Since this is the week leading up to my due date, I thought it would be fitting to spend it blogging about preparation for labor and birth. If that's not your cup of tea, hang in there! It's only for a week. :) Also, as you guys can probably guess, when the baby arrives, I will be posting sporadically and keeping things very short and sweet while I hang out, heal, and nurse the newest little person in our house.
Yesterday I talked about how I am mentally preparing for labor/birth by dwelling on some specific bible verses and saturating my thoughts with His promises. Read "getting ready for labor and birth: part one" right here. Today I want to share another part of mental prep that was huge for me: knowledge.
By leaps and bounds, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth was the best thing I got my hands on when I was pregnant with my first baby. I cannot recommend it enough. Not only was it the easiest to read (the other birth books I had definitely required some skimming), it was also the most enlightening.
I came away from this book with exactly what I wanted: an understanding of how childbirth works and discernment about how I would approach it. Ina May explains perfectly (and not intimidatingly) what happens in labor: the physical changes your body makes, the hormones that regulate labor and birth, the powerful mind/body connection at play, sphincter law, and the different stages of labor. It was refreshing to read about birth as an awesome, yet normal physiological process, instead of the dysfunctional, danger-charged moment that we usually see portrayed on tv. Although she doesn't pretend that complications do not arise in labor, the emphasis is on how her cultured childbirth wisdom has given her insight on providing the atmosphere and assistance conducive to normal labor progression for a healthy mom and baby. She also discusses birth positions, the importance of privacy, pain relief, relaxation techniques, issues that come up in prenatal care, intervention options, and how birth in America is unique compared to birth around the world.
We did choose to have a home birth after reading this book, but it's not just for us hipsters.. it's completely relevant for anyone- no matter where you choose to have your baby!
Here's one of my favorite quotes from the book:
"Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. ... Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body."
Come back tomorrow (and the rest of this week) for posts on prepping for labor/birth physically, postpartum healing, baby supplies I'm getting this time, and more!
January 7, 2014