My Top 5 Pregnancy and Birth Books

I love books. For me there’s nothing quite like holding a book in your hand and leafing through the pages, referring back to them time and again, filling the pages with sticky post it notes and highlighting bits I want to remember!

I bought quite a few pregnancy books but wanted to share my top 5 picks, the ones I enjoyed or that helped me the most.

Pregnancy The Beginners Guide

This is the best early stages book around! It kept me sane during the first 12 weeks when I wanted to know EVERYTHING that was happening to my body and my baby. Although I bought numerous other books during this time absolutely nothing came close to giving me the information this one did! Not even my hospital or midwife!!

The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill

This book has given me the confidence in myself that I can actually do this! It really helps you prepare for the birth you’d like.

I didn’t want to bumble through my pregnancy relying on other people to make my decisions for me. I know I want a natural and active birth, I don’t want to be strapped to machines and I want to do everything I can to avoid a c-section. This booked helped me ask the right questions of my midwife and consultant and when they suggested an elective c-section just last week I was clued up and confident enough, thanks to this book, to say that isn’t what I want and to ask why they were suggesting it and what the alternatives were.

Highly recommended!

The Hypnobirthing Book by Katharine Graves

When you hear ‘hypno’ anything you’d be forgiven for thinking hippies and stage shows making you walk around like a chicken! Although both are probably true, hypnosis is a very powerful thing and can help you cope with the pain of childbirth. I know I don’t want an epidural, I wail like a banshee when the nurse tries to take blood from my hand or arm so there’s no way on this earth they’d get me to sit still enough to stick a giant needle in my back, no matter how much pain I was in! I’m not averse to trying gas and air but I really didn’t think that’d be enough to get me through labour pains so I knew I needed something else.

For me, the power of hypo birthing is in believing it will work, practising so you know it will work, and telling yourself that you CAN do it!

I ran the London Marathon in 2009, I trained for 6 months for it and during that 6 months while I was running laps around my village, I visualised myself crossing the finish line, I imagined what I’d be wearing, how it would make me feel. I imagined the noise of the crowds spurring me on, I thought about the energy gels I’d take and what the course would look like and I KNEW I could do it! I’ve still got my finishers t-shirt and I’m taking it to wear in the hospital to remind me how awesome my body is!

This book talks you through relaxation techniques, positive affirmations and visualisations, all worked for me during my marathon training so I KNOW they will work for me during labour!

Fantastic First Time Father by Tim Mungeam

My husband never actually read this but I did and it was good to see things from a different perspective. It helped me understand what he was going through while I was worrying about finding comfy maternity jeans and booking the labour ward tour! I often read bits out loud from it, things I think he’d like to know or things he definitely needs to know! It covers practical things like being a birth partner, worrying about money and the drive to the labour ward!

Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant

As a pug mama this was absolutely essential reading! Holly is an anxious pug, as you probably know and I didn’t want to be the person that locks their dog/s in the ‘other room’ when people visit.

Hugo and Holly are part of our family and we want them to continue to be when the baby arrives. I don’t want to be constantly telling them to be quite, shut up or go to your bed. I want them to feel as much love after the baby is born as before, I want them to enjoy the experience of the new baby and feel they’re as much a part of the family as they’ve always been.

This book discusses different situations that can occur when a new baby is introduced and ways to combat common problems. There’s a CD included (or you can download) different baby noises to help with noise phobic dogs like Holly. We’re currently teaching Holly to stay on her mat when the door bell rings (instead of running for the door and jumping crazily at whoever’s there!) We love this book!

If you have any ideas for books we’d like, or if you’d like to hear more about our faves, let us know in the comments below!

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