Life is busy with a toddler! And a business! And 2 jobs! I have been neglecting my blogging (although writing lots so prepare yourself for an influx of posts soon!)
I have been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. My mother said I taught myself to read when I was four years old and that I haven't stopped since. Very few times in my life were not filled with books. My old favorites have travelled with me for years, through many places and times in my life and like the sweet smell of cookies or a certain type of incense, they often bring me to a place of nostalgia and positive memories.
So, it makes sense that when embarking on my pregnancy/childbirth journeys, I turned to books for comfort, wisdom and education. As my training has increased dramatically in this field over the last 3 years, I wanted to share just a handful of the books that shape the way I view birth and parenting.
There are so many more and I will probably do a follow up post with more in the future!
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (She is a problematic figure (due to her publicly racist statements and general lack of respect for the folks who taught her birthing methods) So I recommend doing your research and make your own decisions about whether or not to read this. It has been removed from the required reading list of my incredible doula training. I did, however, find that this book comforted me through much of my pregnancy anxiety about the labour experience. It is half birth stories and half practical knowledge of how labour progresses.
The Birth Partner: This book goes home with every single family I work with. It covers labour and delivery, comfort measures, pharmacutical options (with benefits and risks). It is really helpful to anyone attending the birth to have resources on how to be a helpful support person! Remember, the dream team is continuous labour support (ie: Doula!), supportive partner and a collaborative medical team (if you are choosing to birth in a hospital.)
Birthing From Within: If you are looking for a different type of prenatal education, this book is for you. The focus is on really exploring the internal landscape of the pregnancy and birth experience, through art, ritual, journalling and more. If you are into this, then you would definitely love Science and Spirit: A Prenatal Education Series (Next one starts June 7th!)
The Fourth Trimester: Let's all shout it from the rooftops! The postpartum period is sacred and needs to be seen as such! I loved this book so much for all the reflective exercises, the loving and gentle ways of approaching parenting/relationships/transitions. I wish I had read this book BEFORE having my babies but after was really lovely too!
The First Forty Days: This book is like a warm, cozy hug from your favorite grandparent, or a hot cup of tea on a winter's day or the sweet, milky smell of your newborn. It is filled with recipes to support you, nourish you, encourage milk supply and satisfy your tastebuds too!
Sweet Sleep: This book was published by La Leche League International and covers nighttime and napping strategies for the breastfeeding family. This book is especially supportive for parents who follow attachment parenting philosophies (although I think all can/will benefit from the tips!)
The Baby Book: The Dr. Sears Baby Bible (in my opinion). This book covers everything from nursing, sleeping, nighttime parenting, discipline and more! If you have ever met me, you have probably heard me talk about Dr. Sears. He is my parenting go-to. My nutrition go-to. My sleep go-to. (I seriously love, love, love this man! He has raised 8 children, written numerous books and just inspires me on the daily.)
Nighttime Parenting This book saved me with my firstborn. It allowed me to trust my instincts, helped me regain my patience and equilibrium, and really encouraged me to focus more on relationship building and bonding than getting my baby to "sleep through the night" (which is a 5 hour stretch, if anyone is wondering). With my second baby, I've gotten much better at living a life that is more balanced while also being much more open to surrendering to the beauty of an unfolding relationship with my child. I know I'll survive without a solid 8 hours of sleep until that glorious day happens.
The Conscious Parent: Please just read this. Read it every day. Open it at random and breathe in the words. Feel them in your body. This book is incredible and whenever I feel the overwhelm start to come, I pick it up. Let us collectively decide to do better for our children, for ourselves and for the future. I can not recommend it enough. Having children? Please read this book. We must raise ourselves before we raise them.
What books did you read to prepare yourself for childbirth? Parenting?
Comment and let me know!