Trying to get pregnant? Just got a positive pregnancy test? If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to read up on everything—and I do mean everything—about pregnancy and childbirth, so you can make the best decisions for you and baby. During this quest, you’ll find a bewildering amount of ones, but which are the best pregnancy books for natural mamas?
My Experience With Pregnancy Books
There are SO many pregnancy books out there. But when I got pregnant with Griffin, I had a hard time finding the right one. In the vast majority of cases, women go on to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. So why were so many books talking about everything that could go wrong?! There were worst-case scenarios and scary tales seemingly on every other page. Based on the content inside these pregnancy books, you’d never know that women have been giving birth for thousands of years!
Don’t get me wrong: There are a handful of really great natural pregnancy books out there that don’t take this approach. Take Ina May Gaskin’s book, for example. It’s like a pregnancy Bible to so many—it’s an amazing resource.
But let’s be real, mamas: I tend to get a bit of pregnancy brain. And for that reason, I really craved an easily digestible week-by-week pregnancy book for natural mamas.
…So I Created My Own Pregnancy Book
That’s where the Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth comes in.
Despite an extensive search, I couldn’t find a single pregnancy book in a week-to-week format that approached pregnancy from a natural perspective. I’d become hooked on natural living. Why couldn’t I have a natural pregnancy and childbirth, too?
So along with Cynthia Mason, CNM, APN, a certified nurse midwife, and Maura Winkler, RN, CD, IBCLC, a nurse, doula and lactation consultant, I set out to write the book I couldn’t find. Because it’s laid out in a week-by-week format, the Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth sets you on a path towards a healthy, natural pregnancy from the very beginning.
Here are the top 10 things you’ll learn in this book:
- Your perfect pregnancy diet (with weekly recipes)
- How to ditch toxins in your beauty & cleaning routine
- Natural remedies for common pregnancy symptoms
- The truth about epidurals (and other interventions)
- How to create your birth “dream team“
- How and why to eat your placenta (or not)
- Natural pain relief during labor
- What to do during each stage of labor
- Tips to navigate all those newborn interventions
- How to start breastfeeding on the right foot, er, boob
Through the book, my hope is to be your natural friend holding your hand through a wonderful natural pregnancy and childbirth, cheering you on every step of the way. 🎉 The book is evidence-based and easy to read so you can make the best decisions working with your healthcare team.
Bonus! Natural Mamas may also like my 50-card deck of natural pregnancy and childbirth affirmations.
The Best Pregnancy Book for Natural Mamas
While my book is the only week-by-week natural pregnancy and childbirth book available, there are other great pregnancy books about baby’s development, labor, and breastfeeding that natural mamas might want to add to their bookshelf. Here are a few other books I recommend:
Written by the nation’s leading midwife, this book is a classic for mothers interested in natural childbirth. Ina talks about the mind-body connection, natural pain relief, including massage and touch, and how to maximize your odds of having a natural childbirth. Want the truth about the risks of anesthesia and C-sections that your doctor might not give you? This pregnancy book pulls back the curtain and lays it all out.
Despite what others may want you to think, most women are perfectly capable of producing all the nutrition your newborn needs, easily and for free! If you’re looking for pregnancy books devoted to breastfeeding, this revered book, by the internationally respected breastfeeding organization La Leche League, provides an encyclopedia of knowledge. How to latch properly, breastfeeding strategies and solutions to common breastfeeding issues, maintaining breast health, and bonding—this 500-plus page book covers it all.
3. Your Best Birth, by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein
This book lays out everything you need to know about epidurals, Pitocin, induced labor, C-sections, and more. Ricki really lays out the history of how birth evolved in the U.S. and as a result, you won’t view childbirth the same way! I highly recommend watching her documentary The Business of Being Born too!
Not a guide, or how-to book, this pregnancy book tells the stories of midwife and “Baby Catcher” Peggy Vincent’s nearly three thousand deliveries. Inspiring and motivating stories that reassure mamas-to-be that, yes, they can do it naturally. This book will uplift your spirits and reaffirm your desire for a natural birth.
What should you be eating during pregnancy? What’s best for your baby to eat, too? This pregnancy book contains some surprising information for natural mamas who want to make great food choices for two. Author Nina Planck stressed the importance of nutrient-dense food like meat and egg yolks, while always picking real food over processed. Natural mamas will want to add this resource to their collection of pregnancy books!
Read all the best pregnancy books and want a peek at what to expect during baby’s first year? Read this book. Author Megan McGrory Massaro wants moms to ignore advertisers and toy companies who want to commercialize your baby’s first year, and return to a simpler, more-connected time with your baby. She presents the research on holding your baby, sign language, and baby-led weaning, empowering mamas to connect and bond during that first year.
What Have You Read?
Have you read any of the best pregnancy books on my list? Which were your favorites?