5 books to help you step into a wildly beautiful pregnancy and birth
“She carries the entire universe inside of her, holds the galaxies close to her heart. Her veins are filled with constellations and stardust.” -Author Unknown
Pregnancy is many many many different things – wonderful, challenging, life-transforming, life-creating, uncomfortable, and mind-blowingly beautiful all at the same time.
As I work with moms to help them create unique and beautiful birth experiences that truly honor and nourish their soul, while also prioritizing a healthy baby, I hear one message expressed over and over again.
And that is, “my first pregnancy, I trusted my doctors to know everything for me and keep me safe. As I birthed my baby and stepped into motherhood, I discovered the most important thing was to look within myself rather than blindly trust someone else.”
The truth is, doctors do play an important role in pregnancy and birth, especially when a pregnancy has left low-risk territory and has taken on complications.
However, no matter how much you trust your doctors, it is not their job to nourish your body and soul day in and day out.
It is not their responsibility to think about your specific situation and decide what about birth is most important to you. Instead it is their responsibility to help you understand the risks and benefits of interventions and help you navigate the medical world that is a part of most pregnancies.
It is not their responsibility to weave magic and beauty into the journey of pregnancy. That all belongs to the pregnant woman, which is you.
This power of creation is both awe inspiring beautiful and terrifying, again, all at the same time.
I get it, that seems like a big responsibility, and it goes against the message many of us has been given our entire lives.
My first pregnancy was so hard. From the very beginning, through the emergency c-section, through the first 1.5 years of being a mother. I trusted with absolute faith my care provider, even when they told me it didn’t matter what I ate, it didn’t matter what classes I took, it didn’t matter what I did, birth would happen one way or another and they would keep me safe.
I suppose that was partially true.
All charts would indicate a healthy mother and baby. Yet what doesn’t show in a chart is the post partum depression, the disconnection I felt from myself, my baby and my partner.
During my pregnancy, I silenced the subtle nudges inside of myself that said I deserved more, that this was my birth and what I did, said, believed and WANTED mattered very very much.
I know this now.
Birth is so much more that a straight line from a place of no baby to baby in arms. It is much more like a triangle. With point A and B connected by spirit, faith, connection to the divine and community. It is deep and it is true.
Birth is written in our bones, it is written in our DNA and it is a time to birth ourselves as mothers.
As I work with mothers now to help them fully embrace this time of birth and create an experience that honors a healthy baby and a healthy mother, I know this more than anything else, you are the leader, you are the guide, every one around you is there to support you – not the other way around.
Speak up when something doesn’t feel right.
Leave if your birth team is not the right one.
Take the time to nurture your heart, soul and body.
Cherish this magical time of creation, when you get to be a part of a miracle beyond yourself.
You are sacred. You are divine. You are MOTHER.
The fact that birth is empowering, beautiful, soul building, sacred and safe is a well kept secret in our society.
It is no wonder that many of us sit on the sidelines of our pregnancy and birth instead of taking our place as the rightful creator and leader of this 9 months.
Fear, lack of knowledge, or even lack of exposure to positive birth, has a funny way of sticking us like mud in one spot. Not allowing us to move forward. Not allowing us to feel into joy, not allowing us to dream, or slip into the beauty of possibility.
So many women who are stuck in this state of unknowing, hand the decision making, drivers seat position of the birth experience to somebody else. Somebody who doesn’t know their heart and who doesn’t know exactly what she wants.
When we are afraid of what is ahead, when we aren’t prepared for what a contraction feels like, when you don’t know what you actually want, it’s hard to end up at your desired goal.
Whenever I work with women who are in this position, who haven’t found within them yet the beautiful magic of their pregnancy and birth, or are recovering from a traumatic birth, I always recommend that they check out this book list.
These 5 books hold in their foundation the magic that lies between point A and B of no baby to baby.
When you read them, your pregnancy will come alive, your experience with birth will transform from the ‘I survived’ so common today to that experience of “Oh my God! I want to birth all the babies!”
These are the 5 books that all mother’s should read to prepare to make educated, science based, heart-led decisions about their birth experience.
5 Books that will lead you to an absolutely astounding pregnancy and birth:
Gentle Birth,Gentle Mothering – this book gently guides you through the stages of labor, common interventions and pros and cons of each. It will leave you feeling mesmerized by your body and in total awe of the beautiful dance that happens within you as you birth. You will feel mega empowered to make decisions that work for you.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin is a world famous midwife. In her decades of experience, she has had significantly lower baby and mother mortality rates than the rest of the country as a whole and she walks you through exactly what you need to know about you body, about birth, and about your ability to birth. It is filled with birth stories that will give you a wide spectrum of understanding of what is normal and leave you feeling totally excited about the birthing process.
Magical Beginnings: Enchanted Lives – This book by Deepak Chopra is unique in that it uplevels pregnancy from a medical procedure to 9 months of physical and spiritual exploration. He teaches you how to bond with baby, how to nourish your body, and how to feel blissed out throughout pregnancy. it is a must read for anyone who wants to cherish the 9 months of their pregnancy instead of being lost in the discomforts.
The First 40 Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing a New Mother – this book is worth it’s weight in gold. Very few birth classes, doctors or hospitals are going to spend time educating you on how to take care of yourself after birth as you are finding a new balance and juggling new responsibilities. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to smoothly transition into life with a newborn and make sure that their own health is taken care of as well. Life with a new baby can feel like a roller coaster and the wisdom in this book will keep you grounded like no other.
Sacred Pregnancy – this book is all about doing the internal work of pregnancy. Birthing yourself as a mother, coming into your power and connecting to a sisterhood of mothers. It has week by week information about the development of your baby as well as her own body and given space to reflect and journal about her experience. This book will help you keep a beautiful record that will definitely be an heirloom your own daughters will look back on when they reach the stage of pregnancy and birth in their lives.
In our world where most of us begin pregnancy being hugely disconnected from the power of birth, it is easy to doubt your own instincts and question if your birth can be magical.
I am here to remind you of something:
You mother, are the one birthing this baby. Don’t fear taking the lead in your experience.
Stay true to your inner voice.
You have gifts and they matter.
Your birth matters.
You deserve to be treated as sacred.
You deserve to hold your baby first if that is what you want.
You deserve to be surrounded by the people who make you feel powerful, loved and capable.
You paint the picture of your own birth experience.
Honor the sacredness in your own experience.
Is positive birth so far out of your reality it seems impossible?
Open a book. Challenge your reality. Call in something better for yourself and your child.
It is absolutely possible to have an experience that leaves you feeling amazing.
There are hundreds of books out there on pregnancy and birth. These 5 contain everything a new mother needs to prepare physically, spiritually and emotionally for the expansion of her family.
May you revel in the freedom that knowledge gives you.
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