*Please note this post will continually expand as I am made aware of new resources.
Even before I was pregnant with Eve, I did extensive research on how to have a healthy and happy pregnancy and birth. I often get asked advice for things I am not exactly qualified to give advice on. I believe that this deep learning and research needs to be done by each expecting human to fully gain an understanding of what resonates with them.
To make a long story short- I’ve compiled a list of my favourite resources. Grab a pen, a pretty note book, and enjoy ❤
The Business Of Being Born I recommend watching this movie as a way of easing yourself into your birth exploration experience. Sit down with your partner (or birth support) and enjoy this film. “Birth: it’s a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to explore the maternity care system in America.”
Taking Back Birth Podcast– This podcast changed my life. I urge every expecting human to give this a listen. “Providing birth education to empowered women everywhere. It’s time to take back birth.” Start at episode 1.
Spiritual Midwifery – Ina May Gaskin – This incredible book was written in 1975! The original Spiritual Midwifery, published in 1976, introduced an entire generation of young women to the possibility of home birth and breast feeding. It also breathed new life into the all-but-vanished field of midwifery. This classic book on home birth is now in its fourth edition, with updated information on the safety of natural childbirth, new birthing stories, and the most recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives. Ina May also provides new information about potentially dangerous techniques routinely used in hospitals during and after birth, as well as the latest findings about VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).
Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin -Filled with inspiring birth stories and practical advice, this invaluable resource includes:
• Reducing the pain of labor without drugs—and the miraculous roles touch and massage play
• What really happens during labor
• Orgasmic birth—making birth pleasurable
• Episiotomy—is it really necessary?
• Common methods of inducing labor—and which to avoid at all costs
• Tips for maximizing your chances of an unmedicated labor and birth
• How to avoid postpartum bleeding—and depression
• The risks of anesthesia and cesareans—what your doctor
doesn’t necessarily tell you
• The best ways to work with doctors and/or birth care providers
• How to create a safe, comfortable environment for
birth in any setting, including a hospital
• And much more
The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding – Read this BEFORE giving birth. Trust me!
Dr. Brewer Pregnancy Nutrition – You need this. The specifics of the diet were compiled by Dr. Tom Brewer, an obstetrician, after years of studying the research and information available since 1929, on the effects of nutrition in pregnancy. He was able to see his philosophy used to prevent or treat various complications of pregnancy, including PIH (elevated blood pressure), edema (swelling), pre-eclampsia, eclampsia (toxemia), HELLP, “gestational diabetes”, premature labor, anemias, abruption of the placenta, IUGR (intra-uterine growth retardation), and low birth weight (which can cause babies to be infection-prone). All of these problems have a common source–food deficiency and low blood volume.
Evidence Based Birth– Evidence Based Birth is an online childbirth resource that informs, empowers and inspires expecting parents and birth-care practitioners globally, to understand the latest, proven, evidence based care practices.
Indie Birth– Indie Birth provides an innovative option for pregnant and birthing women who want to expand what they know and believe. Most information for pregnant women is watered down and oversimplified. We know that you are smarter than that. We offer concrete knowledge, ancient wisdom and current research so women can make choices with full awareness, from the full spectrum of choices. Similarly, we provide education and innovative ideas for the modern midwife. Midwifery has become over-medicalized, taking us far from the knowledge, support, power and wisdom that women NEED in order to birth and mother. We want to foster a community of midwives that serve families from a valuable “out of the box” , well-rounded and intelligent perspective.
Midwife Thinking– The aim of this blog to stimulate thinking and share knowledge, evidence and views on birth and midwifery.
Birth Without Fear Blog– Birth Without Fear began as a simple passion to let women know they have choices in childbirth. It then evolved to become an inspiration and support to women and their families through their trying to conceive, pregnancy, birth and postpartum journeys.
Billie Harrigan Consulting And Birth Education – Billie Harrigan Consulting offers both parents and clinicians research-based information that sets them on a path that leads to increasing wellness and better outcomes for themselves and their clients.
–Biologically Normal Infant Sleep – This is a wonderful group that helped me adjust my expectations on infant (and toddler!) sleep. Very informative.
Please private message me for my favourite birth support group after you’ve done your research.
Le Leche League– Free, informal discussion groups, held in homes or at easily accessible public locations, that cover the practical, physical, and psychological aspects of breastfeeding. Find a meeting near you!
Dr. Jack Newman (Toronto)– Honestly, if you’re local to me and are having Breastfeeding issues, go straight to your doctor and get a referral to see Dr. Jack Newman. Distance help and education can be found on his Facebook page or Website.
Licensing Midwifery- At What Cost? – Gloria Lemay
*I want to acknowledge that while I use resources from Ina May Gaskin, I do not agree with her views on Routine Infant Circumcision or her comments about Midwifery and Women Of Colour.
“Black mothers are disproportionately affected by poverty, crime, and other causes of stress that undermine infant and maternal health; and she [Ina May] bypassed the fact that not only are Black birth workers competently serving our communities now, but they were also historically responsible for serving Black and White families in the South, delivering and raising White babies as their midwives and caretakers.”
-Meadows-Fernandez, Rochaun. “Just So We’Re Clear: Black Mothers Aren’t to Blame for High Infant Mortality.” Yes! Magazine, 2017, http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/black-mothers-arent-to-blame-for-high-infant-mortality-20170504.