I am a big believer in normal birth. Ultimately the Lord has a perfect plan for every birth, and that is not always it. But I am a big believer in working towards that goal. To that end I had 2 books that were invaluable in preparing for birth, and 1 documentary.
1. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
The first half of this book is filled with birth stories that take place on the Farm*. The stories are varied and beautiful. The second half of the book discussed birthing techniques in detail. The book also shares fascinating statistics at the Farm and in the U.S. and how our births have changed during the 20th century. Her point is basically that our abilities haven't changed, despite obstetric "common knowledge" to the contrary.
I highly recommend this book!
*The Farm is essentially a commune in Tennessee that was founded in the 1970's and is still in existence today. They do many things themselves there, to include midwifery. They are well known for their collection of midwives that are trained through apprenticeship. It is common within this community to grow up attending the births of others in the community from a young age. Ina May is chief among those midwives and is an extremely respected individual in the field of midwifery. Although our world views differ, they have some valuable insights into what is natural for your body and what is not. I genuinely wanted to have a Farm midwife delivery Ethan but alas, we're about an hour outside of their serviced area.
2. The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth
The title is a bit condescending, and the book can be just that at times. However, the information contained within it is invaluable! Henci goes through different elements of birth, mostly focused on interventions, and discusses the statistics associated with those interventions. The intent is to help you make an informed decision about all aspects of your birth. I used this book to sway my OB in Houston to leave Ethan's umbilical cord connected until blood was no longer pulsing through it. Of course, I ended up delivering with a midwife in Tennessee but it was a great nonetheless. I was able to give her bibliographic references from the book on hand that day. And then at our next appointment I had printed off the referenced medical journal article for her perusing.
I highly recommend this book!
3. The Business of Being Born (Documentary)
This documentary was suggested by the all knowing Netflix;) based on my other viewing interests. I watched it the first time with rapt attention and this was all after our miscarriage a before we were pregnant with Ethan:). I have since watched in probably 5 times with various family members. The intent of the documentary is discuss how birth practices have changed over the 20th century in America and how that effects us as a people. It also shows several birth experiences. I love this movie, it's statistics, it's stories, and I will watch it with you happily if you're interested! It cracks me up but Joel and my brother-in-law Dylan are such big believers in this documentary and the information contained therein, that I have heard both of them spouting off it's information to all kinds of people:). I also had a blast watching Joel sharing his passion with a soldier friend, in the middle of their office! It was quite an amusing scene to hear the back and forth of 2 Infantryman touting the wonders of natural childbirth!
I highly, highly, highly recommend this documentary!