Pregnancy and birth are such minefields of information it’s easy to get lost amongst the fact and fiction. Just exactly what should you trust? As someone who teaches hypobirthing sessions and who is blinking passionate about antenatal support and information for families, I am often asked what are THE resources I would recommend to families expecting a baby?
It’s worth remembering that, as with all statistics, information can be open to interpretation, often influenced by culture and belief systems. Some people will focus on the 2% of cases that are unusual or need extra support rather than the 98% of cases that happen completely intervention free. And that is EXACTLY why it’s important you have access to this information so that you can make up your mind about what’s right for you and your baby. As it’s unethical to run a blind study with pregnant women, where women are allocated to give birth in test conditions with control measures (because who wants to hand over their birth completely to a scientist where you turn up on a specified day to be told whether you will be expected to undergo an induction, c-section or left in a room till you spontaneously give birth regardless of the health or gestation of your baby?!)
So, now that we’ve cleared that up here’s a rundown of my go to sources that offer unbiased, factual information. These are all great to access in preparation for your hypnobirthing course and are a wonderful accompaniment to the work you do there.
1. The Positive Birth Book – Milli Hill (www.positivebirthmovement.org) This is a pregnancy information book which lays out all the information in an easy to read, accessible way and does this in a positive way without scaremongering. A huge source of practical positivity and varied birth stories so makes a useful reference book.
2. KGH Hypnobirthing Book (www.kghypnobirthing.com) This is the fab hypnobirthing course I teach and this is the accompanying book. It outlines in a clear, concise way the essence of hypnobirthing and ways to incorporate this into your pregnancy. Includes lots of positive information and articles to support your birth and audios included. Written in nice chunks so easy to read too.
3. Your Birth, Your Baby – Holly De Cruz Again this is a hypnobithing book and I love it’s friendly, conversational tone. A lovely one to sit and reread it includes all the relevant information you need. Holly originally trained with KGH so these books align beautifully. I love Holly’s take on hypnobirthing and the range of births she talks about.
4. Inducing Labour: Making Informed Decisions – Sara Wickham Induction is a word that is frequently thrown round in the birthing world and there is so much to understand within this topic. Sara outlines fully the evidence around induction to help you understand the facts and how they apply to you so you can plan whether this is for you
5. www.birthrights.org.uk A UK organisation dedicated to improving women’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth. Provides free, accurate and accessible legal information and advice around the law relating to childbearing women and the worksheets are really brilliant in outlining your rights as a birthing woman despite the myths flying about.
6. www.aims.org.uk A charity that supports all users to navigate the maternity system effectively. Accurate, evidence based information on range of child birth topics from a charity working towards improving maternity care for all.
7. www.sarawickham.com Dr Sara Wickham: Midwife, Teacher, Author and Researcher Sara Wickham is a fab one stop shop for any questions you have. She has a wealth of blogs and articles addressing everything from Vitamin K to the ins and outs of Induction and is a key person in the area of childbirth and supporting women. I always start with Sara.
8. www.spinningbabies.com Created by American midwife Gail Tully A website full of practical things you can doing to support your body through the process of childbirth. In their words “An approach aiming to optimize the physical relationship between the bodies of the mother and baby for the easing of childbirth.” Think opening the pelvis, getting baby into a comfortable position, relaxing tight ligaments and helping your baby to get in its best position for birth.
9. @littlepeachlondon (Instagram Account) If you are interested in breastfeeding this woman is amazing. I feel like she really gets the modern day breastfeeding and it there to offer support during the highs and lows. She has lots of demonstrations about positioning, what’s normal, when to worry all saved in her highlights and regularly challenges the often ignorant opinions of trolls with the phrase ‘Mind your own boobs!’ She is utterly lovely.
10. www.squeezyapp.co.uk Pelvic Floor Reminder App Ahhhh the old pelvic floor. This app reminds you to practice regularly to help protect and look after your pelvic floor. Remember a little leaking during pregnancy is ok and normal…if this continues post-partum please please speak to your doctor or a physio specialising in women’s health (remember to practice releasing as well as the squeeze, so you can relax it and breath baby down when the time is right)
>>> Start preparing for your birth today…download your free pregnancy relaxation audio here <<<