Favorite Pregnancy and Birth Media - Mothering Forums
November 2011 > Favorite Pregnancy and Birth Media
Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 03:54 PM 05-19-2011

Books, websites, movies, etc... what are your favorites and why?  They could be super informative or funny first hand experience type books, fiction or non-fiction movies, week by week sites, blogs, etc.



zinemama's Avatar zinemama 05:20 PM 05-19-2011
The Life Within by Jean Hegland. A gorgeous look at pregnancy month by month, part memoir, part anthropology, part biology. Very thoughtful and a good choice for someone who wants more than the medical stuff and "your baby is now the size of a mango."
Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 02:42 PM 05-20-2011

Thanks, that sound great!  Anyone else?


Gemini529's Avatar Gemini529 03:35 PM 05-20-2011
I really like the movie Baby Mama. Don't ask me why because it's totally cheesy and unrealistic. Something even more sad? I looove mtv's Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant series. I mean, most of the episodes are kind of sad and depressing but i'm totally hooked on it.

I also like to watch Supernanny just to get some tips for when my kids are older!

If you're looking for something heartwarming watch TLC's A Baby Story.
talktomenow's Avatar talktomenow 03:46 PM 05-20-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini529 View Post

I really like the movie Baby Mama. 


I like it, too. It taught me to eat dozens of ho-hos so I would show faster. 

 


Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 05:40 PM 05-20-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini529 View Post

I really like the movie Baby Mama. Don't ask me why because it's totally cheesy and unrealistic. Something even more sad? I looove mtv's Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant series. I mean, most of the episodes are kind of sad and depressing but i'm totally hooked on it.

I also like to watch Supernanny just to get some tips for when my kids are older!

If you're looking for something heartwarming watch TLC's A Baby Story.

LOL!  I liked Baby Mama, too!  I love Tina Fey!

 

I used to watch House of Babies (a birth center in Florida), but I don't get that channel anymore- I think it was Discovery Health.  A Baby Story always seems so medicalized so I stopped watching that.  But I did briefly get hooked on Runway Moms (pregnant models).  And, before I had kids I used to watch Supernanny and that other one, but now I don't agree with their discipline strategies at all.  I wish there was a gentle discipline show on; I could use some tips right now!  LOL!

 


Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 07:26 AM 05-21-2011

Some of my favorites are:

 

The Business of Being Born: documentary about the history of birth, the intervention cascade typical in hospital birth, midwives, homebirth, natural birth, etc.

 

Belly Laughs: short, comical book that made me laugh despite morning sickness.  Certainly I don't agree with a lot of her personal choices, but it was pretty funny.

 

Ina May's books: lots of great natural birth stories, info about midwifery, anatomy, the history of birth, interventions, etc.

 

Friends and Sex and the City: I love these two shows and every time I'm pregnant, I start watching the seasons with pregnant story lines again on DVD.  They are also pretty supportive of breastfeeding.  I was watching the season where Rachel has her baby when I was laboring with my first.  Nothing like laughing to help your cervix open up!

 

Away We Go: Maya Rudolph and John Krasinkski, it's touching and funny, particularly their friend who continuum parents (which I largely agree with, but found funny nonetheless)

 

 


Gemini529's Avatar Gemini529 08:42 AM 05-21-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post



LOL!  I liked Baby Mama, too!  I love Tina Fey!

 

I used to watch House of Babies (a birth center in Florida), but I don't get that channel anymore- I think it was Discovery Health.  A Baby Story always seems so medicalized so I stopped watching that.  But I did briefly get hooked on Runway Moms (pregnant models).  And, before I had kids I used to watch Supernanny and that other one, but now I don't agree with their discipline strategies at all.  I wish there was a gentle discipline show on; I could use some tips right now!  LOL!

 


I'll have to keep that in mind about Supernanny!  I haven't really gotten to where I have to "discipline" my son yet since he's only 12 mos old. But I'll be on the lookout for alternatives to her tactics if it doesn't work for me.  

 

A Baby Story is kind of hit or miss.  I have seen quite a few water births, etc on there, but most are probably in the hospital.  It is a lot less depressing than 16 and Pregnant, though because it usually doesn't involve a really sad back story to go along with it.  I've never seen Runway Moms but it sounds cool!

 

I have also yet to see the documentary "Babies" but I want to check it out soon.  

 

 


Gemini529's Avatar Gemini529 08:44 AM 05-21-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

Friends and Sex and the City: I love these two shows and every time I'm pregnant, I start watching the seasons with pregnant story lines again on DVD.  They are also pretty supportive of breastfeeding.  I was watching the season where Rachel has her baby when I was laboring with my first.  Nothing like laughing to help your cervix open up!

 

I have seen every episode of both of these shows, like 20 times!  Every time I get together with my friends, we turn on HBO on demand and let the Sex and the City episodes play in the background while we chat/drink wine, etc.  I do remember the episode where Miranda was trying to BF her son and he wouldn't eat.  Love that show!
 

 


Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 10:00 AM 05-21-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini529 View Post
I have also yet to see the documentary "Babies" but I want to check it out soon.  

 

 

I found it definitely worth watching, but I thought it could have done better, done more than it did.  I felt like the Nigerian family was sort of highlighted as the best and the Japanese and American families were made to look sort of stupid a lot of the times.  Of course, I agree that a lot of more modern cultures do tend to do a lot of stupid things when it comes to babies, but I guess I was sort of disappointed.  I would have liked to see more variety and more comparison of different methods of taking care of basic baby needs.  I'm no film maker so I imagine it's difficult to pick and choose which footage gets used and there are so many directions it could have gone.  Maybe it felt too directionless?  I'd love to hear others' thoughts on it, too!
 

 


J3ssika's Avatar J3ssika 12:40 PM 05-21-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

Some of my favorites are:

 

The Business of Being Born: documentary about the history of birth, the intervention cascade typical in hospital birth, midwives, homebirth, natural birth, etc.

 

Belly Laughs: short, comical book that made me laugh despite morning sickness.  Certainly I don't agree with a lot of her personal choices, but it was pretty funny.

 

Ina May's books: lots of great natural birth stories, info about midwifery, anatomy, the history of birth, interventions, etc.

 

Friends and Sex and the City: I love these two shows and every time I'm pregnant, I start watching the seasons with pregnant story lines again on DVD.  They are also pretty supportive of breastfeeding.  I was watching the season where Rachel has her baby when I was laboring with my first.  Nothing like laughing to help your cervix open up!

 

Away We Go: Maya Rudolph and John Krasinkski, it's touching and funny, particularly their friend who continuum parents (which I largely agree with, but found funny nonetheless)

 

 



Ina May is fabulous, so is the movie Away we Go, I love the soundtrack!

 

 

 


J3ssika's Avatar J3ssika 12:54 PM 05-21-2011

Birthing from Within by: Pam England

 

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by: Henci Goer 

 

The documentary film: Baby's

 

Some lovely videos of women's homebirths in Maine: http://mainehomebirth.wordpress.com/ 

 


octanebeetle27's Avatar octanebeetle27 01:07 PM 05-21-2011

I read "Baby Catcher" once a trimester while pregnant :) Also love "Diary of a Midwife".  As for movies, I usually watch "The Business of Being Born" and "Juno" a few times while pregnant.


Ratchet's Avatar Ratchet 08:20 AM 05-22-2011

In our culture we miss out on being surrounded by birth- like, just watching your family and friends and family in labor or birthing throughout your life.  I feel like Spiritual Midwifery lets me fantasize about being in a community where birth is normal and great and fun and all around, not just sequestered in a hospital.  Plus I just in general have commune living fantasies, although not enough to actually move to a commune.  I love all the photos in it.  Her 2nd book doesn't capture that quite as well, IMO.  So I read and re-read all the stories, it's nice how you can just have a little 10 minute birth vacation whenever you need it. 

 

Also fun- Bill Cosby's birth related dreams after eating subs that involve Muppets.  You can get clips on you tube. 


mcacat's Avatar mcacat 03:23 PM 05-22-2011

A great read for your partner is The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin.

 

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth was hands down the best book that I read prior to having my daughter.  The birth stories at the beginning are amazing. 

 

I also liked Birthing from Within.

 

I have just ordered Orgasmic Birth - has anyone read that yet?  I'd also like to see the movie but am trying to figure out a way to see it without buying the DVD.

 

As for movies, I also loved Away We Go and the Business of Being Born (I saw it when I was about 8 weeks' pregnant and cried through every single home birth in the video).


Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 03:42 PM 05-22-2011

Orgasmic Birth is available through Netflix... do you have that?  Signing up for Netflix would be cheaper than buying the DVD.  :)  It's definitely an interesting movie- I preferred The Business of Being Born, though.  Anyone seen Pregnant in America?  I just realized it's available for instant viewing on Netflix.


Mama~Love 03:58 PM 05-22-2011
lurk.gif Nothing to add, just lurking smile.gif .
ZippyGirl's Avatar ZippyGirl 07:37 PM 05-23-2011

Ina May all the way.  I also found Penny Simkin's books to be helpful.  My birth teacher showed her video "The Three R's" about rhythm, relaxation, and ritual in labor, and it completely, totally freaked me out to see it while pregnant.  I mean I hated it!!!  BUT when I was in labor with my first, the images from the video kept popping into my head and made me feel so much better about what my body needed to do during labor, like I was on the right track.  Henci Goer's book mentioned above is especially good for women who are unsure where they want to give birth; it is definitely a must-read for women who want a natural birth in a hospital to prepare you for the pros and cons of standard practices of care. 

 

Also, some of the best books I received from friends were about raising a child.  I particularly loved "You Are Your Child's First Teacher" and other books of a similar vein.  "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" was helpful, and I think it is good to start reading up on vaccines and other decisions you'll need to make in the first year or two of life.  Not to minimize the importance and beauty of pregnancy and birth, but it's just the beginning of the journey!


Mal85's Avatar Mal85 07:44 PM 05-23-2011

Another to suggest Ina May.

 

I also loved Baby Catcher, it was a great read. Also, the Zygote Chronicles. Just a funny memoir about being pregnant and having a baby. I've also loved many of the others previously mentioned.


octanebeetle27's Avatar octanebeetle27 10:44 PM 05-23-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

Orgasmic Birth is available through Netflix... do you have that?  Signing up for Netflix would be cheaper than buying the DVD.  :)  It's definitely an interesting movie- I preferred The Business of Being Born, though.  Anyone seen Pregnant in America?  I just realized it's available for instant viewing on Netflix.



I watched Pregnant in America on Netflix. I thought it was ok--worth watching but I prefer Business of Being Born personally. It was neat to see things from an expectant father's point of view though. It was admirable to see a first time father so passionate about home birth.  

 


kaypea's Avatar kaypea 07:01 PM 05-24-2011

I also watch Juno and Baby Mama a few times while pregnant! And Knocked Up. I'll definitely check out Away We Go. We watched some good videos in our birthing class, but the one that stuck with me was this really peaceful water birth at home in this blue-tiled tub. Anyone know what it's called? I'd like to watch it again. 

 

The husband and I also both read Alternadad last time, and found it funny and diverting. 

 

I watched as many online homebirth videos as I could last time, and I might again, though for now I am enjoying reading the birth stories on the MDC boards from the past couple of months. 

 

And I will just chime in here to agree, that the Business of Being Born, and Ina May's book are important to watch and read while pregnant, as well as books on breastfeeding. 


Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 01:01 PM 05-26-2011

Alright.. I just watched Pregnant in America (streaming on Netflix) and of course I'm crying.  lol.gif   I have to say that it felt more medical fearful than The Business of Being Born.  They really went into interventions a lot more and highlighted some maternal and infant deaths.  I also think the take home message was much clearer: take back your birth experience, how you birth your child is important.  I enjoyed the expert interviews (which included Ina May) and got some more recommendations for books. 

 

Magical Child
McDonalization of Society
Born in the USA
In Labor: Women and Power in the Birthplace
Birth as an American Rite of Passage
Gentle Birth Choices
 
What I think is interesting about TBoBB and Pregnant in America is that they both ended up with a hospital experience.  In TBoBB, Ricki's film partner ends up with a c-section and in Pregnant in America, the baby ends up in the NICU.  I understand that these were real experiences that occured during the making of the films and documentries certainly strive to show the truth, but at the same time I can't help but feel that the message is a bit clouded.  Birth is safe!  Birth is natural and normal!  95% of births will occur without complication!  And yet both films show a complication.  It feels like it's 50% of the time.  Half of it turned out fine, but the other half ended up in the hospital.  Sigh.  I'd really like to see this type of film done again, updated, minus the hospital ending.

EonJourney's Avatar EonJourney 07:51 PM 05-26-2011

You prompted me to watch Pregnant in America too. I also cried. I can relate to the movie. I was forced into a c sect after 33 hrs of back labor because it was 7am on a Saturday. Now with twins my options for a vbac are slim. My ob told me he highly suggested I schedule my babies birth and that I am too small. Luckily I called my former midwife who told me I am very capable of delivering twins vaginally. Anyway, pretty good movie.

I enjoyed the Into the Womb series by National Geographic.


Jaimee's Avatar Jaimee 07:06 AM 05-28-2011

This film looks fantastic: http://www.birth-media.com/  "Laboring Under an Illusion"   Anyone want to split the cost with me???  Sheepish.gif

 

Oh, and KayPea... it shows a clip of the film you mentioned with the blue tile tub.  I've seen that one, too.  I can't remember exactly, but is that the one in Mexico where the woman births unassisted?


octanebeetle27's Avatar octanebeetle27 02:01 PM 05-28-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

Alright.. I just watched Pregnant in America (streaming on Netflix) and of course I'm crying.  lol.gif   I have to say that it felt more medical fearful than The Business of Being Born.  They really went into interventions a lot more and highlighted some maternal and infant deaths.  I also think the take home message was much clearer: take back your birth experience, how you birth your child is important.  I enjoyed the expert interviews (which included Ina May) and got some more recommendations for books. 

 

Magical Child
McDonalization of Society
Born in the USA
In Labor: Women and Power in the Birthplace
Birth as an American Rite of Passage
Gentle Birth Choices
 
What I think is interesting about TBoBB and Pregnant in America is that they both ended up with a hospital experience.  In TBoBB, Ricki's film partner ends up with a c-section and in Pregnant in America, the baby ends up in the NICU.  I understand that these were real experiences that occured during the making of the films and documentries certainly strive to show the truth, but at the same time I can't help but feel that the message is a bit clouded.  Birth is safe!  Birth is natural and normal!  95% of births will occur without complication!  And yet both films show a complication.  It feels like it's 50% of the time.  Half of it turned out fine, but the other half ended up in the hospital.  Sigh.  I'd really like to see this type of film done again, updated, minus the hospital ending.



Ditto. In my circle of friends, I am one of two people who births at home (or attempts to) and 2 out of my 3 attempts have ended with me in the hospital (well, one baby was supposed to be at a free-standing birthing center but still...). So whenever I recommend either of those movies to people (those who also know about my experiences), they feel like the odds are against them birthing at home so why even try? But hey, I'm planning on a homebirth with this baby, I sure haven't given up on homebirth! Yes, love that the producers were true to what happened during the documentaries but I am hoping for a really good docu with an ending that is true to most births that happen at home. 

 


kaypea's Avatar kaypea 07:06 PM 05-28-2011

I remembered that it was called Birth Day, which is pretty impossible to google, but since you reminded me that it was in Mexico, Jaimee, I was able to narrow the search. 

 

 

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/videos/birthday.asp

 

It's such a beautiful video - and it really stuck with me when she was talking about how she wanted her labour to feel like a celebration - she had so many friends and family around...

 

 


peaches' mom's Avatar peaches' mom 07:03 PM 05-29-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by KayPea View Post

I remembered that it was called Birth Day, which is pretty impossible to google, but since you reminded me that it was in Mexico, Jaimee, I was able to narrow the search. 

 

 

 

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/videos/birthday.asp

 

It's such a beautiful video - and it really stuck with me when she was talking about how she wanted her labour to feel like a celebration - she had so many friends and family around...

 

 

I LOVED the movie "Birth Day". To me it perfectly portrays birth as normal. It shows the labouring mom enjoying the day, doing "regular" - if celebratory - things with her family. It inspired me to do the same for my first 2 births, which I believe led to 2 amazing births. I'll have to watch it again during this pregnancy for fresh inspiration. 

 

I also love a lot of the books mentioned previously (anything by Ina May is a particular favourite!!!). Another I would add is "the Red Tent" which I found fascinating because of the early midwifery/birthing details. That being said, I recall that this book is not for the faint of heart. It's completely fiction but maybe best read postpartum. :)

 



 


J3ssika's Avatar J3ssika 07:25 PM 05-29-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

This film looks fantastic: http://www.birth-media.com/  "Laboring Under an Illusion"   Anyone want to split the cost with me???  Sheepish.gif

 

Oh, and KayPea... it shows a clip of the film you mentioned with the blue tile tub.  I've seen that one, too.  I can't remember exactly, but is that the one in Mexico where the woman births unassisted?



Our local perinatal resource center held a screening of this, it is FABULOUS!

 


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