6 Doula Approved Books For Soon-To-Be Parents
For the year 2020, I made a resolution to read more books outside of pregnancy, birth, and homeschooling. This information is essential to my career and lifestyle. However, there is more to me, and I feel it's important to explore other sides of myself. A friend suggested I compile a list of all the books I have read at the end of the year, to help keep me accountable in my goal and also to share the book love. Then I thought, I can share my favorite birth books for families looking to get pregnant or already pregnant- RIGHT NOW! This book list, in no particular order, is complied of my personal and professional favorites. I go to them time and time again. I feel the books on this list are nurturing, encouraging, and just right for expecting families.
Giving birth right now can be exciting! The medical community is experiencing a shift in the "do as the doctor tells you" model and moving more towards a "patient-centered, not one size fits all" model. Being an active and informed participant in your birth journey comes with responsibility. It means taking childbirth education classes, holding your birth team accountable, and asking questions and keeping an open line of communication with your birth team. It also includes finding like-minded individuals to support you and learn from, and of course, reading books about birth. Don't be intimidated by this list of responsibilities. Many families find it empowering to be in the driver's seat of their pregnancy and health journey. So let's get you started on the right path with 6 Doula Approved Books For Soon-To-Be Parents.
1. Spiritual Pregnancy Shawn A. Tassone, MD and Kathryn M. Landherr, MD
While this book list is in no particular order, Spiritual Pregnancy is high on my list of favorites. You will find this book sectioned into five parts- first trimester, second trimester, third trimester, birth, and beyond birth. Learning about what happens to your body in postpartum is usually glossed over. Still, this book and others on this list make sure to include it, giving you a complete picture of your journey to parenthood. Each of these sections includes "journeywork" exercises (journal prompts), encouraging you to look inward for guidance and checking in with your emotions every step of the way. You will also find yoga poses for each stage of pregnancy and spiritual practices of pregnancy of various cultures. If words like chakras, aromatherapy, and honoring your earth mother vibe with you, this book is an excellent fit for your pregnancy journey.
2. The Birth Partner A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions Penny Simkin
This is a classic, and I haven't seen a doula training yet that doesn't include this book as required reading. Anyone who you are considering or have already invited into your birth space needs to read this book. Expecting supporters to come to a childbirth class might be asking a bit much, although it would be really great if they could. Reading the same book together could be dare I say fun? And if you are really a book nerd, you could talk about the book and the things that resonate with you in a very casual, informal, book club kind of way. The Birth Partner covers everything. Stages of birth, such as early labor and active labor, comfort measures, tests and interventions, complications, and medications. The Birth Partner lays it all out plain and simple for your birth team as to how to support you through every decision. You will feel empowered to make informed decisions, create your birth plan, and you might even become a doula when its all over.
3. Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy Lathom Thomas
Mama Glow is like having a pregnancy lifestyle coach in the palm of your hands. It's major. Pregnancy is a time in which many of us decide we need to do better- eat better, exercise, change our thoughts and attitudes. You're not going to find symptom-based cures here. For example, if you are looking to figure out what to do about morning sickness or back pain, it's not going to be a quick fix solution in this book. Think bigger. A lot of the discomforts of pregnancy come from the lifestyle of Western culture. So instead, you will find holistic lifestyle solutions to prevent and handle the discomforts of pregnancy. This is an interactive reading experience. Filled with journal prompts, yoga poses, affirmations, meditations, and my favorite- some bomb ass plant-based recipes. Look no further for a pregnancy mind, body, and soul overhaul that will have you feeling like a badass and give you that "mama glow."
4. Birthing From Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation Pam England
Birthing From Within is a very unique take on childbirth education because while you will find your typical birth information, but it's from a totally different perspective. You really learn about labor from the perspective of the person actually giving labor. It almost feels like you are taking a private childbirth education class. And an art class! Birthing From Within is so creative and fun. There are journal prompts, exercises that give you a real experience of labor, and art activities like creating your own quilt!! You will also find practical information like the chapter on "Baby Proofing Your Marriage."
5. Find Your Birth Joy: How to Release Fear, Prepare Your Mind, and Find Support for Natural Childbirth Sarah Showalter-Feuillette, MA
Find Your Birth Joy is another book that is at the top of my list of favorites. It has my whole heart. If a natural (that is, unmedicated) birth is your goal OR you are considering a natural birth and need help committing to it- I recommend this book a million times over. Find Your Birth Joy speaks positively and honestly about natural birth. It gets you to the root of your fears and how to utilize the skills you've learned in real life. I can't say enough good things about this book and the cherry on top- it's FREE on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
6. The Conscious Pregnancy: A Spiritual and Practical Approach to Creating A Zen Baby Shivani Gupta
Conscious Pregnancy takes you through the stages of pregnancy- first, second, third, and post-pregnancy. But also spends time in the prenatal period and can be encouraging for families experiencing difficulties in getting pregnant. I also appreciate the unique approach it takes to modern medicine by giving very hybrid information. In other words, it's not East v. West, but how the two work together. It's got some goodies such as a "42 Day Taking Care of Mom After Birth Guide." Plus, you get answers to questions like "What is a doula?", "What is placenta encapsulation?" and "What is homeopathy?".
Learning about your pregnancy and birth, how to be parents- doesn't happen from just reading one book. You gain knowledge through a multitude of experiences and mistakes. Use the books on this list to serve as guides to creating your own path. But also fully experience your journey through community, open conversation, and creativity.
I look forward to adding to this list. Have you already read one of these books? Or do you have a book that helped during your pregnancy? Please share it with us in the comments.