I used Natal Hypnotherapy CDs and found them useful. If nothing else you get a lovely snooze every day of your maternity leave, but I think it did help, I had 2 births with only a bit of gas and air. If you want to breastfeed I highly recommend The Food of Love by Kate Evans.
Hi teddybear. This is my first pregnancy so I'm not sure how well the Hypnobirthing will work when the time comes, but the book I am reading and the cd have made me feel much more calm and confident at the prospect of giving birth. I listen to the cd every day (and like bakingtins I have a nice nap!).
I use the following book and cd given to me by my midwife link
I am also reading Grantly Dick-Read's book "Childbirth Without Fear" link It's quite old and 'medical' but it's a good read
Depending how hippy-ish you've become during pregnancy and how much detail you want about birth etc (I get very hippy-ish when pregnant and as a lawyer I always want to research everything!) I would recommend Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Oh and I loved the hypnobirthing book and CD during my first pregnancy and it really helped during the birth. I just have calm childbirth meditations now that I am listening to. I hope they sink in subliminally because I have fallen asleep about 10 mins in every time!!
I did, and am doing again, the official Hypnobirthing, by Marie Mongan. I swear it was wonderful, I felt completely in control and had a quick labour. I wouldn't say without pain though! I do the relaxation on the CD most days. We aldi went to lessons the first time. This was good as we were both involved, rather than me reading and my husband not having a clue. My DS also turned out to be a really happy and relaxed baby, not much crying. Although he's made up for it now he's nearly 2!
DH and I have just done a natal hypnotherapy course locally and have come away feeling a lot more calm and confident about labour.
I thought DH would find it all a bit 'woo' but he's taken it in board and now we have a few things in the toolkit to try and keep calm when things get a bit intense. It's given him a much better idea of how he can help me rather than flapping or feeling a spare part. The positive affirmations and stories are great.
Ive been using the CDs on and off, but found the course a lot more helpful as I enjoy that kind of interactive thing
This one isn't just birth related but I found it really good: Expecting Better why the conventional pregnancy wisdom is wrong and what you really need to know. It's written by Emily Oster a professor of economics and gives you a lot of useful information rather than just vague advice. I really like the fact in encourages you to make your own decisions as some of the usual advice given to pregnant women isn't as clear cut as it' often presented. Very interesting read.
'First time parent' by Lucy Atkins is useful as a first timer (but feeding advice isn't great- in fact, explaining how to make formula up is wrong- unless it's been updated since my copy). Good overview.
I can't tell you how much I loved my Hypnobirthing course. I practically had a crush on the instructor I loved it so much. Dh was also a convert. I still use some of the techniques and meditations a year later. I just wish I had done it with my first pregnancy like I wanted instead of with my third when I was desperate. We used the Katherine Graves version, which is British not US like the Mongan method. Not that I mean English = better, but there is some stuff to do with dealing with hcp that is obviously more relevant.
I also liked the food of love, and my favourite parenting book so far is by Penelope leech.
I'm reading the Ina May Gaskin Guide to Breastfeeding now and finding it incredibly useful. (it's cheap on kindle)
The Mongan hypno book so far has been amazing, we're booked onto the course too.
This is for down the road (quite a ways) but Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting is one of the most insightful books I've read ever, on any subject.... it even made me rethink (for the better) parts of my own childhood and realise that certain things weren't my fault.