Recommended books

31 Jan

Since before I was even thinking about starting a family I started reading books about pregnancy and birth. For me it was a big battle to get over the fear of childbirth, so I thought of  beging researching early about the truth of labour, when it came to my time to have a baby the ‘negative/realistic’ people couldn’t steal the positivity I had created in my mind because it was so deep rooted.
I thought I would give you the titles of the books that helped shape the way I think. Remember when reading take everything in but spit out the sticks. By that I mean don’t apply things to your life that you feel dosn’t line up with what you’r hoping for. Every one is different nothing is a fail proof formula.

*Supernatural childbirth – Jackie Mize

This is the first book I read in 2006. It’s a book that was given to me by a cousin in America,who told me she had her baby pain free! I had to read it! Changed my thinking forever, the main things I got from this book was that I was to be in charge of my body and not the other way round, that God had created us to do this beautiful act of childbirth and that hope for a good outcome is worth trying.

*Childbirth without fear – Grantley Dick-Read

This book is fab! It was written by an obstetrician in the 1800s who on one occasion went to deliver a baby of a woman who lived a simple life. She refused the pain relief she was offered,saying ‘was it supposed to hurt?’ It was the first time he had heard that, and began thinking that it was the worlds view and scare mongering that was effecting women’s experiences of labour in the western world. He also made studies on how animals give birth and their surroundings, which I found the most interesting.
Grantly Dick-Read (January 26, 1890 – June 11, 1959) was a British obstetrician who is regarded by many as the father of natural childbirth movement. He dedicated his life to educating expectant parents about the benefits of giving birth naturally, with as little intervention from obstetricians and health professionals as possible. Much of the pain in childbirth, he argued, came from society’s attitude towards childbirth, which often emphasised the pain.

Birth Reborn – Michael Odent

A French doctor who was the first to perform water births an absolutely inspiring read. The books blurb describes it perfectly

Read this book! Michel Odent is a wonderful doctor who realized the neccessity of all the medical interventions and gadgets in birth and gave women back the right to do what they do naturally, give birth to their babies naturally, fully alert, following what nature and instinct tell them to do! And that was a long time before, when all the rest of the obstetric worl was introducing more and more medical interventions.
This books decribes his experience of starting a different birth approach in Pithiviers, France, in 70’s as well as the whole process of pregnancy, birth preparation and birth itself. It is not complicated, it is not full of medical expressions: it is warm, it is reassuring, it is full of first hand experience. Book includes wonderful photographs of natural births.

A very inspiring book for every expectant mother who is considering unmedicated birth: either home or hospital.

These 3 books really helped mould my thinking and gave the information I felt I needed to trust my own mind and body.

Once Eivissa was born I read a couple of other books, I found to be a great source of information

Baby wise- Gary Ezzo

This book is said to help a baby to sleep through from as early as 6 weeks. Eivissa was sleeping through by 8. The book is great and gives advice for breast feeding and bottle feeding mums. Remember this worked for me but the best way, when implemeting a routine is to stick to it and if it doesnt work try something else. Every baby is different and it’s not uncommon for some babies to not be sleeping through the night till they are older but relax and it will happen
Here is a review for the book I found on amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars Sanity saver!
This book really did save my sanity. I was given it by a friend when my daughter was five weeks old and I’d had no sleep for virtually the whole of those 5 weeks. Putting into practice the principles of this book changed my life – and the life of my family. I now buy or recommend this book for every first time mum I meet. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Published 2 months ago by Cate

The secrets of the Baby whisperer- Tracy Hogg

A good book to help you learn about the different signals your baby gives when crying, food is not always the answer. The routine they give in this book is a sleep/feed/activity which is the same as ‘baby wise’ but it implements in more of a baby led way, where as ‘Baby wise’ is parent directed baby led. Which I found worked more for me. This book is great and it is good to look at other routines and ways to read your baby.
Here is an amazon review on this book

This is written with both love and common-sense by a former paediatric nurse and mother of two. It is packed with tips and advice on all aspects of caring for a baby, including excellent stuff on how to “read” your baby’s signals. Like most first time mums I associated crying with hunger every time until I read this book – now I am much more adept at reading body language and identifying when my daughter is tired/bored/hungry. Rather than put your baby in a regimented routine a la Gina Ford, Tracy Hogg suggests a flexible “eat-activity-sleep” pattern (the “EASY routine”) which can vary in length and the cycles don’t have to start or end at any particular time. It certainly works for me and my daughter, who is a very chilled-out baby indeed! The text is written in a non-patronising, and non-judgemental manner by someone who has had their own children and cared for many others. The only minor criticism I have is that some of the language is a little “Americanised” as Tracy worked in America for several years. However, don’t let that put you off, this is an invaluable guide for first time mums.

The womanly art of breast feeding(la leche league) – Judy Torgus

What a brilliant reading tool this was. I would quickly flick to the page I needed when some thing new would crop up when establishing my breast feeding. To feed my self was something I really wanted to do, but like childbirth it seems to come along with a lot of negativity again, we are made to do this and have done for centuries so I stayed possitive and determined. It is so worth it, it’s true, you feel such a bond with your baby. I actually get butterflies when feeding!

Hope you find these books useful, knowledge is key!

6 Responses to “Recommended books”

  1. Karen January 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    The Baby whisperer truly rocks, saved my sanity as well, still sometime refer to her toddler book as well with my two

  2. Amy January 31, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Hi Heather I saw you on One Born- very inspiring, hoping to give birth to my first in a few weeks,lets hope it goes just like yours!! Great tips for books, thanks! I was wondering – are you still breastfeeding exclusively? I keep being told how hard and tiring it is and I really want to give it a go but I hope I can make it….

    • heatherfrancesca January 31, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

      Hi Amy
      Thank you for your comment. It’s great to hear back from people. Yes I’m still breast feeding exclusively and it is so wonderful. The first couple of weeks can be a little tricky as baby is learning just as much as you. If you can get support it really helps. There will probably be a breast feeding cafe near where you live. once you have the knack its worth it and in my eyes its easier. It’s best for baby, you and your purse! Hehe! but above all I love the bond I feel when feeding.
      Don’t let negativity put you off, your body has been made to do this, you have everything your baby needs. Good luck with everything and I wish you all the best. Let me know if you want any more advice
      Heather x

  3. Georgette February 2, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Hello Heather

    I watched your beautiful baby being born on the programme and I really felt compelled to write to you and say thank you so much. I am expecting my first child in April and my husband and i are just so excited. I have been trying to prepare myself for the birth and whilst i understand it will be painful i have been telling myself that it is pain that our bodies are built to accomodate. I was even starting to feel excited about the prosopect of giving birth. But then i found that as you get nearer to the due date every woman i spoke to said i was being naive and that labour was awful and painful and this made me feel so nervous.

    Then i watched your birthing experience on OBEM and i am so grateful to you for agreeign to share this personal experience with other women. Like you i want a water birth but most people laugh when i say this, they react as though it is something to sneer at. Your experience and your blog has made me realise that i can have the birth that i want. I am quite shy and whilst the pain of childbirth doesn’t bother me, the internal examinations and havign lots of people in the room with us makes me feel extremely anxious but becuase of you i feel much more confidnet being able to say that i want minimum interference and the lights down low and to be in the pool and to be given the choice to stay active – i do not want to lay on a bed with doctors peering inside me.

    So thank you SO much Heather. Your baby is beautiful and i wish you and your family happiness.

    Very Best Wishes


    • heatherfrancesca February 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      Hi georgette
      Thank you so much for your comment. It actually brought a tear my eye. You and others like you are the main reasons why we wanted to do obem. We totally understand the feeling when you want to believe for a great experience and every one seems to tell you the opposite. BUT it’s so worth sticking with positivity! You are right, our bodies are built to do this so we have to trust it. Giving birth was the best experience ever and a still get butterflies thinking about the day. See if u can get hold of some of those books i recommended. Stay strong and know your own mind let your experience do the talking. All best for April and let me know if want any more advice.
      Heather francescs

  4. katie February 2, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you for the list of books. I’m like you, i want to start reading before i get pregnant as i have feared child birth for many many years and will enjoy reading these books before we start our family later this year.
    Thanks Heather i hope your little family are doing well.
    Katie xx

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