What to Read and Watch When You are Expecting
Here’s my pregnant reading and watch list! I spent years researching pregnancy and birth before even trying… What can I say, I’m a planner. Here are my favorites from my obsessive search for all things bump and baby.
The Business of Being Born – Documentary
This documentary and its sequel (More Business of Being Born) forever changed the way I looked at prenatal care and birth. The documentary is balanced and honest – every birth is different and every woman needs a different level of care, but for the most part our current system over-medicalizes birth. Every woman who plans to have children should see this – it’s like $3 to rent!
More Business of Being Born is broken into episodes. One is devoted solely to celebrity Crunchy Moms telling their birth stories. All of them planned natural births and they discuss EVERYTHING about their experience. I have seen this episode many times. It was so empowering and honest.
The Kind Mama by Alicia Silverstien
This book is just full of love and wisdom. It’s truly crunchy and is so empowering for naturally minded mamas! She focuses on fertility, prenatal nutrition, relaxation and natural childbirth. She was determined to ‘treat’ pregnancy with food and to support her body and baby is the most gentle way possible. While I don’t personally believe in a solely vegan diet, the wisdom of the book remains and the recipes are yummy (on the side).
The Milky Way – Documentary
I really struggled to breastfeed early on and I felt like a failure. It took months for me to get the hang of it and I didn’t understand why no one seemed to care. This documentary is so honest and powerful. We treat breastfeeding mothers terribly in this country, with very little support and huge pressure to give formula the moment a problem arises. I felt less alone after watching this and I felt empowered because I had chosen to keep fighting and exclusively breastfed successfully. I wish I had seen it sooner. I was lucky enough to breastfeed for a year and a half & never used formula.
The Healthy Pregnancy Book & The Baby Book – by Dr Sears
These are not your typical “what to expect” books. Holistically minded, they have information on co-sleeping, babywearing, cloth diapers, midwives and birth centers – pretty much everything a crunchy mom needs to know without all the scare tactics of “these are all the things that could possibly go wrong”
Expecting Better by Emily Oster
I am an anxious person. This book helped to calm some of my “I’m messing up my baby” anxiety. I got super crazy about avoiding chemicals and toxins which I think you SHOULD be anxious about – but I love sushi and I wasn’t sure how much to workout without stressing my baby!! This book looks at the No-No list we give to expecting moms and gets deep into the science behind them. Japanese women eat sushi through their whole pregnancy and there isn’t a pandemic of diarrhea and E. coli.
Ima May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
The original crunchy midwife, Ina May started the group of midwives who run The Farm in Tennessee. They have delivered over a thousand babies, on a commune, in the middle of nowhere. She knows birth. Her deep belief in the power and ability of women’s bodies is amazing and inspiring.
Call The Midwife – BBC series
This may seem odd to some but hear me out. This series can be hard to watch sometimes but it celebrates birth and the way in which it used to be done. A woman’s body was trusted and the midwives who assisted did just that, assisted. No fear or panic – birth was an everyday thing for the working class before the days of the pill. Watch this and remember billions of woman gave birth without medication and without a sterile hospital. (It can be sad and a bit intense!)
Permission to Parent by Robin Berman
Are you terrified your mom, mother-in-law and best friend are going to stage a cloth diaper intervention? Worried that the play ground moms will all call CPS when they find out your kid isn’t vaccinated and has never eaten artificial sweetener? Take a breath and read this. There is so much mom-guilt going around it’s time for a reality check. It’s ok to raise your kid your way. Seriously.
What pregnancy books and movies did you love? Let me know!
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