Here are some of my favorites I have found for pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond.
1. <The Calm Birth Method by Suzy Ashworth>
I can not praise this book enough. It provides you with tools that are honestly invaluable. It introduced me to the idea of “hypnobirthing”. The author teaches you breathing techniques and affirmations such as “All is calm. All is safe. I am well.”. The book suggests a shift in how you subconsciously view birth as something to be feared into something to look forward to by: immersing you in calm positive birth stories that encourage and empower you and by changing the vocabulary you use about birth because words have power etc. My favorite affirmation to use during childbirth is: Each surge (contraction) brings me closer to meeting my baby. My favorite affirmation to use to prepare myself for what will come next is: An amazing mother lives within me.
2. <What to Expect when Expecting>
This is called the “Bible of American Pregnancy” and for good reason. It covers every month of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period. You’ll learn about hormonal changes, physical symptoms, what to expect at doctor’s visits etc.
3. <The Womanly art of Breastfeeding>
This covers the how and why of breastfeeding. It includes a plethora of information on the scientific benefits of breastfeeding and also builds a compelling case for as natural of a birth as you can have. It discusses other topics too such as inductions, sleep issues, going back to work etc. Just a fair warning: this book is highly geared towards going all natural. If this offends you, this book is definitely not for you.
1. <The Birth Hour>
An amazing podcast that covers hospital births, home births, water birth, c-section, vbac, hypnobirthing and all the in betweens. Whether you want to figure out what your gameplan is or prepare yourself for whatever may come, this podcast has something for you. It normalizes all the awkward experiences that can occur during and after birth that you may have never heard of before. It also takes away the pressure of a perfect birth by sharing stories of women who had things go completely different than they imagined.
The website thebirthhour.com covers topics of pregnancy, breastfeeding, birth, postpartum, motherhood, and meditation. They also give you resources for each topic. Here’s a blog post from the motherhood tab:
Places for advice and tips:
1. <babytalk.birthnurse on instagram>
This has facts about delivery, after delivery procedures etc.
2. <pregnancy.zone on instagram>
This page features funny relatable pics about pregnancy/birth that you could recreate using your own photos props. Or simply relate to with a laugh. It also has some pregnancy facts and tips mixed in as well.
3. <bumpbirthandbeyond on instagram>
Warning: this page includes very graphic pictures of women giving birth. They leave nothing to the imagination. If this doesn’t phase you, then head over for tons of info on feeding baby, birth, hormones, and pregnancy. This account is extremely imformative.
4. <prenatalnutrionist on Instagram>
Although I did not find this page until recently and I have not been overly cautious about my diet-this is a good source to have. It discusses what eating for two means, ideas for meals, how to get specific vitamins etc.
5. <feedinglittles on instagram>
This account has it all: keeping language positive when talking about your childs eating, serve pb& j in new ways, creating a bite line for kids who stuff an entire piece of food in their mouth, calorie boosting strategies, repurpose leftovers etc. So helpful!!
6. <themompsychologist on instagram>
This page is filled with ways to be more mindful in the things we say to our kids and how we react to certain situations. Examples of this mama’s posts include: 10 things to say instead of “shhhhh it’s okay”, 10 things to say other than “be careful”, top 11 parenting practices to start today, 10 tips for encouraging cooperative play.
1. patpat.com has the cutest baby clothes ever! I went on a shopping spree early into my pregnancy and bought several adorable sets for Emersyn. Think: boutique clothes for baby but at relatively low prices.
2. minimeoutfits on instagram takes you to pat pat but allows you to buy matching outfit sets for the whole family. You can pick out a swimsuit for mom, swim trunks for dad, and a matching suit for baby. how adorable!
3. motherbeematernity.com has beautiful dresses for maternity shoots or baby showers. Their dresses are typically around $40 but if you search them a few times, facebook will give you ads of their dresses when they go on sale to around $20 dollars. I have bought two dresses from them and a top. The material is extremely soft, the colors are pretty, and the fabric is cut so that it lays just perfectly to accentuate your cute bump!
4. burlington.com is where I got my maternity jeans for $10, $13 and $16. I got the brands vintage violet and famous maker. Two pair I got were more jegging style material but totally looked like jeans. The other pair was jean material and had holes/distressing. Who said you couldn’t be comfy and cute?!
5. Walmart is where I got my maternity leggings from. I don’t remember what I paid but my store has them for $8 right now in the time and tru brand. And let me tell you, I live in these.
1. <Hypnobabies albums on amazon music> I got interested in this concept after reading the calm birth method. I considered buying that birth program online because I did like the book quite a bit! However, I could not find hardly any reviews on it so I opted to look for something else. I remembered a friend telling me that she used the hypnobabies course and I have seen it recommended a number of places.
It is $180 for the entire program and from what I have been told, it includes mp3 affirmations, birthing techniques etc. to help you achieve a calm and positive birth. The goal is to help you become confident and excited for birth and to avoid unnecessary interventions. Their philosophy is that our bodies were designed to do this and so it is possible to minimalize or even completely eradicate pain during birth by using hypnosis.
I did not have $180 to spend at the time and decided I probably would not be that faithful in putting the work into learning the whole curriculum. Instead, someone recommended I just pay for Amazon prime music which is 9.99 a month and I can get access to all the affirmations and spa music that is great for practicing birth breathing. Since they offer a 30 day free trial, I am only paying 9.99 for several very informative/relaxing songs that retrain the way I see birth and my ability to intuitively know what to do when the time comes. I HIGHLY recommend searching for each of these album names on amazon music: pregnancy relaxation and health, release all fear of birth, rainbow relaxation for birth, anesthesia for easy birthing, your birthing day guide, audio guide, and birth music. If you just search “hypnobirthing”, only a few albums will pop up. And if you are earlier in pregnancy like early on in the second trimester or before and are dedicated to putting the time and effort into learning the curriculum, I’d recommend it. I’ve just heard too many good things.
2. <The positive birth company on YouTube> https://youtu.be/hxzFeISqv0g describes how certain birth positions help you labor easier by using gravity to your advantage.
Up breathing technique for early in labor when your uterus is pulling up and the surges are smaller. This is when you are still dilating.
https://youtu.be/dbAx5GgYL2Y Down breathing technique video (used when surges are stronger and your uterus muscles are pushing down to push your baby out).
Explains how birth does not need to be painful.