If you are anything like me, you might have felt the urge to dash to the bookstore as soon as you found out you were pregnant. I did just that (right after I made my doctor appointment and did a quick internet search!) and bought EVERY SINGLE BOOK ON PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH ON THE SHELF. I sped home and tucked myself away with my new library of pregnancy information.

 I probably read about 10 books before I realized they were all scaring the daylights out of me and I wanted the epidural right then (though of course I read all the negative aspects of the epidural and was sure I’d end up paralyzed). They were filled with so much alarming information about what could go wrong (but is not very likely to go wrong) that every twinge in my body caused me to panic.

I finally wised up and started reading reviews of books first to make sure what I exposed myself to was helpful and not hurtful.

 I was pleasantly pleased when I picked up “The Big Book of Birth” by Erica Lyon. I liked it because it supports a woman’s choice to have the best birth for her – medicated or unmediated, induced or not, vaginal or c-section. It was realistic while not being alarming and gave great information on all of the four stages of labor.  It is not a detailed book on pregnancy (I am still searching for one that I love) but an excellent resource for childbirth.

 Here are some of the topics covered in the book:

  •  How to choose the right healthcare provider for you
  • The four stages of labor and what to expect
  • Coping skills for each of the stages
  • Realistic information on pain relief options
  • Information on assisted and cesarean birth

FYI – Amazon is a pretty good place to read reviews of book. The Big Book of Birth is reviewed on Amazon if you would like more information.

 Alyson Ryan is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and co-founder of South Bay Wellness. She is passionate about assisting individuals on their journey to live a more fulfilling, peaceful and rewarding life. She can be reached at Alyson@southbaywellness.com
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