Aug 7, 2017


If you're anything like me, then you want to get your hands on all the books you can when you want to learn something specific. And falling pregnant was no different. However, besides What To Expect When You're Expecting, I knew of no other books and a quick google search will do your head in! I remember sitting at my favourite cafe in Cairns and doing just that - ordered a couple but they were not the ones I am listing here for you.

So I wanted to share the books that have been amazing and that have made the biggest impact on me - be it for easing fears around childbirth, teaching me exactly what's going on during those 9 months, the best foods to eat for certain growing periods of bubs, and so on..

This is by no means the best list ever compiled. I'm sure there are fabulous books out there I've never heard of, but these are the ones that were presented before me that I found the best (and that are also the top picks on many other womens lists having stood the test of time)! I have half a bookshelf of them but can narrow it down to less than half a dozen. So, if, like me you don't know where to start, I'd suggest any of these books below.

BONUS: These are all easy to dip in and out of (you don't have to read every single page)

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Why: for easing fears and anxieties around giving birth

This book was a recommendation I had seen twice on Instagram feeds on people I follow so it was definitely one I wanted to get my hands on. And I am so glad I did. I had a lot of fears come up during my second trimester, and I suppose it's only natural but they were also compounded by a big location move we had just done, not having my bestie with me anymore, not knowing anyone in our new location, and really not knowing what I was doing. At all. And of course, pregnancy sinking in and wanting to read and learn what I could. Whether rational fears or not is irrelevant. What matters is getting them out into the open to release them. And also, I believe, arming yourself with whatever education you need to feel safe(r). This book did that. As soon as I began reading it I didn't want to put it down. In one day, I literally had my fears around childbirth half. No word of a lie. This book is filled with positive, successful, beautiful natural birthing experiences that really does make you feel a more confident woman who was born to do exactly this - give birth! However, if reading about birth stories isn't your thing, positive or not, you might not love this book.

Nourishing Traditions for Baby
Why: a primal whole foods approach to nutrition throughout pregnancy + beyond plus information that isn't mainstream

This book is from the same author who wrote Nourishing Traditions which is hugely popular amongst whole food health crowds. So if you know that book, you'll have an idea of what this book is about (although, I myself didn't even know it existed). It is a wealth of knowledge on many things (vaccinations, testing and procedural pros and cons, etc) and one I read and refer too daily. What I got most out of it though was everything on nutrition, diet, nutrients needed and where to get them from. It empowered me to really look at what I was eating and to get as much nutrient rich foods needed in pregnancy as I could, and not simply reply on supplements to do that job. Not a book vegans would appreciate reading however, as it is heavily animal-foods-based recommendations.

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Why: for any and every reason. This book covers it all!

This has to be the number one book almost everyone told me to get. No joke. People I knew directly as well as people I didn't know on social media. So I'll say get it too. Coz it's amazing. And covers everything! Of all the books I read and listened too, it also had the most in depth understanding of the labour process (which for a first time mum, can be what she wants to read most). It also goes into all of the interventions (epiduals, inductions, different drugs, etc) so you can educate yourself around the pros and cons of them, and then make an informed choice about what you do and don't want during your birth - so many women go into childbirth with very little understanding of all of this, believing they are safe for both mum and bub, which I'm here to say is not always the case. So read up first!

Why: easing fears around birthing and teaching practical ways to have and feel ease during labour

I kinda sped-read this in the last couple months of my pregnancy when I had more fears come up around birth. And as we opted for a birth at the new hospital on the Sunshine Coast over a home birth for varying reasons, I knew I had to arm myself with whatever calming strategies I could because, well, any hospital is never as calming as home. I didn't do a hypnobirthing course but did learn many of the techniques indirectly through my mum's prenatal yoga class (as she has learnt it).
This book has loads of information on why you want to (aim to) be calm during child birth and throughout labour, with tools and exercises to help you practice getting there and staying calm. I have to say, the biggest thing that helped me survive the super longer labour I had, was my breathing.

Up The Duff - Kaz Cooke
Why: so each week you feel you're going crazy, you can have a laugh, and know that it's totally normal

Well... this is the real guide to pregnancy after all! And with only a few pages to read each week, that will have you in stitches laughing and relating, it sure is a welcome relief as the weeks pass by to know you're going crazy. You're just pregnant!

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