Since a few of my friends have recently gotten pregnant and have been asking me for my resources, I have compiled a short list of my pregnancy must-haves for your enjoyment! I didn't need any fancy classes, a doula or an aroma-therapist. Just a few books, CD's and websites to fully equip myself for this journey on uncharted waters. :) I was fortunate to have my birth go just as I had envisioned, completely calm, (for the most part) and completely drug-free.
The first book I found to be helpful is called, Easy Labor- Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth - William Camann, M.D. and Kathryn J. Alexander, M.A. This is very informative in helping you learn about all your pain relieving options and deciding which will work best for you. *(I'm all for getting to labor outside if I want and eat and drink when I want. No doctor will be stopping me on that!) Discusses what to expect in labor and the key factors that affect your comfort such as hospitals vs. birthing centers. Alternative methods are also taught such as water births, birthing balls, hypnosis, massage, aromatherapy and the Bradley Husband Coached Childbirth.
The Natural Pregnancy Book- Herbs, Nutrition and Other Holistic Choices -Aviva Jill Romm (Why are you suffering with morning sickness? Take Ginger!)
What to Expect When You're Expecting-Just use it as a reference but don't read it cover to cover or it might scare you. But do read What to Expect the First Year cover to cover before baby comes. You'll be glad you did.
Hypnobabies Network- www.hypnobabies.com-change your mind from "labor pain" to "labor sensations" :) Embrace, don't fear giving birth or it will hurt even more!
DONA International- www.DONA.org- If you plan on having a Doula!
http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com-All natural lotions and potions. I also used their birth plan template to create my personalized birthing plan. Good stuff!
http://www.naturalresources-sf.com/ - a great store in SF for all your natural birthing needs. They offer classes too and many good additional resources on their website.
http://www.empoweredchildbirth.com- be sure to read the birth stories on this site!!! Amazing! Completely changes your whole perspective on birthing from fearful to powerful and beautiful. I didn't realize that birthing isn't always a scary, pain filled experience. Just put on some Enya and find a tub :) Some of the hippie mama's stories are so far out like using your placenta to plant your pear tree but don't let that scare you away from this site! A lot of the stories bring back the missing element of honoring birthing as the spiritual event that it is.
http://www.thebump.com-just fun, pretty mainstream, you get to see what type of fruit your fetus compares to each week of your pregnancy.
WATCH- The Business of Being Born, (available through Netflix) Very eye-opening look into the American Hospital system and how it's business-oriented and drug-pushing ways take away from making birth a joyful, powerfully natural experience and reduces birthing to a surgical process and the woman as a victim. I also wanted to watch Orgasmic Birth, (sounds fun!) but never did. If you do, please tell me about it!
Birthing From Within -by Pam England CMN, MA and Rob Horowitz PHD. This book also focuses on natural birth and alternative ways of pain management. Helps women find her own way to go with nature and her body. Also provides creative outlets for pregnancy projects and a history of birth. This was my main squeeze, my birthing BIBLE! A must -read!!! If you read no others, read this one.
My hypno-birthing CD that I attribute a lot of my natural birthing success to is titled: Healthy Pregnancy and Successful Childbirth by Belleruth Naparstek. It uses guided imagery to inspire confidence, relaxation and a strong connection to your body during your pregnancy and labor. I was able to manage my pain without any drugs just by listening to her throughout most of my labor process.
Yoga Journal and Lamaze Present DVD for pre-natal yoga
Laugh and Learn About Childbirth DVD by Sheri Bayles BSN, RN is great for those who don't want a whole class but want the important information in the comfort of your home.
I drank Traditional Medicine's Pregnancy tea with raspberry leaf which strengthens your uterus. I danced around in my nightie to Mama Mia, Martha Scanlan, and Putamayo Presents Women of Jazz and American Folk. I snuggled with my husband and my friend's cat. I ate healthy foods and sweets everyday whenever I wanted and could care less how much weight I gained. I hiked alone in the redwood forest of the Oakland Hills weekly and wrote to my baby in my pregnancy journal. I took more pictures of my belli than I ever had in my whole life. I slept on a U-shaped, delux pregnancy pillow which was one of the best products ever made for pregos. I told my baby I loved him and couldn't wait to meet him :)
This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.