Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baby Reading List (and a DVD)

First I would like to share that these books have changed my views on pregnancy and birthing. I will post again once I have personally experienced childbirth. I also think that anyone pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should read at least one of these books and watch the DVD "The Business of Being Born." There is so much women just don't know and we are misinformed regularly. For example, did you know that U.S. has the second highest infant mortality rate in the modern world (Cuba's is lower)? Facts found here and here. Did you know that our cesarean rate is 40%? That means almost 1 out of 2 births are done with MAJOR surgery. Well I had never heard any of this. Some books that were recommended to me and now I am recommending to you are:

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
 -This books is about natural childbirth and a woman's 35+ years work at "The Farm", a kind of birthing commune in Tennessee. It has amazing birth stories in the first half of the book. The second half of the book walks the reader through the entire birthing process, explaining why modern medical childbirthing procedures are not based on the mother's health and needs, but are designed for convenience of the medical establishment. She gives a lot of facts and draws on her personal experiences, even with somethings being a little over the top, this book is amazing.
 Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn (4th Edition): The Complete Guide by Penny Simkin
- One of my favorite things about this book is it walks you through the different "stages" of labor and how they progress, as well as positions and situations to help ease the pain during each of these stages.This is a very balanced book, whether you have decided to give birth naturally or with medication.

 The Birth Partner (for couples or helpers) by Penny Simkin
- Back of the book: If you want to learn how best to help an expectant mother have a happy and healthy childbirth, The Birth Partner, Third Edition is the only book you'll need. For almost 20 years, husbands, partners, friends, relatives, and doulas have turned to this book for guidance on being a supportive partner in the delivery room. The expanded third edition includes the most up-to-date information about techniques, devices, and medications for easing labor pain; tests and treatments of the fetus and newborn; strategies to help labor progress; potential medical procedures and interventions; and how best to help the mother during the early days after the birth. And, with its easy-to-use format and new illustrations, the The Birth Partner is the essential guide have on hand in the delivery room.

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
- This should be a book you read after you have read about natural childbirth or if you are open minded. While this book does provide facts, it is also very opinionated. The description on the back cover: "Every intelligent, informed woman is used to gathering the most complete information she can get before making a decision. But when it comes to one of the most important decisions in her life--how she will give birth--it can be tough to get the complete picture, even from an obstetrician. Surprisingly, much of the latest research goes against common medical opinion."

The Business of Being Born DVD
-This is an amazing documentary informing of the realities of hospital vs. home birth. It is really an eye-opening film and though it gets a little graphic and has some foul language, it really is a must see. The only thing I wish was added is there are other options, not just hospital or home births (ex. birthing centers).
Synopsis on back: Birth is a miracle, a rite of passage, a natural part of life. But birth is also big business. Compelled to explore the subject after the delivery of her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to question the way American women have babies. The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal. Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?


  1. so are you going natural?
    If I may comment... I recommend taking the drugs. I loved my birth experience with Marco... like loved it. And I think it was because I was not in pain and I could enjoy the process. I wasn't scared, screaming or even sweating. It was a truly beautiful day. You can read about the difference btw c-section and vag birth on my blog... I've had both!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed both selections I recommended! This is my third time around and there was so much I didn't know... it's amazing! Thanks for sharing your top picks! =)