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Which guides to pregnancy and labour would you recommend?

(19 Posts)
HardCheese Tue 20-Sep-11 13:54:19

My normal response to any life situation is to read endless amounts about it, but there's so much choice on pregnancy and birth that I'm confused. Plus the approaches are so different that I'm reluctant to subject myself to something that feels 'negative' or frightening at a time when I already feel anxious and vulnerable, but which is factually accurate. Or, for that matter, read something where the writer appears to think that pregnant women's IQs fall as the foetus grows, which I seem to come across rather often.

(I haven't read Odent on birth, for instance, but the idea of some man telling me that I am descending to a primitive biological level of animality while in labour makes me want to throw things...)

So, recommendations for books that are informative and unpatronising, but basically positive, without involving whale song and patchouli oil?

kat2504 Tue 20-Sep-11 14:26:27

mumsnet have written a pregnancy book! It is very good and can be dowloaded on kindle edition too. has real stories from real people and is not at all patronising and very informative.
What to expect when you are expecting is ridiculously patronising in tone - stay well away from their entire series of publications.
Pregnancy for Dummies is quite thorough and covers a wide range of information without being too patronising.
I also have a day by day pregnancy book that has lovely colour pictures in it but I only got it for the pictures as that is pretty much what it is good for.

Sandra2011 Tue 20-Sep-11 14:58:26

Your pregnancy week by week - by Professor Lesley Regan

"She works with a clearly define philosophy: a woman who is well informed about her pregnancy will be able to make confident choises."

Book has many wonderful reviews in Amazon and I have used it in two pregnancies and can highly recommend.
Also my husband likes to read it.

InMyPrime Tue 20-Sep-11 15:06:48

I second the recommendation for Prof Lesley Regan's book 'Your Prenancy Week by Week'. Very sensible, full of information and most importantly facts based on medical knowledge rather than wacky theories or ideas. Lots of pictures and detailed explanations of various medical processes e.g. the 20 week scan as well as just practical information on diet, exercise, preparing your home, and a short section at the end on the first 6 weeks with your baby, post-birth recovery etc.

boba82 Tue 20-Sep-11 15:07:27

What to Expect When You're Expecting has been a Godsend to me and has answered every question I've had.

Crosshair Tue 20-Sep-11 15:09:00

I bought this, arrived this morning so havent had time to give it a read yet.

www.amazon.co.uk/Birth-Skills-Proven-pain-management-techniques/dp/0091922143

kat2504 Tue 20-Sep-11 15:09:10

My day by day one is also Lesley Regan, I think it is probably just the bigger version with more photos! The written information in it covers pretty much everything but I really only bought it for the pictures. They are amazing!
It does cover all sorts of different scenarios for labour and delivery rather than just focusing on a lentil weavery approach or a totally medical approach.

I think you should go to a nice big waterstones and spend an hour browsing the books to find one you get on with. Or do what I did and buy pretty much all of them!

MrsHuxtable Tue 20-Sep-11 15:09:40

I'm reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and it is trully inspiring, especially all the birth stories. Since this is my first baby I can't actually tell you if the book will actually help me to achieve a better labour but it definitely makes you feel less worried about the whole thing.

fraktious Tue 20-Sep-11 15:53:28

Second the Ina May. Beautiful birth has good advice on positions but may be a bit hippy. Birthing from within was written by a woman wink

cravingcake Tue 20-Sep-11 16:11:30

My friend gave me 'The best friends guide to pregnancy, or everything your doctor wont tell you' by Vicki Iovine. I found this good to read, and is written in the style of your friends telling you what your midwife or doctor doesnt. It lightheartedly covers the facts. I also have the What to Expect When Expecting app on my phone, which is quite american but factual (slightly patronising, but its done in a positive way).

tiokiko Tue 20-Sep-11 16:57:50

I really liked 'Stand and Deliver' - looks like it might be out of print but Amazon has 2nd hand copies for 1p!

It includes loads of birth stories covering all types of labour and I found it really informative and easy to read, has info on birth plans etc.

HardCheese Tue 20-Sep-11 19:23:04

Thanks, everyone. I keep hearing good things on here about Ina May, and will certainly browse Lesley Regan next time I'm in a bookstore. I just had a particularly upsetting minor event happen on my way to the GP this morning, and then welled up when listening for a heartbeat, so suspect I'm now on her files as 'anxious and a bit of a sap'. Which makes me all the more grateful for the support on here, and the more determined to be as informed as I can possibly be.

Broodzilla Tue 20-Sep-11 20:39:07

I third Ina May... I don't want to turn this thread into a labour story, but ended up going through all of labour (apart from pushing) without any help or input from anyone except DH and paracetamol as my pain relief. Ina May got me through it... and in hindsight, it was the birth I would've wanted if only I'd have believed that I could do it. smile

Heinoushierachy Tue 20-Sep-11 20:48:17

I would also have to recommend Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - it's changed my whole perspective of birth - also Mary Mongan's hypnobirthing (book is okay but getting the cd and actually doing is great)

CombineArvester Tue 20-Sep-11 20:51:09

Lesley Regan very good, remember dutifully looking up 'waters breaking' in the index when my waters broke at 35 weeks and she very rightly advised me to go to hospital!

It's actually interesting as well, some of them are very very dull and worthy.

MrsHuxtable Tue 20-Sep-11 20:55:38

Broodzilla,
it's really good to hear that Ina May's book actually helped to to give birth. It's what I'm hoping for. I'm determined...lol

weetabixnraisins Tue 20-Sep-11 21:13:00

I am also a massive fan of Lesley Regan's book. She has a really nice way with words, knows her stuff and the colour pics are great.

What to expect when you are expecting is a must have to combine with the above, no good pics but honestly will answer every possible question under the sun.

Finally- a friend has just recommended to me 'The Food of Love' by Kate Evans all about breastfeeding (if you are planning to) and I wish it had been published when I had my first baby in 2008 but it wasn't! I failed to breastfeed successfully and didn't get the help I needed (I thought it would be easy and was totally unprepared) this book is brilliant preperation for the problems you might encounter and full of brilliant cartoons by the author.

Broodzilla Wed 21-Sep-11 07:06:59

MrsHuxtable that's the attitude smile... to me, the real mind-blowing moment (as silly as that sounds!) was when I read that we're conditioned to worry about labour, when really, you never hear men worrying about their bits changing shape and size during "normal use"... we're DESIGNED to give birth, it's a natural event, we just need to trust our bodies. All you need to do is listen to your own body, trust the process, and you will find the best position for you to give birth. You're the expert on you, and your baby.

Nearlycooked Wed 21-Sep-11 07:50:49

this forum - you learn lot of real advice

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