We understand that there is a lot of information out there to navigate, and finding what you need to prepare for birth and life with a baby can be difficult- even overwhelming. Some people find it useful to have lots of information at their fingertips, while others prefer to limit their reading. Here are our top reccommendations for books, websites and local support groups.
Guide to childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
This book is full of lovely birth stories to inspire you and remind you that birth is normal, and also lots of really helpful information to help you prepare for the birth.
The New Active Birth by Janet Balaskas
This is a great read, full of information about labour and birth, and lots of information around movement and positions for the different stages of labour. There are lots of useful images and descriptions of yoga based exercises for pregnancy and the post natal period.
The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill
A modern day guide to childbirth complete with stories, practical information and tips. Written with huge amounts of good humour and a deep understadning of the landscape of birth today. Introducing the visual birth plan to download here.
Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley
This is a different kind of read, written by a GP who is an advocate for homebirth and natural birth. It’s full of very helpful information and research.
It covers a lot of ground!
Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin
Another great book by Ina May, it’s full of useful information and excellent advice for treating a range of conditions that might arise on the breastfeeding journey. A very good reference to have on the shelf,
and also an excellent read.
The Food of Love by Kate Evans
This book is full of great information in an ultra-accessible, funny and non-prescriptive style
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
by La Leche League International
This is the La Leche League’s key resource and is an excellent book to have if you’re planning to breastfeed. Read it before the birth and then keep it on hand to reference for various breastfeeding issues and to get tips and tricks for helping with feeding.
What Mothers Do by Naomi Stadlen
This is such a reassuring and encouraging book, looking at what the role of a mother is (especially when it looks like she’s doing nothing) and acknowledging how being a mother can sometimes be really difficult. A great gift for yourself or any new mother you know.
The Baby Book
by Dr William Sears and Martha Sears
This book is designed to cover parenting issues from birth to the age of two, and addresses things like how to bond with your baby, how to care for your newborn (practical stuff like bathing and nail care), infant feeding, babywearing and, nighttime parenting. It probably contains everything you need for those first 2 years. Only downside: it can sometimes come across as a bit smug but if you can get past that, it’s a great resource.
Why Your Baby's Sleep Matters
by Sarah Ockwell-Smith
This is the kind of book every new parent should read. It is so helpful to understand how a baby’s sleep cycles work, what is normal for a baby and therefore what you can expect in terms of your babys’ sleep. This is all covered in this little gem of a book, as well as things like co-sleeping/bed sharing, breastfeeding, napping and coping with exhaustion.
AIMS (Association for the Improvement of Midwifery Services)
In addition to the top reccommendations, all of the AIMS publications are
excellent resources: concise, easy to digest booklets which are research based
and written by experienced midwives and birthworkers.
Am I Allowed?
Birthing Your Baby - Second Stage
Breech Birth - What are my options?
Birth after Caesarean
Group B Strep Explained
Inducing Labour: Making Informed Decisions
Vitamin K and the Newborn
Safety in Childbirth
Birthing Your Placenta, The Third Stage
Caesarean Birth - Your Questions Answered
Between us we have a varied and extensive library of books, available for our clients to borrow.
If there are particular titles or subjects you are looking to read more about,
then ask us for more information and we can give you details of what we have available.
OUR Top 10
Websites and ONLINE support
The Positive Birth Movement
Founded by writer Milli Hill
AIMS - Association for the Improvement of Midwifery Services
Research based information and support
Midwife, researcher and author
Tell Me a Good Birth Story
Positive Birth Stories to read, network connecting people
who've had positive birth experiences with pregnant mums
Information and techniques for Optimal Feotal Positioning
Information, Birth stories, Homebirth plans
Placenta Remedies Network
Information about using your placenta in different ways
Breastfeeding information and videos
The science behind breastmilk & breast milk advert
Human Milk for Human Babies
Breastmilk sharing network
Bristol support GROUPS
Bristol has many groups and regular meetings to suport mothers and their families for
pregnancy, birth and beyond. Here are some useful ones:
As a part of a National Movement these monthly drop in meetings promote positive attitudes
towards pregnancy birth and parenthood to help prepare and support parents.
Meetings include birth stories and rotating monthly topics.
Monthly drop in meetings to learn about Homebirth and to meet others who are exploring this option,
supported by Birth workers and Homebirthing mothers. Meetings include Birthstories from
Homebirthing parents, rotating monthly topics and open discussion as well as a lending library.
Postnatal Depression Support Group run by mothers who have experienced PND
offering advice and support in person and via a helpline.
Advice on safe baby wearing, support and lending of many varieties of baby carriers,
helping parents choose which carriers are best for them and how to use them.
Monthly Drop in coffee morning offering Breastfeeding support and advcice.
Mums with bumps, babies and toddlers welcome.
A List of drop in suport groups at differnt locations accross Bristol.
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