If you only read one book in pregnancy, make it this one

It can be easy to be inundated with the must-have books when you are pregnant or trying to conceive, however there is one book I would consider the ultimate all-rounder, best value for money and if you’re not a big reader or you are short on reading time, the one book that you can read to cover your birthing and parenting bases. The book I’m talking about? Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley, MD.

Buckley’s book is divided into two parts – Gentle Birth and Gentle Mothering – as the title suggests. Gentle Birth covers some of the most prominent topics in our birth culture – induction, the use of ultrasound, epidurals, active management of the third stage of labour and caesarean, just to name a few. The information provided is thorough and comprehensive. Buckley discusses the research behind these common interventions and the effects, which mothers are often not fully informed about. Throughout the book Buckley has also included beautiful personal stories around her own births, which are inspiring and gentle reminders of the intuitive nature of birth and a woman’s ability to birth naturally. This section is really covering information that should be provided to pregnant women by their health care providers but which is sadly not.

Part two, Gentle Mothering, focuses on attachment, breastfeeding and sleeping. These 3 topics are possibly the most spoken about topics of new mothers who are learning to navigate life with a newborn and their new roles.

Buckley ends the book with an impressive resource and reference list, for anyone who is looking to delve a bit further into the research that she has beautifully summarised in the book.

I found this book to be incredibly informative and inspiring and I regret not having known about this book when I myself was pregnant. All women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should read Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering to inform themselves on the most common interventions surrounding birth in these modern times. Whilst the information provided really spoke to me and my personal approach to birth and mothering, as Buckley herself says in the conclusion, the information provided in the book should only be taken on board if it works for and resonates with you and the way you would like to birth and parent.

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