The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Pregnancy/Birth/Parenting Books

There are some really TERRIBLE books to prepare you for pregnancy, birth and parenting (Up the Duff I’m looking right at you IMO) and there’s some that changed my life for the better (unlike the above mention, there’s 2 hours of my life I won’t get back). Obviously you may disagree (millions of people do, as this book is so damn popular) which is completely ok. If your GP/ObGyn recommends this book, there’s a great warning sign right there, that they’re not into birth preparation. Just sayin’.

Here’s my very own list (I’d LOVE to see yours too, I’m always on the lookout for more books to read):

The Good

Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering 

This is really a birth bible if you want a natural birth. If you’re a nerd like me and you like science and references to journal articles, then you’ll enjoy it ? If not, it may be a little heavy going, but definitely worth a peruse/pick/put down and so helpful to help to trust your birthing instincts.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Ina May Gaskin so much. She’s my birth idol. Soooo, this has got to be my favourite birthy book. Heaps of empowering birth stories that take many twists and turns. No matter how many stories I read, listen to or hear directly from mothers, they’re never the same. The narrative of mothers is such a great insight into birth, whether it’s a negative or positive story – you take insights about how things could have been different, what you do want or what you don’t.

PLEASE NOTE: Although random stories from strangers about HOW TERRIBLE childbirth is, probably aren’t that helpful. Full stop. Walk away from them. Change the subject.

Anyhow, back to the book. Ina May also gives wonderful tips on learning to trust your body, positions, what support from caregivers should look like and how fear/holding on to problems can slow or stop labour (and you can learn all about these practical tips in my birth classes in Hobart, or go online with me if you’re outside of Tasmania – Connect with me here)

If you don’t do anything else in preparation for labour, grab yourself a copy of this.

Mindful Hypnobirthing

A great taste of what I teach. Tools to relax and focus, how fear effects birth, how to trust your instinct (your body is already absolutely perfect for birthing your baby), how to communicate with your caregivers to be in control  of your journey, no matter what turn it takes and how your birth partner can be trained to be a frigging awesome birth partner. Read this and/or do a class with me for all the aforementioned (and for obviously heaps more cool stuff to prepare your body and mind and also my non refined sugar chocolatey treats ?

Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids

What do you do when your beautiful baby doesn’t do what you want them to do and have a mind of their own (excuse me, how did that happen?). Seriously this book changed my life. Read it if you want to be connected to your toddler and not yell at them all the time (you’re going to feel angry with your gorgeous baby eventually, trust me!). Gentle, respectful strategies that work.

The Bad

Up the Duff

My GP recommended this book to me when I was shell shocked at being 7 weeks pregnant for the first time. The only book I would need apparently.

FML. I should have ran out the door right then. It should be called how not to prepare for birth.

Look. I’m sure many others disagree with me, as it’s a hugely popular book. Anyhow, I’m sure Kaz Cooke isn’t going to lose any sleep over me not liking her book.

The Ugly

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

(This book doesn’t get a link and it’s a smaller image than the others, as you may have noticed)

A bunch of fear inducing clap trap.

In the words of a review from Good Reads:

“I’m not quite sure how to explain how this book makes me feel other than this analogy – it felt like going to your doctor to ask for the morning-after-pill to only receive a lecture on the dangers of multiple sex partners from the old-school nurse. While sitting on a cold exam table in a paper gown. While nursing a hangover and trying not to throw up.”

I think I’ll leave it there..

What are your faves and least faves??

I am a Clinical Psychologist, a Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner in Hobart, Tasmania and a mother of two precious young girls. I am passionate about helping mothers have positive birth experiences. I hope that women will inform themselves and learn strategies to help them through their births, regardless of whether they want to have a caesarean, epidural, natural birth or home birth. No one would run a marathon without some training and birth is harder than that, so childbirth definitely needs some preparation too. Birth can be an empowering and joyful experience and this gives you and your baby the best start to the rest of your baby’s life. Contact me now to book a Hypnobirthing Australia class in Hobart, Tasmania, a one on one Skype Session, or enrol for Hypnobubs Online, if you’re not in Tasmania (you can upgrade this to a Skype session with me too).


Birth, Books, Childbirth Education, Parenting, Pregnancy

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