Just a Few Labor & Delivery Books I Read

Posted October 23, 2019 by Berls in Just a Few Books I Read, Review / 2 Comments

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This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books I read in preparation for labor and delivery.

I realize that, unless you’re getting ready to give birth, these reviews are probably not especially useful. However, I wanted to share the books that helped me prepare because I was really thankful I had read some of them when my labor & delivery went exactly opposite of planned. And maybe you know someone who could benefit from them, even if you yourself can’t.

Just a Few Labor & Delivery Books I ReadIna May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Published by Bantam on March 4, 2003
Genres: Self-Help
Pages: 348
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you.

Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience, Ina May Gaskin, the nation’s leading midwife, shares the benefits and joys of natural childbirth by showing women how to trust in the ancient wisdom of their bodies for a healthy and fulfilling birthing experience. Based on the female-centered Midwifery Model of Care, Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth gives expectant mothers comprehensive information on everything from the all-important mind-body connection to how to give birth without technological intervention.

Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice, this invaluable resource includes:• Reducing the pain of labor without drugs--and the miraculous roles touch and massage play

• What really happens during labor• Orgasmic birth--making birth pleasurable • Episiotomy--is it really necessary? • Common methods of inducing labor--and which to avoid at all costs• Tips for maximizing your chances of an unmedicated labor and birth• How to avoid postpartum bleeding--and depression • The risks of anesthesia and cesareans--what your doctor doesn’t necessarily tell you• The best ways to work with doctors and/or birth care providers• How to create a safe, comfortable environment for birth in any setting, including a hospital• And much more

Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth takes the fear out of childbirth by restoring women’s faith in their own natural power to give birth with more ease, less pain, and less medical intervention.

Before reading this book, I think I was a little bit afraid of childbirth. I never was truly terrified, part of me really looked forward to the amazing experience of bringing a life into the world. But, watch enough TV or movies and you’ll have a few images that make you a bit afraid of how hard childbirth can be. So I am thankful to this book for helping me focus on the miracle I got to be a part of and the fact that women have been giving birth since forever. So why in the hell would I think I couldn’t do it? Our bodies are made for childbirth. It really helped me reframe my thinking and focus on a having a natural birth experience that I was in control of.

That being said, Ina May takes it a bit too far. This book includes stories of women traveling hours while in labor to give birth at the “The Farm” – a midwife compound that Ina May established (in the 60s I believe). To be fair, at the time Ina May got started, Doctor’s were habitually disregarding women’s rights in labor and it was pretty atrocious. So I get how this compound got started. And Ina May does work alongside doctors, even bringing women to hospitals when situations get too complicated for The Farm. She also has stories of orgasmic birth and just experiences that went a little far for me. So while I appreciated the positive thinking about my own capacity to give birth, I would definitely read this one with a grain of salt.

3.5 stars pretty good
Just a Few Labor & Delivery Books I ReadGentleBirth: Your Positive Birth Begins Here by Tracy Donegan
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on June 18th 2018
Genres: Self-Help
Pages: 278
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

Discover your roadmap to a positive birth!

A positive birth comes in many forms - for some it’s an early effective epidural for another it’s a serene water birth or a calm planned cesarean. What we know for sure is that a positive birth is defined by YOU – not your best friend,Mom or even your OB or Midwife.

The award winning GentleBirth program combines brain science, birth science and technology so you can feel inspired, excited and uplifted every day of your pregnancy – and beyond!

Every woman wants a safe, positive gentle birth – for themselves and for their baby. Midwife, GentleBirth Founder and positive birth expert Tracy Donegan shows you how as she guides you step by step including the following:

Practical tools to prepare you and your partner for a positive birth – as defined by YOU!

Use brain science to reduce pain and fear in labor.

Discover the ultimate stress reduction toolkit of techniques of simple meditation, hypnosis and sport psychology.

Train your brain for confidence and resilience – long after your baby arrives

Learn breathing techniques that work.

Navigate your options with confidence for a GentleBirth for you and your baby.

This book became the cornerstone of my birth plan, philosophy, what have you. Like Ina May, Tracy Donegan focuses on a positive, calm mindset when approaching birth. She, too, wants to affirm your understanding that your body is more than capable of delivering a child. But they diverge in some very significant ways. Tracy Donegan is about creating YOUR positive birth experience, whether it be at home or in a hospital, with epidural or completely natural, c-section or vaginal. The focus of this book is learning how to center yourself, through meditation, hypnosis, and breathing exercises to stay calm, stay in control of your birth experience and accept that sometimes things don’t go according to plan.

I am INCREDIBLY thankful for this book (and the app full of daily meditation, breathing, and hypnosis that went along with it) because it helped me when everything about my own labor and delivery went completely against what I had planned. As a type A planner personality, that could have wrecked me. But thanks to my daily practice and reading of this book, part of my plan was that the plan could go way wrong. And I was able to make a series of really tough decisions during labor using the strategies outlined in this book. At one point, when it sounded like I might have to have a c-section and I got pretty upset, I pulled out the app, listened to a meditation and came out 10 minutes later calm and composed. I could not recommend this book more for any woman preparing to give birth – whatever her plan, since this isn’t about natural childbirth, but staying calm, confident and in control.
5 stars Flipping Fantastic

Just a Few Labor & Delivery Books I ReadThe Birth Next Door by Shannon Blackwell
on September 18, 2011
Genres: Self-Help
Pages: 191
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

Every mother knows - birth is not just labor and delivery. It's triumph, heartache and falling in love with a new baby wrapped in mere hours, or sometimes days, of work and expectation. The Birth Next Door is an anthology of 28 births in and around Tarrant County, Texas. These are stories, in their own words, of moms who experienced birth in almost every way. Birth in cars, after days of labor, full of surprises or deep contentment, in awe of their bodies and their partners and the capacity for one day to truly change their lives (for better or worse).

This book wasn’t really about preparing for childbirth so much as it was just a chance to read about other women’s birth experiences. What made this book particularly cool for me was that the stories came from women right here in my metroplex. I do think that hearing other birth stories that don’t have the drama of TV and movies helps prepare you for the reality of childbirth, since it’s quite different from what we see on the screen. I enjoyed reading this and I appreciated that the stories were clearly labeled by type of birth, location, and if it was a first time delivery. It made it easy for me to jump over stories that didn’t fit me and read ones that fit my situation better.
3.5 stars pretty good

Berls is sharing Just a Few Labor and Delivery Books she read in preparation for her own delivery. Know anyone that could benefit from them? Click To Tweet

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 2 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 22 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!



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2 responses to “Just a Few Labor & Delivery Books I Read

  1. I read everything I could on pregnancy and childbirth before my first. As is not uncommon my birth plan went sideways and I needed intervention and eventually an emergency csection, but I think I coped okay because I was so well informed. I’m often baffled when I read or hear someone saying “I had no idea such & such could happen” and think really? Did you not pick up and read a book, or even a pamphlet, your whole pregnancy?

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out recently posted: Review: The House of Brides by Jane Cockram
    • You sound like me, I needed information! Being informed made all the difference for me during delivery because when they started talking about decisions that needed to be made I understood what was going on. I can’t imagine not preparing that way, but I’ve talked to people just like you said, who are clueless going into labor!