Last year we found out that we were going to become a family a of three and that Baby Owen-Gibson would be joining us this year. You can catch up on our little announcement here. Since that defining moment of turning over the pregnancy stick, we have been inundated with information, advice and things to think about. Although it has been helpful and appreciated, I cannot deny that it has been completely overwhelming at times. There is so much to consider and take in that I just didn’t know where to start. The only way I could get my head around it all was to break it all down and do my own research. With that in mind, I thought I would put together a little guide of all the things I found useful and helpful during my pregnancy so far. I also have a post about how I am preparing for having a baby too, if you fancy a nose.
There is a lot to be said for being fully informed about all of your options and decisions to make. It has helped me feel a lot more confident about my pregnancy, labour and bringing a baby into this world.
I have absolutely loved reading different books throughout my pregnancy so far and these have been some of my favourites. Each one is completely different and made me think about and consider different things. If you don’t want to pay out lots of money on books (having a baby can be pretty pricey), my top tip is to join your local library! All of these were available, or ordered to my library.
Your Baby, Your Birth – By Hollie De Cruz
This is primarily promoted as a hypnobirthing book and if that is something you are doing during your pregnancy, I could not recommend it enough. However, even if you think hypnobirthing may not be for you, I would still recommend giving it a read as it explains labour in such a way that everything makes sense. It explains how your body works in labour and is completely logical and scientific (but not to the point where it’s difficult to understand).
The Positive Birth Book – By Milli Hill
This book is fantastic at pointing out your options during labour and also getting to think about what you would really like to include in your birth plan. There are so many options and even things that I had not considered.
How to Grow a Baby & Push it Out – By Clemmie Hooper
I mentioned this in one of my previous posts as it was the first pregnancy related book that I read. It comes with so many good recommendations that it was in my Amazon basket as soon as I knew I was pregnant. This book is really good at breaking down pregnancy and labour into different stages and explaining what you can expect at those times. It’s really relaxed, easy to follow and it’s just like chatting to a friend.
I am going to do a whole separate post on this as I have found it so helpful that I think it warrants one. However, I thought I would mention it here as I could not leave it off the list. When you say or hear the phrase hypnobirthing I think it’s quite easy to assume that’s a little bit woo woo, hippy or just a bit out there. First of all, let me assure you it is definitely not! It is not about being put in some kind of weird trance or anything like that. Hypnobirthing for me is all about finding relaxation techniques and ways to help me tackle the unpredictability of labour whilst remaining calm, informed and in control of my decisions. It is completely founded on science and logic, which I absolutely love and makes everything about labour make so much more sense!
Now this one is a bit of a tricky one.
The internet in general holds a wealth of information some good, some bad and some horrific. My advice would be to use the internet wisely. Use it to research your options and use reputable and reliable sites. The main resource that is incredibly helpful during pregnancy are the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines. These guidelines are evidence-based recommendations developed by independent committees and they are the foundation for guidance for health care practitioners in the NHS.
Now social media can be a whole different ball game again, but still it provides some really useful and insightful information as well as a whole heap of crap. My advice here would be to find your tribe. Just as you would pick friends, find people on social media who are supportive, helpful and inspiring. For example, I tried to avoid people who shared horrific, dramatic and horrible stories about labour. Not because I am naïve, in denial or believe that my upcoming labour is going to be a walk in the park, but simply because I didn’t want the negativity. I have worked in a health care setting and I am completely aware of what may or may not happen, but that doesn’t mean I want to be on the edge of my seat, stressing over something that may not happen for the whole 9 months I am pregnant. I do not want labour to be something that I dread, or be scared of. As long as I am educated and informed about my choices, I know that when the time comes, I will be able to make the best decision for me, my baby and family just as I do with any other decision I make in life.
With that in mind I would also take everything you watch, read or see with a pinch of salt. It can be so comforting to see that you are not the only one feeling the way someone else feels or to have similar experiences. Just as it can be super helpful to see someone share information that you may not have known about. That being said, do not believe everything you read. Take that information and go and do your own research, make your own informed decision and most importantly do what works best for you. After all, every pregnancy, labour, baby, mum and family are completely different and what works for someone else may not work for you and that is ok!
You can do as much or as little reading, research and question asking as you like and feel comfortable with, but I really enjoyed using all of these and could not recommend them enough. I personally liked to ask as many questions as possible whether it was midwives, health care professionals, family or friends and then tried to decide what path I wanted to take.
What resources or books would you recommend in pregnancy? I would love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment below!