I love, love, love to read books. When I got pregnant, my third thought (after, “Really?!” and “Oh my God…”) was “What books should I buy?”
After reading a few pregnancy books, however, I realized that they did me much more harm then good. What to Expect When You’re Expecting nearly gave me anxiety attack by page fifty. For the most part, I’ve stopped picking up pregnancy books because I just feel like they stress me out – The Panic-Free Pregnancy is a definite exception.
Instead of pregnancy books, I began to read birthing books. At first, I felt a little silly reading birthing books because the actual birth seemed so far off. It was hard to imagine what it would be like for me to push out a six to eight (or more) pound baby because my little baby was only the size of a lime.
Recently, I began reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and I have to say – every single pregnant woman needs to read this book throughout their pregnancy, even if you’re not at all interested in having a ‘natural’ or unmedicated birth. The reason I love Guide to Childbirth so much is that the first section is packed (PACKED!) with positive birth stories. Not unrealistic, not sugar-coated. Just happy, empowering, amazing birth stories.
I keep thinking about how we, as Americans, view birth as such a negative and painful experience. Reading positive birth stories is helping me change my tune and focus on the spiritual and emotional aspects of the process. I plan to pick this book up again and re-read it from cover-to-cover in the last month of my pregnancy.
Have you read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth? What did you think?