Great Reads

Great Reads

These are the books I read while pregnant with Will.  I’ll rate what a profound impact they had on me with a star rating.  If you’re in Tassie, these are all available in the state library!  If I’ve given them 5 stars, it’s pretty much a ‘must read’!


***** 5 Stars *****

Birthing From Within, by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
This book was good as it makes you examine your deep down beliefs about pregnancy and childbirth. It helped me understand some of my beliefs, and therefore was able to change them, and increase my faith in God.

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, by Sarah J Buckley
Sarah Buckley is an Australian Doctor who, despite (or perhaps because) knowing all of the complications that may arise during birth, decided to homebirth. She shares her fascinating research, and her journey.

Birth: Countdown to Optimal, by Sylvie Donna
This was my absolute favourite book during my pregnancy with Will. It was so sensibly written, and a major part that stuck with me is the role of hormones during the birthing process.  This book is full of really valuable information, with birth stories of ladies to illustrate & illuminate the author’s meanings. READ THIS BOOK!

Supernatural Childbirth, by Jackie Mize
This was a very interesting and influential book. It is written from a Christian perspective, and although some (many?) of her doctrines are incorrect, there is a very sound basis in that we should trust God in childbirth.  I came away from reading this book feeling that birth is completely in God’s control, and we need to build up our faith. I recommend this to every Christian – but don’t just believe everything she claims.  (You can always send me a message if you wanted to ask me about something in it!)

Emergency Childbirth: A Manual, by Gregory J. White, M.D.
Great book, more like a ‘booklet’ as it is pretty short.  It’s written for emergency services workers (Fire-ees, Cops etc), as short, sharp and to the point, information about childbirth.  It’s a great read as it is very factual, without being too dry, and also doesn’t have all the talk about the inner experience of a mom in labor etc.  It actually makes it pretty clear that most things are not an emergency and that natural birth is fairly simple. This is a MUST READ for both you and your hubby – as YOU NEVER KNOW if your labour will be insanely short (Again, read Will’s birth story!).  I think this is probably the best book you can get your fella to read about childbirth.   🙂

**** 4 Stars ****

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
Everything by Ina May Gaskin is fantastic. She is a natural childbirth midwife, and has been very influential to women around the world. There are a lot of birth stories in this book, designed to increase your knowledge and belief in the birthing process

Spriritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin
This book of hers is written for midwives, and has lots of info regarding the physical attributes of birth.  Bit hand-on for me, but it’s good to build up your beliefs in how normal birth is.

New Active Birth: A Concise Guide to Giving Birth Naturally,  by Janet Balaskas
I loved this book.  I learnt lots about the body, and how birthing actually happens.  Her premise is that birth needs to be active in order to be most effective, and teaches you how to do this.  She includes a range of yoga activities to do each day to make birthing easier on you and your baby.

*** 3 Stars ***

Birth Reborn, by Michel Odent
Absolutely amazing obstetrician from France who believes in the power of women.  I believe he would be the ultimate midwife.  He was originally the head of a hospital obstetric department in France, and through his time there, he learnt more about women, and birth, and came to the conclusion, that birth did not belong in hospitals, and his being the head of the department was at odds with his fundamental beliefs regarding birth.  He believes women labour best when left alone, as that allows their hormones to work best, and that they really need to dig down deep inside, and listen to and trust their bodies.  I think I’d read most things by him.

HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method, by Marie F. Mongan
I read Hypnobirthing in my first pregnancy, and thought it was good.  It was one of the first books that opened my eyes to the possibility of natural birth.  However when it came to my labour, I felt like I was ‘doing it wrong’ as it was still incredibly painful despite doing the breathing and visualisations they recommended.  I feel that this book is good if you want to try to teach yourself how to ‘escape’ birth, rather than immerse yourself in, and fully trust your body, baby & birth.  That said, a lot of people I’ve talked to, have said that this book has had the opposite effect for them!  Each to their own I guess.

** 2 Star **

A Bun in the Oven, by Kaz Cooke
Funny week by week journal and information of pregnancy.  Not hugely informative, but a good read.

Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, by Dr Jonathan Morris
Completely the opposite of Up The Duff.  Very heavy, very dry.  Very informative.

* 1 Star *

What to Expect When You’re Expecting, By Heidi Murkoff
Eugh. Don’t bother. It’s outdated, and takes all women’s power away from her.  Medical professionals are gods, and must not be questioned.  A lot of the focus in this book is about weight.  There are so many better books and websites you should spend your time on.  I didn’t bother linking for this book, coz I don’t want you to read it! 😛


One response to “Great Reads

  1. Chrissie

    September 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I love your blog! I feel like I’m reading something I wrote myself! LOVED Birthing From Within! I had never given much thought to pregnancy/childbirth until I became pregnant with my first son. The first month or so I was certain I would get an epidural/follow all the rules/etc. However, a switch was flipped early on and I became passionate about natural birth. I can’t explain it- not sure how it happened- but it’s all I could think about. Luckily, I was a stay-at-home wife so I could research ALL DAY. I learned so much- it was so interesting, yet so frustrating to see how many women are bamboozled by the medical system. After researching, there was no way of going back to my original way of thinking. Ignorance was bliss- but now it was gone…I had to do the best for my body and my baby!I became so passionate around 2 months that I decided to stop seeing my OB- (who had a 70% episiotomy rate) SERIOUSLY?! I decided to have a home birth. At the time we were living in the middle of New Mexico where there were no resources. I had to find a midwife 2 hours from my home who was willing to commute. Until 38 weeks we were planning on the home birth and I was ecstatic- yet also scared out of my mind because I had been so brainwashed about the pain of birth and the necessity of an emergency team. We had no support- our friends thought we were nuts- and my family was convinced that I couldn’t do it and I’d be in the hospital with an epidural. Pretty depressing. This lack of support and sense of mocking made me scared to talk about it with anyone else- the opposite of a “blessingway”. My husband was the only thing that kept me going…he was great. I was then told that I was GBS positive. My midwife said that she wouldn’t worry about it and shared the statistics with me- although I had already researched it plenty myself. Despite knowing that it wasn’t a huge deal, fear got the best of me and we opted to labor in the hospital. I had the BEST experience. We were able to labor in the water- I ate throughout the entire thirteen hours- delayed cord clamping- kangaroo care- EVERYTHING! It was great! I sometimes regret not going for the home birth- but I feel like I’ve accomplished so much more by being able to avoid all the interventions while still being at the hospital. I became so passionate about the pregnancy/birth/parenting topics that I’m losing my mind! I tell my husband all the time that there is a longing/aching inside of me to do something with this knowledge… to empower women. However, it’s such a touchy subject with so many. If you mention natural birthing/breast feeding/healthy eating during pregnancy etc- people immediately feel judged and insecure. I have only told a few close friends that I birthed naturally because people these days seem to think you are “self-righteous”…or “showing off” if you bring up these topics. Still trying to find a way to communicate what I’ve learned with others. Maybe be a doula…a midwife… a blogger. Who knows. Anyway, you aren’t alone! Thanks for your blog! 🙂 Good luck!


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