Several months ago, I realized that I had an inner list of three things I just wished every one of my clients would look at when they were preparing for their baby, and then realized I had some favorites for each of the stages of a childbirthing year: 1. Moving through Pregnancy, 2. Working with Labor and Birth, and 3. Getting to know the new baby. In this three-part series, I’m giving you my absolute favorite recommendations for each stage. I really feel like having these on board through your childbearing journey will ease stress and empower you.
First up: Pregnancy. I’m not looking at labor or birth or postpartum yet, just that wonderful and sometimes uncomfortable season of having the baby in your belly. How do you stay healthy, comfy, and sane? When do you need to start preparing for baby?
In a way, I almost feel obligated to recommend this book, since I had the privilege of being trained by Penny Simkin herself. But I can recommend it with a clear conscience, as it really is wonderfully comprehensive, informative book. With evidence-based recommendations for comfort, nutrition, and what to expect as you and your baby change and grow, it’s just the basic manual everyone should have and reference often. In addition, the book comes with a link to a host of wonderful forms for thinking through your birth plan and other considerations.
Spinning Babies, designed by Midwife Gail Tulley, is a key component of my doula care. The general principle is to use movement for both comfort and optimal positioning so that labor can go as smoothly as possible. The kind of balancing and stretching activities they recommend are most helpful when started in pregnancy, so this belongs here! Specifically, look at their “Daily Activities” list here, or order the DVD here. (I keep this video in my lending library, and it’s fantastic.) I had forgotten that Spinning Babies will send out a week-by-week email for your pregnancy, and I love that idea so much. Do sign up for that one!
Pregnancy is the time to start getting very familiar with Evidence Based Birth. Rebecca Dekker, an RN with a PhD in Research, has created something so powerful in pulling together actual evidence for nearly any procedure or recommendation that you might come across during pregnancy, labor and birth. I send my clients information from this site all the stinking time. It’s probably one of the websites you should bookmark and reference often, especially when Aunt Martha starts giving you newborn advice.
Next up: My Top Three for Labor and Birth….