nose in a book: Pregasaurus Rex

Hailing from a land where every shelf (even the china cabinet) was filled to the brim with books, I like to borrow & lend books among friends as well as the local library. And for any readers who are with child, interested in conceiving soon or generally fascinated by the capacity of women's bodies to carry & bear children... the books listed below are invaluable. If you are pregnant at this very moment, please exercise restraint (for the sake of your blood pressure & the enjoyment of the life growing inside you). In this instance less is more, as long as you know where to look. I recommend the following very highly. 

It's the easy-to-read-amusing-informative text we all should have received when we hit puberty & should definitely be part of every "sex ed" course out there. If you read English & are female, this book is the best place to start. I know it looks thick & feels heavy to lift, but if you start with a few pages before bed you'll whiz through it & be quoting her quips in no time!

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
If "Mother Earth" existed in human form, she'd probably be pals with Ina May. The first half is a retelling of many, many birth stories that are great to slowly read throughout your pregnancy. The second half is wise counsel from a midwife who has assisted in births of  hundreds of babies with mothers from all backgrounds, genetic heritage & birth philosophies. Whether birth scares or invigorates you, this book will encourage you like a handwritten letter.
A Child is Born, by Nilsson & Hamberger
For you literal types, or anyone who's trying to explain to older siblings from where babies come & how they grow in mama's belly... this book is filled with medical-yet-artistic photography documenting how a fertilized egg becomes a little person. The collaborative work of a famous photographer and an obstetrician, it makes visible what is otherwise hidden yet honors the mystery of how we each grow & emerge from our mother.

Birthing From Within, Pam England & Rob Horowitz
A little new age-y in places, but this one helps you look into each pregnancy as a personal & unique journey. If you process internally through journaling or art-making, the exercises suggested here will unearth the roots to your understanding & expectations surrounding birth.

 And in the interest of reinforcing that birth is only the beginning...
Mothering the New Mother, by Sally Placksin
Your body's hormonal transition from pregnant to not-pregnant to lactating is the most drastic you will ever endure. It trumps menopause by a long shot. Every mama, after every birth or miscarriage, needs women to nurture her through this time. We need to learn how to do this for each other as well as receive it from one another! Thus, this book is a great resource for: moms, husbands, grandparents, sisters, daughters, doulas, neighbors, anyone really. We were not made to thrive alone, in joy or in sorrow.


Amber said...

great suggestions megan. i think that mothering the new mother is a great suggestion. when we are pregnant or trying to conceive we often read everything about pregnancy and labor/birth and then stop. i believe women are very ill prepared for what happens after baby gets here. i think women need to educate themselves on breastfeeding and life after baby (horomones etc.) as much as they do about pregnancy, labor and birth.

© 2008-2010 Megan Clinch said...

thanks, Amber! I definitely agree that very few women are as equipped for postpartum & esp for the bodily craziness of learning to nurse. Labor & birth are relatively short periods of time, yet much of our prep time is devoted to them. I'm excited that you're so committed to supporting women through the entire process!

Cynthia said...

We used the "A child is born" with our four children; when I was pregnant,to see the growth process and where each one was at; and to show the siblings what was going on inside Mommy as they awaited the arrival with us. Love that book!

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