In pregnancy, Google and Facebook become ever more important to most of us. There’s a world of info out there, and we are pretty determined to soak it up. But with all of this stuff available, how can we filter through it to work out what’s really important, accurate and helpful?
Here’s my rundown of the websites, groups and resources that could make a real difference to your approach. Knowledge is power after all, and I am in the business of empowering fabulous mamas.
For a positive perspective…
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin.
Every pregnant woman should read this book-it offers us a unique perspective on birth, from a woman with tremendous experience. My two fave Ina quotes, “If a woman doesn’t look like a Goddess in labour, someone isn’t treating her right.”, and “Let your monkey do it.” That’s right. Have a think on that. She also has some cracking YouTube videos so you can more easily soak up her vibe.
The Calm Birth School Book, by Suzy Ashworth.
Even if you don’t fancy embracing the whole approach, you will learn plenty of useful info and it’s a very accessible read. It will help you to understand how your body works in labour, how your mind gets in on it, and the hormones involved. You’ll also pick up useful info about preparing your baby and your body for birth, and asserting your choices. Suzy’s is a modern, no shizzle approach, and I like it!
The Heart in The Womb, by Dr Amali Lokugamage.
Imagine a consultant obstetrician having a home birth. Yep. Such a unique perspective on pregnancy and birth from someone who really sees the whole picture- the medical side, meets the transformational nature of birth as a human event.
For empowerment and support
Pop along to AIMS for a wealth of info and phone or email support in having your choices facilitated. You might be surprised to learn that there’s no power in policy where the choices involve bodily autonomy- you can’t be forced to comply with certain procedures, “because that’s what we allow”. You will be the only one doing the allowing. This wonderful website will plant these seeds for you.
For a VBAC
(Vaginal Birth After Caesarian) Whilst we ought to experience “pro-VBAC” care and info, the experiences of my clients tell me that this is hit and miss. Where can you turn for peer support and to seek out evidence based info? It may seem crackers, but this Facebook group could be just what you need- very active and supportive, run by very well informed admins. Search “VBAC Support Group UK” on Facebook. In turn, you will find other great resources.
If you know you’ll have a c-section
There are tonnes of things you can do to make this a very positive experience, including new approaches that allow baby to benefit from some of the elements of vaginal birth, even when a section is the best choice. Search “Natural Caesarian UK” on Facebook. Consider too that you needn’t rule out similar preparation as you might make for a vaginal birth. You can hypnobirth a c-section too.
For a homebirth
Considering a Doula?
Havent even heard of one? Either way, you might like to pop along to this website and find your local doula for a chat. A great doula will encourage you to meet with others, and find the one you click with. Doula presence is shown to decrease intervention, and provides a wealth of benefits for the mama and her partner.
For the man in your life
This book, by a male midwife, father of 6 and all round birth expert Mark Harris is written by a man, for men. Men, Love and Birth should be compulsory reading for expectant dads.
And for all round excellent face to face peer support-
Read the website, follow on social media, find your local group. Free, informal support, open to all women.
And the rest…
Of course, there’s so much more fantastic stuff out there. The Hypno Birthdays Facebook page has regular informative and inspiring links, keep an eye on it. Do you know you can access NICE guidelines, RCOG (Royal College of Gynaecologist) and RCM (Royal College of Midwives) guidance online too?
And so many excellent blogs. I’ll go through and link to some of these in a later post, so if you’re ready to soak up more info, remember to subscribe to these posts.
In the meantime, wishing you a well informed pregnancy, and empowered birth.