I am 10 weeks pregnant with my first child and exploring pregnancy and birth resources and options.  I was wondering if anyone has any information about different birth options as well as secular pregnancy books?  My doctor gave me a book called 'A Miracle in the Making' and I'm really sick of reading resources which tell me that my baby is a gift or a miracle.  Any advice, stories, or resource suggestions are appreciated. 

Tags: childbirth, pregnancy

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This is a good book, we read it. We actually got it off of free cycle dot com.
That's great news! I love when skeptics have babies... I want my kids to live in a world with like-minded people. ;)

Is midwife care an option for you? The philosophy behind the practice involves the mother in a very meaningful and collaborative way. I only realized how very important that is after my first child was born. I'm not necessarily advocating a home birth or a drug-free birth, rather it's about being treated as an informed participant instead of a patient with a medical condition. Just something to think about. *hops off soapbox*

For practical, pragmatic, and religion-neutral advice, I can't say enough good things about "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer". http://tinyurl.com/27ljanv Seriously, go buy it now, it's really good for helping you navigate the newborn period. (Babies start to get really fun around 6 months, before that it's mostly just attending to their basic needs, marvelling at how cute they are, and trying to get some sleep.)
And throw away "What to Expect...", it's alarmist and full of worst-case scenarios. At least, take it with a grain of salt.

People treat pregnant women like utter morons; it's incredibly frustrating. In all of it, pregnancy, labour, parenting, trust your own informed judgement. When it gets hard, remember the advice I was given: STUPID PEOPLE DO THIS. You can too!

Good luck and congratulations!
John D, I didn't see your response when I posted mine... would have worded it differently in that case. Hope I didn't offend you.

For someone educated like your wife, yes, WTE does contain a ton of good info. But for others who are new to the idea of child-rearing, the book can overwhelm with its "better safe than sorry" mantras. As you say, it could totally feed into hypochondria. Perspective is everything with this one.

Also, let me qualify; I find the "abstinence is safest" attitude in most pregnancy advice to be incredibly condescending, so I'm very likely over-sensitive to it. For instance, experts/governments/health agencies etc. recommend 100% alcohol abstinence, despite evidence that one or two drinks per week is safe. Essentially, they're saying that moms-to-be can't be trusted to understand the difference between half a beer with dinner and binge drinking. It makes me crazy. So I probably am biased against WTE, which I maintain is definitely alarmist, although otherwise informative.

So... Noelle, read what you want! Whatever... WTE... the bible... LOL. ;0)
I got a lot of information from the government program Right From the Start. It was all secular and practical. I got a lot of information from the Health department. I didn't get a lot of alarmist information mainly because I read government sources which tell you stuff like how to make your own baby wipes. I used a lot of websites like Dr. Sears http://www.askdrsears.com/ and Kellymom http://www.kellymom.com/

Of course, I went the whole breastfeeding/attachment parenting route. For medical information, I often use Dr. Greene - http://www.drgreene.com/ I spent a lot more time reading on the internet, because I didn't have a lot of money. Baby Center http://www.babycenter.com/ is okay. I don't consider it great though. The people on the forums are not very friendly - at least I didn't think so.

iVillage http://www.ivillage.com/pregnancy-parenting is alright. I haven't used it in awhile, and my kids aren't babies anymore.

As for birth resources, you should be able to get this information from your hospital or birthing center. You can also tour the hospital labor and delivery floors. My best advice is not to fall deeply in love with one birth method over another, because things may not go the way you plan. I had my heart set on natural childbirth and I ended up with an emergency c-section. It doesn't make you a weak or a bad person if you need pain meds or for some reason you end up having to have a c-section.

Talk to your doctor about filing a birth plan with the hospital. Usually they are very accommodating. Also, if you want to breastfeed, be sure to let your doctor know so you can get a lactation specialist there on the first day.

And above all, relax! It will all work out okay even if you don't play classical music to your preggie belly and you hate fish oil. (My doc was nuts about fish oil and told me I was harming my baby because I wouldn't take it. Funny how the person who is not puking can come up with all these great ideas that make you puke!)

Congratulations!
Thanks to everyone who's responded so far. Everyone is different, so I value and appreciate all suggestions and will take and use what works for me and discard the rest. Hope you all don't mind that approach. :p Keep the suggestions comin!

BTW, I have WTE, and have heard it's the resource "everyone" should have, but I don't refer to it a lot. It does stress me out sometimes with all the things to worry about. I'm glad to have it around as a resource, but as a supplement to other resources, not as the preggo bible. One I really have enjoyed is "Your Pregnancy Week by Week". I like seeing the changes that are happening each week.

Has anyone had a home or natural delivery but wished they had meds or a hospital instead? I'm just trying to get a feel for the positivies and negatives of both. Feel free to e-mail me privately if you don't want to share your birth story in the discussion space.
I liked checking out what the baby looked like every week, too. Only I did it at Baby Center.

I tried so hard to have a natural birth, but I don't have the hips for a vagina birth. There was no way on earth I was going through a c-section without pain meds! I had no choice about having two c-sections. I also had no choice about using any medication injected into the spine because that can cause permanent paralysis in MS patients. Giving birth in an operating room completely knocked out was not my dream. I cried quite a bit over it the first time.

My cousin wanted so bad to give birth without pain medication, but she had to be induced and induction can be very painful in and of itself. She cried and felt like a failure because she had to have pain meds.

For most women, things go really smoothly and easily. Home births are fine when things go well, but when they don't hospitals are the place to be. You don't always have a lot of time during childbirth. Birthing rooms are really very nice. Both times, my room was more like a hotel room than a hospital. I had to spend three or four days each time, so it was nice to have a nice room.

The food sucked both times. Although, I think it was worse the first time because they kept sending all my food cheese covered and I am allergic to dairy products.

Fall in love with the baby not the process of giving birth. You don't want to spend the first few days of your baby's life crying if everything doesn't go perfectly like my cousin and I did. If everything goes perfectly, then great, but if it doesn't or you find you do need pain meds, just remember it's not a race. The only fail is doing drugs or really taking bad care of yourself and causing your baby injury due to your actions.
This may be information for a while from now, but I also read "Parenting Beyond Belief" which was mostly common sense but pretty good. I am actually going to re-read it soon.
Hi Noelle, congratulations!

I've had a hospital birth and subsequently, four home births. Research shows that women are satisfied with their birth experience when they feel in control, when choices have been explained clearly and objectively to them, and they don't feel pressured or patronised into other peoples idea of what is 'best for them', whether that is a home birth with no drugs, or an elective caesarian, or any other birth decisions. My suggestion would be to find care providers you trust and to organise a birth advocate (such as a doula), especially if you choose hospital birth, who knows what you want and can help make sure you get objective advice from medical staff during labour. My favourite birth and pregnancy books are any by Sheila Kitzinger.
Birth centers, non-hospital-based, have some good stuff.
Read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer and Rhonda Wheeler. It's self-admittedly pro-natural, no intervention birth (which I'm all about but not sure where you stand on that), but it explains all the options available to you from care providers to pain relief choices. "What to Expect" is also good, although don't let it get you down; it basically talks about all the potential problems in pregnancy and labor/delivery and how to deal with them. It's not overly negative or anything, but one could get very paranoid reading it. Best of luck!

I did natural thing... The 3 children that I have now, I gave birth to in the water in a large bath at a birthing centre.  I found birthing in the water very relaxing.  I had gas and air with the first, but nothing with the other 2.  I found the first overwhelming, and second intense, and the 3rd intense but suprisingly easy.  I had fish oil every day with the 3rd and I really think this helped my labour.

 

It depends on what you are after, but if you are interested in natural birthing I'm more than happy to go into it.  Also I've got some great references for diet whilst pregnant and breastfeeding from a traditional nutritional perspective.  You grow better babies when you eat the nutrient rich foods they thrive on.

 

It's all about personal taste though, and I'm sure you've had your fair share of advice, so I'll leave it to you to ask.

 

Alice :)

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