For my first pregnancy, I read The Mayo Clinic Pregnancy Book, What to Expect, The Husband-Coached Childbirth, and this Penny Simkin book, Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn. This book had the best balance of stats based on evidenced based medicine but also real life anecdotal vignettes from mothers. Throughout the book, there are quotes from mothers sharing their expectations and experiences - these voices put into perspective that there is no one right way, just a few different options that might work for me.
For full disclosure, I approached this first pregnancy considering a natural childbirth but open to using drugs if needed. Since I come from a family of physicians I was skeptical of going too far off the holistic deep-end. I wanted to stay within a comfort zone that balanced following my body and practicing the best evidence-based medicine. After reading many Amazon reviews, I bought this book and was very very happy in its approach to preparing for and giving birth. The book does a great job of showing the range of options. For example, The book provides at least 3 sample birth plans ranging from mothers who wanted and epidural to mothers who wanted to give birth in a birthing center.
A potential con is if you're interested in week by week drawings of your little fetus and getting updates on what fruit or vegetable s/he is, then you'll need to augment this book with the Mayo Clinic Pregnancy Book or sign up for Baby Center's week by week email. Penny Simkin's book will cover general fetus development and what you can expect in each phase of your pregnancy but invests much more in the types of proactive exercises you can be doing to prepare for the birthing process. There is also a section at the end on how to prepare for the newborn, breastfeed and other aspects of basic newborn care.
The book has simple pictures to illustrate techniques. My husband and I started about 2 months before our due date by spending 5-30 minutes each night practicing some of the suggested natural birthing management techniques. There were so many different techniques but the book did a great job of suggesting short routines so that we could work on a few techniques each night. It was great "us" time too!
In addition, there are also sections on possible interventions such as a c-section, different drug options, membrane stripping, etc. It was great to be exposed to these possibilities early on so that I could make the appropriate decision and refer back to the book as needed.
I highly recommend this book for people that are looking for a little more information on what you can do proactively as you're preparing for your childbirth. The book is supportive of both drug-assisted and drug-free deliveries. We lucked out and had a drug-free delivery - I really surprised myself! It was a fantastic experience and this book really helped me prepare.
- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; 1 edition (13 November 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0738284971
- ISBN-13: 978-0738284972
- Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 998 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)