3 Natural Birth Resources


Shortly after we found out we were pregnant last year, I decided I wanted to try for a natural birth. 

I have no problems with epidurals, but there were a few reasons I want to give natural birth a try:  (1) to save money, (2) because my recovery was so much easier after my natural birth with my daughter, and (3) to prove to myself I could give birth naturally by choice instead of just by necessity.  

There is only so much you can do to prepare for labor, and I don't think anything fully prepared me for how intense the transition phase of labor was!  However, there were three labor resources that I found encouraging and helpful when I was trying to mentally prepare for giving birth naturally, and I wanted to share them here for all of you ladies who are interested.


I rented this DVD from the library when we were pregnant with our first child.  We didn't take a childbirth class, so this was our version of a class.  This is not a DVD about natural childbirth - all the medical interventions that can be involved with childbirth are discussed as well.  But the reason I am listing it is because the breathing methods discussed were so helpful to me during my labors.  The instructor is a lamaze teacher, so she goes through the three classic Lamaze breathing techniques.  Breathing through each contraction was the main thing that helped me through all three of my labors, but especially with my natural labors.  Focusing on each technique took my mind off the pain, helped me relax, and made the contractions much more manageable.  I thought it was useful to have the breathing demonstrated and practice beforehand, and this DVD was great for that.


This entire book is about giving birth naturally in a hospital, and I thought the information was useful and interesting.  The author does advocate for having a doula and picking a caregiver that is supportive of a natural birth - those sections weren't as helpful to me because I already had a caregiver I was comfortable with, and I couldn't afford a doula.  What I thought was most helpful about this book were the tips on how to handle things in the hospital to give yourself the best chance of succeeding - how to get the hospital staff on board and postpone certain interventions.  I felt pretty motivated and confident that I could have a good chance at a successful natural hospital birth through utilizing the information in this book.


I read this book mostly to see what the fuss was about.  First, I have to say that I did not like everything in this book.  I felt like a lot of the philosophy was more New Age in nature, I didn't like the fertility idols she seemed enthralled with, and The Farm sounds kind of cultish to me.   I think Christians should read this book with discernment.  She was also fairly anti-hospital in this book, and since I knew that I wanted a hospital birth, I refused to accept the parts where she seemed to imply that it was difficult or impossible to succeed at natural birth in a hospital.  What I did find useful was some of the information on helping your body along in labor - different positions, relaxing your muscles in labor, etc.  Even though I didn't like many of her philosophies, I did feel more confident in my ability to give birth naturally after reading the practical information that was shared.

That is all I have!  Do any of you have resources that you found helpful before giving birth?
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Amanda said...

I liked reading Ina May's book since I knew I wanted a natural birth. It was kind of New Age-ish, I agree, but it encouraged me to read about so many other women's experiences and gave me confidence that I could do it, too. I really recommend The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. It explains many different common practices and interventions that women encounter during labor and delivery (inductions, epidurals, IVs, episiotomies, etc) and tells you risks associated with those things so that you can make an informed decision about them ahead of time. I also LOVED the La Leche League's book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I bought several books on the subject before having Natalie, but none were as informative as this one.

Stephanie said...

I've read so many positive reviews on Ina May's Guide but I share your thoughts - although there were some helpful parts, overall I just found it kinda creepy!

I've had two pretty positive natural births and I think the best thing for me was having a midwife for both. I'm not sure how it is in the States, but here in Canada many midwives have hospital privileges. I felt like I had the best of both worlds - the more personal care of a midwife but we were present in the hospital should any challenges have arose.

Alli said...

My midwife had me read The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin and I really enjoyed it! It's mainly geared toward the spouse or whoever will be attending the birth with you, but I thought it was very insightful and non-biased (which I love). Definitely a book I recommend to moms-to-be!

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