If you’re anything like me, that positive pregnancy test is a happy occasion, but almost immediately, it’s also infused with the fear of the unknown. How will life change? How will my body change? OH DEAR LORD, I’m actually going to have to birth this baby!
Honestly, giving birth was something I was SO afraid of, it made me question whether I even wanted to have children in my life. We’re so conditioned to believe childbirth is torturous, unbearably painful, and bad for our bodies, it’s no wonder most of us fear it!
My fear got the best of me and I was in a full blown panic for at least two weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Even once I wrapped my head around this being my reality, I could be happy about the baby, but still petrified about the birth.
I did some digging, I asked the moms within the Bad Yogi Community, and settled on a few resources to look into based on my own research and others’ recommendations.
– Nothing fear based.
I’m already afraid AND prone to paranoia about my own health, my baby’s health, and pretty much everything else you can think of. The last thing I need is something riddled with warnings or propaganda disguised as “advice.”
I didn’t just want neutral resources, I wanted to change my entire perspective about birth in general. I wanted to see this as the empowering, transformative life event that it is.
– Easily accessible.
Because living in France has a *few* limitations, I knew I wasn’t going to go to any in-person classes 😉
Must-Haves for Anyone Who Feels Like Me:
I am a very frugal person. I live a financially comfortable life, but you will never see me throw money away or spend more than I have to on something. That said, I implore you to find a way to do get these three resources. They’re insanely affordable and added such value to my pregnancy (and, I believe, will to my birth experience too), they’re worth every penny and then some. In fact, if I had to pay 3x what they cost, I’d still do it in a heartbeat.
1. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, $10
This is a book and I was skeptical about at first because it’s definitely got a hippie vibe, but the more I read, the more I loved it. It really paints birth as a challenging but amazing event. It replaced nearly all my preconceived ideas of what birth had to look like. The only downside (and this is subjective) is that towards the end, she talks about the negatives of c-sections, epidurals, and literally every kind of intervention. I stopped reading here. I think we have to leave room for the unknown to unfold, and the last thing I want is to feel afraid or threatened in a situation where I’d need any of those things. But beyond those final few pages in the book, I LOVED everything about this. Highly, highly recommend.
2. Birth It Up! digital course by Mommy Labor Nurse, $39
This was the second thing I did and the first course I took. I did The Natural Series and lllloved it. She teaches you how to have a natural birth in a hospital from the perspective of someone who works in Labor & Delivery (important to me since I’m giving birth in a hospital). I learned a ton from Liesel in this course and felt well-prepared in a less hippie, more practical way. She touches briefly on what happens if you need a c-section or other interventions, but I never felt like it was alarmist or scary. She also just launched a version of this for moms who know they want an epidural! I paid for this myself but I loved it so much I reached out to her to do a podcast (coming soon) and asked her if I could offer you all a discount. So, bonus: use the code BADYOGI for 10% off either course 🙂
3. The Positive Birth Company Digital Pack, $48
Okay, if you buy NOTHING else in this list of 3 things, you MUST buy this. This was the last thing I did and felt it was the absolutely perfect blend of the top two things; a very holistic but practical approach to birth. Whether you want a home birth or a hospital birth, this is going to help you feel completely aware of the process from start to finish. Everything you learn is useful and what you’ll actually be doing during birth from how to breathe, mantras to use, how to incorporate your partner, what’s physically happening in each stage of labor, etc. Once I finished this course, I felt like I could stop here because it was SO comprehensive in a non-overwhelming way. I took tons of notes and will be making myself and Adrien a little cheat sheet to refer back to on the big day. I cannot stress the importance of this one enough!
A couple other books I read but didn’t resonate with:
1. Birth Without Fear by January Harshe.
This one came highly recommended, but I didn’t find it particularly useful. Again, this is my personal opinion, and it was well loved by those who suggested it. I just found it to be heavily focused on defensiveness and standing up for yourself (both good skills to have), but I didn’t resonate with that kind of energy around this topic. But I totally get that some people need to hear this kind of thing!
2. Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie Mongan.
I was REALLY expecting to love this but it kind of fell flat for me. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t negative, and it wasn’t anything I regretted reading. It spent a decent amount of time “selling” the method of hypnobirthing (which I didn’t really need since I’d already bought the book) and talking about how it was a superior way of giving birth (again, I’m already there, so could have spared the words, haha). As I said, this wasn’t bad by any means, it just didn’t give me any more to take away than I got from the other things I dove into.
Over to you! Are there any resources you personally used and found insanely helpful? Do tell!