A good friend who's about to be a first-time-parent asked for 4 or 5 book recommendations during a catch-up chat this week. I perused the Bright Birthing lending library and came up with this short list:
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin is the first book I always recommend to doula clients. It is even great to have with you during labor for quick reference on variations that may arise.
Everyday Blessings by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn was a gift from a mentor of mine while I was pregnant. Reading it in the earliest days of parenting was so sweet and I am sure I'll come back to it time and again.
The Wonder Weeks by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooj is another book I hadn't heard of until I became a parent myself. I have my postpartum doula, Dianne Bearinger, to thank for its introduction to my life, and Kelly Cox at Bend Yoga who gave me this copy. It chronicles the cognitive developmental leaps that a child experiences, discusses the new skills they embody at each point and normalizes the tough transitions with sleep and behavior that attend each change over the course of the first two years of life!
Hypnobirthing was the method of childbirth preparation that we decided to learn with a private teacher, but much of the philosophy and practice is within the handbook by Marie Mongan. The CD with guided meditations that accompanies this book was crucial for me.
Last but not least is the Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel. The copy I'm currently reading actually belongs to another beloved postpartum doula, Cynthia Jordan-Fisher and I promise I'll return it when I finally finish reading it! It's about raising self-reliant children, incorporating wisdom from the Jewish tradition and I love it so much so far that I've sent a copy to my sweet pregnant cousin even though I haven't yet reached the end myself.
If you would ever like to borrow books from the Bright Birthing lending library, they are available to local friends and clients at any time!