birth life.
Society puts fears in our minds about what birth looks like especially with media making it appear extremely traumatic and painful. The only true pain I experienced during the birth of my son was from hospital interventions not from my body laboring on its own. Birth isn’t necessarily easy, but it is surrendering to your body, and being a witness to it’s magnificence.
Birth is a phenomenal experience and an empowering rite of passage to motherhood.
There are four books that I will share today which truly helped me prepare for my pregnancy and childbirth. Two of these books also share information about caring for your baby after he or she is born. I love the tone of each author and the abundance of insights, research, and immense wisdom from each book. These books are what armed me with the knowledge that I needed to go from a planned home birth to surviving a necessary hospital birth. You can read my birth story here if you haven’t.
Taking an informative birth class, having a doula and/or midwife, as well as watching great birthing documentaries also helped me tremendously. The Business of Being Born documentary specifically brings a healthy and informative perspective to natural childbirth. It also shares how birth has become a lucrative industry versus placing the importance around what is truly best for mothers and their babies.
Ok so let’s get into what I feel are the best books for natural childbirth and more.
This book was life changing! Reading other woman’s birth stories was informative and encouraging as I worked through my own fears around birth. The second half of this book explains medical procedures, pharmaceutical drugs used with hospital births as well as a copious amount of information on all of the hospital interventions.
Ina May Gaskin shares the natural factors that create an environment for a healthy birth and the incredible woman’s wisdom that we are all born with. It is all about trusting it! Her philosophy around birth allows birth to be divinely sacred.
I have no idea what my experience would have been like without the knowledge that I received from this book alone. I am so grateful to Ina May for writing this book and collecting all of the birth stories. Her research is incredible and her personal experience of being a very seasoned midwife is unsurmountable.
The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning
by Alicia Silverstone
I truly enjoyed reading this comprehensive, researched, and medically supported book on natural childbirth and pediatric care. Alicia shares her own birth story and so many tips on what creates a “kind” mama while also caring for yourself. She openly shares her thoughts on parenting and includes a section for the significant other written by her husband at the end of each chapter. Plus there are amazing vegan recipes for healthy nutrition. Good nutrition is everything!
I love that this book shares the entire process from a healthy conception, pregnancy, childbirth, to parenting. It was this book that led me to read Diaper Free. There are also a ton of other informative websites, organizations, and other books shared to help you through the transition of becoming a mother.
Birthing From Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide To Childbirth
by Pam England CNM, MA and Rob Horowitz PhD
This was the book that was often referred to and referenced in my birthing class. I loved the exercises such as the birth art which helps you explore all of your deepest emotions around childbirth. This book is packed with tools to release any fears around birth and help you resonate deeply with trusting your body.
Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdome of Natural Infant Hygiene
by Ingrid Bauer
We started Natural Infant Hygiene at 3 weeks old with my son. It was a bit daunting at first, yet it is definitely doable. This approach acknowledges that babies are just as aware of being hungry as they are at needing to eliminate. Instead of teaching babies that diapers are a toilet and having to reteach them later, you tune into your child’s needs to eliminate to keep them clean and dry. This method saves cloth diapers, and keeps my son content since he prefers to be dry as much as possible.
I am so grateful to have learned about this book after reading The Kind Mama, and also to Ingrid for writing it. This knowledge, connection, and communication that we have created from beginning natural infant hygiene is priceless. This process of Natural Infant Hygiene isn’t new by any means as it has been done for centuries, and is a continued practice în many countries around the world.
If you have other books on natural childbirth which helped you, please share it in comment section.
(Image by Dawn Michelle)