I’m all about childbirth preparation. I can’t stress enough how beneficial it has been for me to go into childbirth and newborn life with a slight idea of what I was doing! It is of great importance to be educated about birth, especially if you are striving for a natural childbirth without intervention. There are many ways to grow in your knowledge of labor and delivery, including books and online resources. Proper education prior to labor can help reduce interventions and lead to a faster, better labor with a more positive outcome for both mom and baby! Here are some of my favorite resources you might find useful:
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Hand’s down, every pregnant woman needs the Mama Natural Week to Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth! There is no other book like this one, which walks you through your pregnancy week by week (like a certain other popular pregnancy book) but with a natural perspective. There are birth affirmations, targeted recipes, and great information about all the issues that will come up in pregnancy and childbirth. This isn’t just for super crunchy mamas either, it’s for everyone. The book gives the pros and cons of many situations (such as interventions, routine tests, and procedures), and lets you decide which are right for you. It also covers the stages of labor, natural pain management, possible interventions, how to have a gentle Cesarean, breastfeeding positions and tips for success, and so much more vital information. If you are pregnant, you need this book. If you can only afford one, this is the one! It’s a must read for natural pregnancy.
This is a great read if you are planning a hospital birth. I read this before my first labor, and I found it very helpful. It gave me a good deal of information on how labor works, how to best prepare, how to get in the right mindset, and natural pain management. It also covered what will happen at the hospital, possible interventions, and what to do in many situations where an intervention will be recommended by the hospital staff. It gives you the confidence and education to go in knowing your stuff, and feeling prepared that you will be able to handle any situation, make the right choice for you, and not feel like you’ve been whisked away on a crazy whirlwind.
Written by a midwife, this is an extremely popular book for mamas wanting to go into labor with a natural mindset. I did not read it personally, but I have heard amazing things about it! It is definitely worth checking out.
Pregnancy Exercise and Positions
- Labor Preparation Exercises with Free Printable (My Darla Clementine)
- Four Must Do Pregnancy Exercises (Fit as a Mama Bear)
- Six Hip Exercises for Pregnant Women (Fit as a Mama Bear)
- Helpful Maternal Positions (Spinning Babies)
Many women choose a home birth because of the lower risk of interventions, the comforts of home, and feeling of a controlled environment.
- Position of Baby (Spinning Babies)
- Stages of Labor (Spinning Babies)
- Positioning During Labor (Spinning Babies)
Pain Relief and Coping
- Hypnobirthing (Pistachio Project)
- Pressure Points (Mama Natural)
- Breathing (Mother Rising Birth)
- Bradley Method
- Essential Oil Blend for Labor (My Darla Clementine)
- Must Have Essential Oils for Labor (Mother Rising Birth)
- Other Techniques-Water, Support, Visualization. etc.
Hiring a Doula
Know Your Interventions:
- Informed Consent (Birth Takes a Village)
- Labor Interventions (Mama Natural)
- Episiotomy (Belly Belly)
- Pitocin HERE (Naturally Free Life) and HERE (Chris Kresser)
- Cytotec (off-label use for induction of labor) HERE and HERE (RxList, PubMed)
- Epidural HERE (American Pregnancy Association) and HERE (Chris Kresser)
- Herbal Support for a Cesarean (One World Herbal Community)
- How to Have a Gentle Cesarean (Mama Natural)
- Risks of Cesarean Birth (Chris Kresser)
Postpartum and Newborn Procedures
Learn more about the benefits of:
- Placenta Encapsulation (Pistachio Project)
- Delayed Cord Clamping (American College of Obstetrics and Gyns)
When doing your research, be sure to look at many unbiased sources based on actual statistics. The internet can be hugely misleading!
- Rhogam (Naturally Free Life)
- Vitamin K, (Package Insert) (Evidence Based Birth, FDA)
- Hepatitis B (Package Insert HERE, HERE) (Kelly Brogan, MD, FDA)
- Eye Drops (Evidence Based Birth)
- Circumcision (Your Whole Baby)
Do not circumcise until you have read THIS CONSENT FORM.
Breastfeeding: the first 48 hours
If you can, skin to skin, immediate nursing, keeping baby with you at all times, and establishing a good latch and nursing habits in the first 48 hours will do wonders for your breastfeeding journey!
- Setting Yourself Up for Good Milk Supply (Naturally Free Life)
- Post Birth Breastfeeding Success (Kelly Mom)
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Stay Tuned for a Post on Natural Baby Care and Essentials: Birth to 6 Months as well as Postpartum Recovery: Diet, Exercise, Nutrition, Healing, and More!
You may also like How I’m Preparing for My Natural Hospital Birth (The Second Time)
What are your favorite childbirth resources? Should I add anything to the list?