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Book Rec's

658 Views 18 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Stugroupie
Ok I am an avid hb-er/uc-er so I tend to read the truly militant books, which is why I am asking for help....

My best friend of 12 yrs is finally pregnant with her 1st and of course plns to "give birth the way god intended...strapped to a bed and numb from the neck down"
Ok I an deal with the hospital birth but would like to help shift her mind over to at least a natural birth in the hospital. What are some good books that aren't militant or scary but can still help guide her to do whats best for her and her baby?

I was thinking The thinking womans guide & Immaculate Deception but I remember how much these riled me up with the information and how many times I threw the books (out of disgust over the medical community)...I think I need something a bit softer to start her out with
then I can ease her into those books.

Got to get her a bood breastfeeding info book to as she doesn't want to nurse so "her boobs go back to their normal size as quikly as possible". Oy have I got my work cut out for me :LOL
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Gentle Birth Choices?
Anything by Sears. I've won a few converts with Sears books.

Definitely The Birth Book by Sears. He's a well-known name and isn't scary, but still advocates for natural birth.
There's a great new book called "Hey! Who's Having this Baby, Anyway?" that is soooo good.
Dr. Christiane Northrup talks about homebirth in her book Women's bodies women's wisdom, she's a doctor and had her babies in hospital I think, but talks about how crazy it all is.

You should tell your friend, that breastfeeding will not keep your boobs larger for much longer than not bf. In fact, by bf, often your breasts will be smaller and firmer than they were before, after you stop bf. I was a DD cup before having children went to an E cup when preg, bf for 3.5. years, after a few months was back to a DD cup, and after about 18 months down to a D cup!

She does sound like she needs a gentle intro to homebirthing and bf, maybe you could get her the LLL book, THe Womanly art of BF?

I read immaculate deception and really liked it, I think it's important for people to know the facts, especially if they are going to end up in hospital.
What about Ina May's guide to Childbirth?
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ina may's guide to childbirth. the entire first half is wonderful natural birth stories.
i'm reading immaculate deception II right now and it's great, especially the chapter on easing the fear of childbirth.

~ ina may's guide to childbirth
~ birthing from within by pam england <-- this book is really cool

good luck!
The Hypnobabies program! They have a CD for breastfeeding as well which I will definitely get for future children! The book which comes with the program is SO informative about what the body does in childbirth and how unecessary interventions are. Over and over it says trust your body...this is not a medical emergency! At the same time it is very acceptable to those who are more mainstream and the author, Kerry, looks pretty WASP. I know that sounds really terrible, but to some people it gives a good first impression and they'll listen to what she has to say. Let the flaming begin for that last comment!

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thank you everyone

i am going to write these all down for her and hope she will read at least some of them
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Jennie -- may I add the suggestion of Penny Simkin et al -- Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn
I 2nd Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Penny Simkin's pregnancy book. The latter is kind of like What to Expect When You're Expecting would be like if it were actually a good book.

Another Penny Simkin book I
is The Birth Partner.
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I second "The Birth Book" by Dr Sears. I would also recommend Thinking Woman's Guide. Maybe show her that one a while after the Dr. Sears book. Thinking Woman's Guide is the book that really put interventions in perspective for me. I recommend it to everyone regardless of how they are planning on birthing.
I really think Dr. Sear's The Birth Book can convert some mainstreamers. It's definitely not militant. I
the chapter on how birth came to be handled in the U.S. the way it is now. If that doesn't open some eyes I don't know what will. Also, try The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger. Her stuff is wonderful and although she's an avid homebirth supporter she's careful to write very non-specifically about this leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions about what type of care is best for them. It's FAR superior than a "What to Expect..." book but is written along the same lines. Great for a first time mom-to-be (or any mom-to-be).
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Thanks! I love Sheila Kitzinger, total brain freeze not even thinking about her books! Especially since I have read so many of them
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A Good Birth, A Safe Birth : Choosing and Having the Childbirth Experience You Want
by Diana Korte

I am giving this book to a friend who will undoubtedly give birth in a hospital. This book empahsizes that the mother has to be comfortable with her decisions about where and how to give birth (for most of my friends, whether I like it or not, that's going to be a hospital), which I agree with, even though I never want to deliver at a hospital again. This book is going to be the book I give to every single friend the minute they tell me they are pregnant.

I think this book can really help inform women about what they are up against the minute they step foot in a hospital (or start their prenatal care with an OB for that matter), that birth in a hospital setting may not be as safe as they are expecting it to be, that they cannot automatically assume that doctors are going to do things in their best interest, that as women, we need to be fully informed about the choices we are making when it comes to childbirth and put a lot of thought and research into those choices.

What I like about it book is that it lays out the realities of a hospital birth ...that one intervention leads to another, and another..., that nurses and doctors may not be with you very much during your labor depending on how busy the hospital is when you go in (and the importance of having a doula), that doctors don't see all aspect of childbirth - the emotional, the spiritual, the physical - they just see the physical/medical.

My favorite chapter is titled "If You Don't Know Your Options, You Don't Have Any" (which does discuss birth centers and home births, but the book is primarily focused on the hospital experience).

Highly recommended book.

SAHM to a spectacular little boy, born 5/2003
February 2006!
"When you teach your son, you teach your son's son."
~ The Talmud
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I like all the book recs already given. Especially the Sears & Simkins books.

I would definitely suggest you try to get your friend to attend Bradley Method Childbirth Classes. When I got pg with my first child, I didn't know that you could give birth without drugs or interventions... until I took a Bradley class on the recommendation of a friend. I was able to have a completely natural birth at the hospital and am now planning my next birth at home.

It is especially important for women choosing a hospital birth to know the pros and cons of all available drugs and interventions. Medical Professionals don't always give complete or accurate information and when you are in labor, you may not have the sense to ask! "If you don't know your options, then you don't have any!"

She may also want to consider hiring a doula to help her during labor and birth at the hospital. Mine was wonderful and I am so glad I hired her!
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